October 1, 2022, is National Raccoon Day, a time to acknowledge the role raccoons play in our environment. Although seen as a nuisance by many, raccoons play a key role in their ecosystems.
Despite these benefits, it is still important to understand the risks associated with human and raccoon interaction. Raccoons carry a variety of diseases that can be harmful to humans and can cause damage to the infrastructure of your home or business.
Are Raccoons Beneficial?
Raccoons are widely known as a nuisance. Just think of the many movie depictions of people finding a raccoon on their porch or in their home and chasing it away with a broom. This comes from a variety of misconceptions that surround the masked mammal. For example, it is a common theme to assume all raccoons are rabid and will purposefully bite you, making people fearful when they encounter raccoons.
The reality is raccoons are not a natural menace. While they will scratch and bite if they feel threatened, raccoons are typically not aggressive towards humans. Most often if you encounter a raccoon in or around your home, they are looking for food, making a shelter or nesting to raise babies.
Did you know raccoons positively impact the environment and ecosystem? They also help in urban areas like cities and even near your home. Here are some of the ways raccoons positively impact the world around them:
- Spreading plants, trees and flowers—Raccoons consume fruits, seeds and nuts and then expel them to other areas. Although it’s not pollination, this process has given raccoons the nickname of a land bee because of the similarity to a bee’s role in the environment.
- Protecting Bees – Bees are essential for plants to thrive. One of the main threats to bees is wasps which raccoons help keep at bay by eating their larvae and preventing them from colonizing.
- Renewing the soil—Raccoons are known for digging. When they dig to find food such as worms and insects, they generate soil turnover and promote decomposition.
- Keeping rodents away—Mice and rats are intelligent animals, so they tend to avoid areas where raccoons are as they are the main predator of rodents. Although you may not enjoy raccoons digging around in your trash, they are most likely repelling other wildlife nuisances away from your home in the process.
Know the Signs of Raccoons in Your Home and the Associated Risks
National Raccoon Day is intended to educate people on the benefits raccoons offer and the role they play in our ecosystem. While they are helpful creatures in nature, you do not want this masked mammal taking residence in your home. No matter how cute raccoons may seem, they have the potential to carry diseases that can harm people. Raccoons are highly susceptible to rabies, leptospirosis and roundworms, among other harmful diseases and parasites.
Raccoons can also cause damage to areas of your home including cables, air vents, insulation and other items when building their nest. They are constantly on the prowl for the perfect place to nest and are commonly found in attics, basements and the walls of homes. Look for signs such as raccoon footprints, scratch marks, droppings and disheveled trash. All of these can indicate raccoons may be near or in your home.
As the cooler months approach, raccoon activity in homes will become more prevalent. If you find yourself with raccoons in your home, don’t try to remove them yourself. Call professionals who have the expertise and experience with humanely removing nuisance wildlife. The team at Go Pro Wildlife Removal works daily to uphold our mission of bridging the gap between human interaction and protecting wildlife by humanely removing critters so our customers stay healthy and safe.
National Raccoon Day is all about appreciating the good things raccoons do for the world around them. Although they would not make a good housemate, raccoons are not the menacing nuisance many people assume them to be. If you come across the masked mammal in your home, seek the help of professionals like our team at Go Pro Wildlife to ensure your safety and humane removal of the critter. Give us a call at 334-744-0391 or visit our website to schedule your FREE INSPECTION today.