Raccoons Can Be a Health Threat to Your Pets and Family

diseased raccoon hiding in bushes

Even though they are cute, furry, and very intelligent animals, raccoons can be a nuisance and can even be dangerous to your health. Apart from causing a mess by tipping things over, they are also likely to spread diseases. It is advisable to seek medical attention in case of raccoon bites, scratches or general contact. If there are any raccoons in your residence, seek a professional raccoon removal service.

Diseases that can be transmitted by raccoons include:

  • Roundworm

The feces of raccoons contain a lot of roundworm eggs. Since the eggs are very light, they can be blown into the air. Inhalation of air or ingestion of food contaminated with these eggs can lead to infections. Roundworms have serious effects on people. They may lead to comas, loss of muscle control, impaired vision and problems with the central nervous system.

  • Rabies

This is the most common disease from raccoons. They can pass the virus through their saliva, bites and scratches. The virus can affect the central nervous system and cause seizures, hallucinations and fever.

  • Leptospirosis

This bacterial infection affects human beings and animals. It is caused by the bacteria leptospira, which is found in the urine of raccoons. Ingesting food or water that has been infected could lead to infection. Mild cases could cause fevers, body aches and diarrhea. Extreme cases cause meningitis and liver failure.

  • Salmonella

This bacteria present in raccoon feces can lead to diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. It is especially dangerous to people with low immunity, such as children. The bacterium is able to stay dormant in unfavorable conditions and become active once the environment is friendly.

  • Giardia

The feces of raccoons can lead to transmission of giardiasis. This leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pains, and vomiting.

  • Canine Distemper

This highly contagious viral disease causes difficult breathing, eye inflammation, nausea, and diarrhea. The disease affects animals that come into contact with a single-strand RNA virus. Half of the animals that get this disease end up dead.

Preventing Diseases From Raccoons

  • Keep food for pets in the house. When possible, only feed your pets inside the house. Leaving food outside, especially overnight, could lead to contamination by raccoon feces or urine.
  • If you spot any raccoons or their fecal matter, ask a raccoon removal service to help you remove the raccoons and clean up after them. Since their urine and feces can lead to infections, it is not advisable to attempt to do it yourself.
  • Have your home inspected every once in a while to ensure that there are no raccoons. Check places like storage rooms, latrines, and your attic.
  • Avoid feeding raccoons. This only encourages them to stay in or around your residence.
  • Make sure that your pet doors do not let raccoons into the house. If there are other openings that could do so, close them.
  • If you suspect that water, food, or soil has been contaminated with raccoon urine or feces, avoid direct contact with it.
  • Vaccinate your pets to protect them from canine distemper, rabies, and leptospirosis.
  • Do not leave garbage bins outside. If you do, keep them covered with lids. Do not leave grills dirty after barbecues. This helps to keep raccoons away.

If you suspect a raccoon is invading your property, call Animal Capture Wildlife Control today!