How to Catch a Raccoon with his Sweet Tooth
I wrote this for the Fruit Gardener; California Rare Fruit Growers magazine, Vol. 23, No. 6, December 1991, Journal Edition.
Have you ever had the experience of babying that favorite fruit tree of yours all season long and finally, when the first fruit is just about ripe, you decide you have waited long enough?
You get up, go out to your tree with your mouth watering, thinking about all those lush peaches or whatever, and what do you find? The fruit is all over the ground, half-eaten, all mashed up, bits and pieces everywhere. You know what happened…the coons have hit again!!
Your first thought is, “Where was that faithful dog?” Instead of watching your tree for you, he slept all night in his dog house. Some watch dog! So you go over to him and give him a few choice words. And now you want to grab your trusty 410 or 22 and go kill something – anything with four legs. Living in the city as I do, however, it is against the law to shoot a gun in the city.
I decided to trap the raccoons and haul them off to the woods. I knew where to get a trap, but the problem was what to bait the trap with that would not attract every cat and dog in town. I had heard that raccoons will travel miles to a can of tuna fish, but so would all my neighbors’ cats, and I didn’t want a trap full of cats.
So I asked my brother Carl what I should use for bait. He said, “You know raccoons have a sweet tooth.” (He knows this, I guess, because he is a dentist.) Anyway, he said, “Try baiting your trap with marshmallows.”
“Marshmallows!” I said, “Marshmallows don’t smell – I’ll never catch anything with marshmallows.” But he insisted. “Just try it.” So, I did and let me tell you it works great! I have caught coons for ten days straight – one every night! They love marshmallows!
My procedure is to put one in the back of the trap, break another one into four little pieces, and place them in a line leading to the back of the trap. It works every time! So, if you have raccoons, want to get rid of them, and have a good trap…try marshmallows for bait!
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