What do raccoons eat? This is a question that has been asked by many people over the years. Raccoons are known to be omnivores, which means that they can eat both plant and animal-based foods. However, what exactly do these animals like to dine on? In this blog post, we will explore the different types of food that raccoons enjoy eating. We will also look at some of the different ways that you can try to prevent raccoons from coming near your home or property. Keep reading for more information!
What do raccoons eat?
Raccoons are omnivores. These nocturnal mammals have a highly developed sense of touch, with vibrissae on their forefeet and around their noses which they use for sensing the world around them. They can easily identify objects in dark because of tapetum lucidum.
Raccoon tends to change its diet seasonally. For example, in summer they feed on fruits more often while in winter their diet consists mainly of nuts and roots that are easily available at this time.
The raccoon eats by grabbing food with its hands, ripping it into small pieces, and washing it down with water or other liquid. The raccoon’s omnivorous nature allows them to be able to consume both plants and animals but also makes them susceptible to different types of poisoning through the consumption of bad food sources such as trash or fermented foods.
Raccoons will sometimes climb trees to obtain acorns and chestnuts but only if there is no access to ground level.
READ MORE: Top Natural Raccoon Repellents.
What do raccoons eat in the wild?
Raccoons are interesting creatures. You will find that they live in North America, Canada, Mexico, and the US. They are nocturnal animals who spend most of their waking hours during the night. This is when they do their hunting.
In the wild, Raccoons mainly eat plants and insects as well as fruits from trees as acorns and walnuts among others. They also scavenge on dead animal matter sometimes including fish, crabs, and other creatures caught by fishermen at sea or washed up on shore after a storm or high tide. However, they can eat meat such as rabbits & mice not to mention frogs, turtles & bugs too.
What do baby raccoons eat?
If you find a baby raccoon that is not injured, try your best to keep them warm and comfortable until they are able to be returned back into the wild. Since raccoons are nocturnal animals, their ideal food would consist of things like insects and worms at night and fruits and vegetables during the day.
They also seem to enjoy eggs and meat if it is available. However, putting worms or insects in a box or jar can be difficult and some may get away – so another good option would be cat/kitten food (try looking for organic varieties without grains). If there aren’t any bugs available, cat/kitten food (wet or dry) is an excellent replacement.
The best diet for a baby raccoon that has been separated from its mother is protein-rich with lots of calories to keep it warm – try your best not to offer too much food, as this will help prevent the young animal from becoming constipated. Starchy foods like bread and pasta are also great supplements but should only be given sparingly.
If you have one available, mashed bananas are another good source of healthy nutrients for young raccoons. Just make sure to avoid giving them anything acidic, since their stomachs are still developing and may not be able to handle any citrus fruits or tomatoes yet.
Some home remedies suggest using puppy milk formula for orphaned raccoon kits. You can try this if you can’t get your hands on the proper formula for baby raccoons (most pet stores should carry it). However, milk is not a replacement for meat and other sources of protein.
READ MORE: What do Baby Cockroaches Look Like?
10 Foods That Raccoons Eat.
1. Worms: As long as the worm doesn’t have any poison for them, they’ll eat them! And their larvae too.
2. Insects and bugs: Raccoons eat all kinds of insects and bugs, but especially crickets which seem to be their favorite dish. If there’s a cricket in the house – you better avoid raccoons as pets! Otherwise, your living room will become an arena for those battles which usually end up with one party dead.
3. Fruits and berries: Just like humans, raccoons enjoy eating juicy fruits and berries. They eat almost any fruit: oranges, apples, bananas… And some types of berries including blueberries and raspberries. They also love grapes and watermelons! When it comes to tomatoes – only plant them where you live if you want to keep the raccoons away.
4. Seeds and grain crops: Well, if we omit fruit and berries you’ll get a list of grains like soybeans, corn, or wheat which are also known to be favorite dishes for them. They won’t turn down popcorn either! Keep in mind that it’s not so easy to have raccoons as pets because they will constantly try to steal your food – even when you’re eating at the table with your family.
5. Crustaceans: Most commonly crabs are their most delicious dish! shrimp too of course.
6. Turtles: They are known to grab turtles while swimming in the water, but some of them learn how to climb onshore and eat them too!
