What Do Raccoons Eat?
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Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that are native to North America. They are medium-sized at about 2-3 feet long and covered in salt-and-pepper colored fur with a distinctive “black mask” of fur surrounding their eyes. This is sometimes referred to as a bandit mask, a befitting title for an animal that is known to sneak into yards and trash cans to steal any form of food they can get their paws on. Read on to find out more about what raccoons eat in the wild as well as in urban environments.
What Do Raccoons Eat In The Wild?
Raccoons are true omnivores which means they eat a wide variety of foods that include both plants and animals. Raccoons are skilled scavengers, adept at using their hands to catch fish or to grab eggs and hatchlings from nests. They are equally as skilled at using their nimble hands to pick wild fruits and berries.
Raccoons will eat just about anything and are avid hunters. They are capable of catching small rodents including rats, squirrels and small livestock. They have been known to catch and eat snakes, frogs, chickens, worms and crawfish. If available, they will also eat wild berries, acorns, nuts, seeds and fruit.
Urban Raccoon Diet
Raccoons employ the same skills they use to hunt and scavenge in your urban or suburban neighborhood as they do in the wild, though there is less of the wildlife and wild produce for them to find in more metropolitan settings. As smart and resourceful animals equipped with hands that are extremely capable of opening doors, undoing latches and unlocking locks, raccoons can easily get into dumpsters, garbage cans and pet food to supplement their diet. They have no qualms about eating fish you might have in backyard ponds or small pets like bunnies, guinea pigs and mice that may be kept outdoors. Some raccoons have even become acclimated enough to living around humans that they have become emboldened enough to beg people for food.
Are Raccoons Dangerous?
Raccoons are wild animals with unpredictable behavior and sharp instincts. If you see one in your yard or neighborhood, do not approach the animal or animals. Raccoons can carry rabies, a lethal disease that can be spread to humans through animal bites. Stay especially clear of any raccoon you may see during the day, a sure sign they are unwell. Keep your distance from any raccoon that looks sickly in general, has any impaired mobility or is making strange sounds. Rabies can sometimes make animals unusually aggressive, which is an unwelcome trait in something that is transmitted through bites. If you have spotted raccoons in your backyard or neighborhood, reach out to a pest control specialist or wildlife management professional near you for help with raccoons.
Find A Pest Specialist For Raccoon Control
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