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What Do Raccoons Eat?

Last Updated: 05.12.23


If you leave in an area prone to various types of pests, then you have most probably already looked for things such as traps for chipmunks, or other similar means to deal with them. When it comes to raccoons, the situation might be even more serious than it is with small rodents so looking for a raccoon trap might be a good idea.

Given that these animals are larger than cats and even some breeds of dogs, raccoons are one of the most destructive types of pests. They can create some serious damage to your property, especially if they go ahead and start tearing up the roof with their strong paws. Given their strengths and dexterity they even tear apart the insulation and the walls of your home.

It safe to assume that no one is happy if a raccoon establishes a home in the attic, and you might be wondering what you can do in such a situation, but in order to understand how to deal with it, it’s a good idea to take a look at what these animals normally eat.

This way, you will know what are the sensitive areas around your property and what needs to be done in order to lure them into a trap. It might sound a bit harsh, especially for animal lovers, but the level of damage they can create definitely requires a quick reaction before it’s too late.



Just like us, humans, raccoons are omnivores. They have specially designed teeth that can tear meat or grind plants, which means that their diet can vary quite a lot. Despite the damage they can create when they come in contact with urban settings, raccoons are actually quite creative creatures and excellent problem solvers.

They can figure out how to manipulate things using their paws which in turn means that they can quickly adapt to all kinds of environments. Of course, this contributes to their survival, but we’ll leave this topic aside for the moment.

Thanks to their skills, raccoons can manage to open unlocked doors and garbage cans, these actually being relatively easy tasks that they can accomplish. Another thing they use their paws for is to inspect the food and, if needed, remove any unwanted pieces or elements before actually eating it.

Although people are still not sure what the explanation is for this, raccoons are known for dousing their food in water. They might be doing this to soften it or to make it easier to eat, or to simply wash their paws for an enhanced grasp. However, what you need to remember is that they are capable of maneuvering various items to fit their purpose.

Since they are clever and resourceful, these animals are living and thriving in different environments, from cold climates to warm ones. Urban areas are also an option, but the countryside is not that bad for them either.



What do they eat?

Some of the most common types of food for these animals are berries, nuts, grains, vegetables, or fruits. Since they are omnivores, their diet also includes eggs, insects, rats, poultry, small livestock, fish, worms, frogs, birds, and other similar animals. They are not the picky type when it comes to food, which means that the list is actually much longer.

Since they can pretty much feed on whatever it is available at a given time, they managed to live well and adapt to various conditions. This seems like a pretty obvious thing to know, but the foods that raccoons eat in the country are most of the times different from those that are available in urban settings.


Foods available in the wild

When it comes to their lives in the wild, raccoons have many options they can choose from for their next meal, given that they are highly skilled in using their paws to either catch fish, pick fruits, or steal eggs from birds nests. Furthermore they are perfectly capable of raiding a chicken house or a vegetable garden to enrich their diet.

You might not be aware, but raccoons are also quite skilled in catching small livestock, snakes, squirrels, frogs, and even rats. It’s true that they prefer those prays that are easier to catch. As we’ve already mentioned, they’re also quite fond of nuts, berries, and other things that they can find in trees.


What about the city?

Given the fact that we have populated large areas and transformed them into urban settings, wild animals have had to adapt in order to survive, and raccoons are certainly part of this category. When it comes to city areas, it’s difficult for these animals to find the types of food they would normally eat in the wild.

However, while wild bird eggs and squirrels might not be as available in this environment, city raccoons learned quickly and became very capable of making good use of garbage cans, dumpsters, and sometimes even roadkill. If they are brave enough, they might even approach humans to beg for food.

Their tremendous ability and willingness to procure and eat such a wide range of foods has helped raccoons survive extreme climates and changing environments, making them a versatile species. Even though their life expectancy in the wild is less than that, in captivity, raccoons are able to live for more than 20 years.



Prevention measures

Raccoons may not be the most popular animals since they can cause damages to a property, but this doesn’t mean that we cannot appreciate the qualities and adaptability that they possess. With this being said, there are certain things that you can do in order to prevent them from coming near your home.

The most obvious ones include making sure that you don’t leave food or garbage within their reach. If you want to make sure that these are not a temptation, pack any food in plastic containers and clear the garbage cans as often as needed.

Moreover, if you deal with an actual problem caused by raccoons, you can ask for expert advice, and have someone come and assess the situation in order to get the most effective solutions for your particular case.



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