what do raccoons eat in the city

What Do Raccoons Eat In The City?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

In the wild, raccoons are typically nocturnal hunters, mostly resting through the day. They search for food at night. But in the city, you can find them searching for food during the day. 

The main reason is that they usually have fewer predators in the city.

Hence the question, “What do raccoons eat in the city?”

Check this interesting article to find out what raccoons survive on in the city. 

What Do Raccoons Eat In The City?

In the city, raccoons enjoy a very wide variety of diets. These include rats, mice, rodents, and insects.

You may also find raccoons climbing trees to steal eggs from a bird’s nest and take easy prey like bird chicks and even the mother bird. At other times, you may find raccoons in the dumpster rummaging through the pile to find food. 

The food they find in the dumpsters includes foods with past best before dates, such as grapes, berries, and other edible items they find safe to consume. 

Sometimes, they also come across abandoned pet foods high in protein when they pass by some backyard, and they do justice to the food bowl before continuing their food search.

They like to eat bird seeds scattered on the ground by your birds. They will also climb the tree to get the seeds in your bird feeder.

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Do Raccoons Eat All Kinds Of Trash in the City?

Raccoons do not eat indiscriminately when they go into trash cans and dumpsters. Although raccoons are not picky eaters, they love sweet food items. This is because they have highly developed taste buds.

You will often find them trying out many food items in the dumpster while searching for sweet food choices.

Raccoons also prefer raw meat. So when they check dumpsters and trash for food, you can be sure they will eat the meat in the trash if they find some.

Interestingly, they will avoid rotten meat unless they run out of choices.

Generally, raccoons eat almost all kinds of trash, but they prefer grains, seeds, insects, vegetables, meat, and fish. The city’s location is vital to understand exactly what they can find.

Surely, they are more likely to find fish and many other types of animal flesh in the town with restaurants than in a part of the city without restaurants.

Where Else Do Raccoons Get Food in the City?

Apart from the trash and dumpsters, raccoons live on food items they get from many other locations in the city.

Raccoons love bird seeds too and may take a liking to your residence if you have a reachable bird feeder; these omnivores do not give up very easily. 

Even though the bird feeder is not within reach, they may still frequent your backyard for the few seeds your birds scatter on the ground as they eat.

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Will Raccoons Eat Pet Food In The City?

Another thing that raccoons relish in the city is pet food. If you feed your pet in the backyard, raccoons wouldn’t mind having the leftovers. 

Their diet is so diverse that they can eat anything you feed your pet, from vegetables, meat, pet food, and even raw eggs.

These foods help them store enough fat for their partial hibernation during the winter. When they scavenge for food in the city, they also get to know the right places to go when they are hungry.

Is It Risky for Raccoons To Eat in the City?

No, it is not risky for raccoons to eat in the city. Unlike the wild, where the list of predators looking to get raccoons is almost endless, raccoons are less likely to be attacked in urban areas.

Also, some laws make it illegal to trap raccoons and unnecessarily injure them in urban areas. This makes raccoons safer in the city than they will be in the wild.

If you keep an artificial pond, it would be best to employ some harmless repellent devices to keep raccoons out of your pond. Raccoons habitually wash food items because it helps them sense the food better with their hands.

They may find your fish in your pond while washing their food. When this happens, you can be sure that the raccoon will not only take some of your fish but also form a habit of returning to your pond for free food. 

You can use a motion-activated sprinkler system and an alarm to keep them off. You can also spray the urine of a common predator around the area close to your pond. This will trick them into thinking there is a predator nearby and the area is unsafe.

Another great way to keep them off your pond is to have a guard dog in your yard. A trained guard dog will alert you to their presence and also scare them away.

Final Thoughts

The answer to the question not simple. In fact, the city offers a wider variety of food to raccoons than the forest. These include rats, mice, rodents, fowls, pet food, and vegetables. 

They also eat many other foods when they rummage through trash cans and dumpsters. 

If you wish to keep them out of your backyard, your bird feeder, or your pond, ensure that you do not do anything that can harm them. Use only repellent devices that will scare them away and not hurt them.

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