How to Catch a Raccoon Without a Trap – 7 Best Methods

how to catch a raccoon without a trap

Capturing a raccoon without the aid of a trap requires a strategic and humane approach. If you find yourself in a situation where using a traditional trap isn’t feasible, fear not – there are alternative methods to catch a raccoon safely. In this guide, we will explore effective techniques on how to catch a raccoon without a trap. 

Whether you’re dealing with a pesky raccoon in your backyard or facing a situation where setting up a trap is impractical, these methods provide practical solutions to help you address the issue without causing harm to the raccoon.

How to Catch a Raccoon Without a Trap

Using a Bucket

To catch a raccoon with a bucket, use a long bucket design to prevent escape. Remember,  raccoons are good climbers, so you need to be quick when using this method.

Prop the bucket at an angle, place bait with a strong odour inside, and create a makeshift ramp. When the raccoon reaches for the bait, move quickly to tip the bucket, trapping it inside. 

This humane method offers an efficient alternative to traditional trapping, emphasizing the importance of fast, well-prepared action for a successful capture.

Catching by Hand

To catch a raccoon by hand, entice the raccoon by placing a tempting bait within reach. Wear thick gloves to avoid raccoon bites, approach the raccoon slowly and calmly, and, when within reach, gently pick it up, ensuring it supports its body properly.

This method requires caution and experience, emphasizing the importance of careful handling for both your safety and the well-being of the raccoon. Raccoon carry serval deiseases and being bit by them can cause you serious health issues.

Use of Blanket

To capture a raccoon using a blanket, entice the raccoon by strategically placing bait in its vicinity. Raccoons are particularly like baits with strong, pungent odors, such as fish or sweet treats.

Approach the raccoon calmly and, when within range, gently toss a blanket or towel over it. This method relies on the raccoon being drawn to the bait, allowing you to cover it without direct contact. Once covered, carefully lift the raccoon, ensuring the use of thick gloves for protection, and transport it securely. The blanket provides a calming environment during the capture, prioritizing both your safety and the well-being of the raccoon.

Use of Box

To capture a raccoon using a box, create a simple yet effective trap by propping one end of the box with a stick, leaving the other end open with bait inside. When the raccoon enters the box to access the bait, pull the stick, causing the box to close and safely capture the raccoon.

Use of Anesthesia

If capturing a raccoon by conventional means proves challenging or risky, the use of anesthesia may be considered. Consult with wildlife professionals or veterinarians to obtain appropriate tranquilizers. Administer the anesthesia in a controlled manner, ensuring the raccoon is sedated before safely transporting it.

Leverage Natural Entrances

If the raccoon has entered a confined space like a garage or shed, consider using the layout to your advantage. Open doors and windows, providing the raccoon with a clear exit route. As it leaves, guide its path away from sensitive areas.

Create a DIY Raccoon Trap

If you find yourself without a trap and prefer a do-it-yourself approach, creating a simple and effective raccoon trap is possible with household items. 

Consider utilizing a large plastic bin or container. Cut a small opening at the top of the bin, large enough for a raccoon to enter, and place enticing bait inside. Ensure the bin is propped up at an angle with a stick, allowing the raccoon to tip it over when attempting to reach the bait. Once the raccoon enters to grab the bait, the bin will tip, causing the lid to close and trap the raccoon inside. 

This method provides a more convenient approach, allowing you to set up the trap and check intermittently, reducing the need for continuous monitoring.

Professional Wildlife Removal Services

If all your methods to catch the raccoon have failed or if you’re uncomfortable about capturing a raccoon yourself, consider hiring a professional wildlife removal service. These experts have the necessary equipment and experience to safely capture and relocate raccoons without causing harm.

Using Shiny Objects to Catch the Raccoon

Another creative method to catch raccoons involves the use of shiny objects. Raccoons are often attracted to reflective surfaces. Hang shiny objects, such as aluminum foil strips or CDs, near the baited area. The sunlight or artificial light will catch on these objects, grabbing the raccoon’s attention. As the raccoon investigates the shiny items, use a swift and strategic approach to capture it using one of the previously mentioned humane methods.

This method relies on the raccoon’s curiosity, making it an innovative way to divert their attention and facilitate a safe capture without the need for traditional traps. Remember to place the shiny objects strategically to maximize their visibility and effectiveness in attracting the raccoon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Catching Raccoons Without a Trap

Q1: Can I catch a raccoon without using a trap?

A: Yes, it’s possible to catch a raccoon without a trap using alternative methods like enticing them into a propped-up plastic bin or container with bait. This hands-free DIY approach can be effective in certain situations.

Q2: What types of baits are most attractive to raccoons?

A: Raccoons are attracted to strong-smelling baits such as fish or sweet treats. Using bait with a potent odor increases the likelihood of successfully luring a raccoon into a makeshift trap.

Q3: How can I make a raccoon trap with household items?

A: For a simple DIY trap, consider propping up a cardboard box with a stick, leaving one end open with bait inside. When the raccoon enters for the bait, pull the stick to close the box, trapping the raccoon.

Q4: Are there effective ways to catch raccoons without continuous monitoring?

A: Yes, a practical method involves using a large plastic bin. Cut a small opening at the top, place bait inside, and prop the bin at an angle with a stick. When the raccoon tips the bin to reach the bait, the lid closes, providing a more hands-free trapping approach.

Q5: How can I increase the chances of successfully catching a raccoon in a live trap?

A: To enhance your success, place the live trap in areas where raccoons are active, near their entry points or favored pathways. Additionally, use enticing bait with a strong odor, like canned fish or sweet treats, to attract the raccoon into the trap. Regularly check the trap to ensure a timely release or relocation once the raccoon is captured.


In conclusion, employing alternative methods to catch a raccoon without a traditional trap offers practical and humane solutions for addressing wildlife-related concerns. Whether using DIY traps, hands-on approaches, or live traps with enticing bait, it’s essential to prioritize the well-being of both humans and raccoons. By combining creativity, patience, and a respectful understanding of raccoon behavior, individuals can effectively manage raccoon-related issues without resorting to harm or unnecessary stress for these resourceful creatures.

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.