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The Truth About Trapping Raccoons & Relocating Them Around the Peel Region

live trapping raccoons
Live Trapping Raccoons

Brampton thrives as a bustling city, and among its intricate cityscape, families of raccoons have found their home. These intriguing animals often share space with us, but conflicts arise when they get too close to home.

The solution for many homeowners is to buy a live cage trap and bait it with sugary or sweet foods, wet cat food, canned tuna or whatever it takes to attract the nuisance raccoons.

However, as considerate inhabitants of this ecosystem, we must reevaluate this approach. Yes, you can probably catch a raccoon with the right bait but you’re also very likely to catch a non-target animal such as a feral cat or smelly skunk, regardless of trap placement. Also, someone’s precious dog or pet cat could get easily trapped.

When dealing with pesky raccoons invading your home and causing a ruckus, it may seem like setting a live trap and taking that trapped raccoon and relocating them somewhere else is the kindest solution. However, the truth about raccoon relocation may surprise you.

To trap raccoons in a live trap and transport them to a new location where they are unfamiliar with the food and water sources may do more harm than good, and will definitely not solve your nuisance raccoon problem for long.

It's important to remember that raccoons are not meant to be uprooted from their habitats. A raccoon trapped in a cage or any animal trapped in one is a frightened, panicky animal.

The kindest thing you could do would be to wear heavy gloves (be careful not to get too close as they can carry diseases), speak softly to keep the raccoon calm, open the trap door and just release it on-site. Furthermore, if you trap a mother raccoon, separating her from her young can be especially cruel.

The use of a raccoon trap to catch these animals is not a guarantee of a happy outcome. In fact, many relocated raccoons end up dying due to lack of resources. It's important to find a humane solution to raccoon invasions that don't involve relocation. Instead, reach out to professionals who can responsibly and humanely remove raccoons from attics and other areas where they don't belong.

Misconceptions Surrounding Raccoon Relocation

1. A New Place Equals a Better Place

Many of us hold the view that raccoons are versatile creatures that can thrive anywhere. The idea of setting a live trap with great bait like canned tuna or cat food, trapping the raccoon, and moving it from an urban setting to a ravine, forest or park seems ideal. But is it? In short, no.

Of course, we want to prevent raccoons from getting into our attics, knocking over our trash cans, stealing tomatoes or sweet corn from our gardens looking to find food, etc. but they are just trying to survive. To catch a raccoon and move it in a live trap, you’re doing more harm to wildlife than you realize.

Trapping raccoons could take anywhere from a few minutes to several days, and you would need to check the trap regularly as it’s not humane to leave a captured raccoon in a live trap. Leaving a live trap outside, regardless of trap placement, could catch other small animals or domestic pets instead. Mistakenly, people have also set traps in their attics before and over time forgotten about them which is extremely cruel, especially if it has a wild animal dead inside.

Raccoons, much like us, are creatures of habit. A nuisance urban raccoon typically establishes a territory spanning approximately three city blocks. Within this territory, it understands the nuances, knowing where to locate food and water sources, and shelter. Taking a raccoon that's adapted to rummaging through green bins and placing it in an alien environment doesn't equate to survival. Additionally, these areas might already host raccoons who aren't receptive to newcomers. If you have raccoon issues at your home, call Affordable Raccoon Removal to deal with the raccoon activity and evict them humanely.

Relocating raccoons, even to what we perceive as a better location, disorients and stresses the animal. Consequently, the majority of these relocated raccoons barely last a few months in their new abode as they now have to compete with other animal species for food and shelter plus deal with the raccoons already living there.

Raccoon Removal
Raccoon Removal

2. Young Raccoons are Often Overlooked

Spring and summer are prime seasons for raccoon encounters. Female raccoons are on the hunt, seeking food and shelter for their young. These young ones are nestled safely in spaces like attics and burrows, anticipating their mother's return. But what if she never comes back?

Relocation can inadvertently separate mother raccoons from their offspring. Without their primary caregiver, these young raccoons face inevitable death from starvation or are killed by other wildlife. Annually, the Toronto Wildlife Centre receives numerous distressed calls about these orphaned younglings due to relocation attempts. Furthermore, wildlife control companies are consistently called on to remove the abandoned young from the attic as well, but usually by then their fate is sealed.

In addition, even if relocation efforts consider the entire family unit, the unfamiliarity and stress of a new environment often compel the mother to abandon her young, leaving them to fend for themselves. She will be forced to find new food and water sources to survive.

