Raccoon Poison: Types, Risks, and Alternatives

Raccoon poison is a divisive topic within the realm of wildlife management. While it can effectively eliminate raccoon infestations, its use raises significant ethical and safety concerns.

In this exploration, we delve into the complexities surrounding raccoon poison, examining its risks, alternatives, and the responsible use of such methods in dealing with these resourceful critters.

How to Kill Raccoons With Poison

Various poisons are effective for eliminating raccoons, such as strychnine, zinc phosphide, and cyanide. These substances are indeed highly toxic; however, it’s essential to emphasize that when used properly, they pose no significant threat to humans.

Therefore, poison can be a safe method for individuals who wish to eradicate raccoon infestations without endangering themselves.

However, if you must use poison, it is crucial to do so safely and effectively. Here are some types of poison that can be used to kill raccoons:

  1. JT Eaton Apple Bait Block Rodenticide: This is a type of rodenticide that can be used to deal with pests, including raccoons. It is convenient to use in areas where you have seen signs of raccoons.

  2. Stink bombs: This is a method used to poison raccoons, containing ammonia that makes the smell unbearable for any raccoons.

  3. Antifreeze: This liquid can kill a raccoon if the animal consumes it. However, it causes severe kidney damage and is not recommended.

  4. Bromethalin: This is a type of poison that can kill raccoons. However, it is not recommended as it can cause more harm than good.

  5. Cholecalciferol: This is another type of poison that can kill raccoons. It produces hypercalcemia, which results in systemic calcification of soft tissue, leading to renal failure.

It is crucial to emphasize that using poison to kill raccoons is discouraged due to the potential for unintended harm. Instead, it is recommended to employ humane methods for raccoon removal from your property, such as live trapping and relocation.

Dangers of Using Raccoon Poison

Using raccoon poison can be dangerous for both raccoons, other animals, and humans. Here are some of the dangers associated with using raccoon poison:

  • Harmful to other animals: Raccoon poison can also harm other animals that may come into contact with it, such as pets, birds, and other wildlife.

  • Inhumane: Using poison to kill raccoons is not a humane method, as it can cause a slow and painful death for the animal.

  • Health risks for humans: Raccoon feces can contain a dangerous infection called roundworm, which can be harmful to humans. Using poison to kill raccoons can increase the risk of spreading this infection.

  • Environmental risks: Poison can also have negative effects on the environment, as it can contaminate soil and water sources.

  • Unpredictable results: Using poison to kill raccoons can have unpredictable outcomes, as the animal may not consume the poison or may die in an inaccessible location, causing unpleasant odors and attracting other pests.

Note that using poison to kill raccoons is not recommended, as it can cause more harm than good. Instead, it is advisable to employ humane methods for raccoon removal from your property, such as live trapping and relocation.

Legal Implications of Using Raccoon Poison

Using raccoon poison can have serious legal implications. Here are some of the legal implications associated with using raccoon poison:

  1. Illegal: Using poison to kill raccoons is illegal in many states, as registered rodenticides are intended for rats only, and using them for any other animal is against the law.

  2. Animal cruelty: Using poison to kill raccoons can be considered animal cruelty, which is a criminal offense in many states.

  3. Violation of environmental laws: Using poison to kill raccoons can also violate environmental laws, as it can contaminate soil and water sources.

  4. Firearms laws: Using firearms to kill raccoons can also have serious legal implications, as discharging a firearm on your property can be illegal in some areas.

If you are unsure about the legal implications of removing raccoons from your property, it is recommended to consult with a professional wildlife removal service or local authorities.

Alternative Methods for Raccoon Control Instead of Poison

To steer clear of legal complications and other concerns, the safest approach is to address raccoon issues without resorting to poison. Here are alternative methods to get rid of raccoons that do not involve using poison:


Trapping raccoons is a tried-and-true method of control. Several trap types have evolved over time, with varying degrees of effectiveness, so selecting the right one is crucial. The best approach is to set traps near the areas where raccoons frequently visit, and you can tailor your trapping method to achieve specific goals.

Types of Traps:

These traps generally use either live bait or dead bait.

  • Live Bait Traps: Live bait traps are designed to lure raccoons with enticing edibles placed inside a wildlife container. When the animal enters the trap to consume the bait, it becomes immediately confined. Live bait traps rely on the principle that raccoons will investigate and eat whatever is offered inside. As they enter, their instinctual behavior leads them to trigger the trap door, capturing the animal. This approach is ideal for those who want to catch raccoons alive for relocation.

  • Dead Bait Traps: These traps tend to attract more animals due to the longer-lasting scent of the bait. Instead of using live bait, these traps contain enough food to maintain the animal’s interest until it succumbs. Dead bait traps come in two varieties: spring-loaded and snap-traps. Spring-loaded traps require some effort to release the captured animal, while snap-traps require no further action after being triggered.

It’s important to note that the use of both live and dead bait traps should be carefully considered, especially in indoor settings where they could pose a danger to people.

Effectiveness of Trapping:

While trapping is effective for raccoon control, it does not guarantee a 100% success rate. In some cases, trapping alone may not be sufficient to eliminate all raccoons from your area. We recommend complementing trapping with additional methods to achieve a more comprehensive solution for permanent raccoon removal.


Electronic devices emitting high-frequency sounds have proven successful in scaring off raccoons. However, their use comes with some inevitable drawbacks.

The electrical current emitted by these devices could potentially harm pets or children who come into contact with the wires. Additionally, because raccoons are nocturnal creatures, they tend to avoid electrified wires during the night.

Important Tips: Avoid using the electronic device for an extended period to prevent potential hearing damage. Also, position it away from walls or ceilings, as this can hinder the sound waves from reaching the intended area.

Shooting & Hazing

Shooting is often considered the most humane method for raccoon removal. Homeowners may choose this method over others. When using this approach, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the raccoon’s nest site.
  2. Wait until nightfall before approaching the nest.
  3. Place a shotgun near the nest and discharge it safely.

Ensure that you wear protective gear and properly dispose of the raccoon carcass.

Hazing is a non-lethal alternative that involves tools like pepper spray, stink bombs, and loud noises to scare off raccoons. The idea is to reduce raccoon populations by making noise or spraying substances in their vicinity. When executed correctly, this tactic can significantly contribute to raccoon control.