How To Kill Raccoons


03.16.2005 - This is a larger-than-average raccoon for the state of Florida.  Most of the raccoons down here tend to the small size, with adults averaging about 9-10 pounds.  This one was 16 pounds.  Not huge, but a good size for this area.

It was doing a common raccoon faux-pas: pooping in a swimming pool.  Raccoons love water, and they like to splash around, and wash their food (their name means "washes with hands") and they also like to poop in water, just like people!  The reason is to hide the feces, I suppose.  So they go on the shallow step and poop there.  The homeowner was fed up: "I'm tired of these damn things crapping in my swimming pool!" he hollered, "I want to kill them!"  I told him I'd be right out to solve his problem.

I came to the home and set a Havahart live cage trap.  "How is that going to kill the raccoon?" said the grumpy man.  "It won't", I replied, but it will catch it, and then I assure you that it won't come back.  "It won't come back as in you're going to shoot it once it's caught?" he said.  "No," I replied, I'm going to relocate it more than ten miles from here, and it will never find its way back.  He seemed skeptical and as grumpy as ever, but I assured him that this would solve the problem of the poop in his pool.

Sure enough, by the next morning I had caught the animal.  The grumpy man looked at it and said, "You won't be pooping in my pool any more, will you?" but I noticed what appeared to be a small smile on his face, and I think he liked the raccoon a little bit, and didn't want to kill  it after all. I put it in my truck and last night I relocated it about 15 miles from the capture site, at an undeveloped wildlife reserve outside the city.  It ran away unharmed.

There's no need to kill raccoons if they are causing you a problem, no matter how frustrated you are.  They can be easily trapped in a cage and relocated.  And sometimes, all you have to do to stop a raccoon problem is to take away whatever is attracting them in the first place.  I gave the man a board with a hundred 2-inch nails pounded through it, and all he has to do is put this on the steps the next time another raccoon comes calling to do its business, and it won't be able to walk on the steps.    Why didn't I just do this in the first place?   Well, the man insisted that I at least take the critter away, even if I wasn't going to kill it. 

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The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

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Have you had enough of the raccoons on your property and have decided to kill them? We bring you the different methods of killing raccoons, highlighting the features and suitability of each method.

Body grip traps

Body grip traps are lethal traps suitable for killing raccoons. When these traps are triggered, they kill the target animal in no time. Body grip traps can be placed along the pathway of raccoons to kill them and permanently remove them from a property.

Because body grip traps do not subject raccoons to undue torture, they are considered as a humane tool for killing the critters. The body grip trap guarantees a fast death because of its component parts, the trigger, and the jaw. As the raccoon steps on the trigger, the jaw snaps the spine or neck and kills it that moment without extra torture.

It is worth noting that, for these traps to work effectively, they have to be properly set. Setting a body grip trap properly requires some experience.


Drowning is an inhumane lethal way of getting rid of raccoons. Drowning is usually applied to kill trapped animals. There are also traps with a pool of water into which the raccoon falls and dies almost immediately. Irrespective of the way drowning is applied, the raccoon is tortured to death. Thus, we strongly discourage drowning raccoons to death.


You can kill raccoons by shooting them. As long as it is legal to shoot raccoons in your area, shooting is an effective lethal method, especially because the critters have a sufficient body mass to target. Because the raccoon dies almost immediately, shooting is considered a humane lethal method for getting rid of these critters.

Swords or knives

These are other lethal tools for killing raccoons. The use of swords or knives for killing raccoons is effective when the death of the raccoon is guaranteed immediately. If you choose to kill a raccoon with knives or swords, ensure that it is a quick and painless death.


Poisoning, just like drowning is strongly discouraged as a means of killing raccoons. This is because poisoning raccoons involves a lot of cruelty.

The types of poisons for raccoons include anticoagulants, antifreeze, and strychnine, all involving a notable level of cruelty. Anticoagulants cause internal bleeding and the raccoon suffers slowly to death. Antifreeze causes significant tissue and cellular damage and causes a painful death. Strychnine causes extreme exhaustion that eventually kills the critter. Apart from the fact that poisoning subjects the raccoons to torture, the poisons may also be spread into the ecosystem. The raccoon may die in the wild and be consumed by another animal that is then indirectly poisoned. It is also worth noting that the use of poisons is considered illegal in different areas. If you choose to kill a raccoon, you should opt for humane and effective methods such as the body grip trap and shooting. Also, check that the laws in your area to make sure you are allowed to shoot raccoons. Remember that you should never poison or drown a raccoon.

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