Do Raccoons Steal? Learn About Their Mischievous Habits!

Raccoons are known for their mischievous and curious nature, often getting into places they shouldn’t be. But do raccoons steal? The answer is yes, raccoons are notorious for stealing food and other objects. They are opportunistic feeders and will scavenge for food wherever they can find it, including garbage cans, gardens, and even homes.

While raccoons are primarily scavengers, they are also known to steal objects left lying around. This can include anything from shiny objects to pet toys. Raccoons are intelligent animals and have been known to figure out how to open doors and containers to get to what they want. They are also skilled climbers and can easily access bird feeders and other food sources that are normally out of reach for other animals.

Despite their reputation for stealing, raccoons are still fascinating creatures that are a common sight in many urban and suburban areas. Understanding their behavior and habits can help people coexist with these animals and prevent them from causing damage or becoming a nuisance.

Do Raccoons Steal?

Raccoons are known for their mischievous behavior, and one of the most common things they are accused of is stealing. But do raccoons actually steal? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Do Raccoons Steal?

Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat just about anything they can find. They are also curious animals and are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. When food is scarce, raccoons may turn to stealing to survive.

What Do Raccoons Steal?

Raccoons will eat just about anything, but some of their favorite foods include nuts, berries, insects, small animals, and bird eggs. When it comes to stealing, raccoons are notorious for raiding garbage cans and compost bins in search of food.

How Do Raccoons Steal?

Raccoons are incredibly agile and have nimble fingers that allow them to open containers, untie knots, and even turn doorknobs. They are also skilled climbers and can easily scale fences and trees to access food sources.

Is It Dangerous to Have Raccoons Stealing?

While raccoons may be cute and entertaining to watch, having them steal from your property can be a nuisance. They can make a mess, damage property, and spread disease through their feces. In rare cases, raccoons may also become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered.

What to Do If You Have Raccoons Stealing?

If you have raccoons stealing from your property, there are a few things you can do to deter them. First, make sure all food sources are secure and inaccessible. This includes garbage cans, compost bins, and pet food. You can also install motion-activated lights and sprinklers to scare off raccoons. If the problem persists, contact a professional wildlife removal service to safely and humanely remove the raccoons from your property.

How to Prevent Raccoons from Stealing?

Securing Your Garbage

One of the primary reasons raccoons visit homes is to scavenge for food. They are attracted to the smell of garbage, so it is essential to secure your garbage cans and bins. Use a bungee cord or a tight-fitting lid to keep raccoons out. You can also use a metal or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid to store your garbage. Make sure to keep your garbage cans clean and free of food scraps and debris.

Protecting Your Garden and Yard

Raccoons are known to damage gardens and lawns while searching for food. To protect your garden and yard, you can use a fence or netting. A fence should be at least six feet tall and buried at least a foot deep to prevent raccoons from digging under it. Netting can be used to cover plants and trees to prevent raccoons from climbing and damaging them.

Removing Food Sources

Remove any potential food sources from your yard, such as pet food, fallen fruit, and birdseed. Raccoons are attracted to these food sources and will return to your yard if they find them. Keep your pet food inside and clean up any fallen fruit or birdseed regularly.

Using Repellents

You can use natural repellents to keep raccoons away from your yard. Some effective natural repellents include hot pepper spray, ammonia, and predator urine. You can also use motion-activated sprinklers or lights to scare raccoons away.

Sealing Entry Points

Raccoons can enter your home through small openings and cracks. To prevent them from entering your home, seal any entry points, such as gaps in your roof, vents, or windows. You can use caulk or mesh to seal these openings.


Raccoons are fascinating creatures that have earned a reputation for being mischievous and sneaky. They have been observed engaging in behavior that resembles play with stolen objects, but it is not entirely clear what motivates them to do so. Raccoons use their sense of touch to explore and investigate, so their apparent play behavior may serve a practical purpose.

While raccoons are known for raiding trash cans and stealing pet food, they are also opportunistic omnivores that will eat bugs, worms, berries, and nuts. In urban settings, they can find treasures in the trash and cat food left outside.

It is important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and should be treated with caution. They can carry diseases such as rabies and can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. It is best to leave them alone and avoid feeding them, as this can encourage them to become dependent on humans for food.

If you do encounter a raccoon that appears sick or injured, it is best to contact a wildlife rehabilitation center or animal control agency for assistance. They have the expertise and resources to safely handle and care for wild animals.

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