5 Best Bait for Raccoon Traps

best bait for raccoon trap

Looking to catch raccoons with a trap? The best bait for a raccoon trap can make all the difference in the success of your trapping efforts. Raccoons are notorious for their love of food, and choosing the right bait is crucial to entice them into the trap.

In this guide, we’ll explore the top choices for bait that will have raccoons lining up to step into your live trap, providing effective methods to successfully catch a raccoon.

Best Baits to Trap a Raccoon

Sweet Treats: Marshmallows and Fruits

Raccoons have a notorious sweet tooth, and using sugary treats can be an excellent way to lure them into a trap. Marshmallows, in particular, are a favorite among raccoons. Combine them with slices of banana, tomato, apples, grapes, or melons for an enticing and irresistible mix. The sweet aroma will attract raccoons from a distance, increasing the likelihood of a successful catch.

Note: While sweet treats are effective, it’s important to highlight that chocolates should never be used as bait. Chocolate is toxic to raccoons and can be harmful or even fatal. Stick to safe and raccoon-friendly sweets for effective trapping.

Peanut Butter: A Classic Favorite

Peanut butter is a classic and reliable bait for raccoon traps. Its strong aroma is known to attract raccoons, and its sticky texture makes it difficult for them to resist. Smear a generous amount on the trap’s trigger plate, ensuring that raccoons will need to engage with the trap mechanism to get to the tasty treat.

Canned Fish: An Odorous Allure

Raccoons are drawn to strong odors, and canned fish like sardines or mackerel can be highly effective baits. The pungent scent can travel over distances, capturing the attention of raccoons in the vicinity. Secure the fish to the trap, making it challenging for the raccoon to snatch the bait without triggering the trap.

Cat Food: High-Quality Protein Temptation

To catch raccoons, employing effective baiting strategies is crucial. Raccoons, being opportunistic feeders, are particularly drawn to high-protein foods. One enticing bait option is wet cat food, known for its strong aroma and rich texture. When setting up a trap, place a spoonful of wet cat food strategically on the trap’s trigger plate. This ensures that the raccoon must engage with the trap mechanism to access the tempting and delicious meal. This approach not only capitalizes on the raccoon’s dietary preferences but also increases the chances of a successful and humane trapping experience.

Eggs: A Natural and Versatile Bait

Eggs are a natural and versatile bait that can be appealing to raccoons. Whether raw or hard-boiled, the scent of eggs can attract these curious creatures. Secure the eggs within the trap, making it a challenge for raccoons to reach the bait without triggering the trap.

Bait TypeApplication
Sweet Treats:Use in live traps by placing the mixed sweet treats strategically at the back of the trap, ensuring raccoons engage with the trap mechanism to access the bait.
Peanut Butter:Apply peanut butter directly on the trap’s trigger plate to compel raccoons to interact with the mechanism during attempts to reach the bait.
Canned Fish:Affix canned fish securely to the trap, ensuring that raccoons must engage with the trap mechanism to access the bait.
Cat Food:Strategically position a spoonful of wet cat food on the trap’s trigger plate, compelling raccoons to interact with the trap mechanism for access to the appealing meal.
Eggs:Secure eggs within the trap, making it challenging for raccoons to access the bait without engaging with the trap mechanism.

What You Should Avoid as Bait

When setting up traps for raccoons, it’s crucial to be mindful of what you use as bait. Some items can be harmful or ineffective, and it’s important to avoid them to ensure the safety of both raccoons and other wildlife. Here’s a list of things you should avoid using as bait:

