raccoon trapping

Raccoons, a common sight in North Georgia, have evolved into adaptable and opportunistic creatures, often taking advantage of human-provided resources. While many are intrigued by these masked bandits’ cunning behaviors, the potential risks associated with interactions, their population growth, and the diseases they carry cannot be ignored.

Over the last decade and a half we have completely changed our philosophy on raccoon trapping, management & control.

Over the last decade and a half we have completely changed our philosophy on raccoon trapping, management & control.

Behavior and Habitation

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, roaming during the night hours in search of food and returning to their dens at dawn. Their behavior has been largely influenced by urbanization. In their natural habitat, they would be scouring for fruits, small creatures, fish, and eggs. However, city living has made them bolder, raiding trash cans, and invading homes in search of sustenance.

A critical aspect of raccoon behavior lies in their denning habits. Females, especially mothers, have primary dens – often located in hollowed trees, ground burrows, or even attics. They also establish backup dens as a safety measure against predators or any perceived threats. Intriguingly, male raccoons have been known to drive mothers away from their primary dens, leading them to abandon their kits out of the fear of male aggression. This behavior is believed to be influenced by the male’s intent to mate with the female again.

Risks of Interaction and Population Growth

Raccoons have grown increasingly accustomed to human presence. With this familiarity comes a significant downside: their diminished fear of humans makes interactions riskier. Bites or scratches from raccoons can transmit diseases and parasites.

Feeding raccoons, while seeming innocuous, accelerates these risks. Not only does it encourage them to associate humans with food, making aggressive encounters more likely, but it also artificially boosts their population. A surge in the raccoon populace strains resources and habitats, leading to more raccoons venturing into human dwellings and the opportunity for disease to run rampant within their social group.

Health Risks: The Raccoon Roundworm

Raccoons are common carriers of Baylisascaris procyonis, a species of roundworm. These parasites are shed through raccoon feces, and when humans unknowingly come into contact with infected dirt or materials, the eggs can be ingested or inhaled.

The consequences are dire. Once inside the human body, the larvae can migrate, causing severe organ damage or even affecting the brain – a condition termed neural larva migrans. Symptoms include nausea, lethargy, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, and in severe cases, coma or death. Children, given their propensity to play in the dirt, are at an elevated risk.

Our Ethical Approach to Raccoon Removal

At Southern Wildlife Management in North Georgia, we approach nuisance raccoon trapping concerns with a strong ethical compass, ensuring the safety and well-being of these animals while giving back the homeowners sole rights to their home.

Firstly, we never trap raccoons if there’s even a hint of babies being involved. The reason for this stance is twofold: it’s not humane to separate a mother from her young, and dealing with abandoned raccoon kits becomes a challenge, often necessitating the intervention of a rehabilitator. Instead, we opt for a kinder method of eviction. By strategically placing hormones from a male boar raccoon, we can encourage the mother raccoon to shift her babies to a backup den site. While this method doesn’t guarantee results, it’s a more compassionate approach than being forced to leave kits behind to die or be euthanized. Moreover, it respects the natural behavior of the raccoon mother, allowing her to to keep her kits and leave.

Adhering to Georgia’s Wildlife Laws

In Georgia, it’s important to note that relocating raccoons is illegal. Despite this, many companies choose to sidestep the law, leading to further complications and unnecessary cruelty towards the animals. Our policy is clear: we obey the law. This isn’t merely about adherence to the law but is grounded in our commitment to provide solutions that are effective, humane, and respectful of the raccoon’s natural life cycle.

The Dangers of Relocation

Relocating raccoons isn’t as humane as it sounds. Introducing a raccoon into unfamiliar territory almost certainly results in territorial disputes. Dominant males or females of the relocated area, protective of their home range, will see the newcomer as an intruder. This invariably leads to fierce, often deadly confrontations as they battle for territory. Relocating, therefore, isn’t a solution; it’s merely shifting the problem and adding unnecessary cruelty into the mix. The confrontation that ensues is more inhumane than trapping and euthanizing, a point often overlooked in the broader conversation about wildlife management.

The second concern with relocation is that it brings with it unintended consequences that pose a significant threat to both wildlife and human populations. One of the primary concerns is the potential spread of diseases to new areas. Raccoons are known carriers of several diseases, with rabies being the most notorious.

When a raccoon is relocated from one region to another, there’s a potential to introduce and spread diseases that might not have been present in the destination area. This not only endangers the existing wildlife population but also poses a threat to domestic animals and humans who might come in contact with the relocated raccoons. For instance, if a raccoon carrying rabies is introduced into an area where rabies was previously absent, it could initiate an outbreak, threatening local wildlife, pets, and even people.

Moreover, other lesser-known diseases, such as raccoon roundworm or leptospirosis, could also be spread in this manner. This inadvertent introduction of diseases disrupts the ecosystem balance and can have cascading effects on biodiversity and human health.

Given these significant risks, many regions, including Georgia, have made the relocation of raccoons illegal. These regulations are grounded in a profound understanding of epidemiology and are put in place to prevent the spread of diseases. It’s vital that wildlife management strategies prioritize the health and balance of both human and animal communities, and adhering to laws against raccoon relocation is a crucial step in that direction.

Preventing Raccoon Encroachments

We always make habitat modification suggestions when we are brought in to remedy a situation with any nuisance wildlife. Here are some of the most common suggestions to prevent entry or even attraction to your yard :

  • Secure Trash: Raccoon-proof trash cans or tightly bound lids prevent them from scavenging.
  • No Feeding: Even if they appear harmless or cute, avoid feeding raccoons to prevent population surges.
  • Fortify Homes: Regularly inspect your house for openings or weak spots. Seal these points to prevent raccoon entry. Raccoons usually enter through a weakened area that has substantial damage or wood rot. Keep your home in tip-top shape and you lessen the chances of a raccoon finding it to be a suitable den site.
  • Clear Food Sources: Pet food, fallen fruits, and accessible garden produce should be cleaned or stored properly.


  • Can raccoons be domesticated?
    • No, raccoons remain wild animals and are unpredictable, making them unsuitable as pets.
  • How can I safely remove a raccoon from my property?
    • Always consult professional wildlife control services, like those in North Georgia, for safe and humane removal.
  • Are raccoons rabies carriers?
    • Yes, raccoons are among the primary wild animal hosts for rabies. Always exercise caution.

Fun Facts

  1. Raccoons can rotate their hind feet 180 degrees, aiding in descending trees headfirst.
  2. Despite their mischievous nature, raccoons have a strong memory and can remember tasks up to three years later.
  3. Their name, “raccoon,” is derived from the Powhatan word “aroughcun,” which means “animal that scratches with its hands.”

Through our practices, we aim to strike a balance between the needs of the community and the well-being of Georgia’s raccoon population. By understanding raccoon behavior, adhering to the law, and applying compassionate, science-backed methods, we hope to make a positive impact in both the human and wildlife communities we serve.

Contact us at: Southern Wildlife Management, LLC (678)935-5900

Nuisance Wildlife in Georgia: The Raccoon Dilemma
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