Where feasible, troublesome raccoons should be discouraged by exclusion. They are usually easy to prevent from dwellings by blocking entrances, although exclusion for some outbuildings is not always practical. Every residential chimney flue should be topped with a chimney cap that is firmly secured to prevent raccoons from accessing the fireplace or a female from having her litter on the smoke shelf. Ornamental garden pools stocked with fish can sometimes be fitted with removable frames over which wire mesh, nylon, or plastic netting has been stretched. Frames can be submerged horizontally just below the surface of the water to discourage raccoons from entering and catching goldfish and other species.
In a few situations, special fences can be useful for protecting backyard vegetable gardens and family-sized fruit orchards, but ordinary fences will not exclude raccoons for they are agile climbers. Cone-shaped metal guards 18 inches or wider wrapped around trees 5 to 6 feet above the ground can sometimes be used to deny raccoons access to the roof of a house or other building.