Why Would a Raccoon Eat a Wood Fence? Exploring Strange Eating Habits of Raccoons

Raccoons, those curious and clever masked bandits of the animal kingdom, have a penchant for surprising us with their peculiar behaviors. Among their many intriguing habits, one that often leaves us scratching our heads is their tendency to nibble on wood fences. At first glance, it seems illogical that a raccoon would find pleasure in consuming such an unconventional meal. However, as we delve into the complex world of raccoon behavior, we discover that there are several compelling reasons why these furry scavengers may resort to dining on a wooden feast. By exploring their dietary needs, instinctual behavior, and ingenuity, we aim to uncover the mysteries behind why a raccoon would choose to devour a wood fence.

Will a Raccoon Eat Wood?

Raccoons are notorious for their unpredictable and sometimes bizarre eating habits. While they’re primarily omnivorous creatures, their diet can range from fruits and nuts to insects and small animals. However, one of the more peculiar behaviors exhibited by raccoons is their tendency to chew on and consume wood.

These resourceful critters possess incredibly strong teeth and jaws, enabling them to gnaw through various types of wooden materials. Whether it be the wood shingles of your home, the wooden joists within the structure, or even the wooden eaves of a roof, raccoons are capable of making holes in these materials in their quest to gain entry.

But why would a raccoon go to such lengths to eat wood? The answer lies in their innate curiosity and opportunistic nature. Raccoons are known for their ability to adapt to various environments and find food sources wherever they can. In some cases, they may come across a wooden fence or structure that they perceive as potential food.

Moreover, raccoons have versatile jaws that can easily strip away bark and chew through wood to find insects hiding within. This behavior is especially prevalent during warmer months when insects are more abundant and serve as a primary food source for raccoons. In their relentless pursuit of sustenance, raccoons may inadvertently cause damage to wooden structures in the process.

If you’re dealing with a raccoon infestation or notice signs of wood damage, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. Seeking professional assistance can help mitigate any potential damage and ensure the safety of your home.

The Potential Dangers and Risks of Raccoons Eating Wood (e.g., Structural Damage, Increased Fire Risk)

  • Structural damage to wooden structures
  • Increased risk of fires

The presence of raccoons on your property can be a nuisance, especially if they keep finding their way onto your fence. However, with a few simple tips and strategies, you can reduce their access and keep them at bay. Start by sealing any gaps or holes in your fence to prevent their sneaky entry, and make sure to inspect it regularly for signs of damage. Additionally, discourage them from digging and climbing by adding barriers or deterrents, and consider trimming nearby tree branches that may give them easy access to your fence.

How Do I Keep Raccoons Off My Fence?

One of the most effective ways to keep raccoons off your fence is to seal any gaps or openings. Raccoons are known for their ability to squeeze through small spaces, so it’s important to inspect your fence regularly for any maintenance issues or signs of damage. Fill in any gaps or holes with sturdy materials, such as wire mesh or metal bars, to prevent raccoons from easily accessing your property.

Raccoons are skilled climbers, and tree branches can act as a bridge, allowing them to effortlessly jump onto your fence. By cutting back these branches, you remove their means of reaching your property and make it less inviting for raccoons.

There are various commercial repellents available that emit a scent or sound that raccoons find unpleasant. Additionally, motion-activated lights or sprinkler systems can startle raccoons and make them think twice about venturing onto your property.

Remember to stay proactive and consistent in your efforts to keep these crafty creatures at bay.

Source: 6 Ways To Make Your Fence Raccoon-Proof

Raccoons, being opportunistic creatures, have the ability to exploit any small vulnerabilities in your home’s structure to gain access. Their capacity to chew, scratch, and squeeze makes them a formidable force when it comes to breaking into houses. However, it’s crucial to have your home inspected by an experienced professional, as each house presents unique challenges and weaknesses that need to be addressed to prevent these crafty critters from intruding.

Will Raccoons Break Into Your House?

Raccoons, like most wild animals, are opportunists capable of taking advantage of even the most minor structural weakness to chew, scratch, and squeeze their way into your house. Once inside, raccoons can wreak havoc on your property, causing extensive damage to walls, insulation, wiring, and other structural components.

It’s important to note that raccoons are intelligent creatures and have been known to figure out how to open doors, windows, and even certain types of locks. They’re curious animals, always on the lookout for food, shelter, and nesting sites. If they identify your house as a potential source of these necessities, they’ll do everything in their power to gain entrance.

