How Do You Trap A Smart Raccoon?





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Luring in a cunning raccoon requires more than just a conventional trap and a handful of bait. As humans, we’ve had our fair share of encounters with these mischievous critters, leaving us no choice but to come up with clever strategies to outsmart their superior intellect. In this article, we will delve into the art of trapping a smart raccoon, revealing a series of tactics that will leave even the craftiest of these masked bandits no choice but to surrender their sneaky antics. So, gather your wits and get ready to outwit the raccoon world’s most brilliant minds.

How to Trap a Smart Raccoon

Choosing the Right Trap

When it comes to trapping raccoons, it’s important to understand their behavior in order to choose the right trap. Raccoons are known for their intelligence and dexterity, so it’s crucial to select a trap that can outsmart them. Consider the size of the raccoon you’re dealing with, as well as the location where you plan to set the trap.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Raccoons are highly adaptable creatures that can be found in a variety of habitats, from urban areas to forests. They are known for their curious nature and excellent problem-solving skills. Raccoons are typically active during the night, which is when they forage for food. Understanding their behavior patterns can help in selecting the most effective trap and placement.

Selecting an Appropriate Trap Size

Choosing the right trap size is crucial for successfully trapping a raccoon. It’s important to ensure that the trap is large enough to comfortably and safely accommodate the raccoon, while also preventing their escape. A trap that is too small may cause unnecessary harm to the raccoon, while a trap that is too large may make it harder for the raccoon to trigger the mechanism.

Considering Trap Type and Design

There are various types of traps available for raccoon trapping, including live traps, cage traps, and snare traps. Live traps are humane options that allow for the safe capture and relocation of the raccoon. Cage traps are popular due to their versatility and ease of use. Snare traps, on the other hand, are typically used by professionals and require specialized knowledge. Consider the design and functionality of each trap type before making your selection.

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Baiting the Trap

Baiting the trap correctly is essential to attract raccoons and increase the chances of successful trapping. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, so using enticing food can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the trap.

Using Enticing Food

To bait the trap, use food that is highly appealing to raccoons. Common bait options include fish, canned cat or dog food, fruits, and marshmallows. Raccoons have a sweet tooth, so incorporating sugary treats like marshmallows can be particularly enticing. Experimenting with different bait options can help determine what works best in your specific situation.

Scenting the Trap

Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, so scenting the trap can help attract them. Rubbing food or their preferred bait on the trigger mechanism and around the entrance of the trap can entice the raccoon to investigate further. Additionally, using raccoon scent or urine can signal to the raccoon that the trap is a safe and familiar area.

Ensuring Proper Placement

Proper trap placement is crucial for a successful capture. Raccoons typically follow established paths or travel along fences and walls, so placing the trap along their common routes increases the chances of success. Ensure that the entrance to the trap is facing the direction from which the raccoon is likely to come. Additionally, consider placing the trap near potential food sources, such as garbage cans or pet food bowls.

Setting Up the Trap

Once you have selected the appropriate trap and baited it correctly, it’s important to set it up in a way that maximizes its effectiveness.

Creating an Attractive Trap Environment

Creating an attractive trap environment can help entice the raccoon to enter. Consider placing twigs and leaves inside the trap to make it feel more natural and inviting to the raccoon. Additionally, placing the trap in a shaded area or covering it with a tarp can make it appear more secure and provide a sense of safety for the raccoon.

Ensuring Proper Trigger Mechanism Positioning

The trigger mechanism plays a critical role in capturing the raccoon. Ensure that it is properly positioned and sensitive enough to be triggered by the raccoon’s movement. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the trap is set correctly and test it before leaving it unattended.

Securing the Trap for Maximum Effectiveness

To prevent the raccoon from escaping, it’s important to securely anchor the trap to the ground or another stable surface. Raccoons are strong and agile, so a poorly secured trap may result in their escape. Use stakes or heavy objects to secure the trap in place, ensuring that the raccoon cannot tip it over or move it.

Monitoring and Checking the Trap

Keeping a close eye on the trap is crucial to ensure the safety of the raccoon and maximize its chances of capture.

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Daily Inspection Routine

Establishing a daily inspection routine is essential to check on the trap and the raccoon’s status. However, it’s important to approach the trap cautiously to avoid startling the raccoon or causing unnecessary stress. Regular inspections also allow for any adjustments to be made, such as re-baiting the trap or relocating it to a more effective spot.

Recognizing Signs of Activity

Checking for signs of activity around the trap can provide valuable insights into the raccoon’s behavior and help determine the best course of action. Look for indicators such as disturbed bait, paw prints, or droppings near the trap. This information can be useful in making adjustments to increase trapping success.

