What's the Difference Between Badgers and Raccoons?

Based on just a passing glance, it's easy to mistake badgers and raccoons for one another. However, property owners who take a closer look will realize the animals don't have much in common. Determining which yard pest is present requires a simple comparison of badger vs. raccoon traits.

Appearance:

Though the animals are roughly the same size and tend to be gray in color, they each have distinct markings. The raccoons' black face mask is unmistakable, while badgers have a white stripe that extends from their noses down their backs.

Raccoon:
raccoon

Badger:
badger

Diet:

In general, food is what lures both badgers and raccoons to lawns, but the pests have different tastes. Badgers are carnivores that feed on squirrels, moles, and rats.

On the other hand, raccoons aren't nearly as picky. As omnivores, they eat everything from garbage and plants to rodents and insects.

Dens:

Known for their burrowing skills, badgers create underground dens to pursue prey and provide a safe place to rest. The pests may dig multiple nests in one area with several feet of tunnels connecting them.

Raccoons might use vacated badger burrows to raise their young, but they are more likely to live in trees or move into attic.

Badger vs. Raccoon Damage

Badger problems almost exclusively relate to their burrows. Since the animals dig under driveways, sidewalks, and homes, they can cause structural issues.

When comparing badger vs. raccoon damage, raccoons are far more destructive. In addition to knocking over trash bins and tearing up gardens in search of meals, the pests steal outdoor pet food. They rip up vents and bend back siding in an effort to get inside homes as well.

Wildlife Exclusion and Control

Although there are many differences between badgers and raccoons, either animal can mean trouble for homeowners. Both pests have sharp claws, and raccoons spread serious diseases like rabies.