10 Smells That Attract Raccoons

Raccoons are notorious for their love of scavenging and trash-diving and their keen sense of smell. They can be irresistibly drawn to certain scents in their quest for food and shelter. These resourceful creatures possess an olfactory system that surpasses many other animals, enabling them to detect a broad range of odors. So do you know what are the smells that attract raccoons?

Raccoon-attracting odors frequently revolve on prospective food sources, such as the pungent scent of garbage, discarded human food, and pet leftovers. Understanding the olfactory preferences of raccoons is crucial in order to create an atmosphere that attracts them. This is not necessarily a difficult task. By using helpful scents, you can successfully lure them to the location of your choice. This article will help you discover in detail the scents that are most effective at attracting raccoons. Keep reading to quickly grasp this essential information for the upcoming hunt.

What Are The Smells That Attract Raccoons?

There are 10 scents that raccoons find particularly appealing, including:

  • Garbage
  • Pet food
  • Fatty meats and Fish
  • Bacon
  • Fresh fruits and Vegetables
  • Marshmallows
  • Sweet corn
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Birdseed


Garbage is one of the most common smells that attracts raccoons. These critters are notorious for rummaging through trash cans and dumpsters in search of food. Garbage, including food scraps, has a pungent aroma and the sheer variety of appealing smells that raccoons enjoy. Consider storing your food scraps to serve as bait if you wish to attract a raccoon. Almost any type of scrap will suffice, but sweet and fatty items are preferred.

Pet Food

Pet food, especially odorous canned cat food, is a surefire attractant. Odorous canned cat food is relatively fatty, and it’s also quite pungent, so it’s something that raccoons will notice as soon as they come out. Although raccoons cannot resist the smell of pet food, neither can other animals, especially cats. For this reason, it’s best to bait with pet food when your trap is in a more isolated location, such as an attic. 

smells that attract raccoons

Fatty Meats And Fish

Raccoons love to sink their teeth into anything fatty. Types of meat include chicken, beef or pork, all of which create strong odors that entice raccoons.. You can absolutely take advantage of the greasy crumbs from leftover food to lure raccoons. 

The strong aroma of fish is one of the most appealing to raccoons. Canned tuna is particularly effective because it is both fat and stinky. As with pet food, this one might attract other creatures, too, so use it carefully.


Many people think of bacon when they think of fatty, aromatic, and enticing foods. Although raccoons are unlikely to encounter it in the wild, they absolutely love it if they do. This fatty, smelly meat makes terrific bait for raccoons. Try spreading bacon grease along the meat and you will see the surprising effect of this scent.

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Raccoons are omnivores, they absolutely love the scent of fresh and succulent fruits such as apples and berries. Fruits having a strong odor, such as oranges or bananas, are more likely to attract raccoons to a trap. 

In particular, there is one fruit that you should not ignore: watermelon. This sweet, juicy fruit is a great way to attract raccoons, which can’t ignore its strong odor. Aside from its fragrance and taste, watermelon’s brilliant red hue will pique a raccoon’s famed interest. 


You might not assume that marshmallows are one of the odors that attract raccoons, but you’d be mistaken. Marshmallows are extremely sweet, which is just what these creatures crave. They might even mistake them for eggs from a distance, which would pique their interest. As an added advantage, marshmallows are unlikely to attract other types of animals to your trap.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn (a legume) is a staple in the raccoon diet, among the top odors that attract raccoons. It is also a bait that is unlikely to attract unwanted wildlife to your location. This makes it especially effective and popular with hunters.


Raccoons like honey because it smells excellent and is extremely sweet, making it practically tempting as bait. Place some in a dish to attract these masked pests to your trap. Here’s another tip: if you’re utilizing one of the meals on this list but it’s just not cutting it, try coating it with honey to make it more appealing.

smells that attract raccoons


Raccoons enjoy eating eggs. Try putting an egg or two in a trap, shell or no shell. The powerful perfume will be immediately detected by a raccoon’s superior sense of smell. An important note when using eggs to attract raccoons is to use raw eggs, not boiled


Raccoons can smell the scent of nuts and seeds from afar, and they often raid bird feeders for the seeds. You can place birdseed in the trap to attract raccoons. This also goes for most types of nuts, which tend to have high-fat content. 

Comparisons Of Smells That Appeal Raccoons 

Some smells are more effective than others when it comes to attracting raccoons. For example, while most household garbage can lure raccoons, rotting meat and fish are particularly attractive to these animals. Similarly, sweet and fruity scents tend to be more appealing than pungent or bitter ones.

Another key factor to consider is the strength of the smell. Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, so even small amounts of an attractive scent can draw them in from afar. When it comes to enticing raccoons, you must exercise extreme caution. While these odors may be efficient at attracting raccoons, they may also attract other creatures and pests, resulting in an even bigger problem.

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