I contacted a different wildlife rescue and control company for additional help with getting rid of the raccoon who was living under my deck. Some of their suggestions conflicted with what I had been told by the county vector control agent. Here is a summary of what this company told me:
Raccoon Latrine: Raccoons carry roundworms, which can infect humans, so precautions such as rubber gloves should be used when cleaning a latrine. Boiling water can be poured in the area to kill roundworm eggs. See tinyurl.com/RaccoonLatrines for more information on identifying and cleaning up raccoon latrines around your home or in your yard.
Bird Feeding: While wild bird feeding does not attract raccoons directly, it does attract rats, and rats draw raccoons, who consider them a delicacy.
Ammonia: Raccoons apparently hate the smell of ammonia. The company suggested dumping out my bird bath each night, and leaving a towel soaked in ammonia in its place. You can also place ammonia stations in areas they frequent, pouring ammonia over a rag placed in a shallow container with holes punched in the lid. Do not put these in the den itself, as the fumes are toxic. Ammonia can also be used to discourage use of the latrine, as it is not toxic to the soil (as bleach is), though it will burn grass. Ammonia evaporates quickly, so it must be refreshed daily.
Sprays: Add 2 ounces peppermint essential oil and 2 ounces rubbing alcohol to a spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with water, and spray around the den, except the point of entry.
Repellents: The company was concerned that pouring boar raccoon urine around the den might draw other male raccoons to the area. They suggested using coyote urine instead. Products called Shake Away and Critter Ridder are available at many hardware and garden stores.
Radio: While they agreed with playing a radio during the day to help drive the raccoon away, they suggested talk radio rather than music.
Removal Companies: Encouraging the raccoon to move the babies herself is better than trapping. Many companies that promise to release the raccoons kill them instead. Others will leave babies behind to die (I read a number of reviews of companies that had promised to save the babies, only to leave one behind). Relocating raccoons is illegal and will likely result in all of the animals dying anyway. If a company promises to release the animals nearby, ask to be present to verify that’s what actually happens. I hired a company from outside my area because they had only positive reviews, and they readily agreed to let me be present at the release. They also promised to feed and care for any babies still there the next day if it took the mother raccoon more than one night to move them all.
Other: Bird spikes or coyote rollers installed on the top of a fence will keep raccoons out. A motion-activated sprinkler called a Scarecrow and motion-activated lights may also be effective, though if the attraction is great enough, raccoons may get used to them.