The sight of a raccoon may not raise any concern to some homeowners. Raccoons are oftentimes mistaken for cute, harmless animals that coexist around our homes. So how does spotting a raccoon in your yard or around your home pose a threat?
There are several dangers associated with raccoons and the damage they can cause.
Health Risks Associated with Raccoons
Like many rodents, raccoons carry diseases that can be harmful to both humans and pets.
Raccoons are highly susceptible to the rabies strain, making it important to avoid handling coming into close contact with raccoons. Rabies is transmitted through a bite or scratch from a rabid animal. This viral infection affects the nervous system, with early symptoms resembling the flu.
Leptospirosis is caused by leptospira bacteria found in wild animal urine, including raccoons. Humans and pets contract this disease if they come into contact with water, soil or food that has been contaminated. Leptospirosis has flu-like symptoms, including severe muscle and head pains and high fever.
Although rare, raccoon droppings can contain roundworms which attack the central nervous system in both humans and other animals. A roundworm is a parasite that lives in raccoons’ intestines and becomes airborne once it exits the body. You might not come into direct contact with a roundworm, but your pet could and pass it along to you.
Raccoons Can Cause Damage to Your Home
Raccoons are constantly looking for areas to nest. Areas such as garages, attics, walls and basements can quickly become a new home for a raccoon. Raccoons can damage cables, air vents, insulation and anything else they can use to create their nest. Once a raccoon creates its nest, the area will soon be contaminated with urine and feces which in turn can be harmful to humans.
Signs of Raccoon Activity
There are a few indicators to look for if you suspect there is raccoon activity in or around your home. First, look for raccoon footprints – they resemble human footprints but are only 4 inches long. Scratch marks and droppings at the bottom of trees is also a strong indicator of raccoon activity. Finally, trash that has been strewn across your yard or trash cans being toppled over can also suggest a raccoon problem.
At Go Pro Wildlife we identify raccoon entry and access points to implement a removal process that will secure your home. Don’t let your home become a raccoon nesting place this winter – go with the pros!