Should You be Worried about Raccoons Around Your Home?
Raccoons are widespread in the U.S., especially in populated areas such as the Northeast. However, raccoons are nocturnal, so it’s uncommon to see them out during the day. If you do see one wandering around your yard in daylight, it’s possible that the raccoon is a mother taking care of her newborns. Those that live in metropolitan areas may also come out during the day to look for food.
In most cases, people recognize the signs of raccoons first, such as hand-shaped tracks, droppings, and rub marks. If you suspect that you have raccoons around your home, should you worry? How dangerous are these animals?
Raccoons and Human Health
Raccoons are dangerous to human health. They can carry rabies, which is a life threatening disease for humans. However, raccoons pose a bigger threat through their droppings. Diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and raccoon roundworm are all carried in urine and fecal matter.
Kids and pets that play in the yard are most at risk. To remove the droppings, you need gloves, disposable clothing, and a respirator, as some diseases can be contracted through inhalation. Of course, the best decision is to have a professional wildlife specialist handle the cleaning and removal.
Raccoons and Pets
If you have pets, you have something else to worry about when it comes to raccoons. These animals are wild, so it’s a possibility that they can get into a fight with your cat or dog and transmit rabies. Typically, conflict is more common with cats because of food that is left outdoors.
Altercations with dogs are less common but still happen. When this occurs, it’s usually because the dog chases the raccoon and it feels trapped. Again, avoid leaving your dog’s food outside, otherwise it can encourage raccoons to pay a visit, too. Small dogs are most at risk for being injured.
Other Problems that Raccoons May Cause
Even if the raccoons are not immediately dangerous, they can cause damage over time. Problems that may creep up are:
- Broken bird feeders
- Stolen vegetables and fruits
- Raided trash cans
- Destroyed flowers
- Homes built under sheds or decks
- Bothersome to kids and pets
If the raccoons make it inside your home, damage is inevitable. Raccoons can live in attics and garages and cause thousands of dollars in damage, such as chewed pipes and cables, ruined insulation, torn shingles and wood planks, contamination, and more. Bottom line: Nip the problem in the bud while you can. Raccoons are not animals you want near the home.
If you are concerned about raccoons hanging around your home, call the wildlife exclusion specialists from Heritage Pest Control. We have a safe, proven method for dealing with raccoons and other wildlife.