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What is a Raccoon Trap?

A raccoon.
A raccoon on the edge of a trash can.
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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2014
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Raccoons are known for becoming nuisances in residential neighborhoods. They get into trash cans, eat your pet's food, and burrow into attics and other areas of the house. They are known to destroy shingles and roof eaves and soffits to gain entrance into the house. Raccoons also carry diseases that can be transmitted to people, pets and livestock. A raccoon trap is the most effective form of pest control for this type of rodent.

In many areas of the United States, it is legal to use a raccoon trap to capture and release the animal far away from the city. Some areas, though, may require that you kill the animal in a humane manner. You can find out information specific to your area by checking with your state and local ordinances.

A cage trap is the most popular raccoon trap to use because it captures the animal in a humane manner so it can be released back into the wild. These types of traps have a spring-loaded front door that slams shut when the sensor is triggered. They also have trap dividers that can be inserted through the cage mesh so you can open the door to feed and water the raccoon while it is waiting to be released. After inserting the food and water, you can lift up the divider so the raccoon can access it.

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Using a raccoon trap to capture these animals requires you learning their route of travel. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so you will need to observe them at night. Placing several traps throughout your property will make it more likely that you will capture these stealthy animals. Place the trap on a piece of wood in the raccoons' most traveled paths. The wood will prevent the raccoon from digging under the trap, in order to access the bait from the bottom.

Bait the raccoon trap using food from their normal diet. In the spring and early summer, raccoons tend to eat insects, mussels, fish, frogs and crayfish. In the late summer and fall raccoons eat nuts, grains, fruit and berries. If you notice raccoons digging in your garbage cans, use your wasted food to bait the trap, as it is obviously of interest to them. Seafood-flavored cat food can also be used to bait the trap.

Secure the rear door of the raccoon trap with wire to prevent the raccoon from escaping when captured. Place the bait in the back of the trap, on top of the sensor. Set the spring-loaded sensor on the trap, according to the package directions. Wait until the morning to check the trap, as raccoons hunt at night. Put on a thick pair of leather gloves before lifting the raccoon trap, as they will put up a fight when approached.

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