Raccoons, with their highly adaptable nature, are known for their opportunistic feeding habits. Understanding what raccoons eat is essential for managing human-wildlife interactions and promoting coexistence. This guide delves into the dietary preferences of raccoons, shedding light on their varied food choices and foraging behavior.

Omnivorous Scavengers


  • Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they consume a wide variety of foods, including plant matter, invertebrates, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, amphibians, and carrion.

Seasonal Variation:

  • The diet of raccoons can vary seasonally and regionally based on food availability and environmental factors. They adjust their foraging behavior to exploit abundant food sources during different times of the year.

Contents of a Raccoon's Diet

Fruits and Berries:

  • Raccoons have a particular fondness for fruits and berries, including apples, grapes, berries, melons, and citrus fruits. They may raid orchards or gardens in search of ripe produce, especially during the fruiting season.

Vegetables and Grains:

  • Raccoons readily consume vegetables such as corn, potatoes, squash, and pumpkins, as well as grains like wheat, oats, and rice. They may scavenge agricultural fields or raid vegetable gardens for these food items.

Insects and Invertebrates:

  • Insects and invertebrates form an important part of a raccoon's diet, providing essential protein and nutrients. Raccoons feed on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and earthworms, which they find in soil, leaf litter, and rotting wood.

Small Mammals and Birds:

  • Raccoons are opportunistic hunters, preying on small mammals such as mice, voles, rabbits, and squirrels, as well as birds and their eggs. They may hunt near water sources or in wooded areas where prey is abundant.

Fish and Amphibians:

  • Raccoons are adept hunters of aquatic prey, including fish, frogs, tadpoles, and aquatic insects. They wade into shallow water or use their dexterous paws to catch fish and amphibians from ponds, streams, and wetlands.

Human Food Waste:

  • Raccoons are notorious for scavenging human food sources, including garbage cans, compost piles, pet food bowls, and outdoor grills. They are attracted to the scent of food waste and readily exploit anthropogenic food resources. Accordingly, it is important to take steps in securing food waste properly if you wish to prevent raccoons from accessing it.