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Raccoons are fascinating creatures that are native to North America. Raccoons are medium-sized mammals known for their distinctive black mask-like markings around their eyes. They have a dense fur coat, dexterous front paws, and a bushy ringed tail. These nocturnal animals are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests to urban areas. Raccoons love to eat! Why do raccoons wash their food? They don’t, they dip their paws into water sources as it helps with their sense of touch.

Let’s take a look.

Raccoons love to eat vegetables amongst other things. They don't wash their food.

What Do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons are omnivores, which means they have a varied diet. They will consume almost anything they can find, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, insects, small animals, eggs, and even human garbage. Their ability to adapt their diet to available resources makes them highly successful scavengers.

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal feeders and prefer to search for food during the night. However, they may also venture out during the day if they are particularly hungry or if there is abundant food available.

Raccoons love to put their paws in water so they can enhance their sense of touch. They don't actually wash their food.

Do Raccoons Really Wash Their Food?

One intriguing behavior exhibited by raccoons is their habit of “washing” their food. Contrary to popular belief, raccoons do not actually wash their food in water. Instead, they dip their paws into water sources like rivers or puddles and then rub their food. This behavior helps enhance their sense of touch, as raccoons have highly sensitive nerve endings in their paws.

Is Water Important to Raccoons?

Water plays a crucial role in a raccoon’s diet. It helps them stay hydrated, aids digestion, and allows them to clean their food. Raccoons are excellent swimmers and will readily enter water bodies to catch aquatic prey, such as fish or frogs.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know why raccoons like water on their paws, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance.

One is raccoon nests. Raccoon nests are already established like a den, a burrow, or under a porch or in an attic.

Another is moles hibernating. They actually don’t hibernate. When the temperature drops, they dig deeper into the ground and burrow so they can hide from the cold.

Lastly, sometimes there are roof rats. These are rodents that are long and thin and have large ears and eyes, a tail, as well as a nose that is pointed. Their fur is brown with black spots and soft. Their belly is usually gray, white, or black.

When to Call a Professional

If you encounter a raccoon on your property that is displaying aggressive behavior, appears sick or injured, or has taken up residence in an undesirable location (such as your attic), it is best to contact a professional wildlife removal service. Attempting to handle raccoons on your own can be dangerous and may lead to injury or the spread of disease.


Raccoons are fascinating creatures with diverse dietary habits and unique behaviors. By understanding their feeding patterns and the reasons behind their peculiar habits, we can appreciate these intelligent mammals even more. If you encounter any issues with raccoons, it’s always best to seek professional assistance to ensure the safety of both humans and these curious animals. Reach out to Waypoint Pest Services, we will take a look at your pest control needs in Tampa and Central Florida.

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