Do Raccoons Eat Apples? Yes! (Here’s Why)

Photo: Iv-olga / Shutterstock

Raccoons have a reputation for diving into garbage cans and eating everything they can find. The specifics of a raccoon’s diet aren’t widely known, though.

Do raccoons enjoy eating different types of fruit?

Raccoons eat apples and many other kinds of fruit, such as plums, cherries, mulberries, peaches, strawberries, apricots, and melons. These critters are opportunistic eaters and omnivores, so they eat plants, other animals, and nearly everything they come across, including food scraps. 

Keep reading to learn about the fruits that raccoons eat, their favorite treats, and whether they eat apples off of trees.

We’ll also offer some tips on preventing raccoons from climbing your apple trees, and we’ll discuss the types of food that are toxic to them.

Do Raccoons Eat Fruits?

Raccoons love sweet foods, and fruits are especially attractive to them. In fact, they eat all types of fruits, including apples, plums, peaches, cherries, apricots, mulberries, strawberries, and melons.

Typically, raccoons will start by eating fruit that has fallen to the ground. Eventually, though, they use their impressive climbing skills to climb into fruit trees and continue eating.

Their front paws have many similarities with human hands, making them perfect for gripping branches. 

What Is A Raccoon’s Favorite Thing To Eat?

Raccoons are happy to eat just about anything they can get their paws on. They’re omnivores, so their diet includes both plants and other animals. Raccoons eat nuts, fruits, insects, amphibians, and more. 

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When it comes to a raccoon’s favorite thing to eat, they have a sweet spot for fruit and nuts, and they also enjoy seeds and vegetables. Other favorites include clams, fish, frogs, and snails.

However, since they are foragers, their diet can vary depending on the food available in their environment.

Raccoons are often referred to as opportunistic eaters, and the stereotypical image of a raccoon is one in which it is sifting through a garbage can, looking for its next meal.

As a general rule, though, most of a raccoon’s diet consists of plant foods and invertebrates. 

Do Raccoons Eat Apples Off Of Trees?

Yes, raccoons eat apples off of trees. They’re part of a larger group of animals that often engage in this type of behavior, including skunks, foxes, opossums, and squirrels. 

Not only do raccoons eat apples off of trees, but they’re also known for going through trash cans, sifting through mulch piles, digging holes in lawns, and even eating the contents of bird feeders.

As opportunistic feeders, raccoons will eat anything and everything. When it comes to eating apples from trees, they’ll usually come across fallen fruit on the ground first.

Once they’ve enjoyed everything on the ground, they’ll climb the tree to get more.

How Do I Keep Raccoons Off My Apple Tree?

It’s common for raccoons to eat fruit from trees, but you might not be pleased to find that your fruit trees have been ravaged by these critters.

Luckily, there are plenty of humane ways to keep raccoons from feasting on your apple tree.

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Know Local Laws

First, it’s important to note that in many states, it’s illegal to trap wild animals and take them to another location. Be sure to learn about the laws in your state to see whether this is the case for you.  

Remove Fallen Fruit

If you notice that apples have fallen to the ground, remove them as soon as possible to avoid attracting raccoons.

Use Repellents

Repellents can be effective in deterring raccoons, but the best way to use them is to rotate multiple products. 

Raccoons will eventually realize that the scent of a repellent is not connected to an actual threat, so if you keep using the same repellent for a long period of time, it’ll stop being effective.

Choose a commercial repellent that contains ingredients like rotten eggs, capsaicin, and synthetic predator scent. Simply spray the repellent on your apple tree. Don’t forget to reapply it after it’s rained. 

Startle Raccoons With Reflective Products

Although reflective products like bird tape and scare-eye balloons are most often used to scare away birds, they can also startle raccoons.

Try using multiple products and moving them around every few days so that the raccoons don’t realize that they don’t pose a real threat.

Install A Metal Collar

If the raccoons can’t climb the tree, they won’t be able to get to your apples.

Installing a metal collar around the trunk of the tree can prevent them from climbing. The slick surface of the metal makes it impossible for them to gain enough traction to make their way up the tree.

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Do Raccoons Like Peanut Butter?

Raccoons love the smell and taste of peanut butter, and it’s often recommended for use in raccoon traps for this reason. Peanut butter has a distinctive aroma that is extremely enticing to these critters. 

Not only do raccoons love sweet foods like fruit, but they also enjoy nuts. Combining nuts with additional sweetness is irresistible to them.

What Foods Are Toxic To Raccoons?

Raccoons don’t often get sick from the things they eat, even when they’ve procured their meals from a garbage can. 

One of the reasons raccoons avoid illness is that they have long intestinal tracts that enable them to eliminate most toxins during digestion.

Another is that they have highly acidic stomachs that are great at killing harmful bacteria.

Plus, raccoons have evolved to be aware of foods that are harmful to them and tend to stay away from these foods in the first place.

Here are a few of the foods that are toxic to raccoons:

  • Guacamole (and anything with avocado in it)
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate (and anything with cocoa in it)
  • All caffeinated foods and beverages
  • Onions
  • Processed sugars
  • Spices


Raccoons love to eat apples and other fruits like cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, melons, mulberries, and strawberries. 

They’re omnivores, so they eat plants and other animals, and they’re also opportunistic eaters. This means that raccoons eat pretty much every type of sustenance they can find.

However, there are several kinds of food that are toxic to raccoons. These include cocoa, onions, avocados, processed sugars, garlic, coffee, and spices.

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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