3. Nature Fills Every Void

Nature maintains a delicate balance, and raccoon problems for homeowners in Brampton are not solved by trapping them. When one raccoon is removed from its territory, it leaves behind a vacancy. Soon enough, it will attract raccoons to the vacant shelter or food source and will take its place, possibly bringing with it other diseases. Relying on removal methods might seem effective initially, but it doesn't guarantee long-term results. There's a real cost, both monetarily (if one employs animal removal services) and in terms of effort. Notably, certain areas that have witnessed high trapping rates in the past can witness a surge in raccoon birth rates. With abundant resources still available, new raccoons simply replace those that were trapped.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of raccoon trapping. Has your property become overrun with pesky raccoons, leaving you at your wit's end for how to handle the problem? The answer may lie in the power of bait. While there are plenty of options to choose from, it's important to remember that the best bait won't necessarily eliminate the problem altogether. In fact, using a trap to catch one raccoon may just be opening the door for more to take its place. To truly get ahead of the problem, a more long-term solution may be necessary. Don't be encouraged if trapping raccoons seems relatively easy. They'll come back again and again if you haven't addressed the root of the problem, and it'll quickly start to feel like a useless endeavour. Opt for a solution that tackles the problem head-on, and consider enlisting the help of a professional to ensure that you are able to keep your home or property raccoon-free for an extended period of time.

4. What if I Caught the Wrong Animal

Having a raccoon problem is stressful but trapping a skunk in a trap meant for a raccoon is worse. A trapped animal is a panicked animal, and the skunk will probably spray. Even if you set multiple traps in your yard, with wet cat food or yummy canned tuna in each of them, the chances are very slim of catching the specific raccoon that’s bothering you in the first place. Setting outdoor traps for raccoons may seem like a quick and easy solution to their notorious mischief-making, but it can have unintended and harmful consequences. Not only can a non target animal, such as an opossum or a feral cat, accidentally get caught in the traps, but leaving bait inside can also attract and trap our beloved pets. Raccoons, though commonly seen as pests, are actually important members of the ecosystem and help control insect and rodent populations. Instead of trapping raccoons and potentially harming them, consider alternative measures such as hiring a wildlife control company to safely evict them and prevent re-entry. You can also use motion-activated lights or sprinklers, and remove potential nesting sites from your property such as any wood piles or compost piles. Let's work towards coexisting with these wild animals rather than resorting to harmful tactics.

5. Why Raccoons are Needed

Raccoons are an often misunderstood and unfairly maligned species. While many see them as pests for their proclivity to raid garbage cans or cause problems with pets, they are actually an incredibly important component of our ecosystem. In fact, one of the key reasons why they are so crucial is because they help with the control and management of rodents such as rats and mice. Rather than relying on live traps or other methods that can lead to the unintentional harm or killing of these creatures, raccoons can help keep their numbers in check in a natural way. While there are certainly issues with raccoon problems in some areas, it's important to note that most traps don't solve these issues and can actually cause more harm than good. By understanding the role that raccoons play in our local ecosystems and adhering to local laws designed to protect them, we can appreciate these animals for the important creatures they are. Taking a few minutes to learn about these fascinating creatures could change the way you view raccoons and their contribution to the environment.

Raccoon Conflict: A Call for Individualized Solutions

When we face issues with raccoons, the resolution should be strategic. Instead of opting for short-term fixes, we must delve deeper, understand the root of the conflict. What exactly is the raccoon after, and why? With this clarity, targeted strategies can be devised to deter them. Simply put, they are searching for food to survive, warmth in the winter months, and safety and shelter when they have their young. The best solutions for dealing with a raccoon problem are pretty simple -

  1. Contact an Affordable Raccoon Removal Brampton specialist at that can oust them from your roof by attaching wire mesh over the vulnerable areas and setting a one-way door system to allow them to exit safely. Once the raccoon comes out, the door closes preventing re-entry. Technicians will wear heavy gloves and hand-remove any young kits from the attic to place outside for the mom to find on her own.

  2. Secure any trash bins you have outside, or better yet keep them in the garage until garbage pick up.

  3. Check your exterior property for signs of digging under structures - such as your deck, shed, front concrete steps, and even along your fence lines.

  4. Dispose of any fallen fruit or dropped birdseed that may attract wildlife.

  5. Do not leave dog or cat food outside as this will most certainly entice raccoons to your property.


Q1: What are the risks of using live traps to relocate raccoons? A1: Using live traps to relocate raccoons carries the risk of catching non-target animals like feral cats or skunks, and it can also trap domestic pets. Additionally, it may not effectively solve the raccoon problem in the long run.

Q2: Is relocating raccoons to a new area a humane solution? A2: Relocating raccoons to unfamiliar environments can be harmful and stressful for the animals, often resulting in their inability to survive. It's not considered a humane solution to raccoon invasions.

Q3: What happens when young raccoons are separated from their mother due to relocation? A3: Separating young raccoons from their mother during relocation can lead to their distress and potential death from starvation or predation, as they rely on their mother for care and protection.

Q4: Why is trapping raccoons and relocating them not an effective long-term solution? A4: Trapping and relocating raccoons disrupts their territorial habits and often leads to new raccoons taking their place. This doesn't guarantee a long-term solution to raccoon issues.

Q5: What are some Affordable Raccoon Removal alternatives to trapping for raccoon problems? A5: Instead of trapping, consider securing trash bins, checking for signs of digging around your property, disposing of fallen fruit, and not leaving pet food outside. Contacting a wildlife removal specialist is also a more humane and effective option for resolving raccoon conflicts.

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