Food makes a good choice to lure raccoons to an area, either to trap and release them somewhere else, or for other purposes. While both human and pet food attracts the nocturnal mammals, some choices are better than others.
Sweet foods typically attract raccoons without luring neighbor pets, stray cats or dogs or other pests into the area. Marshmallows make a good lure, because they are easy to find and use, and they grab the raccoon's attention visually, increasing the chances of the raccoon making the desired contact. Other sweet choices include white bread, sweet corn, and chocolate and peanut butter candies.
Raccoons also like wet cat food, which is a lure option if attracting nearby cats isn't a concern. Dry pet food can also be used. However, pet food of either variety also attracts cats, dogs and opossums.
While meats encourage raccoon visitors, they also lure opossums as well. Raccoons enjoy fish, crispy bacon and fatty meats, but these selections may bring in even more unwanted animals than pet food.
Raccoons are curious and eat almost anything. For trapping raccoons in a live trap, place bait, such as marshmallows, inside the trap then create a trail out of the trap to lure the raccoons into it. Use other foods, such as pet food or meat, to bring the raccoons into the general area, then use marshmallows to get them into the trap.