Raccoon Diseases & Health Risks of Raccoons in the Home

Growling raccoonBased on portrayals of raccoons in cartoons and toys, one might think that raccoons are harmless…. perhaps even cute and cuddly. But many diseases are contained in raccoon poop, and there are significant risks involved in the spread of raccoon diseases to humans.

These are some of the most common raccoon diseases, as well as what you can do to prevent their spread to humans and removal options.

Common Raccoon Diseases

There are many different raccoon diseases, and some can be transmitted on to humans and pets. In addition to the most well-known raccoon disease of rabies, these animals can also carry roundworm, giardia, and leptospirosis.

The human symptoms of raccoon roundworm include liver problems, loss of muscle control, and blindness, Giardia is a digestive condition that causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps in humans. The bacterial infection of leptospirosis can cause high fevers, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Salmonella can also be carried by raccoons and spread through contaminated food that raccoons get into.

Signs of Raccoon Poop

Signs of raccoon poop are often the first indicators that your home has a raccoon problem. These animals tend to seek warmth in the winter, which brings raccoons onto your property and perhaps even into your home. Raccoon poop typically is tube-shaped and about two or three inches long. It may resemble dog feces, but it is distinctive in that you will usually find pieces of undigested food in raccoon poop.

Signs of Rabies in Raccoons

Raccoon behavior can be difficult to decipher, as these are nocturnal creatures that can eat so many different things. Rabies is usually spread from a raccoon to a human with a bite or scratch. Signs of rabies in raccoons include walking erratically or lethargically. Raccoons with rabies may also walk in circles and experience paralysis in the hind legs which prohibits walking. Foaming at the mouth and aggression are also possible signs of rabies in raccoons.

The Spread of Raccoon Diseases to Humans

It is important to take precautions to prevent infection and diseases that can be transmitted through a raccoon bite or scratch. Make sure to regularly inspect raccoon-prone areas, like the attic, garage, and shed for unexplained feces or urine. Never approach a raccoon without the proper training or equipment.

Any person or pet scratched or bitten by a raccoon requires immediate medical attention. It often takes a couple weeks for symptoms of raccoon diseases to present themselves, but by that point, it could be too late to administer an effective treatment.

Raccoon Removal Services

Since raccoons tend to become aggressive and dangerous when threatened have the potential to carry various raccoon diseases, this pest control task is best left to the professionals. Precise Pest Control specializes in Bergen County raccoon removal, and our staff is highly rained in identification, extermination, and prevention of future infestations.

We can pursue a number of options to get raccoons off your property and keep them away, such as trapping them and repelling them with specialized solutions. For obvious reasons, it can be very unsettling to have a raccoon in your home. Let us take care of the problem so you can rest assured that you and your family are safe.