As habitual scavengers and omnivores, raccoons feed on practically anything, as long as they like it. That said, they eat both plant and animal matters like fruits and vegetables, amphibians, insects, birds, bird feeds, pet food, and many more. But do raccoons eat flowers as well?
Raccoons are fond of ruining gardens, dumpsters, and yards all in a bid to find food. But are flowerbeds included on this list? Keep reading to learn more about raccoons and the possible dangers they pose to your flowers.
Do Raccoons Eat Flowers?
Yes, raccoons eat flowers, especially roses. Since they eat almost any food they can find, it is not surprising that they munch on flowering plants as well. Raccoons, like humans, are drawn to the sight and smell of basic food substances, whether plants or animals. Therefore, in this case, these nocturnal critters can feed on flowers just because their appearances and scent are appealing.
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What Could Be Ruining Your Flowers Overnight?
If you wake up to see a messy garden or flowerbed with uprooted stalks and half-bitten petals, then it is most likely that you’ve had a night visitor. Rodents, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, muskrats, and raccoons are habitual offenders in this case. However, the most likely of these animals that can pull this stunt are raccoons.
You know a raccoon is likely the culprit when you see:
- Four small paw prints on the soil.
- Scratch marks around the area.
- Half-eaten plants.
- Opened lids of trash cans.
- Clustered raccoon poop.
- Missing flower buds of flowers that are yet to bloom
In some cases, these animals may only destroy your garden to dig up insects like grubs, and earthworms from the soil. But there will most likely be traces of eaten flowers on the soil.
Why Do Raccoons Like Eating Flowers?
As earlier stated, raccoons enjoy eating what they deem to be appealing to their eyes and noses. Due to the beautiful appearance of flowers, as well as their enticing scents, raccoons will surely be drawn to have a taste. In addition, flowers are not active prey like rodents and thus serve as an easy option for these lazy scavengers to uproot and eat.
Other than that, flowers have some nutrients that raccoons need in their bodies. These nutrients include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Though it is not like these creatures eat for the benefit of meeting their various dietary and nutritional needs, they do in fact, gobble up the right meals according to what their innate feeding pattern dictates. So, flowers are enough to balance their plant-animal diet. It is not a compulsory addition, yet it is not a bad one either.
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How To Keep Raccoons Away From Your Flowers?
There are certain measures you can take to ensure that your flowers are safe from rodent and raccoon attacks. Since your target is active at night, you need to employ various tactics that will not disrupt your peaceful night’s rest and will keep these critters at bay at the same time. Here are some nice suggestions from veteran animal experts that you can follow
Plant Flowers that Raccoons Don’t Like
Raccoons don’t like plants or flowers that don’t have an appealing smell. Peppermint and hardy geraniums are examples of such plants. Jennifer Wilber at Dengarden vouches for the effectiveness of these flowers in deterring raccoons.
Spray Natural Repellents
You can use homemade pepper spray or use garlic, peppermint oil, or rags soaked with ammonia to keep raccoons at bay. They don’t like the harsh smell and will avoid areas that ooze it. Just spray these mixtures around your flowerbed and let them work their magic.
Build a Protective Fence
A protective barrier built with chicken wires, and durable wood will be good enough to fortify your flowers. However, raccoons are agile and intelligent creatures. So, electric fencing will be more effective. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension recommends two electrical strands for newly-built fences and one electrical stand for already-existing fences.
Raccoons only see flowers as normal food. To you, it may appear as if they are wasteful eaters but the truth is, it is just another plant that replenishes their bodies, helps store energy, and promotes satisfaction. Raccoons depend on foraging for a living and it just so happens that they find flowers just as edible as any other food. All that is required of you to do in such a situation is to practice good prevention measures to protect your flowers from raccoons.