do raccoons eat ticks

Do Raccoons Eat Ticks?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton
Last updated on:

Ticks are a menace to whatever host they may decide to live on. However, just a few of their hosts can get rid of them without help. Popular belief is that raccoons can eat any and everything, even birds. Hence the question, do raccoons eat ticks?

Raccoons are wide-range eaters and everything can be added to their eating list. Just like humans, raccoons can eat anything, however, they are not as picky as humans are.

Do Raccoons Eat Ticks?

The simple answer is yes they do. Many animals like mammals, birds, and amphibians, also feed on ticks. Ticks are blood-suckers that always look for a host or hosts to survive off. As a result, they mostly kill a lot of animals. 

However, raccoons are self-cleaners. This means that they clean their furs on their own, therefore, in the process of self-cleaning, they eat the ticks that they find in their fur. Raccoons enjoy eating ticks that they find in the grass while they are out hunting as well.

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Do Raccoons Go In Search Of Ticks?

Ticks can live in leaf piles, animals’ fur, grasses, trees, and shrubs. However, raccoons do not go in search of ticks, they find them as they self-clean or even when they are hunting for their actual meal.

Raccoons are scavengers and predators, they eat other animals to survive, as well as plants. Therefore, in a quest for a raccoon to find a proper meal, while searching, the raccoon might come across ticks on grasses or leaves and feed on them. Raccoons do not go out in search of ticks to eat but find them when they are in search of something else or when they self-clean their fur. 

Many animals in the wild feed on ticks and raccoons are not exempted as well.

Are Raccoons Tick Carriers?

Almost all animals are affected by ticks. Whether they be domestic animals or wild ones, ticks always find animals they turn into their host. However, animals with fur are big tick targets, therefore, raccoons are big carriers of ticks.

Unfortunately for ticks, they do not survive very long on raccoons. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and self-cleaning animals. Therefore, while raccoons are self-cleaning they eat all the ticks they find on their body. 
According to pet control weekly, raccoons carry various species of ticks.

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How Many Ticks Can A Raccoon Consume?

Unlike some animals that mainly feed on ticks like– Opposums. Raccoons mostly eat ticks when they self-clean or find them in grasses or leaves. According to Kylon Powell, Opposums eat an average of five thousand and five hundred ticks weekly. However, for raccoons, ticks are complimentary meals.

Therefore, there is no definite number of times a raccoon needs to eat every day or week. This means raccoons can consume as many ticks as they can at once since there is no definite number to it. Since raccoons do not go on a tick hunt in the wild and mostly find them in grasses and their fur while they self-clean, ticks are not regularly consumed meals for raccoons. 

Therefore, if a number wants to be put on the amount of ticks raccoons can get rid of on their fur, 90% is the best number. Ticks always irritate their host, and raccoons are known for self-cleaning themselves of every kind of parasite that resides in their fur, with ticks being one of these parasites. 

Do Ticks Have Natural Predators?

Some animals eat ticks as meals or even go on tick hunts. However, since ticks move from one host to another and they are never really stuck on one host for long, they mostly spend a few days on each host before they move to the next. In a situation where they do not find a host, they mostly resolve to invade human homes. 

Ticks are crawlers and they cannot fly or run, they can only latch onto a host. Therefore, they usually move from one host to the other. Some animals are natural feeders of ticks. These animals include– frogs, wild turkeys, opossums, and chickens.

Outside of these mentioned natural predators, some animals feed on ticks occasionally. Raccoons fall under this category of animals that feed on ticks occasionally. Therefore, raccoons cannot be considered natural predators of ticks.   

Conclusion

The eating palate of raccoons is very wide and this helps them survive wherever, no matter the weather or season. However, ticks are mostly coincidental meals for raccoons, because they never actually go on ticks hunt. But raccoons will always eat a tick or ticks when they come across them.

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