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Pest Control/raccoons in my home


for a week now I have a raccoon in the under belly of my trailer home &can hear it in the flooring .Yesterday I had a pest control person by & he did an inspection around & underneath where he seen raccoon paw prints on the pluming so I bought a trap & put sardeens  into it for bait & placed under home.I was woken by scratching noise again this morning to hear there is more than 1 & the cage trap is empty.Can you give me advise I'm,getting very little sleep& what do I do with the raccoon trap cage?Does it have to be descized ?,hope you can help.

Long answer with some repetition. READ ALL OF IT.

First, know the laws in your state. Many people trap and translocate (moving an animal outside of its home range; relocate is moving an animal within its home range) in violation of state law.

Second, don't trap unless you know how to handle skunks.

There is information on how to handle skunks on    Scroll down for the link on releasing mistakenly trapped skunks.

Third, there is no bait that will catch only raccoons and doubtful there ever will be as they are both carnivores. You can catch raccoons only by trap positioning, such as putting the trap on a ledge that is 2 or more feet off the ground. Skunks don't climb.

Fourth understand the risks you are taking and how to prevent them.   

Fifth, I don't think it is wise for untrained people to use the live traps known as footholds or cable-restraints. If by live trap you actually mean cage or box trap, then okay but be sure to follow the trap safety information as they are not as "humane" as the public mythology would like to believe.

Sixth, know how to euthanize the animals if translocation is illegal. Details on our site too  

Seventh, bait, to avoid (not eliminate the capture of cats), use sweet baits. Molasses, honey, strawberry sugar wafers, and marshmallows for eye appeal. Location is the most important element of trapping. Also using one trap is like using one bullet in a gun. Not the best option.

Don't use fatty foods if you want to avoid catching cats.

Trapping is not an instantaneous thing. Sometimes you catch quickly, sometimes you don’t. Setting more than one trap can help. But when using cages, you sometimes are trying to catch a raccoon that was already caught and released from one. Therefore you may have difficulty in catching him again.

General information can be found here

Find out the trapping laws in your state visit Then if legal trap them out. Find where they are climbing up your building and set cage traps that are 10x12x32 inches in size. You know they are gone by corking the hole with newspaper. If the newspaper isn't moved for several days during normal weather, then you know they are gone. Then seal the hole with strong hardware cloth or flashing. I also recommend filling the hole with foam to prevent air flow. Learn more about this technique at  

If you have a female that has had young in the attic, then catch her and go up in the attic (make sure you have the right female going in an attic for young can be dangerous) and remove the young by hand. (Preferably a gloved hand with good strong leather gloves or cat grasper, there is a chance they can bite and when picked up they do urinate so watch out). Remember, wildlife carry diseases dangerous to people so get informed before doing (ANY) work. For some information click to learn about this lesser known infection. (Everyone knows about the threat of rabies).
Never enter an attic without proper protection which includes at minimum, HEPA filter mask (assuming you have been properly fitted and are healthy enough to wear one), leather gloves and eye protection. Do not capture mom unless you are willing and able to remove the young too.

Eviction products called “Raccoon eviction fluid” and “Vanish” have pretty good reputations for convincing female raccoons with young to leave a building. It isn't a 100% but it has been known to work. Search the web for those terms  to learn how to buy it. You can try harassment. Visit  Understand that harassment isn't instant coffee. Consider how hard it would be for your neighbor to convince you to leave your home. Well the raccoon is in a similar situation. She doesn't want to move the young as that would involve a lot of work. Harassment involves, time, intensity and annoyance. All three factors have to combine to convince the animal to move on. Be careful though, she may abandon young in the process.

Using one way doors is an option. But due to the complexities involved in using this technique, we only recommend that it be done in concert with a professional or someone experienced in raccoon control.

For information on raccoon trapping, visit  to learn about trapping safety issues. Then go to    Always check with your state laws before doing any trapping. Also BEFORE you begin trapping learn how to handle a skunk as people often catch skunks while trapping for raccoons. Visit and/or for information on handling skunks BEFORE YOU BEGIN TRAPPING.
Sometimes raccoons walk past a trap, that isn't uncommon given the number of people who choose to relocate raccoons. Capturing an educated raccoons can be very difficult. Now for many animal damage controllers cage educated raccoons are no big deal if they live in a state that hasn't been foolish enough to ban traps, Massachusetts, California and Washington are examples of states whose citizens were appropriately duped by the animal rights protest industry. But I digress. Do not trap a female with young unless you can gain access to the young. Do not enter an attic or enclosed space without proper safety equipment and training.

If you choose to hire a professional visit    The previous link also provides listings for professionals if you choose to hire one. Be sure to read our advice on what to look for BEFORE you hire anyone. There are lots of people who think they are professional animal damage controllers but actually aren’t.
If you decide to trap, don’t assume that translocation is humane or necessarily legal in your state.  to learn why. If legal in your state, the raccoon should be released on site (often not practical) or euthanized. See  to learn how.

So don't waste your time. Repellents can work but as you have seen these aren't 100 percent.  

I would suggest that you be sure your chimney is raccoon free and then appropriately capped with a stainless steel cap. this will prevent her from moving to the chimney. One of the problems of harassment is you don't know where she will move next. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
Unfortunately, without more information this about all I can tell you at the moment.

Prevent future problems by following the advice found at  Always remember when looking to prevent raccoon entry, the principle is “strength before beauty”. NEVER secure an opening without being sure that it is no longer being used by an animal. Visit to learn how to tell.

Animal Disposal If you decide to trap, don’t assume that translocation is humane or necessarily legal in your state.  to learn why. If legal in your state, the raccoon should be released on site (often not practical) or euthanized. See  to learn how.   To learn how to dispose of the carcass visit  

I am always looking for images (if you can safely take them) of wildlife damage to help us in our educational mission. To learn how to take better photos visit  I prefer  high resolution, (3 mg or higher). Send to  

Please include permission to use the images and where and when the photos were taken. Month/year is fine as is county or city  and state.

Disclaimer: As with any activity, remember that animal damage control comes with its own risks and problems which can include but are not limited to legalities, health threats, and personal liabilities. Be sure to follow all state laws governing wildlife and make sure you have a thorough understanding on how to resolve the animal damage complaint. My advice is only as good as your understanding of me and my understanding of your situation. If you have any questions be sure to write back.  

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Stephen Vantassel


I was a professional animal damage controller. If you are having problems with squirrels, raccoons, beavers, moles, voles, etc. damaging your property, I can help give you information to resolve that damage. I was an assistant editor for Wildlife Control Technology magazine and have published numerous articles as well as two books in this field.


Former assistant editor for Wildlife Control Technology; Master's degree in Hebrew Bible (yes I am licensed minister), Past New England Director for the National Wildlife Control Operator's Association. I have published two books, The Wildlife Removal Handbook (rev. ed) and the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, and numerous articles. Perhaps a highlight was making the cover of Wildlife Control Technology. I have debated a noted animal rights activist in my own state of Massachusetts on radio and TV.

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