What Equipment Is Needed to Trap a Raccoon?

NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

I want to start by saying that it is definitely not my advice for you to try and trap a raccoon by yourself. Not only would this be unsafe for you and possibly illegal in your state, but there are so many variables involved that chances of failure and further damage heavily outweigh the chances of you successfully trapping the raccoon without any hiccups. While I totally understand why the DIY approach would be appealing to you, after working for more than two decades in wildlife removal, I can tell you that it’s not a good idea.

However, it is not my intention for this website to be just a directory of pest control professionals, I want you to be able to educate yourself about raccoons by reading these entries, I want to share my knowledge with you, and that’s why I’ve decided that do-it-yourself posts also have their place in here.

So, what equipment is needed to trap a raccoon? The answer is kind of on the nose – a trap. Now, there are dozens and dozens of raccoon traps available on the market. I would suggest that you stay away from the cruel ones such as body grip traps or paw hold traps. The body grip trap is basically a raccoon-sized version of the common rat trap, and it will kill the raccoon either by chocking it or by crushing it. The paw hold trap is equally inhumane, clamping down on the raccoon’s paw, restricting the animal from running away. This type of trap was created with the assumption that once the animal is trapped, the trapper will shoot it.

On top of me not advising you to use any type of lethal trap, I also want to make a warning here regarding wildlife removal firms. While all the pros on this site are licensed wildlife removal experts, not all raccoon removal companies are legal. Usually, these unlicensed exterminators will use such traps as the ones mentioned above. They may be in it for the fur or just for the money they get for their services – in any case, they’re not as uncommon as you might think.

Learn how to Identify Raccoon Tracks.

The type of trap I and most wildlife control companies use is the live cage trap. So if you’re set on trapping a raccoon yourself, this is the kind of trap I recommend. There are a ton of different models of this type of trap for you to choose from, so it’s recommended that you do some research before you buy one. However, they all work on the same system. Put the trap somewhere near the raccoon’s den, put some bait in the trap, and wait. The back of the cage contains a trip pan which will shut the door once the raccoon steps on it.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, believe me, so many things can and probably will go wrong. I’ve seen it all, from trapping a pet inside, to trapping the wrong raccoon while the wanted one continues its demolition work on your house, to trapping a mother raccoon and leaving her young to die of starvation in your attic or your chimney, to the cage being too small for the raccoon (no refunds), to the raccoon taking the bait without triggering the door to shut, to the raccoon escaping and developing a fear of cages (so it will never enter another cage trap again), and on, and on, and on.

An experienced professional will know what type of trap to use, and how to set it so that these complications are avoided and the trapping is successful.

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