Grape vines are not necessarily a business investment. Some gardeners plant grape vineyards for the beauty of the scenery and the sweet berries.
But if you live in a place with a considerable raccoon population, you might wonder, “Do raccoons eat grapes?”
Here is a detailed answer to that question. You’ll also find other interesting and important information about how to prevent raccoons from messing up your grapevine.
Check it out!
Do Raccoons Eat Grapes?
Yes, raccoons can and will eat grapes if offered some. But even though you do not offer them grapes, they will always help themselves to your grape vineyard when they find it. And they will eat as much as they need to fill their bellies.
Raccoons are not just opportunistic scavengers; they are omnivores, so vegetables and fruits also form part of their diet.
Grapes are one of their favorite fruits because they have highly developed taste buds that make them appreciate sweet fruits like grapes and many other sugary berries.
This is why they hardly miss grape vineyards, and when they find one, they do considerable damage as they satisfy their appetites. But this can be a problem for the grape vineyard owner.
So if you have a grape vineyard, how can you prevent raccoons from causing damage to your grape vines?
Check out these useful tips on preventing raccoons from destroying your grape vines as they forage for food.
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How To Save Your Grape Vineyard From Raccoons?
Grape vines are unlike other fruit trees that have defined and thick central trunks. Grape vines are usually what they are: vines with grapes on them. So you must consider their fragile structure when setting up raccoon repellent systems or structures.
However, here are a few workable systems that can save your grape vineyards from raccoon infestation.
An electric fence is one of the best ways to keep raccoons out of your grape vineyard. Since raccoons usually come out at night, you only need to electrify the fence from dusk till dawn.
It may be expensive, but it works better than other preventive measures. It is noiseless and very productive. You need an electric fence with about two or three wires fastened evenly to wooden posts. You need the wire closest to the base to be around 7 inches from the ground, with the others following at 12 and 18 inches from the ground.
It works like magic.
Motion Activated Sound Alarms with Flood Flight
Since raccoons are nocturnal animals, they will come at night when the grape vineyard will be empty and quiet. So you will need to scare them by exposing them with light and making them feel that someone is still in the vineyard.
The floodlight will illuminate the dark to expose them, while the motion-activated sound alarm will scare them away with noise. The motion-activated sound alarms work better than battery-powered radios because they can be adjusted to be loud enough to scare the raccoon without disturbing the neighbors.
Also, the alarms will not make noise all night long as they will only come on when triggered by a raccoon’s movement in the dark.
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Can I Feed Grapes to a Baby Raccoon?
If you find an abandoned baby raccoon close to your house and wish to save it, you can feed it some grapes only after its first 7-8 weeks.
Baby raccoons need a high protein diet to properly develop body tissue. They need kitten milk, especially when they are no older than a week.
So if you want to help the baby raccoons, offering them kitten milk rather than any other type of food would be best.
Grapes must not be used to replace their high-protein kitten milk. Feeding them kitten milk until they can eat other food items would be best. You can get this kitten milk at any reliable pet store nearby.
Feed your baby raccoons about 1-2.3 ounces of kitten milk, depending on their weight. The amount to be fed should be around 5% of their total body weight.
Remember to wipe their genitals with a cloth after feeding them the kitten milk. This will help them urinate.
You need to feed them kitten milk until they are about 8 weeks old before incorporating solid foods into their diet.
Always remember to release the raccoon back to the wild after 8-9 weeks. Keeping raccoons is illegal, so there is no point in trying to domesticate a raccoon. You can leave the door open for them to explore nearby forests.
In time, they will not return because they will have found their place in the forest.
If you find a stray raccoon in your grapevine or around your house, it would be best to gently throw at them any food item you wish to give them. Alternatively, you can leave the food item on the floor close to them.
They will normally eat and leave. And if they don’t, you want to call the animal control agency in your state to take the animal and reintroduce it to the wild.
If you attempt to feed wild raccoons personally, you might suffer injuries from bites and scratches. The same applies to baby raccoons that you find around your house.
After they have grown belly fur and their mask has taken shape (usually after 8-9 weeks), you want to leave the door open so they can go back into the wild.
They may return a few times, but they will eventually go back to the wild.