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What Do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons can live on almost any food and are not picky about their diet. If you have raccoons in your yard, you may be wondering what foods keep bringing them back, or you may just wonder what they eat. In this article, I look at what they eat and how to keep them away from your property.

Raccoons are omnivores and eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, small birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and fish. Raccoons in urban areas will supplement their diet with food from trashcans and cat and dog food.

These lovable but pesky critters can cause a lot of damage to a property, so please read on to find out more about what they eat.

Want to know if raccoons are dangerous? Find out here

Raccoons Are Omnivores

Classed as omnivores, raccoons have a varied diet that includes almost anything. They have adapted well to living in many different habitats. Wild raccoons can eat many types of food in their natural environment. Raccoons are not vegetarians and eat many kinds of meat.

Being omnivores, a raccoon’s diet consists of both plants and animals. In the wild, raccoons eat various fruits, grains, nuts, vegetables, small mammals, amphibians, insects, and reptiles.

Being omnivores, a raccoon’s diet consists of both plants and animals. In the wild, raccoons eat various fruits, grains, nuts, vegetables, small mammals, amphibians, insects, and reptiles.

Wild Vegetables, Fruit, And Nuts

Raccoons consume plenty of apples, blackberries, and cherries, which they find available in a mixed or deciduous forest. A large part of their diet consists of nuts such as acorns, especially in the colder months.

Raccoons have adapted to life in forests easily due to their bodies. They have long tails to help them balance and large hands for climbing. This allows them to jump from tree to tree in search of fruit.

Raccoons will travel during the day and night to find a food supply. They do this to find new stores of raw vegetables, fruit, and nuts. Raccoons eat more vegetables when they can survive with less food.  They can also eat fresh leaves.

Due to the almost unlimited supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts in the wild, these make up a large part of their diet. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables are considered their favorite foods in winter. Vegetables and fruits grow throughout the year, and raccoons have a varied diet.

If you want to know more about where raccoons live, I have written an article. Click here to find out more


Raccoons are also predators. Raccoons are skilled at using their paws and sharp claws to catch and kill small rodents and even wound larger animals.

Raccoons are suited for survival in the wild as they have modified teeth to tear meat. This allows them to tear into a small animal’s flesh. Once they manage to catch their prey, raccoons make most small animals short work.

Raccoons catch small animals such as rats, squirrels, and snakes using their large hands. They mostly hunt small, slow-moving animals as they are not quick enough to escape.

Raccoons also feed on aquatic animals. Raccoons are adapted to survive in marine environments by hunting small fish. Fish, snakes, frogs and toads, and birds like filter feeders and ducks all help feed a raccoon.

The raccoon is designed to be perfectly omnivorous. They are extremely intelligent and can adapt and survive in different habitats.

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Worms And Insects

A majority of the raccoon’s diet consists of worms and insects. They will eat what is available, and worms and insects make up a large part of their diet in the winter seasons. Insects and worms become an essential part of their diet in the wetter months.

Insects and worms represent easy meals for raccoons as they can quickly grasp them with their large paws. Raccoons like to eat many different kinds of food, but their diet depends on what is readily available.

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What Do Raccoons Eat In Winter?

The food that raccoons eat in winter differs from what they eat in summer. In winter, raccoons eat winter fruits, insects, acorns, and corn. Due to the cold, many other animals do not survive, and carrion becomes a staple, with small waterfowl and other animals making up a large part of their diet.

Because there is not as much fatty food around in winter, raccoons need to stock up in the fall to survive the cold months.

Feeding is much more complex in winter, and they can lose up to half of their weight in these harsh months.

Raccoons have a constant metabolic rate throughout the year, but to survive, they lower their activity in winter.

What Do Raccoons Eat In The City?

In urban areas, raccoons are restricted from living around humans. In densely populated areas, they are disadvantaged as it is more difficult for them to find their regular food. Raccoons will move around the city in search of food, just as they would in forests. Raccoons prefer food in less urban areas as it is more plentiful.

Human Food

Raccoons can be found around dumpsters as it is an easy food source. The leftovers they find here become their diet in the city. With all kinds of rotten vegetables, fruits, and insects readily available at these sites, raccoons are drawn to them.

Raccoons adapt quickly to these environments as they are adept at manipulating trashcans with their paws and fingers. They can get all kinds of rotten pieces of food with their sharp claws.

Do you know what raccoons sound like?  Find out here

Vegetable Patch

Grains, corn, and vegetables 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 the town on farmlands. Many homeowners often find their vegetable patches decimated by raccoons.

What Is A Raccoon’s Favorite Food?

Although raccoons are omnivores and will eat almost anything, their favorite food is animals found near water. Clams, snails, small fish, crayfish, and frogs all make up a large part of their diet, and they will actively seek out small rivers and ponds to find these.

However, they also like the same food we eat, and sweets such as marshmallows, sugar, honey, and bacon are a nice treat for a raccoon digging through your garbage.

Why Do Raccoons Invade Homes For Food?

Raccoons are notorious for picking through garbage bins, but this is how they survive in the city. They usually know where homeowners keep trashcans by smelling the odor of rotten foods. Our trash is a raccoon’s banquet.

Raccoons will even go to the extent of exploring the home to eat their regular food.  A raccoon will typically target trash cans and search for food, but if they can get into a home for an easy meal, they will.

Raccoons can enter homes searching for pet food, which you need to consider when deciding where to keep their pet food. Pet food left outside at night will attract raccoons and other unwanted animals, such as rats and mice.

Raccoons can be an absolute disaster to people who have chickens as they can eat both the eggs and the chickens.

Raccoons will hunt residential birds and other small animals to eat. They are skilled at using their paws and sharp claws to catch and kill small prey.

Since Raccoons will quickly adapt their diet to their environment, finding suitable food in the city is not a problem.

What Foods Are Toxic To Raccoons?

Although raccoons will eat almost anything, some foods are toxic to them. Macadamia nuts and raisins do not agree with them, and chocolate never goes down too well. I had seen a raccoon dig through my bins to get to some coffee, only to see the disgust on its face when it tasted it.

What Do Baby Raccoons eat?

Adult raccoons are omnivorous, but baby raccoons can not gather food for themselves. The young are fed milk until the age of five or six weeks when they will first try solid food.

Being omnivorous, the mother will introduce the kit to soft food that is easy to digest. Insects, fish, and frogs are all ideal starter foods for a kit in the wild.