Ensuring Compliance with Local Regulations

Before trapping raccoons, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local regulations regarding trapping and relocation. Some areas may require permits or have specific guidelines in place to ensure humane treatment. Always adhere to these regulations to avoid any legal issues and promote responsible trapping practices.

Safety Considerations

While trapping raccoons, safety should always be a top priority. Taking the necessary precautions can protect both the trapper and the raccoon.

Avoiding Direct Contact with Raccoons

Raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies, so it’s important to avoid direct contact when handling traps or relocating raccoons. Wear gloves and use appropriate tools to minimize the risk of exposure to any potential pathogens. If you’re unsure about the raccoon’s health, it’s best to contact local animal control or a wildlife professional for assistance.

Practicing Proper Trap Handling Techniques

When handling traps, it’s essential to follow proper techniques to avoid injury. Lift the trap with care, ensuring that your fingers are not in the way of any moving parts. If the raccoon is captured, avoid reaching into the trap without proper protection. Instead, consult a professional for assistance with safely releasing or relocating the raccoon.

Protecting Other Wildlife

While trapping raccoons, it’s important to consider the potential impact on other wildlife. Make sure the trap is specifically designed to capture raccoons and not other animals. Keep pets indoors to prevent accidental trapping, and release any non-target animals safely and unharmed.

Tips for Trapping Success

Follow these tips to increase your chances of successfully trapping raccoons.

Setting Traps during Active Periods

Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so it’s best to set traps during their active periods, typically at dusk or early evening. This increases the likelihood of capturing them when they are actively searching for food.

Using Multiple Traps

Using multiple traps can significantly increase the chances of catching raccoons. Place traps strategically in areas with high raccoon activity, such as around trash containers, gardens, or pet feeding areas. The more traps you have, the greater the likelihood of success.

Maintaining Cleanliness and Freshness

Regularly clean and refresh the traps and bait to ensure their effectiveness. Remove any spoiled or rotting food, as raccoons may be deterred by unpleasant odors. Fresh bait and a clean trap create a more attractive environment for the raccoon.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes to increase your chances of successfully trapping raccoons.

Using Inadequate or Worn-out Traps

Using traps that are inadequate or in poor condition can hinder trapping success. Check traps regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Replace or repair any traps that are no longer effective to ensure optimal trapping results.

Neglecting to Secure the Trap Properly

A poorly secured trap can result in the raccoon escaping, defeating the purpose of trapping. Double-check that the trap is securely anchored and cannot be easily tipped over or moved by the raccoon.

Using Bait That is Not Appealing to Raccoons

Choosing the wrong bait can significantly reduce the chances of trapping success. Avoid using bait that raccoons do not find appealing. Experiment with different bait options to determine what works best in your specific situation.

When to Seek Professional Help

In some situations, seeking professional help may be the best course of action.

Persistent Raccoon Problem

If you’re facing a persistent raccoon problem despite your best efforts, it may be time to call in a professional wildlife control specialist. They have the knowledge and experience to handle challenging cases and provide effective solutions.

Inability to Trap the Raccoon

If you’ve been consistently unsuccessful in trapping the raccoon on your own, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance. They can evaluate your trapping methods, provide guidance, and implement alternative trapping strategies if necessary.

Lack of Tools and Knowledge

Trapping raccoons effectively requires the right tools and knowledge. If you lack the necessary equipment or are unfamiliar with trapping techniques, it’s advisable to consult a professional. They can ensure the safe and humane capture of the raccoon.

When trapping raccoons, it’s essential to consider legal and ethical implications.

Knowing and Complying with Local Laws and Regulations

Trapping and relocating raccoons may be subject to local laws and regulations. Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements in your area and ensure compliance to prevent any legal consequences.

Considering Ethical Implications

While trapping raccoons may be necessary in some situations, it’s important to consider the ethical implications. Raccoons are living creatures that deserve to be treated with respect and empathy. Always choose trapping methods that prioritize their safety and well-being.

Humane Relocation Alternatives

In some cases, humane relocation may be a viable alternative to trapping. Contact local wildlife agencies or organizations to explore options for safely relocating raccoons if trapping is not feasible or appropriate.


Trapping raccoons requires careful consideration of their behavior, the selection of the right trap, effective baiting and trap setup techniques, and adherence to safety and ethical guidelines. By following the tips and suggestions outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of successfully trapping raccoons while ensuring their well-being and complying with legal requirements. Remember to always prioritize the safety of both yourself and the raccoons when engaging in trapping activities.



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