Here at Chimney Sweeps of America, we want to share more about how to trap and remove raccoons. Trapping and removing wildlife is not as easy as it seems and often, it is probably best to call a professional. Using professional services can keep you free from injury and from doing something illegal by accident. Though it may cost more, professional services ensure the animal’s safe and appropriate removal. It is a great and easy option.
General Overview of How to Trap and Remove Raccoons
- First, you will need to be sure that the traps you are using are large enough to fit a raccoon (12”x12”x36”).
- Second, be sure to place your traps on stable surfaces and check to be sure that the trap will not wobble and scare off a critter before it can trigger the door to close.
- Set your traps correctly and be sure to check the tension. It is important to keep in mind that raccoons can be very destructive creatures, so set your trap out of reach of anything that you would like to protect from panicked raccoon claws such as roof shingles or deck furniture. They may also try to dig as well.
- Bait your trap with a non-meat product to help you avoid catching stray cats from the neighborhood. We’ve interestingly found that marshmallows and plain white bread make easy bait and you may already have some on hand.
- Once you have trapped the raccoon, avoid being bitten or scratched by handling the trap very carefully with thick gloves. Avoid sticking your fingers in the trap or even holding the trap close to your body. This will help you avoid bites and accidental exposure to rabies.
- Place the trap in your vehicle, preferably the bed of a truck and relocate the animal to an appropriate area (consult with your local wildlife department and obtain any necessary permits) that is at least 10 miles away.
Types of Traps
- Paw Hold Traps: Such traps are generally used for fur trapping. This trap uses a clamp-down device to snap closed and hold an animal’s paw. There are several different versions of this type of trap. If you need to trap and remove raccoons, please note that this is NOT considered a humane trapping device and therefore illegal for removing nuisance animals in Colorado.
- Body Grip Traps: This type of trap is both dangerous to use and hard to implement properly. Fur trappers commonly used it many years ago. The most commonly used kind at the time was a conibear trap. Small versions of this are used for mice and rats. It snaps down on an animal and kills it either by choking it or squeezing it. Lethal traps are not only inhumane, but they are also illegal in Colorado unless you have obtained the appropriate special permit.
- Live Cage Trap: This type is commonly used by professionals, homeowners, and wildlife control services to trap and remove raccoons. Live cage traps lure animals in, usually with the use of food. Once the raccoon is inside, it will step on a trip pan which will snap the door shut quickly behind them.
If you are planning to trap and remove raccoons yourself, it is a good idea to read over the Nuisance Wildlife Laws in Colorado. It gives you a general overview of the laws in Colorado, but you will also need to determine if there are any local laws or ordinances that you will need to follow as well. A local professional removal service, such as Animal Removal of Denver, will know all of the appropriate laws and regulations that apply to your situation and will have experience on removing raccoons.
Tips for Using a Live Trap
Since the use of a live trap is the most likely method you will need to use for removing your raccoon, here are a few additional tips to help you trap and remove raccoons successfully.
- You will likely need to set multiple traps in the path that the raccoon travels to ensure a higher likelihood of catching this clever creature.
- You will need to check the trap at least twice a day. Be sure to check first thing in the morning because raccoons are nocturnal. You may need to release other animals that may be caught by these traps.
- Change your bait every couple days to ensure it is enticing.
- Be sure that you use traps that are large enough for raccoons. Generally, you will need traps that are at least 12 inches wide and 32-36 inches long.
- To avoid the trap from being tipped over and to ensure it doesn’t move, you will want to either secure it (such as for an indoor location) or put a weight on it. To secure it, you can nail it down to a plank or rafter (if you are trying to catch a raccoon in your attic).
- Make sure you check in with your local wildlife department to ensure your plan is legal and appropriate. You may also need to get a permit.
Baits and Lures
Raccoons are omnivorous and will eat almost anything. They do enjoy sweets though, which is why white bread or marshmallows make good bait. You can leave a trail of bait leading to the trap as a way to lure your raccoon into your trap. Leave the larger portion of your bait towards the back of the trap to ensure that the raccoon puts its weight on the trip pan.
A large majority of raccoons that are found in attics are female raccoons with babies. If you have caught a raccoon, you can ascertain if it is a female with young by checking its nipples for signs that it’s nursing kits. Any babies will also need to be removed. Keep in mind that raccoons are fiercely protective of their young. Because removal of a family of raccoons can be more complicated, we encourage you to consider a professional service for removal.
Now that you know more about how to trap and remove raccoons, you may want help getting rid of your raccoons the correct and humane way. If you need professionals to handle your raccoon issue, call us here at Chimney Sweeps of America. We will make sure your raccoon problem is handled quickly, safely, and appropriately.