How to Trap a Raccoon in the Attic

When you have raccoons living in your attic, they can quickly become a nuisance and create various problems beyond the noises they make. Raccoons can damage your attic, including tearing air ducts, damaging vents, destroying and breaking apart insulation, damaging pipes, chewing wood, and much more. Raccoons also leave toxic waste in their urine and feces, which is highly harmful to humans.

These factors alone make removing raccoons from your attic as soon as possible essential to prevent further damage and unwanted costs. Below, we’ll discuss the signs of having a raccoon in your attic, how to trap it in the attic, and why it’s always best to hire a professional to remove a raccoon.

How to Trap a Raccoon in the Attic

Table of Contents

Signs You Have a Raccoon in the Attic

Raccoons are known as sneaky rodents, but there are ways to tell if you’re dealing with a raccoon living in your attic. Noticing the signs of a raccoon problem can help you assess the situation and contact a professional for proper raccoon removal. Based on the current condition of your attic, you can tell whether or not the raccoons have lived for a while or are new to your home.

Signs you have a raccoon in the attic are:

  • Feces in your attic
  • Noises such as footsteps, chewing, or scratching
  • Attic soffit panels pulled apart
  • Pawprint and scratches on the wooden areas of your attic
  • Sightings of a raccoon in your attic, roof, or other areas of your home
  • Holes in your vents
  • Trails through your attic insulation

How to Trap a Raccoon in the Attic

Raccoon Traps

Catching a raccoon is complex, and you should never attempt to catch one on your own. If you’ve encountered a raccoon, you should always contact a professional. Raccoons are brilliant animals. When captured by a raccoon trap, they will remember what happened, further requiring a change of tactics.

Not every professional uses raccoon traps when trying to catch a raccoon; however, when doing so, it’s best to use a no-kill raccoon trap or live cage to humanely catch a raccoon and return them to its natural environment.

How to Look for a Raccoon Trap

When searching for a raccoon trap, Havahart traps are most used in the United States to catch a raccoon in your attic. There are particular raccoon traps created to accommodate the different sizes of raccoons. Raccoon traps are around thirty-two inches long, a foot high, and a foot wide.

Before catching a raccoon in the attic, it’s best to ensure the raccoon trap is the correct size to keep it inside safely. The raccoon trap may become caught in its door or escape if it is too small. When trapping a raccoon in your attic, always contact a professional with the proper tools and techniques to safely and efficiently remove it, and never attempt to trap and remove a raccoon yourself.

Raccoon Bait

Regarding bait, raccoons eat almost anything they can get their paws on. If you like it, raccoons will enjoy it. That’s why raccoons love to make their way into trash cans at night. When catching a raccoon in the attic, you should know what bait you’re using to avoid catching other animals.

Although it varies per professional, many professionals use marshmallows to trap a raccoon in the attic. Many say marshmallows are one of the best things to use for bait. Marshmallows are tiny in size and resemble the eggs of other animals, so they appeal to raccoons for their sweetness.

You should never attempt to bait a raccoon yourself and should always contact a trained professional with the skills and knowledge to trap and remove raccoons. 

Setting the Raccoon Trap

When setting a raccoon trap, it’s best to inspect where raccoons walk most often. Setting a trap near their trail in the attic but away from other areas they can grab is best. Professionals should keep a raccoon trap at least six inches away from anything a raccoon can hold to avoid getting into the cage.

When setting the raccoon trap, it should be flat on your attic floor. Raccoons will avoid getting into the trap if your cage makes any noises or wobbles a certain way. Place leaves on the inside of the cage to help make the cage more enticing.

After setting, check the raccoon trap at least twice daily and never leave in full sun. If placed in attic areas with full sun, raccoons can become dehydrated and overheated. When setting the trap, it should also be disguised and with the bait placed in a trail leading up to the trap door.

Your bait should trail to the back of your cage when placing it. Once completed, then it’s time to wait patiently. If you have a raccoon in your attic, contact a trained professional with the proper tools and techniques to catch, remove, and place it humanely back into its natural environment. 

After Trapping the Raccoon

After successfully trapping the raccoon, you can place a blanket or other coverings over the cage before attempting to pick it up. Never stick your fingers inside the cage; always hold the trap away from yourself. Raccoons can carry rabies, so you want to avoid any scratches or bites.

After trapping the raccoon, if you notice it has nipples, you should immediately release it into its natural environment. Nipples on a raccoon mean the raccoon is female and is carrying babies. If not released right away, the raccoon can starve and be unable to find food.

When releasing a raccoon with babies, they should always be released at least ten miles away from your residence so they don’t return.

In many states, trapping a raccoon is illegal, so contacting your local animal control office is essential. A professional can always solve the problem for you safely and efficiently. 

Relocating the Raccoon

Relocation is the best and most humane option after trapping a raccoon. When relocating the raccoon, they should always be released at least ten miles away from your home to avoid returning to your residence. You should always release a raccoon in a safe environment close to a food source.

Mother raccoons should always be transferred and released with their babies since babies can’t survive without their mothers. 

How to Trap a Raccoon in the Attic: The Master Attic Approach

Overall, there are many ways to remove and trap a raccoon alone, but the risks alone are too high to attempt and can make the situation much worse. At Master Attic, our professionals know that removing raccoons as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage to your attic. At Master Attic, our raccoon removal service process includes the following:

  • Looking for entry points – Our professionals locate where raccoons enter, which can help us determine the best method to ensure they never return.
  • Raccoon removal – Our experts will humanely remove raccoons, mothers, and babies and return them to their natural habitat. 
  • Block entry points – Blocking entry points will prevent raccoons and other rodents from returning in the future.
  • Attic remediation – After removing raccoons, our experts can remove the damaged insulation, replace it with new insulation, remove feces, and perform a heavy-duty clean-up to return your attic to its original condition.

If you’re hearing noises in your attic and are dealing with a raccoon problem, contact our experts today to schedule a free in-home estimate for our raccoon removal services. 

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