Can Raccoons Make You and Your Pets Sick?

/ / Raccoon

Gone are the days when raccoons are treated as mere parts of the wildlife landscape. These days, they seem to be everywhere. Raccoons are a tricky bunch, and they are intelligent enough to adapt themselves right into houses.

raccoon in a urban setting

Once they leave their natural habitat, they instinctively seek out shelter and food, and establish their dens in places where they have access to both. Their favorite places to stay are dark, warm, and spacious, such as attics and crawl spaces.

A Raccoon is a Reason for Concern

Raccoons are furry nocturnal animals, and they actively seek out food at night. They seriously cause problems even to people who are trying to sleep just because of the noises and nuisance they make at night.

Aside from the noise, these animals could cause structural damage to your home as they try to enter it and turn it into their own home. They also carry diseases that can be easily transferred to people and pets.

If encountered, they can become aggressive and will scratch and bite those who they think will do them harm. Charming.

Diseases Carried by Raccoons

There are many health risks involved whenever there is a presence of raccoons inside a home. If you suspect you have one frequenting your home, here are some of the diseases that you and your loved ones could possibly contract:

Roundworm

Roundworm eggs come from raccoon feces, and are called baylisascaris.

Since these eggs are small and slight, they become airborne and could easily be transmitted into people who are also living inside the home, even if they have not had any direct contact with the raccoon.

Some symptoms from roundworm are fever, tiredness, loss of vision, and coma.

Rabies

A raccoon’s bite or scratch can cause rabies which could severely affect the victim’s central nervous system and cause brain inflammation.

Rabies can be deadly, and there have been confirmed cases of death resulting from rabies that came from a raccoon. If bitten by a raccoon, the symptoms you should watch out for are anxiety, aggression, high fever, hallucinations, and seizures.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is transmitted to people and pets who come into contact with raccoon urine. If one of your household pets has a jaundiced yellow color in the whites of the eyes, then he or she may be suffering from leptospirosis.

Among humans, leptospirosis can cause high fever, body pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, it could lead to even more serious diseases such as meningitis and liver failure.

Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria can be found in raccoon droppings. The resilient nature of the bacteria allows it to stay dormant in the feces for a long time—even if the droppings are not so fresh anymore.

Some of the symptoms observed are fever, diarrhea, abdominal pains, and a weakened immune system.

Raccoon Prevention

It will only be half the solution if all you do is spring a trap, catch, and exterminate a raccoon and then leave it there. After all, what’s to stop another animal from moving in?

In order to successfully remove raccoons from your house for good, it is imperative that you figure out first how they managed to enter your premises. A thorough inspection all over your house is needed in order to determine how they found a way in.

Once you have established the raccoon’s entryways, you need to seal them off using a wire mesh or a metal flashing. This will prevent these pesky animals from entering again.

During cleanup, necessary precautions will have to be made when handling the droppings the raccoon has left behind, and you must also remove the materials it has been in contact with during its stay in your home.

Raccoon removal can be a very difficult task, but a necessary one that should be done immediately, as prolonged exposure to raccoons in your own home could lead to harmful diseases.

For the safety of your family members, and to achieve peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that your home remains a pest-free haven, you need to get rid of these animals.

Seeking the help of a professional pest control company like Dugas Pest Control will bring the solution you need. We have years of experience removing wildlife from homes, and we take your families’ safety as our utmost priority. Get in touch with us today to be rid of these pests once and for all!