do raccoons eat pumpkins

Do Raccoons Eat Pumpkins?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

Many pumpkins, used only for decorative purposes, go to waste after Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many homeowners have seen raccoons wander at night in search of food, and since they are omnivores, it is curious to ask if they eat pumpkins.

Do Raccoons Eat Pumpkins?

Yes, raccoons eat pumpkins. You can feed raccoons any part of the pumpkin when you see them foraging.

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and scavengers. They are not picky eaters. They make the most out of every opportunity they get when they find food. 

Raccoons eat all the pumpkin parts: the roots, leaves, and even pumpkin seeds. Under normal circumstances, they will eat everything they lay their hands on. 

If they enter your garden, your pumpkins will look like a nightmare by daybreak if you find whatever remains of them.

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How Can I Make Pumpkin a Treat For Raccoons

The reality about pumpkins is that it is used for decorations more than it is eaten, so it only makes sense that you should offer some to wildlife instead of tossing them all into the trash after the holidays.

So here are some interesting ways to offer raccoons pumpkins when they go foraging at night. 

You can place the smaller pumpkins close to the entry points of your backyard when they wander at night. You can spice it up by adding other fruits to the hollowed pumpkins. You can use small slices of apples, carrots or sweet vegetables to give the raccoons a great dinner.

If the pumpkins are too large, you can cut them up in chunks and place them sparingly in your backyard. When they come in at night searching for food, they will not miss this free meal.

But if you have a garden where you plant vegetables or a birdfeeder in the backyard, it would be best to put the pumpkins at a location far from your yard. Alternatively, you can take the pumpkin to the entry points of the forest where raccoons normally frequent.

If you repeatedly feed them, they will return even after you stop doing so. All it will take for them to find your garden is a little curiosity on one of the nights when you do not have any more pumpkins, which will damage your garden. So how do you avoid this?

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How to Prevent Raccoons From Destroying the Pumpkins in My Garden

There are many ways to protect your pumpkins from damage by raccoons. 

Apply Some Hairspray

Pumpkins are relatively large, and raccoons have a habit of sensing with their forepaws. Raccoons hate eating anything that has an unpleasant texture. 

Putting hairspray on the pumpkins will make them sticky, irritating the raccoons. They will leave it after sensing the stickiness with their forepaws.

You want to ensure that you spray all the exposed parts of the pumpkin.

Use Hot Pepper

Another way to prevent raccoons from ruining your garden and pumpkins is hot peppers. Raccoons inspect the food before they eat it. This includes smelling and sensing with their fore paws.

Spraying the pumpkin with hot sauce or cayenne peppers is an excellent way to deter raccoons from your pumpkins and garden.

You can also spray the hot peppers around the base of the pumpkins because raccoons have a habit of digging up the pumpkin before eating it. If you opt for this method of deterrence, use powdered pepper, which will give you the best result, as raccoons will surely pick up the powder when they smell the pumpkin.

Raccoons are less likely to ever visit again after such an experience.

Use Predator’s Wee

You can buy coyote or wolf wee and spray some around your residence. The wee of predators tricks raccoons into thinking they are in a predator’s territory. They will leave your yard thinking it is unsafe for them.

You can purchase the urine of raccoon predators from a garden center. It would be best to use the urine of the raccoon predator in your area because the raccoons already know the scent of that predator’s urine. Smelling familiar urine will be very effective in keeping the raccoons away.

Final Thoughts

Pumpkins are great for treating raccoons to a feast, especially if you do not have a garden out back and do not want the pumpkins to go to waste after the festivals. But if you have a garden with pumpkins and other fruits in your backyard, it would be best to drop the pumpkins somewhere far from your garden.

In addition, you can also use the prevention tips above to protect your garden from overnight ruin.

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