What Do Raccoons Eat To Trap Them?

What Do Raccoons Eat To Trap Them? featured image

Raccoons are curious and clever animals that live in forests, cities, and even backyards. They have a black mask around their eyes and a fluffy striped tail. Have you ever wondered what raccoons like to eat?

Well, raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They have a varied diet and can eat almost anything they find! Some of their favorite foods include fruits, nuts, insects, fish, and small animals like mice. They are also known to search for food in garbage cans because they are great scavengers.

Now, if you’re thinking about trapping raccoons, it’s important to know that trapping them isn’t recommended for kids or anyone without proper training. It’s best to call a professional who can help if raccoons become a problem. Remember, it’s important to respect and appreciate these fascinating creatures from a safe distance!

Understanding Raccoon Diet

A. Omnivorous by nature

Raccoons are natural omnivores, which means they have a diverse diet that includes both plant and animal matter. This adaptability allows them to survive in various habitats and environments.

B. Primary food sources

Raccoons have a wide range of food sources and will eat almost anything they can get their little paws on. Here are some of their favorite meals:

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1. Natural diet in the wild

a. Fruits and berries: Raccoons have a sweet tooth and love indulging in ripe fruits and berries they find in the wild.

b. Nuts and seeds: They’re also big fans of nuts and seeds, which provide them with a good source of fats and proteins.

c. Insects and small invertebrates: Raccoons have no problem getting their claws dirty and digging up insects and small invertebrates to snack on.

d. Amphibians and reptiles: Frogs, turtles, and other amphibians and reptiles are also on the menu for raccoons.

e. Small mammals and birds: Raccoons are opportunistic hunters and will happily catch and devour small mammals and birds.

2. Urban and suburban diet

a. Trash and leftovers: Raccoons are notorious for rummaging through trash cans and feasting on the leftovers we leave behind.

b. Pet food and bird feeders: If you have outdoor pets or bird feeders, you can bet that raccoons will find their way to enjoy a free meal.

c. Garden vegetables and fruits: Your hard-earned garden vegetables and fruits are like a raccoon’s personal buffet. They’ll gladly help themselves to your harvest.

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Identifying Raccoon Feeding Patterns

A. Nocturnal behavior

Raccoons are notorious night owls, which means they do most of their exploring and foraging during the night. If you’ve ever been woken up by strange noises in your trash cans, chances are it was a raccoon on a late-night snack run. They may also create feeding sites in your yard or garden, where they can feast undisturbed.

B. Common signs of raccoon presence

To determine if raccoons are frequenting your property, keep an eye out for some telltale signs. Damaged trash cans with claw marks or overturned lids are a dead giveaway that raccoons have paid a visit. If your garden or crops look like they’ve been through a tornado, it’s likely because raccoons have been rummaging through them in search of a tasty treat. Empty bird feeders are another indication that these clever critters have been helping themselves to a free buffet. Don’t forget to look for tracks and scat as well – raccoon footprints and droppings are distinct and can confirm their presence.

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to move on to the next step – trapping those pesky raccoons!

Trapping Raccoons

A. Choosing the right traps

When it comes to trapping those sneaky raccoons, it’s essential to use the right trap for the job. You have two main options – live traps or lethal traps. Live traps are a more humane choice, allowing you to safely catch and release the raccoon elsewhere. Lethal traps, on the other hand, are designed to kill the raccoon quickly and efficiently. The choice is up to you, but remember to check local regulations to ensure you’re using a legal and ethical trap.

Size and design are important considerations when selecting a trap. Raccoons come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure your trap is big enough to accommodate them comfortably. Nobody wants a cramped raccoon! Additionally, consider the design of the trap. Look for sturdy materials and a well-designed trigger mechanism to ensure you catch your furry friend successfully.

B. Baiting the traps effectively

Now comes the fun part – baiting those traps! Raccoons are known for their love of food, so enticing them with a delicious treat is key. But what do raccoons find irresistible? Well, they have quite the sweet tooth, so sweet and aromatic baits like marshmallows and peanut butter are always a hit. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try fish or meat-based baits too. Just be sure to check your local fishing regulations before raiding your tackle box!

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Placement of the bait is just as important as the type of bait. You want to put it in an area where raccoons already frequent, such as near their feeding spots. Remember, raccoons are clever critters, so make sure the traps are hidden and not easily spotted. You don’t want them thinking you’re onto their sneaky ways!

C. Ensuring successful trapping

To maximize your chances of catching those mischievous raccoons, it’s a good idea to set up multiple traps. Raccoons are social animals, and where there’s one, there’s likely to be more. By setting up several traps, you increase the likelihood of capturing multiple raccoons at once. It’s like throwing a party and inviting all the raccoons!

