Raccoon Trapping Tips


Raccoons are medium-sized animals, about the size of a medium-sized dog, not weighing more than 20 pounds. They are gray in color and look like they are wearing a mask, which is why they are often referred to as bandits. They are a nuisance to homeowners because they like going through garbage and turning over trash cans. They will also eat any food left outside for pets. There are several ways to trap raccoons and get them out of your garbage.

Department of Wildlife

  • In most states, it is illegal to trap a raccoon unless you plan on killing it on your property at the time of capture. According to the University of California, raccoons are classified as fur bearers. The fur harvest season is set by the California Department of Fish and Game, which further determines when and how raccoons may be taken (see References). Check with your local department of wildlife to find out if it is legal for you to trap a raccoon or if you need to contact a professional.

Live Traps

  • The key to using live traps is making sure you target the right animal. There have been instances where a pet was caught and left to die in a trap set for a raccoon. Place the trap in their path, such as the opening to their nest. Raccoons will eat anything, so it does not matter what you bait the trap with, just be sure to place the bait far back into the trap on a flat surface. Make sure the trap is away from anything that could get damaged. It's not uncommon for a raccoon to reach through the bars of the cage and tear up anything they can reach. These traps will catch the animal and allow you to relocate them. Make sure you can do this in your state.

Body Grip Traps

  • You can get rid of unwanted raccoons with body grip traps. These traps actually will kill the raccoons. You simply place the trap over the opening to their nest and when they emerge, the trap will snap down on them, killing them instantly. This would be your last resort in trapping the animal yourself. The best thing would be to call a wildlife specialist or animal control to see if they can remove the animal first before killing it.

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