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Naperville Illinois Raccoon Control Situation: What is a raccoon's natural diet?
Raccoons are easily identified by their distinctive black masks and ringed tail. Raccoons are omnivores. They are highly adaptable and do not seem fussy about what they eat. They literally eat anything edible. Their diet includes both plant and animal matter. They have teeth which are designed to tear meat and grind plants. Being excellent swimmers they can eat aquatic animals and underwater plants. In urban locations they ransack garbage cans and eat garden fruits and insects.
The adapting nature of raccoons has helped them to adjust to any habitat. Earlier they lived in riverbanks, forests, caves or underground holes. With development their natural habitat began to shrink and raccoons have moved into barns and other urban settings.
Raccoons have sharp teeth and claws. They use them for holding food and tearing meat or gnawing through any barrier. They use their paws and fingers to hold and inspect food. They remove unwanted parts before eating. They are also observed dousing their food in water before eating. There are many theories put forward. Some believe that it is to clean food others to soften food before eating.
Natural diet of raccoons
Studies have been conducted to understand the natural diet of raccoons. Feces and stomach contents are examined, analyzed and studied.
1. The food ingested depended mainly on what was available in the given habitat and at that particular time of the year.
2. Though raccoons are omnivores plant material seemed to be the major constituent of their diet.
3. Fruits, berries, nuts & seeds, grass and fungi were the main plant materials. Among crops corn was the favorite.
4. Animal food consisted mainly of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. Larger mammals were found mainly as carrion.
5. Diet was also affected by season. In spring animal food exceeded plant matter, while in summer and autumn fruits and corn exceeded animal food. Winter showed consumption of acorns, fruits and corn, vertebrates and invertebrates.
The diet of a raccoon varies depending on the habitat.
1. In the wild: Raccoons have immense supply and variety of plants in the wild. Being nocturnal they roam round at night eating fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. In water: Raccoons are excellent swimmers and like to eat aquatic animals like frogs, crayfish and other fish.
3. On land: On land raccoons feed on insects, mice, and other small animals. Plants like egg plants and other garden plants are relished. They also eat fruits and nuts. They seem to eat a lot and the excess is converted into fat. This fat is used as a source of energy in winter.
4. On trees: Raccoons can easily climb trees. They eat fruits and berries. They also eat bird eggs and nestlings.
5. Urban settings: Raccoons have adapted very well to human habitation. They eat garden plants, dig under the lawn for insects. Overnight a raccoon can destroy and eat your vegetable and fruits. They also forage garbage cans and eat leftovers. Being messy eaters they make the place very untidy.
If you wish to learn more, click on the How to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Attic home page. For wildlife control, animal trapping services, and raccoon control in DuPage County, Illinois, call us at 773-295-1230, and ask to talk about raccoons in the attic in Naperville, IL.