Introduction: Home-Made Raccoon Bait
Raccoons are prolific animals that have been known to cause all kinds of problems for landowners and farmers, in that they quickly learn how to get into chicken coops, grain storage areas, cattle feed or fruit crops and can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage. Typically, trapping these animals is the most effective means of eliminating them from your property, and the good news is that it can be done on a low budget! Cage traps and dog-proof type foot traps can be purchased relatively inexpensively, and bait for these traps can be made on your own with common items you can find in your own pantry or at the local grocery store. This Instructable will show you how!
Before we get started, keep this in mind:Do NOT feed wild animalsjust for the sake of feeding them. This creates unhealthy begging habits, aggression, and other problematic behavior if it did not exist previously. Only use this bait for the purpose of ridding nuisance animals or harvesting fur.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
There are many types of baits that will attract raccoons, but I will demonstrate how to make a particularly effective variety that I've continually used with success. Because raccoons are curious creatures, they will investigate any new smell in their area and if it smells like something they could eat, they'll further check it out. Raccoons love to eat sweet items and fish, and this type of bait incorporates the odors of both and gives a crunchy, edible texture that will keep them interested in your trap set.
Here is what you'll need:
- Dog or cat kibble
- Sweet-flavored rice cakes
(Caramel or any type of "berry" flavor works great - berry has a stronger odor, too)
- Fish oil (you can either render your own or buy a basic, un-flavored version from the grocery store)
- Jar with lid, for mixing your bait
Step 2: Mix It Up
Fill the jar about halfway with kibble. Then crush the rice cakes into small enough pieces to easily pour into the jar. Shake the jar until you get a relatively even mixture of kibble and cakes. The bait will actually work as it is now, however the next step will add just a touch of extra unique odor that will really grab the critter's attention!
Step 3: Add Something Fishy
Pour a small amount of fish oil into the mixture, you won't need much (maybe a half-ounce, more or less, it doesn't need to be exact) since the odor can be very strong you don't want to overpower the entire mixture with fish smell. While pure fish does attract raccoons, you'll notice that it can attract even more opossums if you have them in your area. The sweet smell reduces opossum catches and just seems to bring in more raccoon. Ideally, your finished result should smell mostly sweet with a slight odor of fish, and a little meaty aroma from the kibble as well.
Your bait is now finished and ready to catch raccoons!
Step 4: Bait and Catch!
Your bait can be easily poured from its jar into either a dogproof raccoon trap (make sure these are legal in your area) or into the back of a cage trap. Cage traps are legal just about everywhere and are a good option for trapping around farm buildings or neighborhood backyards.
Bait your trap(s) and check them every 24 hours, as this is required by law. When you catch your raccoon, treat it with respect,do not tease the animal or treat it cruelly. Simply dispatch it humanely, or (if legal) release elsewhere. Keep in mind most states do not allow wildlife to be relocated onto public lands, so it's best to get permission from a private landowner if you choose to relocate your animal.
Always be sure to know your local regulations before partaking in any wildlife trapping activities!