Do Raccoons Eat Lettuce? (Can They Spoil Your Garden?)

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Raccoons are ravenous eaters and will eat almost anything, so if you’re wondering, do raccoons eat lettuce, the answer is a definite “yes.” In fact, not only do raccoons eat lettuce, but lettuce is actually good for them.

Raccoons eat lettuce because it is available and has a nice crunchy texture, it is also a good choice for them because of how nutritious it is. Lettuce is filled with vitamins and minerals that raccoons need to grow and thrive, including vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and manganese.

The fact that they love lettuce is a convenience for them, but not so much for people trying to keep critters out of their garden.

raccoon eating

Is it Difficult When Raccoons Eat Lettuce?

Raccoons eat a variety of foods, including fish and small mammals, fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, and just about anything you put into your garbage can.

If you have a garden and the raccoons keep visiting, this can be quite a challenge, but if you’re wondering exactly how raccoons eat lettuce and other foods, it’s really very simple.

Raccoons have small hands (some people call them paws) with five very distinct fingers on them. Because there is no thumb, they cannot grab things as humans do, but they can use both hands and grab your lettuce plants to eat them.

And because raccoons have very sharp teeth, they can bite into and chew the lettuce just like humans do. Raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plant-based foods, and their bodies are also made to easily digest foods such as lettuce.

Keep in mind that a lot of people grow lettuce in their gardens, so raccoons generally don’t have to go far to find some tasty, crispy lettuce to eat.

When raccoons are looking for food, they prefer food that is readily available over having to hunt and kill prey, which is why lettuce and other vegetables are some of their favorites.

Do Raccoons Eat Other Vegetables?

Raccoons eat lettuce and numerous other veggies, including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins.

They also eat melons, squash, peas, beans, and corn, so there really isn’t much that raccoons will not eat.

One of the reasons why foods such as lettuce is so good for them is because lettuce is a water-filled veggie, which means it keeps the raccoons well hydrated.

raccoon

Cucumbers are also mostly water, so if you happen to throw out your leftover salad one night, don’t be surprised to find that these animals have gotten into your garbage can overnight and eaten it!

If you do have a garden and you’re wondering if it’s raccoons that are eating your lettuce and other vegetables, just look for scratches on trees or fences, small paw tracks in the garden itself, and droppings that the raccoon might’ve left after feeding on the vegetables.

Remember that raccoons are nocturnal and only feed at night, so you don’t have to keep an eye out for them during daylight hours.

Raccoons Are Opportunistic Eaters

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters, which means that they’ll eat almost anything they can get their hands on. Simply put, raccoons want to conserve as much energy as possible when finding their food sources, which is why they love people’s gardens and yards so much.

For raccoons, it is too much trouble to hunt and kill prey, which is why you see them so often in places with fresh fruits and vegetables growing.

This isn’t to say they won’t kill and eat other animals, but they’d much prefer easy-to-find foods when they go out to find their next meal.

raccoon
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It’s also easy for raccoons when people have gardens with all types of food in them. Raccoons will come into your yard at night and see large bright green heads of lettuce, bright red tomatoes, and all sorts of other foods that look great, are easy to get to, and are good for them as well.

In other words, homeowners, without even realizing it, are luring raccoons into their yards simply by having colorful fruits and vegetables in their gardens, and raccoons always take notice of it.

And with their large hands and claws, it is super easy to get to these foods, hold onto them, and take huge bites out of them at any time.

Conclusion

So yes, raccoons eat lettuce out of your garden, and yes, they can make a mess out of your garden as well. Some barriers work well to keep these critters out of your garden, while others don’t.

You might want to consider building a small greenhouse for your veggies if raccoons continue to be a problem because few other things will keep them away.

Nevertheless, raccoons will eat almost anything that they have access to, and because they have such ravenous appetites, you can count on them eating anything and everything that your garden has to offer.