We have talked about what to do if raccoons are in your attic or someplace that you really do not want them to be. But we have not really spent a lot of time discussing what to do with a raccoon once you have caught one in a trap. We are assuming that most people will use live traps like the one in the picture with the intention of removing the raccoon to another location once it has been caught.
What is really surprising to many people and myself included is that in some cities and towns there are bylaws about what you can and cannot do with a trapped raccoon. First of all you can only use what are called live traps. Live traps basically capture the raccoon in a live trap without hurting the animal. This is by far the preferred way to remove animals of this type. However what do you do with the raccoon when you catch one in this manner? Another point to remember that if you do catch one, it is important that you act quickly.
Wild animals are not used to being in a confined space. Left in a trap for any length of time and they will become very stressed and possibly go into shock. Left too long and they will die of shock. If you do catch one, be prepared to move it to a new location immediately.
City Bylaws for Removing Raccoons
The bylaws in my city basically tell you that you can only move the captured raccoon approximately 2 to 4 blocks away from where it was caught. Anyone who knows raccoons, knows that this is absolutely a waste of time. Any raccoon can make it’s way back to what he thinks is his den in no time at all.
In fact, 2 to 4 blocks will be his likely roaming area in terms of looking for food, so it really is a waste of time. They will be back at the den in your home the very next morning and now they know not to go near your trap. They are very intelligent and learn quickly. If you are going to dispose of a captured raccoon, you are better off to take them out into the country side and release them. Just make sure that no one sees you release the animal into the wild. You could be charged and the local farmers may not like it very much either.
So What to do with Raccoons When You Catch One.
Don’t waste your time trying to catch one in the first place. We will summarize here, but refer to some of our other posts for details about what you should do. Do what we did and you will have a proper long term solution that will prevent not only the current family from spending time in your home, but stop other raccoon families from moving in when the current family of raccoons is moved out.
Install a one way trap door at the location were they get in. Make sure that the young pups are old enough to travel on their own and get out on their own. Place heavy gauge wire mesh over all other possible entries. Once the raccoons are out of your home, remove the one way trap door and cover this opening with the same wire mesh. Now these pesky animals cannot get into your home ever and no other raccoon families can get in either. this will also keep squirrels out as well as birds from your attic.
So save yourself the trouble of trying to catch them and also what to do with raccoons when you catch one. Just prevent them from getting into your home in the first place! If they are already in, follow this approach to get them out and keep them out.