What do Raccoons Eat?


What do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons are able to see both in the wild and while living in cities. Have you ever discovered a raccoon stealing food from your yard? You might be thinking now, “What do raccoons prefer to eat?

Raccoons are omnivores, which means they consume a wide range of foods, including grains, nuts, insects, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs. Additionally, raccoons are opportunistic eaters, which means they will consume anything offered to them. An insatiable appetite is necessary for raccoons to accumulate fat during the winter. For the first 12 weeks after birth, young raccoons will only consume their mothers’ milk.

Raccoons will consume just about anything they come into contact with, as you already know. A raccoon’s diet will fluctuate frequently, depending on its location, the time of year, and the availability of food. They do, however, each have their own unique eating habits and favorite foods.

You will learn about raccoons’ diets in both urban and rural settings in this post. Even just keeping the raccoons away of your yard could be beneficial.

All right? So let’s get going.

What Do Raccoons eat In the Wild?

What Do Raccoons eat In the Wild?

1. Fish & Crustaceans

Raccoons enjoy devouring aquatic creatures. This is due to the fact that most of their natural hunting grounds are in shallow water.

Raccoons don’t spend hours attempting to capture a fish or jumping into the water. They will if one is nearby and they can easily catch it.

They’ll genuinely accept anything is offered to them by a stream, river, or pond’s side. This allows them to consume large quantities of clams and crayfish.

Raccoons will try to capture your precious koi or goldfish if you have fish in a shallow pond in your yard.

2. Amphibians And Reptiles

Eating frogs close to an area of water is another raccoon favorite activity. Raccoons can often catch frogs pretty easily, especially when there are a lot of them around.

Raccoons enjoy feasting on various amphibians, like toads and salamanders, in addition to frogs. Raccoons like to eat amphibians. This is so that raccoons can easily munch on their soft flesh and hollow bones.

Raccoons also enjoy eating smaller reptiles like snakes, lizards, and turtles. They frequently initially stun or immobilize these creatures with boulders.

Eating reptiles and amphibians can be highly dangerous because they may be venomous or toxic. Raccoons pick up on the most dangerous species fast and avoid them.

3. Birds

In the wild, raccoons will consume birds. Raccoons require a lot of nutrients and protein from birds in order to thrive.

A raccoon won’t make an effort to grab a bird, but it will gladly consume an adult bird that is hurt. Additionally, they will break into bird nests and eat any eggs or chicks they discover inside.

You must protect your pet chickens, ducks, or turkeys from local raccoons if you keep them as pets. That’s because raccoons will quickly kill and consume any chickens that are let to walk free in your yard.

The bad news is that a raccoon won’t just stop at one of your pet chickens if it approaches them. They are so voracious that they will continue to hunt and devour as many as they can.

4. Animals

In the summer, when meat is easy to come by, a raccoon’s diet in the wild consists primarily of meat. They will pursue easily captureable small game.

Raccoons frequently consume the following creatures:

  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels

Eating carrion is another excellent source of meat for raccoons (dead animals). Although it won’t be their first choice of food, they don’t mind eating some roadkill that they stumble across.

If a raccoon tried to assault and eat your dog or cat, would it succeed?

If a raccoon feels attacked, they will engage in combat with your dog or cat. They might kill them or severely hurt them. It would not be to devour your pet, but rather to act defensively. Raccoons are generally somewhat sluggish when it comes to finding food, especially in cities. Simply put, there are easier food sources available than a pet that will fight back.

Raccoons will prey on other smaller, less tenacious pets that you keep outside. This includes chinchillas, guinea pigs, rodents, and rabbits. Make sure the raccoons’ cages are securely guarded against their cunning attacks from other animals.

5. Fruit, vegetables, and nuts

Fruits, vegetables, and nuts that raccoons find in the wild are all good food to them. This will give them the energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber they need to stay healthy in their diet.

They can quickly climb trees to reach higher branches and gather fruit. The amusing thing about raccoons is that they frequently just consume a small amount of fruit or vegetable before leaving it.

This distinctive raccoon marking may be seen on fruit trees or tomato plants.

A maize plant is one vegetable that entices raccoons like crazy. If they get the chance, they will raid an entire cornfield in a single night. So if you live somewhere where there are raccoon problems, it’s crucial to be aware of this.

Another favored food of raccoons is nuts and berries. especially during the winter when there are less other food sources. They will consume foods like beechnuts, peanuts, and acorns.

6. Insects

Raccoons are great at finding insects to eat because they like foraging for food. Raccoons can easily consume insects and spiders, which are an excellent source of protein.

To collect the biggest, juiciest insects they can locate, raccoons will willingly dig. Particular favorites include June bug grubs and earthworms. They are soft and juicy to eat, which explains why.

Raccoons may dig up significant areas of your yard in search of these insects.

