Raccoons or Critter Problems in Your Yard? Chasing them doesn't work (and makes neighbors question your sanity)

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Raccoons are cute, but they can be destructive!


“I don’t care if they’re serving fresh trash and stinky fish on a platter, I am NEVER going in that yard again!  It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through” said R. Raccoon, speaking about his recent close encounter with the newly revealed Project S.C.R.A.M.

The rumored S.C.R.A.M. project has long been the subject of discussions by concerned critters at the local watering holes, and especially on the popular social media site, Chitter. Everyone claims to have heard about the mysterious devices that created so much fear, but firsthand experience with them has been elusive, until now. 

S.C.R.A.M. stands for Switch Controlled Remote Anti-Raccoon Machine, though it is thought to be equally petrifying to rabbits, deer, opossums, squirrels, and straying cats and dogs to name a few of the so-called “nuisance animals” these devices have been designed to target. 


A Soggy, Chilling Tail of Whoa…

R. Raccoon, from Backyard, Colorado, describes the incident: 

I was busy performing my nightly route, looking for something tasty to eat, and searching for more ways to be a giant pain in the butt. It must have been a holiday, because the trash bins that are normally on the curb on Wednesdays weren’t out on that moonlit night.

Fortunately, the house in the middle of the block was kind enough to leave a bowl of cat food out on the patio, just for me. As I was washing the food in the water bowl, I heard a click in the darkness in front of me…

Out of nowhere, this blast of water hits me hard enough to soak me before I could even move! In my fright, I slammed into a patio chair, almost toppling it. I managed to find my feet and ran as fast as I could, and I didn’t look back!”

The problem:

There are many reasons to want to keep nuisance animals out of our yards and gardens. These critters are cute and fun to look at, but they can cause a lot of damage when they become destructive pests. They can devastate gardens in a single night, dig holes in the lawn and around the foundations, create problems with our pets, carry diseases, and can cause serious, expensive property damage. 

We do everything we can to live in harmony with our wildlife, and sometimes wayward pets. However, there are times when it requires ratcheting up our defense systems. We need a way to scare the creatures away without hurting them.

There are commercial solutions available for keeping animals out of yards, gardens, flower beds and lawns, but they don’t discriminate. They can’t tell which “side” the animals are on — are they the “good guys” or the “bad guys”? This can pose a problem when you have critters you want in your yard or on the patio, but want to keep the annoying creatures away. 


The solution:

It’s that problem that instigated creating Project S.C.R.A.M. — the Switch Controlled Remote Anti-Raccoon Machine. These devices use an amazingly capable, yet inexpensive security camera combined with a smart switch, and are controlled with a smartphone from almost anywhere in the world.  The best part is that you can monitor the live feed and then choose when to activate the S.C.R.A.M. deterrent devices, or you can set them up to be triggered automatically whenever there is motion. And, you don’t have to decide, since it only takes seconds to switch from automatic to manual!

Easy to build and fun to wield! It’s a blast!

Water blaster hose nozzle on SCRAM device
Stealthy Ninja Raccoon perched in tree

Device Number One: Manual or Automatic Water Blaster System

The first device in the Project S.C.R.A.M. series is a camera assisted water blaster system. Using a sprinkler solenoid valve combined with a security camera and a smart switch, this system is operable from your smartphone. With the camera, switch, valve, hose adapters and power supply, the whole project can be built for less than $100 and half an hour’s time. It’s a fun project and suitable for even a DIY beginner!

The Project S.C.R.A.M. – Device Number One video walks you through the steps to build this project. And, below the Summary of Steps is a list of materials with purchasing links. If you use these links, we thank you for helping us to bring you even more great Uncharted DIY projects, and there is no additional cost to you for using them.

Summary of Steps:

  1. Apply Teflon (PTFE) tape to hose adapters and attach to solenoid valve
  2. Splice the 24V power supply wires to the solenoid valve wires
  3. Plug system into the Wyze Plug smart switch
  4. Attach a hose nozzle of your choice
  5. Mount your new S.C.R.A.M. sprayer device to a suitable base
  6. Monitor the live video and spray when the pest is in range, or set up the Wyze Cam to trigger the sprayer automatically when it senses motion
  7. Pop some popcorn and watch the show!


Raccoons can also be a problem for bird nests. Check out this video for ways to keep raccoons and other critters away from cavity nest and nest boxes.

Predator defense: Flicker babies sticking heads out of bank vault door mounted over nest entrance


Show us your critters!  Now you can share photos in the comments below! 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission on items bought using them. These are the same recommendations I would make regardless of any compensation. For products that I have older versions of, I recommend the items that I would replace them with if I were buying them new. 

Resources for S.C.R.A.M.  Water Blaster Device

These are the tools and supplies I used to build the water blaster system. Alternative and optional tools are listed below in addition to the main components. You do not need all of them, so feel free to substitute.

Wyze Cam V3, Color Night Vision, Wired 1080p HD, Indoor/Outdoor Video Camera

From Amazon
Awesome camera, useful long after the critters have moved on!

Wyze Plug Smart Home Plug, Smart Switch

From Amazon
Works with the free Wyze App for Android and iOS

650pcs Heat Shrink Tubing Assortment

From Amazon
About 648 pieces more than needed for this job 😀, great value!

Big Shot Brass Super Nozzle 

From Amazon
Powerful jet, twist adjustable 

Dual Temperature Heat Gun Kit with Nozzles

From Amazon
Optional tool to replace utility lighter

Compound Action Precision Wire Stripper

From Amazon
Optional tool for fast, easy wire stripping


There are more DIY projects in the works, so stay tuned to Uncharted DIY. Feel free to comment, post photos of your Project S.C.R.A.M. device, or ask questions about this project.

Uncharted DIY is for DIY enthusiasts tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget

Uncharted DIY is for DIY enthusiasts tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget