Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that live on their host. When a tick finds a host to survive on, it penetrates the skin and sucks the blood, making the host anemic. Many animals, especially vulnerable birds and domestic animals, will die from anemia. However, few creatures feed on ticks. So, you must be searching; do raccoons eat ticks?
Yes, raccoons eat ticks. Several animals feed on ticks, including mammals, amphibians, and birds. Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and self-cleaning animals. It will feed on the ticks that attack its body. Plus, raccoons will also enjoy eating ticks; if it finds on the grass or bushes.
To find more detail on raccoons eating ticks, continue to read the article.
How Many ticks’ Raccoons Eat?
Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will probably eat anything they find, including ticks. However, they do not tick predators and will not go on a tick hunt in the wild. Raccoons will eat ticks when they find them on the grass or bushes or when the ticks attack them.
Ticks irritate the animal it is residing on. The birds become completely helpless from tick attacks and die. Raccoons can self-clean themselves from the parasites, eating ninety percent of the ticks attacking its body.
They will only eat the ticks it finds in its surrounding, unlike opossums that eat five thousand ticks per week.
Can Raccoons Carry Ticks?
Many animals carry ticks, including birds, rats, lizards, squirrels, deer, and raccoons. The ticks never stick to one host. They will move from one host to another. Raccoons are tick carriers and can spread to cats and dogs, making them tick’s host.
However, raccoons are clean mammals. It likes to keep itself washed and without any parasites. When ticks attack raccoons, they do not survive. A raccoon will eat all the ticks on its body as a process of self-cleaning.
Therefore, raccoons might be a carrier of ticks but not for a long time, probably a few hours or days.
Research on the wild mammals carrying ticks by Sergio E., Bermúdez C., Esser, Helen J., Roberto Miranda, C., and Moreno, Ricardo S, shows that raccoons, along with coyotes, foxes, ocelots, pumas, and skunks, carry multiple species of ticks.
How Do Raccoons Catch Ticks?
Ticks move from one host to another. It will live for only a few days on one host, and then it will move to another and can even invade human homes when they do not find any host. Ticks cannot jump or fly.
They move using their legs. They move into the grass from the host and move into the body of another host it finds.
Raccoons do not go for tick search. They are opportunistic eaters. Therefore, it will eat tick when it finds one. Raccoons will catch and eat ticks. while self-cleaning. It can also eat ticks from surrounding like the grass, bushes, trees, or vegetation.
What Animals Are Predators To Ticks?
There are many natural predators of ticks. The primary animals that feed on ticks are opossums, frogs, squirrels, chickens, and wild turkeys.
Apart from these regular predators, many animals will feed on the ticks occasionally, like guineafowl, ants, fire ants, and raccoons.
Natural predators alone are not enough to get rid of the tick population. It is where opportunistic eaters like raccoons come in that will only eat the ticks when they find them lingering near them. Raccoons feed on ticks when it finds them on its body or crawl near them.
What Animal Kills The Most Ticks?
Opossums are the famous killer of ticks. It will eat more than ninety percent of ticks it comes across. An opossum can eat about five thousand ticks per week and a minimum of two hundred ticks per day.
They are like cleaners of the environment, getting rid of ticks. Opossums searches and picks up these ticks from the dirt and ground. It also feeds on the tick attacking its body, similar to a raccoon.
However, raccoons are an occasional eater of ticks and will kill only those present on the body.
Do Racoons Eat Ticks To Get Rid Of Them?
Yes, raccoons eat ticks to get rid of them, and so do the opossums, turkey, guineafowl, ants, chickens, and frog. Eating the tick is a quick way of getting rid of their population.
Ticks make their colonies rather quickly. Once it finds a host, it will lay eggs immediately on its host body. These eggs hatch within a few hours to three days, increasing their population.
Raccoons clean themselves several times a day. They will eat the ticks it locates on its body but will not go to the environment to search.
Do Racoons Eat Ticks from The Grass?
Raccoons are opportunistic eaters; they will eat anything it finds edible. Raccoons will not have any issue digesting the ticks, it finds. They pick up the ticks from the ground similar way to opossums.
Instead of flying or jumping, ticks crawl from one host to another. Their locomotion is slow, making it easier for predators to attack and feed on them.
Raccoons pick ticks from high grass, bushes, nearby trees, and other vegetation. Unlike other natural predators, raccoons do not hunt for ticks and only eat those they find crawling near them or on the body.
How To Protect Pet Animals From Ticks From The Raccoon?
Raccoons and other animals living in the wild can spread the ticks to your pet animal. When a domestic animal comes in contact with a wild animal or its waste, it ends with one or two diseases.
However, ticks travel by crawling, so if you live near a woody or forest area with many animals living in it, your pet is at risk of the parasite.
Some tips to protect domestic animals from ticks are given below:
- Carefully inspect the pet’s fur after returning from a walk or a visit to a forest or gardens.
- Regular visits to the vet to keep the pet’s health in check will also allow early diagnosis of any parasitic infection.
- Keep the garden clean by cutting overgrown grass and removing shrubs. Dirty areas attract ticks and many other pests.
- Install a fence in your yard. To prevent animals like raccoons that are the carrier of ticks from entering your property.
- Apply the tick spray to your garden and yard at least once a month to keep the ticks and fleas away.
- Use local good tick control products, such as shampoo, collars, dips, powders, and antiseptics. Check this with your vet.
- Take the animal to the vet as soon as you see a lack of activity or laziness. The initial symptoms of a tick attack are the animal becoming lethargic and weak.
- Keep pet feeder and waste station indoors. It reduces the risk of tick attacks and infection.
Raccoons are not the predator of ticks, but they occasionally feed on them. When a raccoon finds a tick in its surrounding grass, bushes, and trees, it will attack and eat it immediately.
Being the cleanest mammal, raccoons clean themselves multiple times a day. It will instantly eat any tick it finds on the body. A raccoon can eat almost ninety percent of ticks from its body. Therefore, they are the opportunistic killer of ticks.
The ticks spread from one animal to another. So, many animals, including raccoons, are carriers of ticks. However, domestic animals are extremely vulnerable to these ticks.
Bermúdez C. Sergio E., Helen J. Esser , C. Roberto Miranda, Ricardo S. Moreno “Wild carnivores (Mammalia) as hosts for ticks (Ixodida) in Panama,” Systematic and Applied Acarology, 20(1), 13-19, (5 January 2015)