Raccoon Capture - Catching Raccoons


04.25.2003 - Baby raccoons are cute.  Attics are hot.  That's what I figured out during this job.  A husband and wife called me with suspicion of raccoons in the attic.  When I asked why they suspected they had raccoons living in the attic, they said, "Well, we've heard some scratching and clawing up there at nighttime, and we hear a sort of chattering that seems like it's raccoon sound, there's a scent that we think is raccoon poop, and every night we watch a fat raccoon climb the downspout and into a vent hole leading into the attic".  The evidence sounded good enough to me, so I headed over ready to catch some raccoons.

I entered the attic, and I noticed that it was hot!  Like at least 130 and 1/2 degrees.  I prowled around, trying to think like a raccoon.  The only thing I could think was, "How can they possibly live up here with those thick fur coats they wear?"  I began to grow delirious with fever and heat exhaustion, when finally, in the darkest corner (I should have searched there first!), I spotted a nest of three plump baby raccoons.  Paydirt!

I used my snare pole to grab and remove the little raccoons from the remote corner, and put them in a bucket.  Then I set some traps outside to catch the mother, and I used the scent of the baby raccoons, rubbed on paper towels, to help lure her in.  Sure enough, I caught her within a few hours, and I relocated all of the animals together, out to the woods about 20 miles from the attic where I caught them.  I also got myself an icy drink and a towel when I got out of the attic.

If you want to capture raccons, you should know that it's not at all easy.  It may be pest to hire a professional such as myself to do the job.  Unless you want to crawl through an attic and find and remove them yourself, with the threat of an angry mother raccoon nearby.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
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The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

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So you want to get rid of the raccoons around your house? I don't blame you. These omnivores are the champions of destruction, costing you repair bills ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. They dig up lawns, scavenge through your trash bins, and should they get into your house, they will destroy just about anything in their path. So how do we catch these raccoons and put an end to their menace?

Tidy up:
The first step to capture the raccoons that frequent your home is to tidy up your house and your immediate environment. Secure your trash tightly, pick up all the remnants from your pet's food, trim and dispose of your shrubs, weeds, and so on. This step is important if the raccoons already visit your house, as you will need to make sure that the only meals they can find on your property are the baits you set for them.

Raccoons love to eat. They can travel up to 3km from their den, scavenging for food. If you are going to ever capture a raccoon, you will need to do so with a bait. Foods like crisp bacon, chicken, corn, fish, and fresh vegetables lure them effectively, therefore serving as the perfect bait.

There are different kinds of traps to capture raccoons and they have different ways of doing so. Most traps serve as live cages to keep them fully locked in, while some latch on to a part of their body, causing injuries, and a few traps have the purpose of killing them. However, if you are going to capture a raccoon, make sure it is done in accordance with your state laws, and that you have the necessary license or permit to do so. In catching raccoons, there are certain things you need to know.

Keep your trap close to their den.
This could be your attic, chimney, or underneath the house. Locate where they stay or usually hang about, and place your trap there.

Use multiple traps.
If you are going to catch a raccoon, one trap will not be sufficient. Place the different traps in different areas where you have observed raccoon activity.

Set traps at night.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals and spend their nights looking for food. You will have greater success in catching them at night, than in daylight.

Secure your cage.
Raccoons are the size of small dogs and can tilt, carry, or flip the cages. To ensure they cannot move the cage, you will need to wedge it with bricks or tightly tie it.

Don't put your bait close to the edges.
Your bait should be kept where the raccoon can't pick it from outside but has to fully enter the cage to get it. The bait should also be firmly secured so that it is difficult for the raccoon to quickly pry it loose and escape.

Build their trust.
Raccoons are intelligent animals with an excellent memory. They can identify traps and teach their cubs to avoid them. That is why you need to build their trust. When you set up your trap, prevent the door from trapping them in. After they have successfully taken baits from your trap for days without being caught, they become careless and can be easily caught.

Wear gloves.
Raccoons can perceive human scent on cages, which makes them wary. So you need to wear gloves when touching the cages, to mask your scent.

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