Which Raccoon Poisons work?

raccoon face
Bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and strychnine are poisons that kill raccoons. Bromethalin is a rodenticide that attacks the nervous system and leads to muscle spasms, seizures, hypothermia, and death after about thirty-six hours. Cholecalciferol is another type of rat poison that can kill raccoons.

Cholecalciferol will cause hypercalcemia, which leads to heart defects, hypertension, and kidney failure. This poison will cause death in twenty-four to thirty-six hours.

Strychnine is a rat poison which can also be used on Raccoons. It causes muscular convulsions and asphyxia, which will result in a dead raccoon. 

When a raccoon is poisoned, it becomes very thirsty and will search for a water source while dying.

Methomyl, known as Golden Marlin, is a recently restricted pesticide as it can be harmful to many animals and humans. It is illegal to use this fly bait with the intention of killing or harming a raccoon or other critter.

raccoon walking

Is it legal to kill raccoons?

In many states in the US, it is illegal to kill raccoons without a license. Raccoons and other wild animals such as skunks and opossums are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974. 

However, the law varies depending on the state.

In some states, it is legal to kill a raccoon if it’s a nuisance. In other states, killing a raccoon in any situation is legal, as long as you have a hunting license.

Some states declare you can only kill a raccoon if it’s in the appropriate hunting season with a supporting license. Check with your state rules before killing any wild animals. 

Will any type of food kill raccoons?

Raccoons are known for digging through trash cans for food. Not all the food they find can harm or kill them, but some can. In order to determine if the food can kill a raccoon, it depends on how much was eaten. Although, there are some foods that are toxic to raccoons even in small quantities. 

Sugary foods, such as soda and candy, can lead to liver failure and seizures in raccoons, which may result in death. Salty foods, including chips and crackers, can be toxic to raccoons if consumed in large quantities. 

raccoon in a trash can

What food is poisonous to raccoons?

Raccoons will eat just about anything edible, and there is a short list of foods that can kill them. This includes chocolate, raisins, and macadamia nuts, which are all toxic to raccoons. 

Onions, bread, and garlic may not kill a raccoon but can lead to digestive issues and anemia.

Cocoa and coffee are also toxic to raccoons because of high levels of theobromine. Theobromine is found in chocolate, too, and if it contains high amounts of this chemical, raccoons could die, painfully from it. 

What other types of poisons can be used to get rid of raccoons?

Antifreeze can kill raccoons but is harmful to other animals as well. A common method is for homeowners to mix antifreeze with cat food to lure the raccoon into eating it.

Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals enjoy. However, this could end up killing outdoor cats or dogs as well. Antifreeze will kill the raccoon after twenty-four hours of vomiting, bleeding, and convulsion. 

Bromadiolone and brodifacoum are rat poisons that can also kill raccoons through internal bleeding.

raccoon on hindlegs in the brush

Are there ways of getting rid of raccoons humanely?

Using poison to kill a raccoon is one of the worst, inhumane methods of killing Raccoons. This is because other animals may ingest the poison, causing harm to the wrong animal. Also, the poisons make for long and painful deaths for raccoons. 

Instead of poisoning them, try to deter them from your area first. There are many preventative methods, including installing electric fences, using natural and homemade repellents, eliminating food sources, and installing sprinklers or motion detector lights. 

If these methods are not working and you still have a raccoon problem, you can catch and release it using a body grip trap or a cage trap. You could also call a wildlife control professional for help with removal. Trapping a raccoon for raccoon removal is more humane than setting up lethal traps.

two ducking raccoons

Can mouse poison kill raccoons?

Rat poison can sometimes kill raccoons. If a raccoon ingests rat poison, it will cause internal bleeding. In severe cases, this will cause death, but raccoon death is not guaranteed. Sometimes the raccoon will become ill and then recover. Getting the raccoon to eat the mouse poison is also challenging since its taste and smell are not attractive to them.

Using registered rodenticides to kill raccoons is illegal since rodenticides are to be used for rats only. Misuse of poison is illegal. 

If a raccoon ingests mouse poison, its feces will be a green color.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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