DIY Raccoon Traps – 3 Practical Methods

diy raccoon trap

If you don’t have a trap to catch raccoons, crafting your own can be a rewarding and cost-effective solution when dealing with unwanted visitors In this guide, we’ll explore the world of DIY raccoon traps, providing simple and effective methods for those who prefer a hands-on approach.

Method 1: DIY Raccoon Trap with a Bucket


  • Large bucket
  • Ramp (a piece of wood or a plank)
  • Bait (canned cat food, marshmallows, or shiny objects)


  • Pick the Right Spot: To get rid of a raccoon, place the bucket in an area where you’ve noticed raccoons hanging out. It could be near your trash cans or another spot they like to visit.
  • Create a Ramp: Make a ramp using a piece of wood or a plank. This should lead up to the top edge of the bucket. Raccoons are curious climbers, so they’ll explore the ramp.
  • Bait the Trap: Smear some tasty bait on the top edge of the bucket and around the rim. Raccoons love goodies like canned cat food, marshmallows, or even shiny objects. This will lure them in.
  • Let Gravity Do the Work: As raccoons climb the ramp and try to reach the enticing bait, they’ll lose their balance and fall into the bucket. The smooth sides of the bucket make it difficult for them to escape.


  • Depth Matters: Ensure the bucket is deep enough to prevent raccoons from easily getting out. A deep bucket is a key element to the success of the trap.
  • Release Safely: Once a raccoon is trapped, handle it carefully and release it in a safe location away from your home. Make sure it has an easy escape route to avoid stress.

Method 2: DIY Raccoon Trap Using a Cardboard Box


  • Sturdy cardboard box (make sure it’s big enough for a raccoon to fit inside)
  • Wooden dowel or stick
  • String or twine
  • Bait (cat food, marshmallows, or peanut butter)


  • Prepare the Box: To catch the raccoon, take your sturdy cardboard box and cut a small flap on one side. This will be the raccoon’s entrance, so make it big enough for them to comfortably get in.
  • Set Up the Trigger: Prop open the flap using the wooden dowel. Place the dowel in a way that it acts like a stick holding the flap up. This will be the trigger mechanism.
  • Attach the String: Tie one end of the string to the dowel and the other end to the opposite side of the box. The string is what keeps the flap up and the trap ready.
  • Place the Bait: Place some tasty bait at the far end of the box. Raccoons love things like cat food, marshmallows, or peanut butter, so use something that will tempt them to enter.
  • Wait for the Magic: Now, when the raccoon enters and starts nibbling on the bait, it will inadvertently touch the dowel. This triggers the trap, causing the dowel to dislodge and the flap to close, trapping the raccoon inside.


  • Make sure the box is stable and won’t tip over easily.
  • Check the trap regularly to release the raccoon in a safe place away from your home.

Method 3: DIY Raccoon Trap with PVC Pipe


  • PVC pipe (at least 4 inches in diameter and 3 feet long)
  • End caps for the pipe
  • Eye bolts and nuts
  • Wire mesh
  • Bait (canned cat food, fish, or sweet treats)


  • Drill and Bolt: If you see a raccoon in your yard, Grab your PVC pipe and drill holes on either side near the ends. Attach eye bolts using nuts to create anchor points for the trap.
  • Cap It Off: Securely fit end caps onto both ends of the PVC pipe. This ensures the raccoon can’t escape once it’s inside.
  • Craft the Door: Use the pipe cutter to carefully remove a section from the pipe, creating a door. Be cautious while doing this step to avoid accidents.
  • Mesh It Up: Attach the door back using wire mesh and eye bolts. Leave a gap in the mesh to create an entrance for the raccoon. This makes it easy for them to get in.
  • Bait the Trap: Place some delicious bait inside the pipe. Raccoons are attracted to things like canned cat food, fish, or sweet treats, so use something enticing.


  • Secure Entrance: Make sure the door is securely attached but still allows easy entry for the raccoon. The goal is to let them in without any trouble.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye on the trap regularly. If you catch a raccoon, handle it gently, and relocate it responsibly to ensure both your safety and the raccoon’s well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About DIY Raccoon Traps

Q1: What types of bait work best for attracting raccoons into a DIY trap?

A: Raccoons are attracted to strong-smelling and flavorful bait. Canned cat food, fish, or sweet treats are highly effective choices. These scents entice raccoons into the trap, increasing the success of your DIY trapping efforts.

Q2: How deep should the bucket be in a DIY bucket trap to prevent raccoons from escaping easily?

A: The depth of the bucket in a DIY bucket trap is crucial. Ensure the bucket is deep enough to prevent raccoons from easily climbing out. A deeper bucket enhances the trap’s effectiveness by making it more challenging for raccoons to escape once inside.

Q3: Are there specific locations where DIY raccoon traps work better?

A: Yes, strategic placement is essential for the success of DIY raccoon traps. Choose locations frequented by raccoons, such as near trash cans or areas where they have been spotted before. Placing traps in these high-activity zones increases the likelihood of trapping a raccoon.

Q4: Can I use alternative materials for a DIY raccoon trap if I don’t have access to PVC pipes or cardboard boxes?

A: Absolutely! DIY traps can be customized with various materials based on availability. For example, repurposing household items like plastic containers or wooden crates can work effectively. The key is to maintain the structural integrity and safety of the trap.

Q5: How often should I check a DIY raccoon trap, and what should I do if I catch one?

A: Regular monitoring is crucial. Check the trap every few hours to minimize stress on the trapped raccoon. If successful, handle the raccoon carefully and release it in a safe location away from your home. Ensuring a swift and responsible release contributes to both your safety and the well-being of the raccoon.


Crafting your own raccoon trap offers a practical and budget-friendly approach for addressing unwelcome visitors. This guide has explored various DIY methods, providing straightforward and effective solutions for those who prefer hands-on approaches to pest control. Whether opting for a bucket, cardboard box, or PVC pipe trap, these methods offer humane alternatives to deal with raccoons while minimizing harm. Remember to tailor the traps to your specific situation, ensuring the safety of both you and the raccoons.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind 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.