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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Raccoon Control

Raccoons in tree by Nebraska Game and ParksScientific Name: Procyon lotor

Photo Credits: NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission




  • Raccoon skull. Photo by Dallas VirchowRaccoon skull Description: Skunk (left) and raccoon also have large canine teeth. Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow
  • Nocturnal
  • Females raise 3-5 young without the help of their mate.
  • Young typically born in the Spring but not exclusively so.
  • Omnivores (i.e. they eat almost everything)




  • Raccoon fur. Photo by Dallas VirchowRaccoon fur Description: Can be long and thick during winter Photo Credits: Dallas Virchow






SignRaccoon paw prints. Photo by Kirk LaPierre

  • Tracks. Raccoon prints in powder. Description: shows use of tracking powder to get prints Photo Credits: Kirk LaPierre, A1 Saver Services




  • Smudge Marks. Raccoon paw marks on the down spout--This is a common way raccoons gain access to house roofs. Raccoons are exceptional climbers for their size. Photo Credits: Kirk LaPierre, A1 Saver Services
  • Hole Size. A raccoon only needs a 4 inch diameter hole to enter a structure. Raccoon prints on downspout by Kirk LaPierre
  • Sounds. Chirping sounds emanating from the fireplace, typically in the Spring, are a classic sign of raccoon young. Racous screaming and crying is a sign of raccoon mating. Typically heard in February.




DamageRaccoon roof damage. Photo by Kirk LaPierre

  • Livestock. Raccoons will kill poultry;
  • Crops. Raccoons love sweet corn, other garden & truck crops, pet foods, pets;
  • Landscape. Raccoons will roll-up turf and sod in search of worms and grubs. Damage can be quite extensive.
  • Trash Cans. Raccoon in garbage.
  • Structures. Raccoons can damage shingles, fascia boards; Raccoon roof entry. Note how the raccoon removed asphalt shingles and wood sheeting to enter through the building's roof. Photo Credits: Kirk LaPierre, A1 Saver Services
  • Raccoon soffit damage. Photo by Kirk LaPierreraccoon damage to wood soffit. Note how it looks torn out which is characteristic of raccoon activity. Squirrel damage would show gnaw damage. Photo Credits: Kirk LaPierre, A1 Saver Services




Control Methods

Habitat ModificationStainless steel chimney cap. Photo by Dallas Virchow

  • Chimneys. Secure all chimneys with professionally manufactured chimney caps to prevent raccoon entry to chimneys. Capping also helps to protect the chimney crown and prevent other animals from entering the chimeny. Photo by Dallas Virchow.
  • Trash Cans. Secure trash cans inside buildings or wire lids down.
  • More prevention information click Prevention


  • Female raccoons have been repelled with coyote urine and professionally manufactured materials. These products work best to convince a mother raccoon to take her young elsewhere.
  • Otherwise, repellents are not effective on raccoons.


  • Footholds. #1 Longspring, 1.5 coilspring
  • Bodygrips. 160's through 220's.
  • Cage Traps. 10x12x32 single door trap would be a minimum size. Cage trapped raccoons, that are released, are very difficult to capture again. Even if translocation is legal in your area, think long and hard about the wisdom of doing it.
  • Specialty traps. Egg trap, Little Griz, Duffer Trap


  • .22 caliber
  • Shotgun


None available


  • Tamed raccoon. Photo by Kevin Clark of Critter ControlRaccoons are increasingly very comfortable around people making them an active vector of disease transmission to humans. Not this raccoon near door acting relatively tame. Photo Credits: Kevin Clark of Critter Control.
  • Raccoons are susceptible to rabies & distemper.
  • Raccoons are a major carrier of a deadly roundworm parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis.

Legal Issues

Raccoons are considered game and furbearer animals in most areas and have legal protections related to those classifications.

Living With Raccoons

Publications and Resources

Managing Raccoons--Iowa State UniversityManaging Raccoons

Repelling Raccoons--Michigan State University

Managing Raccoon Problems in Missouri--University of Missouri Extension





Ringtail cat in cage. Description: shows Ringtail cat in cage trap--illustrates all raccoon family suseptible Photo Credits: Wes Patrick




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