Raccoons also enjoy eating slower-moving invertebrates like snails and slugs. Once more, they have the slimy texture that raccoons appear to prefer in their meal and are soft.

Any insect that a raccoon can get their paws on will be eaten. They can consume a lot of larvae with ease.

7. Milk

Kits) won’t start relying on solid food until they are about 3 months old. The kits will consume their mother’s raccoon breastmilk throughout that time. Until they are old enough to hunt for themselves, they will continue doing this.

The baby kits will probably perish if the mother raccoon is killed or relocated when they are still quite little.

Baby raccoons begin to follow their mother out of the den to search for food around the age of 8 weeks. The kits will gain knowledge of where to discover food sources during this period. They might even begin to experiment with softer meals like egg yolks or soft invertebrates.

Raccoon cubs spend around a year with their mother. This makes it possible for them to forage independently during the many seasons.

What Do Raccoons Eat In Urban Areas?

8. Birdseed & Pet food

Bird feeders and outside pet dishes are two of the simplest food sources for raccoons in cities. It is food that is actually put on a dish for them.

Raccoons will effortlessly consume the contents of a bird feeder or the leftovers of both wet and dry pet food.

Raccoons are drawn to yards with pet food and bird seed because of the easy access to water and the smell of the food. Pets frequently have water bowls, and gardens with bird feeders generally have birdbaths to draw the birds. The raccoons are also drawn to this water source.

Bring as much of your pet food as you can inside at night to prevent luring raccoons with it. Make it tough for raccoons to climb up close to bird feeders. They have trouble scaling long, high, thin poles. A raccoon baffle can be added to stop them completely.

9. Trash

For a raccoon, a stinky garbage can is like heaven. They can obtain a lot of food in one convenient container if there are so many varied odors.

To get at all the leftover food, the raccoon will topple the garbage can and plunder it. There will be a variety of food leftovers and packaging remnants in your trash. The raccoons will eat everything for themselves.

The raccoons will eat anything, including fast food like pizza or hamburgers. And when they’re finished, your yard will be in terrible shape.

Installing a strap (like this one) onto the lid of your trash can is the best way to prevent raccoons from opening it. No matter how hard they try, the raccoons won’t be able to get your trash bags because of this.

1. Fish & Crustaceans

Why do raccoons wash food?

Raccoons are known to dip their food in water before eating it. Although they may appear to be washing the food, they are not.

Raccoons strive to acquire sensory feedback from their paws when they dunk food in water. Raccoons can better grasp the food they are eating when it is moist or wet.

Raccoons actually prefer a variety of wet or slimy items, including fish, insects, and frogs. Additionally, they develop this eating behavior early in life because they typically forage near rivers.

what can raccoons not eat?

Anything a raccoon can get their hands on, they’ll eat. There are some dishes, nevertheless, that they don’t enjoy. These foods typically aggravate a raccoon’s touch, smell, and taste senses.

Raccoons don’t like the following foods:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chilies
  • Mint
  • Spices

Raccoons tend to stay away from a few plants, as you’ll discover. This indicates that they frequently won’t consume these vegetables directly from the plant.

Raccoons typically stay away from:

  • Cucumber
  • Pumpkins
  • the beans

Raccoons dislike their huge spiky leaves and vines, which is the cause of this. However, raccoons can happily eat these vegetables provided you leave the plant leaf off of them.

You can use this knowledge of these food sources to assist naturally ward off raccoons from your yard.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you now understand that raccoons will devour essentially whatever they can get their paws on. In accordance with their environment, the time of year, and what is readily available to them, they have a diversified diet.

As omnivores, raccoons consume both plant and animal stuff. They are opportunistic and have successfully adapted to life in both urban and natural settings.

Raccoons like eating a wide variety of foods, however there are a few naturally occurring foods that they avoid because of their smell or texture.

Never try to feed a raccoon in the wild or in your yard. They are superb foragers and can procure enough food on their own to survive. You could unintentionally start a huge can of worms that causes extensive, expensive property damage.


Will a Raccoon attack a bird?

Raccoons frequently consume weak ground animals like hens and ducks. You are undoubtedly well aware of the danger posed by raccoons if you own chickens, ducks, or other land-dwelling birds.

Do raccoons eat other small animals?

In addition to eating muskrats and rabbits, raccoons have also been observed to consume squirrels and other smaller rodents.

What kind of birds do raccoons eat?

Raccoons frequently consume weak ground animals like hens and ducks. You are undoubtedly well aware of the danger posed by raccoons if you own chickens, ducks, or other land-dwelling birds.

Do raccoons eat little birds?

In the wild, raccoons will consume birds. Raccoons require a lot of nutrients and proteins from birds in order to thrive. A raccoon won’t make an effort to grab a bird, but it will gladly consume an adult bird that is hurt. Additionally, they will break into bird nests and eat any eggs or chicks they discover inside.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author