What Do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons are omnivores and can survive on both plants and animals giving them the advantage of eating a variety of foods for their survival. I wanted to find out what raccoons eat so did some research.

Raccoons adapt their diet depending on their habitat. Raccoons that live in urban areas will get their food from bins and trash. Wild raccoons survive on vegetables, fruit, and nuts, along with small birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and fish.

If you would like to find out a little more, then I will be able to keep you up to date with raccoons eat.

If you or someone you know loves raccoons check out some of my favorite raccoon gifts on Amazon.

What Do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons are omnivores, which mean they eat a little bit of everything. They have adapted well to living in geological habitats. In most cases, the wild raccoons have the advantage of eating s different diet in their native environment.

Their diet consists of both plants and animals. When they are in the wild, raccoons eat a variety of fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables.

The list below is a more detailed view on what kind of diets wild Raccoons eat and how they get access to these in the wild.

Vegetables, Fruit, And Nuts

Wild raccoons consume plenty of apples, blackberries and cherries which are mostly available in a mixed and deciduous forest. They also rely on nuts such as acorns, especially in cold seasons.

Raccoons are suitable to adapt in forested areas as they are entirely built to survive in such areas. They have long tails and large hands for climbing and jumping from tree to tree in search of fruits. They can also grab fresh leaves to eat.

The animals always migrate from one point to another in the night and during the day. They do this to find new supplies of raw vegetables and nuts of different types. Raccoons eat more vegetables when they are readily available so that they can survive during dry periods.  

Due to the unlimited supply of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts in the wild, raccoons mainly feed on them as their natural diet. In winter seasons, nuts, fruits and vegetables are considered as their favorite staple diet. Their food will vary in each season, especially for fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts.


Raccoons are also predators to some extent. Raccoons in the wild are skilled at using their paws and sharp claws to catch and kill small rodents, and will even wound other bigger animals.

Raccoons are also suited for survival by eating the flesh of small prey because they have excellent, modified teeth to tear meat. Once it manages to find some prey, it is an easier task for them as it has all that is required for grinding and swallowing.

Raccoons also get hold of some small animals such as rats, squirrels and snakes by using their large hands. They mostly hunt small moving animals as they are not quick enough to escape.

Raccoons also feed on Aquatic Animals. The raccoon is also adapted to survive in aquatic environments by hunting small fish and other prey. Of the marine nature, animals that make up the raccoon’s diet are fish, small reptiles such as snakes, amphibians such as frogs and toads, and some birds like filter feeders and ducks.

The raccoon is designed to be perfectly omnivorous, and additionally, it has natural intelligence and other special features that give them the advantage to adapt and to survive in different ecological habitats.

Worms And Insects

A majority of the raccoon’s diet consists of worms, insects, along with plant material including fruit. They will eat what is available, and in winter seasons there are a lot of worms and insects. In the wet seasons, insects and worms become an essential element in their diet.

Insects and worms represent easy meals for raccoons as they can get a grasp of them quickly by using their outstretched hands.  Raccoons like to eat many different kinds of food, but their diet actually depends on what is readily available for them. When it comes to the colder seasons when worms and insects are readily available, raccoons mostly concentrate on eating them.

What Do Raccoons Eat In Urban Areas?

In urban areas, raccoons are restricted to residential places, and they are found in some specific locations in the city. In densely populated areas, they are disadvantaged as it is more difficult for them to find their foods. Raccoons will move around the city in search of food.

Raccoons prefer the food in the wild as it is more plentiful, whereas in cities their usual diet is harder to find

The following are the typical diets for the Raccoons in the city;

Human Food

Raccoons can be found around dumpsters as it is a highly inviting place for them. The leftovers here becomes their real diet in the city. With all kind of rotten vegetables, fruits and insects readily available in these sites, raccoons are drawn to them.

Raccoons are suitably adapted to these environments as they are quite adept at manipulating things with their paws and fingers.

They get all kind of rotten pieces of rotten food by scratching with their sharp claws. This is why the dumpsite tends to their best ecological niche to survive on. All of the rotten food they find in trashcans in dump areas makes up an essential part of their diets.

Grains And Corn

Grains and corn form an essential part of their menu here in the city, as it is an additional source of nutrition for raccoons. Grains and corn are much easier to get outside of the city on farmlands, but the raccoon will do what he can to get this food.

Why Do Raccoons Invade Homes For Food?

Raccoons can even go to the extent of exploring the home of a local resident to eat their regular diets.  A raccoon will typically target trash cans and search for food.

The animals are notorious for picking through garbage bins, but this is the main way they survive in the city. They usually sense these areas where homeowners keep trashcans by smelling the odors of rotten foods, as it is an inviting and pleasant odor for them.

Raccoons can even break into homes in search of pet food, and this is something that people should look out for when deciding where to keep their pet food.

Raccoons can be a real disaster to poultry farmers as they can eat eggs and chickens at the same time.

Raccoons are adapted to changes in their environments as they have all the required features for survival. In the city, predators are hard to find.  Raccoons will go to the extent of hunting residential birds and other small animals. They are skilled at using their paws and sharp claws to catch and kill small prey.

Raccoons are also suited to eating the flesh of small animals such as lambs because they have modified teeth to tear the meat. Since Raccoons will quickly adapt their diet to whatever environment they find themselves in, finding suitable food for them in the city is not a problem.

If you or someone you know loves raccoons check out some of my favorite raccoon gifts on Amazon.

If you have ever wondered if raccoons are dangerous, you are in luck. I have written an article, which you can find here.

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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