What Kills Raccoons? (10 Raccoon Killers)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What kills raccoons?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of the most common ways raccoons are killed, then get a detailed list and explanation of the things that kill raccoons such as predators, human activities, and diseases.

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals in the family Procyonidae under the order Carnivora. These omnivores are native to North America but are also distributed across mainland Europe, the Caucasus, and Japan, and are well-known for their striped ring-tail appearance.


What Kills Raccoons?

Raccoons are killed by predators, human activities, and diseases such as birds of prey, carnivores, reptiles, hunting, trapping, poisoning, electrocution, vehicle collisions, rabies, distemper, and parasites.

Natural Predators That Kill Raccoons

Raccoons have few natural predators in their native habitats, but they may encounter some animals that can prey on them, especially when they are young or sick.

Some of the natural predators of raccoons are:

Birds of Prey

Hawks, owls and eagles can swoop down and snatch raccoons from the ground or trees. They usually target baby raccoons or small adults that are alone or exposed.


Bobcats, foxes, coyotes, wolves, bears, cougars, lynx and ocelots are some of the mammalian predators that can hunt and kill raccoons. They may attack raccoons at night when they are active or during the day when they are resting in their dens. Carnivores may also compete with raccoons for food and territory.


Alligators, crocodiles and large snakes can also kill raccoons if they encounter them near water sources. Raccoons may be bitten, constricted or dragged into the water by these reptiles.

Human Activities That Kill Raccoons

Humans are the biggest threat to raccoons, as they can kill them intentionally or unintentionally through various means, such as:

Hunting and Trapping

Raccoons are often hunted or trapped for their fur, meat or as pests. Hunters may use guns, dogs, traps or poison to kill raccoons. Trapping may be legal or illegal depending on the location and season. Trapped raccoons may die from injuries, stress, exposure or drowning.


Raccoons may ingest poison that is intended for rodents, insects or other pests. Poisoning can cause internal bleeding, organ failure, seizures or death in raccoons. Some common poisons that can kill raccoons are bromethalin, anticoagulants and zinc phosphide.


Raccoons may be electrocuted when they climb power lines, transformers or fences. Electrocution can cause burns, cardiac arrest or death in raccoons.

Vehicle Collisions

Raccoons may be hit by cars or trucks when they cross roads or highways. Vehicle collisions can cause severe trauma, fractures, internal injuries or death in raccoons.

Diseases That Kill Raccoons

Raccoons are susceptible to various diseases that can affect their health and survival. Some of the diseases that can kill raccoons are:


Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is transmitted through bites or scratches from infected animals. Rabies can cause fever, aggression, paralysis or death in raccoons. Raccoons are one of the main carriers of rabies in North America and pose a risk to humans and pets.


Distemper is a viral infection that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of carnivores. It is spread through contact with bodily fluids or droppings from infected animals. Distemper can cause coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures or death in raccoons. Distemper is common among raccoon populations and can cause outbreaks and die-offs.


Raccoons can harbor various parasites that can infect their internal organs or external tissues. Some of the parasites that can kill raccoons are roundworms, tapeworms, flukes, ticks, fleas and mites. Parasites can cause anemia, inflammation, infection or organ damage in raccoons.

What Household Product Kills Raccoons?

There are no household products that are specifically designed to kill raccoons. However, some products that may be toxic or lethal to raccoons if ingested are bleach, ammonia, antifreeze, rat poison, or mothballs. These products should not be used as raccoon poison, as they may also harm other animals or plants, or violate local laws.

What Will Kill a Raccoon Instantly?

The most humane and effective way to kill a raccoon instantly is by using a firearm, such as a rifle or a shotgun. However, this method requires a hunting license, a safe location, and proper skills and equipment. Shooting a raccoon may also be illegal or impractical in some areas. Other methods that may kill a raccoon instantly are electrocution or drowning, but these are cruel and inhumane.

What Food Is Poisonous to Raccoons?

Raccoons are omnivorous and can eat almost anything, but some foods that are poisonous to them are chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, garlic, and xylitol. These foods contain substances that can cause digestive problems, kidney failure, liver damage, or death in raccoons. However, these foods should not be used as bait or poison for raccoons, as they may also harm other animals or plants, or violate local laws.

Learn More About Raccoons

Now that you know more about the things that attract raccoons, you may also be interested in these other educational guides on these mammals:

Things That Kill Raccoons Summary

You now know what kills raccoons.

As you discovered, there are three primary sources that kill raccoons: natural predators, human activities, and diseases. Raccoons are resilient and adaptable animals that can survive in many environments and situations. However, they also face many dangers which is why it is important to respect and protect these animals and their habitats.