  • Chocolates: Chocolate is toxic to raccoons and can be harmful or even fatal. Never use chocolates as bait, and opt for raccoon-friendly sweets instead.
  • Processed Foods: Avoid using highly processed or salty foods as bait. These can be unhealthy for raccoons and may not be as effective in attracting them.
  • Human Medications or Chemicals: Never use medications or chemical substances as bait. Raccoons may ingest these items, leading to serious health issues or fatalities.
  • Inedible Objects: It’s essential to use edible bait that raccoons can consume safely. Avoid using non-food items, as they may harm the raccoon if ingested.
  • Toxic Plants or Substances: Be cautious about using plants or substances that are toxic to raccoons. Research and ensure that the chosen bait items are safe for consumption.
  • Dairy Products: While raccoons are known to scavenge for food, dairy products like cheese or milk can upset their stomachs. Stick to more suitable bait options.
  • Highly Spiced or Flavored Foods: Extremely spicy or strongly flavored foods may not appeal to raccoons. Stick to natural, aromatic baits that align with their preferences.

How to Place the Bait if You Don’t Have the Trap

If you don’t have the trap to catch the raccoon, try these methods:

  • Bucket Method: Position the tempting treat at the bottom of the tall bucket, making the sides slippery to hinder the raccoon’s climb.
  • Blanket Encouragement: Place the bait strategically near the desired exit point, encouraging the raccoon to move in that direction when the blanket is tossed.
  • Box Entrapment: Position the bait inside the box, encouraging the raccoon to investigate. Prop one side of the box with a stick to create a makeshift door, releasing the stick when the raccoon enters.

When to call for professional assistance

If you encounter an aggressive or injured raccoon, have a raccoon infestation, find raccoons in living spaces, or suspect the presence of young or nursing raccoons, it’s advisable to call for professional assistance. Professionals are equipped to handle these situations safely, especially when dealing with laws, structural damage, and disease concerns. If your DIY attempts have been unsuccessful or if preventive measures are needed, their specialized equipment and expertise ensure a humane and effective resolution to raccoon-related issues.

While the cost of professional assistance for raccoon removal may be relatively high, the value lies in the expertise, safety assurance, and effective resolution they provide. The peace of mind and successful resolution they offer often outweigh the financial investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Best Bait for Raccoon Traps

Q1: Are there specific baits that work well for trapping raccoons in urban areas versus rural environments?

A: Raccoons exhibit adaptability in their food preferences, but sweet treats like marshmallows and fruits remain effective in both urban and rural settings. Their attraction to these baits transcends environmental differences.

Q2: Can I use a combination of different baits in one trap to increase the chances of success?

A: Yes, combining sweet treats with protein-rich options like canned fish or wet cat food can create a more enticing bait mix. This approach caters to the varied tastes of raccoons, increasing the likelihood of a successful trap.

Q3: How frequently should I change the bait in a raccoon trap?

A: It’s advisable to refresh the bait regularly, especially if the trap has been set for an extended period. Fresh bait emits stronger aromas, maintaining the trap’s allure and increasing the chances of attracting raccoons.

Q4: Is there a specific time of day that’s best for setting up a raccoon trap?

A: Raccoons are nocturnal, so setting up traps in the evening or nighttime is generally more effective. This aligns with their natural behavior and increases the chances of a successful catch.

Q5: Can I use leftovers or scraps from my kitchen as raccoon bait?

A: While raccoons are opportunistic feeders, it’s advisable to use fresh and aromatic baits for trapping. Leftovers may not have a strong enough scent to attract raccoons from a distance. Stick to sweet treats, fruits, or protein-rich options for optimal results.


In conclusion, successfully trapping raccoons requires a thoughtful approach to bait selection and trap setup. By understanding raccoon behavior, utilizing a mix of sweet treats and protein-rich options, and regularly refreshing the bait, you increase the likelihood of a successful catch. It’s crucial to avoid toxic baits and prioritize the well-being of both raccoons and other wildlife. Whether dealing with urban or rural environments, adapting bait strategies to local patterns can enhance trapping effectiveness. Remember, while professional assistance may involve a cost, the value lies in their expertise and the assurance of a humane and successful resolution to raccoon-related challenges. Balancing safety, ethical considerations, and strategic baiting techniques contributes to a responsible and effective approach to raccoon trapping.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind racoonpet.com. My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.