A common misconception is that raccoons are only active at night. While it’s true that they’re primarily nocturnal animals, they can also be active during the day, especially when they’re dealing with food scarcity or threats to their young. Therefore, it’s essential to take preventive measures to ensure the safety of your home at all hours.

It’s important to be proactive and take preventative measures to protect your home from these creatures. Consulting with a professional who can assess your property for potential vulnerabilities is the first step in ensuring that your house remains raccoon-free.

Raccoons can pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of your home, not only by potentially harboring diseases, but also by causing extensive damage. These clever creatures are capable of chewing through walls, sheetrock, and even support structures, wreaking havoc on crawl spaces and attics.

Do Raccoons Chew Through Walls?

Raccoons are notorious for their mischievous behavior and their ability to cause significant damage. Along with their knack for rummaging through garbage and stealing food, these cunning creatures are also known to chew through walls. This destructive behavior can lead to various problems, including threats to your health and extensive damage to crawl spaces and attics.

They often mark their territory by leaving scent markings or by destroying objects in their path. Chewing through walls allows them to establish dominance and defend their claimed space.

Furthermore, raccoons can cause extensive damage to crawl spaces and attics by weakening the structural integrity of walls. Their persistent gnawing can lead to significant holes and gaps, making it easier for water and other pests to infiltrate your home. This can result in water damage, mold growth, and even compromised insulation, leading to increased energy bills.

To prevent raccoons from chewing through walls and invading your property, it’s crucial to take preventive measures. Seal any potential entry points, such as gaps in the exterior walls or broken vents, to deny them access. Trim tree branches that hang over your roof to minimize their chances of accessing higher areas. Additionally, consider installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers to deter raccoons from approaching your home.

Additionally, raccoons are known to scavenge for insects, small mammals, bird eggs, and even garbage. These resourceful creatures are attracted to backyard environments that offer a readily available food source, making it important to take necessary precautions to minimize their presence and prevent potential conflicts.

Why Do Raccoons Come to My Backyard?

They’re also known to dig up and eat garden vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons. In terms of animal foods, raccoons will feed on small animals such as insects, worms, snails, and amphibians. They’re opportunistic scavengers and will also consume carrion or other food sources they come across.

The presence of garbage cans or compost bins in your backyard can be a major attraction for raccoons. They’re skilled at rummaging through trash and can easily access food waste that hasn’t been properly secured. Additionally, if you’ve a pet that eats outdoors, the food leftover in their bowls can entice raccoons to visit. It’s important to secure your garbage cans and bring in pet food dishes each night to prevent raccoon visits.

Water sources can also draw raccoons to your yard. They need access to fresh water for drinking and bathing. If you’ve a pond, birdbath, or pet water bowl outside, it may be inviting to raccoons. They’re nocturnal animals and are more active during the evening and night, so they may visit your yard when it’s quieter and they feel safer to explore.

Furthermore, raccoons are highly adaptable creatures and can easily adapt to urban environments. They’re known to take advantage of human structures and may find shelter in sheds, attics, or crawl spaces. If your yard provides suitable hiding spots, such as dense vegetation, trees, or brush piles, it may attract raccoons who seek shelter during the day. Raccoons will also make use of existing dens, such as old tree hollows or abandoned burrows, if available.

Raccoons are known to create dens for their young, and they may seek out materials such as leaves, twigs, or soft bedding to construct their nests. If you’ve a wood fence, they may be scratching or gnawing on it to collect materials for their nests. Raccoons have dexterous paws and will use their sharp claws to manipulate objects and gather nesting materials.

They can pose a risk to pets, can cause damage to property, and may carry diseases such as rabies. If you’re experiencing frequent raccoon visits or have concerns about their presence, it’s best to contact a professional wildlife removal service to handle the situation safely and humanely.


While primarily known as omnivores, raccoons' dietary choices extend beyond the typical range, leading them to explore unconventional food sources such as wood. Factors like nutritional deficiencies, territorial marking, dental maintenance, or simple curiosity might drive raccoons to nibble on fences. Understanding these strange eating habits not only allows us to appreciate the versatility of these resilient creatures but also underscores the importance of safeguarding our property and creating suitable wildlife habitats. By embracing coexistence and implementing preventative measures, we can strike a balance between preserving the integrity of our environment and respecting the natural tendencies of the diverse species we share it with.

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