do raccoons eat apples

Do Raccoons Eat Apples?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

For humans, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But for raccoons, as many apples per day keeps the hunger away.

Since raccoons are omnivores and can eat almost anything humans can, it is not out of place to ask whether raccoons eat apples, especially if you have a few apple trees in your backyard. 

This article answers that question and discusses how to prevent them from eating your apples. Read on to find out!

Do Raccoons Eat Apples?

Yes. Raccoons are omnivores, and they love sweet fruits, including apples. They will hardly leave an apple tree until they have satisfied their cravings. You can also expect them to occasionally return for more when hungry.

Raccoons have highly developed taste buds that help them taste sweet fruits and food items. Since they are attracted to sweet food items and fruits like apples, it is one of their favorite fruits to eat.

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Can Raccoons Eat Crab Apples?

Yes, raccoons can and will eat crab apples if offered. Food scarcity is always the order of the day during winter because of the cold weather. However, crab apple trees are known for their long-lasting fruits, serving animals, insects, and birds through winter. 

They love sweet fruits, and crab apples are not an exception. Raccoons were once reported to be rabid because of their staggering and disoriented movements. 

But it was later discovered that they ate too many fermented crab apples, which led to their “drunkenness.” That is how much they love sweet fruits, including all types of apples.

So if you have a few crab apple trees in your backyard, you can expect some damage if there are raccoons around your place. 

The way to save your apples is to set up some preventive measures to save your apple trees.

How Can I Save My Apple Trees?

Raccoons may first come for the fallen apples. Gardeners and farmers hardly object to this. But it would be a mistake to think that you and the raccoons have an understanding. 

They are great climbers and will eventually come for the apples on your tree. When they do this, it is common to find them seriously damaging your apple trees.

But there are a few things you can do to keep them at bay. 

Set Up a Motion-Sensor Sprinkler System With Some Repelling Irritants at the Tree Base

You can set up a sprinkler system to spray at the bottom of the apple trees whenever the raccoons come for your fruits. It would be best to use a motion-activated sprinkler. 

Ensure to use a nontoxic stream of water. But you want to leave granular repellents on the ground, preferably close to the base of the apple tree.

This is important so that when the raccoons come for your fruit, the stream of water will repel them, and they will also associate the irritating scent of the repellent with your fruit. 

Although the investment may seem expensive, this long-term system can help save your apple trees from raccoon vandalism.

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Remove Fallen Apples As Soon As Possible

Another great way to prevent raccoons from being attracted to your trees is to remove fallen apples as soon as they drop. This decreases the chances of raccoons becoming acquainted with your apple trees.

If you fail to do this, you may have to try other preventive measures because all it takes is one good day for a wild raccoon to put your place on its list of favorite food places. 

Cut Off the Lower Branches of the Apple Tree

You can also take it up a notch with a more practical prevention tip. You can make it harder for raccoons to climb your apple trees. Raccoons have legs and hands that look like fingers. This is why they are adept climbers. 

But they depend on the lower branches of the trees to climb and access the fruits. You can make it difficult for them by severing the lower branches of the apple trees. 

However, this may not work for trees close to entry point barriers like fences and nearby sheds. But if this is your case, there is another foolproof way of saving your apple trees. 

Raise a Barrier Around the Tree

You can completely frustrate the raccoon’s climbing prowess by raising a barrier that is too high for them to climb to reach the apple tree. 

You want to put this barrier around your apple tree’s trunk, especially the apple trees that have been visited more often by raccoons. You’ll need a metal sheet, like the type used to cover construction sites. It has to be at least 4 feet above ground level. You can make it 1.5 – 2.5 feet wide apart from the feet of the tree.

Although it may be expensive to set up, no raccoon can ravage your apple trees with this preventive measure. The best part about it is that you do not harm the raccoon in any way. Also, the metal parts are durable and will serve you for a long time.

Final Thoughts

Raccoons eat and enjoy apples in the wild. They are one of the regular culprits that steal apples from the backyard or an orchard deck. Apple farmers and owners have learned over time not to leave apples outside for a long time in areas populated by raccoons.

Apples are part of the fruits raccoons enjoy and love to eat anytime.

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