Get Rid Of Raccoons

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Learning how to get rid of raccoons that are invading your bird feeders or pet food every night is a task anyone can do.

In fact, a nuisance family of raccoons can easily be removed using a live trap, or if you don't want to trap them you can utilize a few prevention techniques that work really well.

Most homeowners discover they have a problem with nuisance raccoons when they wake up to an empty or damaged bird feeder

Since raccoons are nocturnal creatures of habit, once they find an easy meal they will be back every night until you remove the raccoons or you remove the food source. 

Since most homeowners don't want to stop feeding their birds, the other option is to remove the raccoons.

Also, if you have an outdoor pet and you keep food outside in a dish (especially dry cat food) you're not only feeding your pet, you're also baiting every hungry raccoon in the area.

To keep things easy, here are a few effective options anyone can do to remove an unwanted family of raccoons from around your home.

Get Rid Of Raccoons With A Live Trap

Using a live trap to get rid of raccoons is probably the easiest way to control a nuisance raccoon population.  

Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in the morning and finding your bird feeder and expensive bird feed scattered throughout your lawn.

Chances are the culprit is a family of hungry raccoons, especially if you find a fresh set of raccoon tracks around your feeder.

If you want to trap the raccoons, a live trap is the easiest and most effective way to control them.  

The traps are simple to use, very effective and most importantly, they allow you to relocate and release the raccoon if necessary.

To begin, choose a high quality live trap that's large enough to trap a raccoon.  

Most trap manufactures will specifically state which animals the trap will effectively capture.

The Havahart 1079 live trap works great for trapping a nuisance raccoon.

It's an affordable trap that will last for many years.  

Plus, it has tightly woven mesh on the rear of the trap that prevents raccoons from reaching through the trap and stealing your bait......something they're famous for!

Havahart 1079 Large Animal Trap

We fed our last outdoor cat on our back deck.  

The cat had constant access to food and typically would not eat it all so some leftover food would be in the cat dish overnight.

It wasn't long before we had multiple raccoons invading the cat food every night.  

In fact, I  used a live trap to successfully remove 8 raccoons in 10 nights.  

To use a live trap simply set the trap on level ground near the area where raccoons are a problem.  

For bait you have a few options.  

First, you can use bird seed or dry cat food (if that's what they're eating) or you can use fish (tuna fish, sardines or mackerel) a whole egg, marshmallows, jelly or even a pice of crumbled up tin foil.  

The shiny tin foil is enough to attract a curious raccoon, however, it will reduce the odds of catching a non-target animal like a cat.

Make sure the trap does not rock back and forth because this might scare off the raccoon as they enter the trap.  

Place your preferred raccoon bait in the rear of the trap and set the pan trigger.  

Allow the trap to sit out overnight and check it the next morning.

If you're lucky a raccoon will be in the trap.  

Remember, before you relocate or dispatch the raccoon, wear leather gloves and keep your fingers away from the trap.  

Raccoons can become very aggressive when they're cornered.  

To help calm down the animal you can place a blanket over the trap when you handle it.

Get Rid Of Raccoons - Prevention Techniques

If you don't want to trap the nuisance raccoon the other option is to take preventative measures to deter them.

The easiest way to deter the raccoons from your bird feeder or pet food is to simply remove the bird feeder and don't allow excess pet food to remain out overnight.  

If you want to keep your bird feeder, only add a small amount of food and remove any remaining food before nightfall.  

Once the food source is removed from the raccoons, they will move on and search somewhere else.

Suspended Wire - Another option is to hang a wire between two trees and suspend the bird feeder on the wire. 

The raccoons will not be able to climb across the wire, preventing them from reaching your bird feeder.

Keep The Ground Clean - Another great way to get rid of raccoons is to remove any seed that falls from the bird feeder and on to the ground.

This will prevent raccoons from hanging around and foraging on the leftover scraps of seed.

Galvanized Pipe Or Metal Flashing - Mounting the bird feeder on a smooth metal galvanized pipe or wrapping a wooden 4x4 pipe with aluminum flashing can also help prevent raccoons from accessing your bird feeder.  

In addition, you can also create a cone shaped guard under the bird feeder using the metal flashing.

Simply wrap the flashing on edge around the post creating the cone shaped barrier.  


Whether you choose to use a live trap or simply take some preventative measures around your yard, learning how to get rid of raccoons is not difficult.

Just remember, once a family of raccoons finds an easy meal, chances are they will come back time and time again until you either remove the raccoons or remove access to their easy meal.