Learn how to identify raccoons and how to get rid of raccoons in your garden with these helpful tips.
What Are Raccoons?
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) have masks over their eyes because they could rob even a bank vault. These resourceful animals are second in persistence and imagination to no other animal (unless it’s a squirrel at a bird feeder).
Raccoons are great climbers, swimmers, jumpers, and runners. Their five-toed paws make them very dexterous, and their agility can allow them to outsmart every human concoction used to deter them. If they aren’t breaking into your garden, they might try to climb into your chimney to use it as a den.
Raccoons do not hibernate during the winter, but they will live in dens for periods of severe weather, causing them to lose a lot of their body fat in northern areas. They often live in hollow trees during the warm part of the year. Populations of raccoons often include many youngsters, and families will stay together for about a year.
What Do Raccoons Eat?
Raccoons are nocturnal and omnivorous, meaning they eat anything from grubs to crayfish, as well as all the plants and vegetables that you have in your garden, too. Especially in the fall, they develop a taste for fruits like apples, peaches, and pears, but they also enjoy a variety of vegetables, like sweet corn, potatoes, and peas.
Even though wild raccoons prefer areas with trees and a source of water, more and more of them are raiding gardens because gardens are an easy source of food. They’ll be even happier if you have a source of water and some forest near your garden.