How To Trap Raccoons

Hello my name is Luke. I am a wildlife professional and below I write about how to trap raccoons, and different factors with raccoons trapping. This website is also a directory of wildlife removal professionals. If you feel you need expert help for trapping raccoons on your property, go to the State/Cities section and find your local wildlife control company. All companies listed on this website are state licensed & insured.

How To Trap Raccoons Page: Photo of two trapped raccoons.
How To Trap Raccoons Page: Photo of a trapped raccoons on the lawn
How To Trap Raccoons Page: Photo of a trapped raccoon on a driveway

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons – Trapping Nuisance Raccoons

Trapping is always applicable when any wild animal strays into the house. However, a simple trapping process can go horribly wrong and might not even solve the problem. Most cases where people take the “do it myself” approach have in the past gone awry. When you lay a trap for the raccoon, you might end up catching a different animal such as your pet cat or dog. There is an absolute need to get everything done right in the process. Catching a raccoon using a trap is complicated by the fact that raccoons are very intelligent and always have a way of breaking out of traps. According to statistics, most raccoon traps are destined to fail because people do not use the right type of raccoon traps. There are traps for sale online and also at your local hardware stores. These traps are usually pretty inexpensive, and you get what you pay for. For single usage, the inexpensive traps may work. But if you plan on trapping multiple raccoons out of your residence, you should buy a more quality trap. I personally use Comstock traps for raccoon trapping.

When it comes down to trapping raccoons, you might want to consider hiring a professional wildlife removal company to tackle the problem. Most people do not know the first thing about trapping raccoons and should not attempt capturing raccoons if they have no background trapping experience. Raccoons are able to outsmart trapping attempts in many situations and the longer they are in your home, the more damage they are going to cause. Its better to pay a couple hundred dollars for trapping than thousands of dollars for repairs. Although if you’re going to ignore that advice anyways, here’s the best way you can attempt to catch a nuisance raccoon that is getting into your attic or is causing trouble on your property.

1. Buy a cage trap. Make sure you read the manual and are able to set the trap successfully.

2. Find a good bait. Raccoons will eat virtually anything, but i’ve found marshmallows smeared with jelly works the best.

3. Set your trap wherever the raccoons are traveling. Find the tree the raccoons use to get on the roof, and set the trap there.

4. Camouflage the trap with leaves or tall grass. You want the raccoons to feel comfortable going into the trap.

5. Make sure the trap is set on level ground. If a raccoon steps into a trap and it wobbles, say goodbye to your chances of catching it.

6. Once you catch the nuisance raccoon, watch your fingers. Raccoons will reach out of a cage trap and grab at anything they can.

7. Relocating raccoons trapped on your property is illegal due to being a rabies carrier. You will need to euthanize it by yourself.


“If you have a raccoon in the attic, at no given time should you ever trap or try to remove it. This is due to the likelihood that there are baby raccoons and trapping or removing the mother will only lead to an even bigger problem of extensive house damage, noise and bad odor from the baby raccoons. Instead of having to deal with the baby-raccoons problem altogether, there are various ways that you can undertake to avoid the nuisance that is associated with this creature.” Hiring a professional raccoon removal company is the best route to take. Removing raccoons on your own as stated above can have disastrous consequences. The damage will be more severe the longer the raccoons are in your dwelling, and its better to pay a fee to have the raccoons trapped in a timely manner rather than paying an insulation company thousands of dollars to have your attic restored after the raccoons have spread their waste and destroyed your attic. Raccoons will also cause more damage to the outside of your home over time.

If you simply release the mother raccoon into the wild, she is likely to come back and will use any means necessary to get into the house in order to rescue the baby raccoons. For this reason, the dilemma that most home owners face is whether to release the entire family of raccoons or simply wait for the baby raccoons to get a little older for them to move into the wild. Most people are unwilling to take the waiting option citing the noise and odor from the young raccoons. Yes they are cute, but they can also be dangerous when they get older. A raccoon is actually less likely to survive in the wild if it becomes accustomed to being under human care. Only a mother raccoon can teach her young how to survive in the wild, and that is a fact. If you release a baby raccoon into the wild, there is still a chance another female raccoon will find it and raise the baby as her own.

Always ensure that you secure your garbage cans including strapping them with bungee straps. As stated earlier, raccoons are very intelligent and often find ways to open the lids of the garbage cans. Doggie doors are also a major entry point for raccoons. There is the possibility that raccoons will access your house through the doggy door at night. If you have your pets securely in the house, lock the doggy door as well as any other opening that the raccoons can use to enter your house. If the raccoons are getting into your house from under the house, you can use an exclusion barrier that will restrict their entry into the house. The best thing to use for raccoon exclusion is sheet metal, or something they cannot get a grip on. If the raccoons are able to pry their greedy little fingers around it, they can rip it out no matter how strong the material is.

The important thing when dealing with raccoons is to ensure that you get rid of anything that is attracting them into your home. Most people are also unaware of the safety concerns that come with having a raccoon in your attic. These small creatures might appear cute but they are not even close to this common misconception. The fact of the matter is that raccoons can leave you staring at unimaginable damage to your house to the extent that you might actually consider forfeiting your house to the raccoons due to the extent of the damage.

Raccoon Facts & Concerns With Nuisance Raccoons

Despite being considered as wild, raccoons are very intelligent animals that can adapt to almost any environment including urban areas. There are several adaptive skills that allow raccoons to survive provided that their habitat has food and provides shelter. Raccoons are omnivorous in nature and one behavioral characteristic about them is that they are very opportunistic animals. Raccoons will often break into almost anything. You will find them stuck in garbage cans where they expertly lift the lid off or even in dumpsters.

Raccoons do not fear domestic pets which explains why they have over the years mastered the art of stealing pet food. When they get indoors, the situation becomes even worse. Raccoons can literally rip open the screen just to get into the patio or any other food storage. Why is it so hard then that raccoons engage in all their mischief unnoticed and most people often get an unpleasant surprise after all the damage has been done? Well, raccoons are nocturnal. This means that all their mischief takes place at night so for heavy sleepers, a morning raccoon surprise is inevitable.

Today, there are people who actually seek raccoons as pets. Since they are more common in urban areas than in rural areas, a section of the urban population perceives raccoons to be cute and for some reason the perfect pets. However, the decision to have raccoons as pets is ill advised owing to their temperament. There is no real way to take a raccoon into say a pet clinic, and have it spade or neutered, which can lead to them being more aggressive when they go into heat or hormonal changes in males. Raccoons are omnivorous which means that they eat virtually anything. Including your other pets. Long story short, we do not recommend having pet raccoons!

Are Raccoons Dangerous?

Raccoons do not pose any direct physical threat to human life. This is because they are well adaptable in both cities and the wild. The reason why raccoons get into conflict with people is due to their behavioral instincts described as extremely intelligent. This means that raccoons can do virtually anything to survive including ripping a hole on your roof in order to get into your attic. It is still surprising that such small creatures can cause so much damage to an otherwise solid obstacle. But they manage, and the damage can be significant at times.

Once inside the house, there is no telling the amount of damage that raccoons can inflict. Their destructive skills are not limited to their size as they can rip up electrical wires, paper linings, damage wood hoists and even tear the insulation off pipes. Worse still is that raccoons can defecate inside the attic, exposing humans to raccoon roundworms contained in their waste. Domestic pets are also exposed to canine distemper, fleas and parasites from raccoons. Raccoon roundworm can be caught from breathing in the raccoon round worm eggs. These eggs are microscopic and can attach to insulation. Once this happens it can enter the ventilation portions of the home, making it possible for people to breath in the raccoon round worm eggs.