Do raccoons eat garbage? Raccoons love raiding dumpsters because it’s a food source that isn’t too hard to access! And they’re smart enough to figure out how to open trash cans and pull out food without getting caught.
Have you woken up to an overturned trash bin and mess in your backyard?
If you observe closely, you might even find footprints of the culprit.
In most cases, you will find that it is the work of raccoons. However, the question remains whether raccoons eat garbage or only do it for curiosity.
Here is some information about raccoons eating garbage.
Why are raccoons often found near garbage bins?
Raccoons are considered to be expert dumpster divers.
You will find that urban raccoons are often found near trash bins, and they can quickly jump in and out of dumpsters.
Raccoons are omnivorous creatures and are known to be excellent scavengers.
As they have evolved to adjust to living in proximity to humans, they have discovered that garbage dumps can provide a good source of food for them.
What do raccoons look for in garbage?
Raccoons are pretty intelligent creatures, and as human habitations have encroached on their natural habitats, they have also learned to look for suitable food near humans.
You will find that raccoons will look for both kitchen scraps, which can be vegetable or fruit scraps, and any meat-based food in and around garbage bins.
Say, for instance, you have thrown away food that you have not finished eating then; this can be one of the reasons why raccoons get attracted to the trash cans in your backyard.
Can eating garbage prove to be dangerous for raccoons?
It would be wrong to assume that raccoons can eat anything in a garbage dump.
On the contrary, you will find that raccoons are pretty intelligent, and they will find and consume only those items they think are edible.
However, garbage can be dangerous for raccoons, especially if they eat anything like plastic.
Furthermore, chemical items can be pretty toxic for raccoons, and they can suffer from severe digestive distress upon consuming such items.
Thus, consuming garbage indiscriminately can prove to be dangerous for raccoons.
How do raccoons get into trash cans?
Raccoons will scavenge for food anywhere. Along with being intelligent, raccoons are pretty agile.
You will find that they can quickly dive into a garbage bin and scavenge for food scraps.
They can use their front paws to select edible items and skilfully jump out of the garbage dump to eat the leftover food.
If the garbage bin is not securely fixed on the ground, raccoons are known to knock over the cans, and you will find that they will then look for food using their front paws.
Can raccoons damage your garden while looking for food in your garbage bin?
My neighbor, who often complains about raccoons attacking her garbage bin, recently said that the animals have been destroying her backyard plants.
According to the website, Humane Society, raccoons can prove dangerous for your garden as they can dig up and search for food like earthworms, snails, and small rodents.
If raccoons get attracted to your garden because of the garbage bin in your backyard, chances are there that they will explore your garden in search of more food.
Can you prevent raccoons from getting into garbage bins?
Yes, it would help if you prevented raccoons from accessing the garbage bins in your home.
If you have placed the garbage bins in the backyard, ensure that you secure the lids of the bins carefully so that raccoons cannot get inside.
Moreover, it would be best if you disposed of the trash, especially your kitchen waste so that the raccoons cannot smell these in the garbage.
Raccoons have an excellent sense of smell, and if you do not dispose of the garbage appropriately, it will attract the animals into your garden.
Do raccoons eat garbage in winter?
You are not mistaken if you think raccoons are drawn toward garbage because of the lack of suitable food.
However, you will find that raccoons are more attracted to garbage during winter because other food sources become scarce during this season.
As raccoons are omnivores and scavengers, they can find food almost everywhere.
Therefore, garbage cans become a suitable source of food during winter, and you will often find raccoons skulking near garbage dumps during this season.
What are the indicators that raccoons have attacked your garbage bins?
It is true that sometimes stray dogs too can knock over garbage bins, especially if they are hungry or if you have thrown away a significant number of meat scraps.
However, there are some simple ways to ensure that it is the work of raccoons, not dogs or other creatures.
Raccoons will leave their distinctive paw prints around the garbage bin, which is a clear indicator that it is the work of these critters and not dogs.
Moreover, if raccoons have been through your garbage bins, you will have the waste materials strewn and find scratch marks on the lid of the dumpster bins.
Raccoons are messy eaters, and they tend to leave chaos behind.
What will raccoons avoid eating, even in the garbage or among waste materials?
Raccoons are pretty intelligent and can easily differentiate between edible and inedible items. They avoid eating items like chocolate raisins and macadamia nuts as these are known to be toxic for the animal.
Are you interested in learning more about the different animals that eat garbage? Check out that article we wrote for more details.