Removal of Raccoons By Hand - Good Idea?

When necessary, if there's no way to get the mother raccoon to move the young raccoons out on her own, I remove them by hand. Most oftentimes, a homeowner has trapped and relocated the mother raccoon themselves, and now the babies are stuck in the attic, and I get called out because the homeowner hears them crying and scratching. Or a lazy critter trapping company has removed the female, and they won't bother to go in the attic (I deal with this a lot). So I have no choice but to go up and get the babies. But it's important to lay out all the information. NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

How to catch a raccoon in attic by hand - Don’t go up into your attic with a pair of gloves and a prayer when it comes to catching a racoon. Those images of people holding raccoons online are images of people holding adolescent animals, not adults. If you go after an adult raccoon with outstretched, gloved hands, you’re likely to come away with a bite or some nasty scratches. You should never attempt to handle the raccoon face to face unless it is through the mesh of a cage trap. Getting a racoon out of the attic involves attaching a cage trap directly to the opening the animal is using to go in or out. As soon as the critter enters, the pressure plate will trigger, and the adult will be trapped. This is particularly useful if the raccoon is inside and you enter the attic to scare it out. Sometimes the adult will stay behind to defend any babies present. Be prepared for this, and don’t antagonize the animal if you’re not equipped to snare it and get it into a cage.

Is it safe to handle a raccoon with bare hands? When raccoons are in the attic or in the chimney, you may be attempted to handle them with bare hands but the safest thing to do is to avoid handling them with your bare hands. Just like any other animal, raccoons are also possible careers of infectious diseases. Getting them out the attic is one thing because the most fundamental aspect is to ensure that you handle them with a lot of care.

How to handle raccoons
There are several techniques that you can use to capture the raccoons especially when are within your premises. You can use repellents, traps or baits. When they are captured you will have to remove them from the house before setting them free away from your home. So how should you handle them? the safest thing is to ensure that you have hand gloves on. With the gloves, you will not have any direct contact with the raccoons.

There are different types of hand gloves that you can use. The important thing is to ensure that they fully protect from directing handling the raccoons. After using the gloves, you have to ensure that they are cleaned very well using a disinfectant. Cleaning the gloves with a disinfectant will ensure that any possible and other germs are done away with. You can also use the gloves for other functions in your yard.

Piece of cloth
If you do not have the gloves, then you can use a piece of cloth. Carefully wrap a piece of cloth on both hands to avoid getting into direct contact with the raccoons. They are very effective especially when you are handling baby raccoons because in most cases, they are usually calm. If you are handling the mother or other adult raccoons, the cloth should be tightly wrapped on both hands.

Nylon paper
They can also act as hand gloves but you have to be very cautious especially if you are handling the adult raccoons. They can use their claws to tear the nylon papers risking direct contact with them. they can therefore be suitably be used when handling the baby raccoons.

Professional assistance
It is the best option because you will not have any kind of contact with the raccoons. The professional experts always have the correct equipment that will safely and carefully handle the raccoons and after removing them from your home, they will fully inspect the area and ensure that there are no threats left behind. They will clean up the place and check every corner and get rid of everything associated with the raccoons. It is therefore not safe o handle raccoons with bare hands because they can transfer infectious diseases to you and chances of them biting you or scratching your hands are very high.

You might wonder Do Raccoons Burrow Or Dig Holes? The answer is no - even though they are strong, which means you shouldn't handle them barehanded, they can't really dig that well.

I got this email from a rehabber:


I only had a little time to look at the site and have one serious suggestion. I would never recommend that someone go and remove raccoon babies by hand. You are aware of raccoon roundworm and the other potential diseases they may carry.

I know there are many different alternatives with pros and cons but [our facility] only suggests arming the space with ammonia soaked rags, loud music and bright lights to deter raccoons from dwelling there. This gives them the opportunity to move any babies on their own to a safe site.

Yes you could move them yourself, but at what cost? Animals are territorial plus there is the risk of moving a healthy looking but actually sick animal into an otherwise healthy population of animals. This is why trapping and moving animals is illegal in many states.

That is a personal and professional suggestion for you. Thank you for making an effort to help wildlife.

So to this I would say that if they must be removed by hand, that the proper precautions are taken. You can see in the above photograph that I'm wearing gloves, a HEPA mask, and even a disposable Tyvek suit.