7. Snails: Just like crayfish snails are also very popular dishes for raccoons.
8. Birds eggs: It is said that raccoons enjoy eating baby birds out of their nests, even if it’s not true there are many stories about people who have witnessed this with their own eyes.
9. Carrots: If you live in the countryside or suburbs of large cities you might be aware that carrots grow underground, right? Well… A hungry raccoon is keen on digging them out!
10. Dead animals: If you don’t want raccoons to stay too close to your house – get rid of dead animals around your property.
Why Do Raccoons Need To Eat Meat?
Raccoons, like all other animals, need meat and protein to live.
The wild diet of raccoons usually consists of fruits, berries, nuts, and plants but during the colder months, they switch to a carnivore diet. Raccoons survive by eating anything that is available in their natural habitat.
This means that if the raccoon’s natural habitat had fish, they would eat just fish. However, in some regions where fish are not common, they will stick to eating land animals. Their diet usually consists of crayfish, frogs, and other amphibians as well as insects such as grasshoppers and crickets. The wild diet of raccoons has been observed to be approximately 95% plant-based and 5% meat-based.
Will A Raccoon Eat Your Pets?
It’s likely that if your pet is small enough, a raccoon will try to eat it. A raccoon would not distinguish between a household cat and a rat. In fact, rats are a common food source for raccoons. Raccoons prey on small animals such as mice and birds which explains their tendency to enter homes through pet doors.
You may have heard that raccoons are nocturnal, but they’re also opportunistic feeders. They’ll eat just about anything from corn to grain and even pet food if given the opportunity! If you want your garden safe this summer, be sure to lock it down tight with a metal fence or chicken wire during these months of July through October when raccoon activity is at its peak.
When you see them at first, raccoons may look like cute and furry little critters. But then again, their reputation precedes them as aggressive destroyers that can eat all your food, destroy your crops and even kill your pets. For these reasons, many people who’ve seen raccoons’ dirty works first-hand seek to deter them. If you’re one of those people, then we’ve made this article just for you. So, tag along to find out about how you can keep raccoons far away from your property and your pets; naturally and for life!
How to Keep Raccoons Away?
Keeping raccoons away is like fighting an infinity war for novices. On the battlefield, the best defense, they say, is the greatest offense. As such, the following general tips can help you deter raccoons pretty fast:
1. Scratch Out All Reasons Raccoons Have to Visit You.
Raccoons love food. This is why we often see them around trash cans and gardens that they consider as rich sources. So, if you remove all these sources, raccoons will naturally interpret your house as a desert with no food. Hence, they stay away. Pro-tips to achieve this include:
- always empty your trash cans;
- contain scent cans like tuna cans within plastic baggies;
- remove all pet foods from porches, especially at night;
- always keep your pets like cats and birds like chickens indoors at night-time;
- to keep raccoons away from fruit trees like pumpkins and apple trees, mount metal collars around the tree trunks;
- to keep raccoons away from birds, mount bird feeders atop thin poles that raccoons can’t climb;
- close all access points with wired nets and electric fences to keep raccoons away from deer baits and feeders like deer corns;
- and hide all water sources like open bins and cover all ponds.
If after doing all these, the raccoons still come. Then;
2. Make the Stubborn Raccoons Feel Highly Unwelcome.
Raccoons have a great sense of smell and get irritated by anything peppery, spicy, and foul-smelling. So, the best way to repel them naturally would be to dull their senses. To do that, any of the following natural raccoon repellents can help:
- Onions and hot pepper: You can mix onions and hot pepper to make a spray. This spray can be applied to fallen fruits to ward raccoons off.
- Cayenne pepper: 1 bottle of cayenne pepper mixed with 1 gallon of water can work as a perfect spray to deter raccoons.
- Peppermint Essential Oil: Mix about 5 drops with rubbing alcohol and then spray to repel raccoons.
- Predator’s Urine and Raccoon Eviction Fluids: Urines of animals like wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, and some owls repel raccoons. Eviction fluids from the opposite sex also repel raccoons.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: You can soak clothes in apple cider vinegar. Then, place it at focal points like around trash cans, in the attic, near barns, bird feeders. Oftentimes, cider vinegar works best at night.
- Mothballs: Mothballs, like vinegar, also dampens raccoons’ sense of smell. As such, you can place a few balls at focal points too.
- Pungent Ammonia: Rags soaked in pungent ammonia repel raccoons just as fine.