How to Build a Raccoon Trap

Raccoons can be troublesome, annoying and sometimes dangerous animals. Since they are scavengers, they are attracted to the trash left behind by humans and quickly become pests in most residential areas. People living in all types of areas, from country to city and everywhere in between, can find themselves faced with these unwanted wild neighbors and a need to find a pest control solution. One option to control this nuisance is to build a raccoon trap from scratch.


  1. 1
    Put on safety goggles and work gloves before beginning to build the trap.
  2. 2
    Cut 4 12 in. (30.48 cm) long pieces from the 2x2 in. (5.08 x 5.08 cm) lumber. These will be the corner supports.
  3. 3
    Trim 1/2 in. (1.27 cm) thick plywood to two pieces - one 12x36 in. (30.48 cm x 91.44 cm) and one 12x38 in. (30.48 cm x 96.52 cm). The shorter of the two will be the top of the trap; the longer will be the bottom.
  4. 4
    Form a box from the supports and plywood. Place the shorter (top) plywood piece flat and nail the four corner supports to the corners of the plywood. Place the longer (bottom) plywood piece on top of the supports, lining up one short edge of the top piece with the short edge of the bottom piece and nailing it to the four support pieces. Allow 2 in. (5.08 cm) of the bottom piece to hang past the supports - this will be the front of the raccoon trap.
  5. 5
    Wrap the wire mesh around the sides and back of the trap. Trim the wire to the dimensions of the trap with wire cutters and secure it to the wood with a staple gun, leaving the front of the trap open.
  6. 6
    Construct a track for the door either from tongue-and-groove flooring or by sawing a groove in a piece of 2x3/4 in. (5.08 cm x 1.9 cm) lumber. Cut whatever is used to 24 in. (60.96 cm) and nail to the front supports of the trap, with the grooves facing inward, toward each other.
  7. 7
    Trim the sheet metal to 14 in. (35.56 cm) high and just wide enough to fit into the grooves of the tracks. This will be the door of the trap. Be sure the door slides freely in the track so that it will fall quickly when the track is triggered.
  8. 8
    Drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the door, approximately 1 in. (2.54 cm) from the bottom edge.
  9. 9
    Nail the mousetrap to the top of the trap, on the outside, about 3 to 4 in. (7.62 to 10.16 cm) from the back of the trap. Make sure that the hammer bar of the unset trap is facing the back of the trap before you secure it to the wood.
  10. 10
    Cut a piece of string or thin wire about 1 in. (2.54 cm) longer than the distance from the hammer bar of the set mousetrap to the door of the raccoon trap. Tie one end of the string or wire to the hammer bar and another to a nail, right behind the head of the nail.
  11. 11
    Drill a hole immediately in front of the mousetrap's bait pan. The hole should go through the mousetrap and continue through the top of the raccoon trap.
  12. 12
    Cut another piece of string, about 8 in (20.32 cm), to hold the bait. Tie a slipknot by feeding one end of the string up from the inside through the hole on the top of the trap. Tie it to the bait pan of the mousetrap.
  13. 13
    Load the raccoon trap by setting the mousetrap and placing the nail that is tied to the hammer bar lightly into the hole in the bottom of the trap door. When the raccoon takes the bait, the bait string will pull on the bait pan, setting off the mousetrap, causing the hammer bar to pull the nail out of the whole, allowing the door to fall and trap the animal inside.


  • Reduce the cost of building the raccoon trap by checking with lumbar and metal scrap yards for scrap pieces of lumber, plywood, mesh and sheet metal. Some yards may even trim the material to the needed dimensions at little or no cost.


  • Raccoons are well known rabies vectors. Take extreme caution around trapped animals to avoid being bitten.
  • Due to rabies concerns, it is illegal to trap and relocate raccoons in many areas without an appropriate license. Be sure to check the legality before trapping and relocating a raccoon. If it is illegal, hire a licensed professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Circular or hand saw
  • 2x2 inch (5.08 x 5.08 cm) lumber
  • 1/2 inch plywood
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • 1/4 inch (6.35 cm) galvanized wire mesh
  • Wire cutters
  • Staple gun
  • 2 x 3/4 inch (5.08 x 1.9 cm) lumber or scrap tongue-and-groove flooring
  • 22-gauge galvanized sheet metal
  • Electric drill with 1/4 in. (6.35 cm) drill bit
  • Spring loaded, wooden mouse trap
  • String or thin wire
  • Scissors

Article Info

Categories: Wildlife