Regularly checking and resetting the traps is also crucial. Raccoons are smart and won’t fall for the same trick twice. Check your traps frequently, ideally every few hours, to ensure you don’t miss any trapped raccoons. And remember, safety first! When handling trapped raccoons, it’s important to take proper precautions to avoid any bites or scratches. Those little paws may look cute, but they can be sharp!

Now that you have the knowledge and tools to trap those pesky raccoons, it’s time to put your plan into action. Just remember to approach this task responsibly and ethically, keeping in mind the well-being of the raccoons and the environment. Good luck, and may the raccoon-catching odds be ever in your favor!

Preventing Raccoon Attraction

A. Securing trash cans and compost bins

Let’s face it, raccoons have a PhD in dumpster diving. They can open trash cans like it’s a piece of cake. To keep these masked bandits out of your garbage, invest in raccoon-proof lids. These lids are like Fort Knox for your trash, making it nearly impossible for raccoons to access the delicious treasures inside. And don’t forget to regularly clean your bins – raccoons have sensitive noses, and the scent of old food can be like a gourmet invitation to them.

B. Protecting gardens and crops

Raccoons may have a green thumb, but that doesn’t mean they should have free reign over your garden. Install fences and barriers to keep these critters from turning your tomatoes into their midnight snack. You can also use deterrents and repellents, like sprinkling cayenne pepper around your plants or hanging up shiny objects that scare them away. Just make sure your garden doesn’t end up looking like a disco party for raccoons!

C. Minimizing other food sources

While raccoons have a diverse palate, they’re not picky eaters. They’ll gladly feast on your pet’s food if it’s left outside. So, be sure to remove any outdoor pet food to avoid attracting these hungry little troublemakers. And if you’re a bird lover, take precautions with your bird feeders and suet cages. Use baffles or squirrel-proof feeders to keep raccoons from feasting on the feathered friends you’re trying to attract.

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1. What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are omnivorous animals and have a varied diet. They primarily consume fruits, nuts, insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, amphibians, and crustaceans. They are also known to scavenge for food in garbage cans and dumpsters.

2. Can I use food as bait to trap raccoons?

Yes, food can be an effective bait to trap raccoons. Since raccoons have a diverse diet, you can use a variety of food items such as canned cat or dog food, fish, fruits, or even marshmallows as bait. However, it is important to check local regulations and laws regarding trapping raccoons before setting up a trap.

3. How can I trap raccoons?

To trap raccoons, you can use a live trap specifically designed for capturing small animals. Place the trap in an area where raccoons are frequently seen, and bait it with food. Once the raccoon enters the trap, the door will close, and you can safely relocate the animal. It is crucial to handle traps and captured raccoons carefully to avoid any harm to yourself or the raccoon.


In conclusion, understanding the diet and feeding patterns of raccoons is crucial when it comes to effectively trapping them. Raccoons are omnivorous creatures that can adapt to various food sources, making them opportunistic foragers. Their natural diet consists of fruits, nuts, insects, and small animals, but they can easily adapt to urban and suburban environments and feed on trash, pet food, and garden produce.

Identifying raccoon feeding patterns is essential for successful trapping. Their nocturnal behavior and common signs of presence such as damaged trash cans, disturbed gardens, and empty bird feeders can help in determining their feeding areas.

When it comes to trapping raccoons, it’s important to choose the right type and size of traps. Live traps that allow for relocation are generally recommended for ethical reasons. Baiting the traps effectively using sweet and aromatic baits, fish or meat-based baits, and strategically placing them near feeding areas can increase the chances of trapping raccoons.

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Preventing raccoon attraction is also important for long-term management. Securing trash cans and compost bins, protecting gardens and crops with fences and barriers, and minimizing other food sources like pet food and bird feeders can help deter raccoons from frequenting residential areas.

It is essential to consider ethical considerations and legal regulations when dealing with raccoons. Understanding local regulations and handling trapped raccoons in a humane manner by considering relocation options or seeking professional assistance is crucial. Additionally, being mindful of the environmental impact and avoiding harm to non-target animals when disposing of trapped raccoons is important.

In conclusion, responsible raccoon management involves understanding their diet, identifying their feeding patterns, trapping them effectively, preventing their attraction, and considering ethical and legal considerations. By following these guidelines, homeowners can effectively manage raccoon populations while ensuring the well-being of both humans and animals.

For more information and resources on raccoon management, consult wildlife authorities, pest control professionals, and local regulations that govern animal trapping and relocation.

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