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catching raccoons

ee4itpro2 asked
One of my neighbors mentioned to me about 6 months ago that one of our tree's outside seem to house a couple of adult raccoons.  I did not believe it until about a couple of weeks ago when I noticed one of them going into the tree.  For the past two days now, I've heard of what I'm expecting to be a racoon bitting down on the wood on the chimeny and I'm not concerned that this is going to far.  I attempted to catch them about a month ago by placing tuna fish on a trap, but it did not work.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to catch these jerks and also what to do with the issue of them bitting the wood on the chimeny?

I thought about turning on the chimeny, but someone mentioned to me that if an animal dies underneath the house or anywhere near it, I would greatly regret not catching it or preventing it from coming into the house.  By the way, I have another issue with a local cat which keeps on going underneath the house...that's another story.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

You should call your local animal control for advice.  Raccoons are serious predators and they would love to have your hand for dinner.  Here are some suggestions: http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/pest/raccoons.php
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Depending on where you live, you may be able to get the city to come set up traps.
I wouldn't describe raccoons as predators, just scavengers and pests. They tend to be pretty clever (especially if they are running in pairs) about getting out of traps. If you can get your hands on one that latches tightly when closed, that would be best.
I would expect Tuna to work well since it has a strong odor. What happened with your trap?


I borrowed the trap and I had to give it back because my friend needed it for his "guests".  I was told to get some wolf urine and spread it around.  

I was also told that tuna should have worked, but it seems as though it only worked on the local stray cat running around, but even he was clever not to trigger the trap himself.  He was successful in stepping everywhere except on the base that was supposed to close the trap.

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I guess you need a better trap.
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Good traps for coons have some type of latch because their buddies will sometimes push the cage door up to let them out if it's just a one-way door.
They should also have sensitive triggers that are easier to set off although they tend to be quite a bit more clumsy than cats.

I've heard that coons like marshmallows. That might not attract as many cats.
In my area, every citizen has the right to have animal trap.
You can buy one on Ebay for about $40 and free shipping.

The people across the street had a raccoon that would jump over the fence that surrounded their back yard, and eat their cats food.
The guy shot it with a BB gun and it did not affect it at all.
He finally had to kill it with a garden tool.

They can be dangerous because they can carry rabies.
We catch/transplant raccoons a couple times every year. We also assist a couple neighbors who keep chickens with catch/transplant of raccoons. (Raccoons are definitely predators.)

One element involves getting their trust. They are clever creatures and respond to both friends and enemies. They are far less likely to be trapped by an enemy simplt because they won't trust anything that has the smell of an enemy.

We toss unshelled peanuts for squirrels and some birds. If a raccoon shows up at night looking for any leftovers, I'll usually talk to it. ("Hi. How are you doing?") Just enough so it knows I'm aware, not enough to appear threatening. And I'll usually leave it alone. Most often they just go through their rounds and don't bother anyone/anything.

But there are those that become problems. For those, I'll toss a couple peanuts and go back inside for a couple nights. That's usually all it takes for them to feel comfortable and to expect good treatment.

That's when the trap goes in place with peanuts (or whatever they expect) inside. No bad smells to be wary of. So far, after some ten years of forest life, it hasn't failed.

Just create a little trust and good will.

Then violate it without warning.

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That's a good system. Making them used to getting food at your house and then putting that same food in the trap is an excellent plan.

Ah, yes. If you have small animals, then the raccoon could be considered a predator. If it's just you and your hands though, they tend to stay away (unless they have rabies in which case they do odd things).

By the way, if you see the thing during the day or acting really funny, be extra careful around it. Also, many animal control offices will come kill rabid ones even if they ignore them most of the time.
Retired considering supplemental income.
I had one in my attic space.  My son bought a live trap at a sporting goods store.  We baited it with part of a raw apple.  And, put it up there.  Caught it within a half an hour.  They will eat almost anything.  My friends have used it to trap 'possums, also.

We release them in a local wild life area.