What is the best bait for luring a raccoon into a trap?

There is no best bait. Raccoons are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal foods. Plant foods include all types of fruits, berries, nuts, acorns, corn, and other types of grain. Animal foods are crayfish, clams, fish, frogs, snails, insects, turtles and their eggs, mice, rabbits, muskrats, and the eggs and young of ground-nesting birds and waterfowl. Contrary to popular myth, raccoons do not always wash their food before eating, although they frequently play with their food in water, if available. However, there are several popular baits that have been very effective on raccoons. If cats are not a concern, sardines packed in oil is a good one. Another option is wet cat food—the kind that comes in the small can similar to a tuna can. Place some of the food behind the pan of the cage trap, and sprinkle some of the juice around so that it leads the raccoon to the trap. If cats are a problem, then use sweet baits such as molasses, marshmallows, or strawberry sugar wafers. Nontarget animals, such as opossums, may be attracted to the bait. Be sure to be ready in case you catch a skunk.

To avoid capturing skunks, place traps on a secure platform 12 inches off the ground. Most skunk species do not climb well.

Make sure that the trap won’t tip over and hurt someone.

Visit Releasing Skunks to learn how to release a skunk before you start trapping.

For more information, visit Raccoons