Raccoons are known to be clever when compared to other wildlife and some household pets. Raccoons are nocturnal, meaning you will find them rummaging through trash and exploring neighborhoods looking for food at night.
Due to their adaptability, raccoons can live in developed areas if their needs are being met. Contrary to popular belief, raccoons are not vermin, they are just mammals that humans find annoying. While it is rare for a raccoon to attack humans unprovoked, raccoons can carry and spread disease. So, are raccoons dangerous? The Bug Master has further information to help you understand.
Raccoons Are Carriers of Diseases
Raccoons, like any other animal, have the potential to spread diseases. The most common diseases spread by raccoons are salmonella and E. coli. Raccoons spend their time in garbage looking for food and this also makes them carriers for a wide assortment of diseases that can be spread to humans or other animals.
- Raccoons are infamous for their connection to the rabies disease. Be wary of raccoons with a drunken gait, wet face/drooling excessively, or are showing aggressive tendencies in the day. By far the highest number of rabies cases are attributed to raccoons. Rabies is only transferable by the saliva in bites and incubates from 2-12 weeks. The disease attacks the nervous system of whatever it infects and can possibly kill someone if no action is taken before symptoms appear.
- Roundworms (Baylisascaris)
- Due to the habit of raccoons creating community latrines, they create locations ripe for parasites and bacteria to culminate. This leads to the growth and spread of raccoon roundworms. Roundworms will generally infect people in their eyes, organs, and even the brain. While not the most common spreadable parasite, it can also infect pets and other animals as well.
- Another disease they spread through their excrement is Giardiasis. Their fecal matter can spread the bacteria into water and soil. Infection causes severe gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea in those afflicted.
- Leptospirosis is a disease common in wildlife that can cause an assortment of symptoms. The disease is spread through the urine of a raccoon by either ingestion or through an open wound. The disease has two phases, the first of which is similar to different kinds of flu symptoms. The second phase can cause kidney or liver failure and usually can take months to recover from.
Raccoons generally have no interest in being near humans. They will keep to themselves unless they are comfortable coming closer for food. Raccoons will usually only attack people when threatened or infected with rabies. A rabid raccoon should be avoided as the disease will make raccoons more likely to be aggressive. While raccoons tend to stay away from pets, they can seriously injure or kill pets should a fight break out.
Raccoons Damaging Property
Raccoons are nocturnal animals and will look for high places to sleep during the day. When active, raccoons can greatly damage a home. They will create nests in attics by ripping up insulation and destroying ducts while creating holes for easy outdoor access. Raccoons will also create a community latrine where urine and feces will pile up. Raccoons should not be removed on your own as it is too dangerous. You can take steps to prevent or discourage raccoons but leave raccoon removal to wildlife removal professionals.
How to Keep Raccoons Away
It is far easier to keep raccoons away than getting rid of raccoons after they have moved in. Keeping raccoons away centers around access to food. To discourage raccoons or encourage them to leave, simply take away any access they have to food.
- Bring in any pet food left outside for your pet. Pet food is a favorite of raccoons and attracts them to your home and cause them to lose the fear of people.
- Seal your garbage so raccoons have no food to access if they approach your home, especially at night as they are nocturnal creatures.
- There are devices to scare off raccoons such as motion detection sprinklers which will usually keep them away from your yard.
- Raccoon removal services can help you with the immediate problem. Sealing any access points, a raccoon has made or has exploited is more important.
No matter how irritating raccoons can be, they can and should be dealt with. It is important to get rid of raccoons quickly. Critter removal professionals can help you eliminate a raccoon problem. The Bug Master has plenty of resources on how to keep your homes safe from all kinds of pests, including raccoon pest control.