While some may think that raccoons look cute and snuggly with their furry tails and built in burglar masks, they are quite the threat to your home, your family, and even your pets. Although they play an important role in the environment, like almost everything else (we still haven’t figured out what mosquitoes are good for), you don’t want them playing any kind of role in your normal day to day. The most you want to see a raccoon is on the side of the road, on TV, or captive. The destruction these critters can cause goes beyond what you’d think an animal this size can create. Along with rabies, some other not-so-friendly diseases are also harbored and spread by these vermin. Raccoons can also terrorize or hurt your outdoor pets. It’s best to keep them outside and away from your home.
Raccoons are notorious for rabies but did you know that there are two other diseases that are also quite prevalent with these animals? Leptospirosis and raccoon roundworm are both serious diseases that raccoons may have. Roundworm is located in raccoon feces and can be ingested and even inhaled. So when cleaning up what might be raccoon feces, be sure to wear gloves and even a mask. The symptoms of raccoon roundworm can include fever, nausea, liver enlargement, lack of muscle control, blindness, and in rare cases, death. Unlike roundworm, leptospirosis is a disease that is carried in raccoon urine. In extreme cases, liver and kidney problems develop, along with flu-like symptoms, severe head and body aches, and fever. Dogs are especially prone to leptospirosis, and can actually die from it. Even though rabies is a big blip on the radar, these other two diseases are very dangerous as well, and must be prevented at all costs. Keeping raccoons away from your home starts with keeping trash cans sealed or out of reach. Making sure your trash can lids are sealed is done easily with the help of bungee cords.
Destruction and Contamination
Diseases aside, raccoons are messy animals and when they make your home their home, it can really have detrimental effects on your property value. Raccoons in your attic or crawlspace make themselves at home regardless of how messy or smelly it may be. The damage caused by raccoons inside of homes each year is a massive number with property destroyed costing somewhere in the thousands per home. Raccoons tear up insulation, insulated pipes, air ducts, and on top of that, they defecate everywhere – which is a biohazard and must be taken care of to ensure your family’s health.
Your Pets’ Safety
Though raccoons aren’t typically the aggressors, a curious dog or two has been the brunt of a raccoon attack before. They don’t normally seek out other animals, but in protecting their young, or hunting for food, a raccoon will get defensive and, sometimes, even offensive. It’s not a chance you want to take when it comes to your pets, as you don’t know for sure whether a raccoon may have rabies or not. That’s probably not a chance you or anyone else would take, so make sure if there are raccoons around, your pets streer clear or stay inside, for the safety of all of you.