What Do You Need to Know About Raccoons
Raccoons are Nothing More than Adorable Creatures, Right?
Wrong. Raccoons can be quite dangerous when confronted and have even launched full-fledged attacks on pet animals as well as humans. These attacks could result in bites, scratches, bruises and cuts, and apart from the physical trauma, carry the additional risk of developing serious diseases such as rabies too.
In addition to confrontations, female raccoons have also been known to be fiercely protective of their young, and are therefore quite dangerous to have around when they have given birth. In a bid to protect their young, they can go to any extent, and this includes attacks on any animal or person who they think may be encroaching upon their territory or could be posing a threat to the well-being of their young.
Of course, there is always the irrefutable fact that raccoons carry a series of dangerous diseases which they are capable of spreading through their saliva, their urine, their feces and through their bites and scratches too. Even the mites, fleas and other insects found on raccoons are capable of spreading diseases. The dead bodies of raccoons too can spread dangerous diseases.
Add to all this the nuisance factor that these mammals are capable of making your life miserable with, and you can safely remove the labels of adorable and cute from raccoons.
Are Raccoons Afraid of Humans?
There was a time when the habitat of humans and the habitat of raccoons were set apart from each other. Back then, there was hardly any interaction between humans and these mammals, and thus, raccoons were naturally shy and afraid of any humans that they happened to come across.
Today however, due to the rapid development that is taking place, the habitat of both these mammals have merged, and therefore, raccoons are more used to seeing humans and interacting with them in their own way now than ever before.
This also means that they are no longer scared of humans or their pets as they used to be before, and today, this element not only makes them a nuisance but also a threat.
What Do Raccoons Feed On?
Raccoons are highly omnivorous by nature and therefore, humans make perfect neighbors for them. In the wild, raccoons are known to feed on vertebrates, invertebrates as well as plant material ranging from insects, worms, eggs, fish, birds and other mammals to nuts and fruits.
When in contact with human habitat however, the garbage bin is the favorite haunt of raccoons and they can feed on just about anything that they find edible in there. Pet food that is lying around unguarded is also a favorite, as is food left over from an outdoor picnic lunch.
In fact, the easy availability of food is one of the primary reasons behind the increased interaction between raccoons and human habitat.
Can Raccoons Really Spread Serious Diseases?
Well, they may look cute and adorable but when it comes to diseases, raccoons are amongst the most notorious animals you can have around your property. They are capable of spreading diseases through their saliva, their blood, their bites and scratches, their urine and feces, and even through the parasites that live on or in them.
Rabies is the most dangerous among these diseases and a rabid raccoon is capable of spreading this potentially fatal disease through its bites and scratches. There are several cases of rabid raccoons each year, and these infected animals always increase the risk of spreading among other raccoons as well as any other animals they come in contact with.
The feces and urine of these animals is as dangerous as its infected saliva too, and raccoons can spread some dangerous diseases simply by leaving behind their feces and urine on your property. Pets, children as well as adults can get infected through the parasites, viruses and bacteria present in the waste matter of these animals, and this could happen without you even being aware of a raccoon’s presence on your property!
Racoon roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis is commonly found in the intestine of a raccoon and the eggs of this worm can be found in its feces. When you come in contact with these eggs and ingest it by accident, you make yourself susceptible to a wide range of serious conditions including fatigue, loss of muscle control and even liver damage. In fact, these eggs can even cause blindness.
Leptospirosis is yet another infection that raccoons are capable of spreading through their waste, this time through their urine. Leptospirosis can induce a long list of symptoms ranging from headaches, aching muscles and diarrhea to jaundice and extremely high body temperatures.
While all these conditions and more can affect your pets too, two specific conditions make your pets especially vulnerable to the presence of raccoons. Canine distemper and canine hepatitis are serious illnesses and pets can contract these diseases if they are exposed to contact with raccoons or their infected feces and urine.
In addition to these conditions, raccoons are also capable of spreading other diseases such as Giardiasis, Raccoon parvoviral enteritis, Toxoplasmosis and Pseudorabies.
Therefore, rabies can be quite the dangerous animals when it comes to the spread of serious disease and are therefore a serious health hazard.
Is Raccoon Control a Difficult Affair?
There are several elements associated with raccoon control and removal, and each one is important in its own way.
Firstly, you need to accept the fact that raccoons, although they look cute and adorable, are potentially dangerous animals and a bite or even a scratch from them can lead to several dangerous diseases including rabies. Therefore, handling raccoons is a risky affair and it should be attempted only by professionals or people who truly know what they are doing.
Secondly, while it is important to remove raccoons from your property without risking your life as well as the animal’s and its young’s, it is also equally important to carry out proofing measures that ensure a raccoon-free property in the future too. This element has several details associated with it and a proper survey by a team of professionals is the only fool-proof way to make sure that you have indeed completed this task in an optimal manner.
Thirdly, there is the element of municipal and animal laws and guidelines. Raccoons are a protected species and handling them, relocating them and every other detail associated with them need to be in line with laws and procedures that have been laid down. This aspect, if ignored, could lead to serious fines or even prosecutions.
These as well as a few other elements come together to make raccoon removal a risky and difficult affair. Of course, there is an answer to this problem – professional raccoon control services.