Do you have raccoons on your property that are starting to cause havoc and ruin? Are you sick and tired of having to constantly clean up after these destructive and often disease-ridden critters?
If so, the following article may prove very useful. Here we will discuss how to trap raccoons on your property, including those raccoons that have taken up residence in your attic.
Raccoons are very persistent animals that can be very difficult to rid once they have taken up residence in and around your home. To control these pesky mammals, there are many things you can do, but trapping is one of the more popular and effective options at your disposal.
With the help of a humane, live raccoon trap and a little know-how, you, too, can become an expert in raccoon eradication. To help you in this mission, below we will provide you with some of that know-how by helping you decide which type of trap is best for your situation, and giving you instructions on how to bait and trap the critters on your property.
Do Raccoon Traps Work?
Raccoon traps do indeed work, but in order for your mission to be successful, you will have to choose the right trap and use it in the correct way. There are literally scores of different types of raccoon traps, from live traps, to lethal traps to some exclusion devices that don’t really trap but rather dissuade raccoons from coming onto your property.
To make sure your trapping venture is successful, read on as we discuss how to select the right trap and how to use them.
How to Trap Raccoons
Although raccoon trapping may seem like an intimidating venture for the regular homeowner, you’ll be happy to know that trapping raccoons is really not that difficult at all. Raccoons have two traits that make them extremely vulnerable to traps and trappers.
First, they are very curious animals that like to check out anything and everything in their surroundings; and second, they are ALWAYS hungry. With that being said, however, it’s important to remember that raccoons are also very intelligent animals, and in order to successfully trap them you will need to follow the instructions we will provide below.
Because raccoons are very smart, trapping is usually a one-shot deal. In other words, if the animal escapes your trap, the chances of you ever trapping it again are slim to none. To snare that problem raccoon once and for all, closely follow the directions provided below.
Selecting the Best Raccoon Trap
There are many different types of raccoon traps, and as we mentioned above, for homeowners the best type of trap to use is often the live cage trap.
However, to give you a better idea about the different types of traps that are available for purchase on the market today, below we will cover each of them briefly. But first, we’ll show you our recommendations for the best raccoon traps for the money.
Last update on 2019-03-18 at 17:54 / Affiliate disclosure / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Body Grip Traps
Body grip traps are lethal traps that are designed to kill the raccoon once they are engaged. These traps are like mammoth-size mouse and rat traps. There are a variety of different body grip traps on the market.
The most common body grip trap is a double spring-loaded connibear trap. These types of traps were used a lot by fur trappers of old. They are typically placed in an area where raccoons frequent, such as over a hole leading to an attic or basement. When a raccoon encounters this trap and it is sprung, a lever snaps down on the animal and kills it fairly quickly via crushing or choking it.
Body grip traps can be very dangerous and difficult to use. For this reason, they are not recommended for home use. Additionally, these types of traps will essentially kill any type of animal that comes into contact with them, so they are not safe to use around small to medium-sized pets.
Paw Hold Traps
Paw hold traps are those that are only used by professional trappers, usually fur trappers and those responsible for nuisance removal in wildlife areas and situations. Perhaps the least humane of all the traps, paw hold traps come in many different types, shapes and sizes.
As the name suggests, paw hold traps work by clamping down on the paw of the animal. The trap is connected to a chain that is staked to the ground, so when the paw trap is engaged the animal cannot run away. A paw hold trap is essentially a small snapping clamp that can snare and crush the raccoon’s paw when it steps on the device.
Typically, when a trapper catches a raccoon via a paw hold trap, he would usually then kill the animal and remove it from the area.
Live Cage Traps
Used by wildlife control and your typical DIY homeowner, the live trap is the only type of humane trap and perhaps the best way to get rid of a raccoon on your property or inside your attic or basement. As you might guess, there are many different makes, models and sizes when it comes to the live cage trap, but most of these will be marked with the type of animal they are most often used for.
Live cage traps are typically large metal cages. Usually these traps come in one-door or two-door options. One-door traps make it easier for larger animals to fully enter the trap. However, if you need a higher catch rate, you may want to choose a two-door model.
With a large cage trap, the raccoon is lured in by some type of food, known as bait. Near the back of the cage is a trip pan, and when the raccoon steps on this trip pan it triggers a spring that then slams the door of the cage shut, thus trapping the raccoon inside—trapping it alive.
Live cage traps are made from a variety of materials, such as solid-walled plastic, composite materials and others. However, most of these traps are made from tough double-gauge steel bars that are virtually indestructible, leaving no chance for escape.
A live cage trap must be large enough to hold the raccoon safely inside, leaving little room for movement. Therefore, most raccoon-size cage traps are at least 32 inches long and 12 inches high and wide. If it’s too small, the animal won’t fit inside, or it may trigger the trip pan too early before allowing clearance for the door to shut all the way.
The most commonly sold live cage brand in the United States is made by the Havahart Company. These traps can often be found in large hardware and home improvement stores.
Now that you have a better idea regarding the types of traps available for purchase and how they work, let’s take a look at some of the techniques for trapping raccoons.
Raccoon Trapping Techniques
After you have purchased your large live cage for trapping raccoons you are ready to get on with the process of actually catching the critter. This begins with the cage location—where to put the cage you purchased.
Placing Your Trap
Of course, you will need to look for an even, flat surface for the cage to ensure it does not tip over before it has a chance to work. It should be placed near areas that raccoons tend to frequent and cause havoc—perhaps an area where a raccoon has recently caused some damage. Some of the best areas in which to place your raccoon trap include:
- Near Trash Cans. Raccoons love to rummage around in trash bins and will eat almost anything. Therefore, a cage that is strategically placed near to where you store your garbage is ideal.
- Gardens. If your summer garden is being destroyed by raccoons and other critters, a live cage with an enticing treat inside may do the trick.
- Patios. The patio area, or wherever you tend to feed your pets, is also a great place for a trap, as raccoons are attracted by the scent of your pets’ food.
- In attics. Raccoons tend to escape detection by crawling into attics. They often tend to rear their young in these spaces for the safety it provides
- Underneath structures. Under the house, such as in a basement, is another great place to set a trap.
- Along fence lines. Raccoons like to hang back near fence lines before making their approach to your house.
Baiting Your Trap
With the perfect spot—or spots—located, it’s time to bait your trap. While raccoons are basically attracted to any type of food, there are some types that they REALLY love, such as fatty foods and sweets.
As such, these tasty raccoon treats make for the perfect bait. Here is just a brief list of items that make for great raccoon bait inside a live cage trap:
- Cat food—the wet cat food.
- Crisp bacon
- Cooked fatty meats
- Sweet corn
- Peanut butter
- And more…
What to Do After Catching a Raccoon
Once your live cage trap is set and baited you are ready to snare a raccoon. This can be a waiting game, so it’s important to check your traps at least once to twice a day. If the process takes longer than a week, remember to change out the bait to something fresher or try a new type of bait.
When you do catch the raccoon in your live cage trap, try and approach the cage slowly, as the animal will definitely be scared and panicked. Never reach into the cage, as it may well lash out at you.
To calm the raccoon, place a blanket over the cage so it cannot see you. Using a heavy pair of gloves, lift the trap by the handle and place it in your vehicle. Drive the raccoon at least five miles away before relocating it into the wild.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, call your local pest control company and they will relocate the animal for you.