What Problems do Raccoons Create?

What problems do raccoons create? Raccoons cause property damageRaccoons may seem cute to view from afar, but when they are causing your property harm, it’s a different story. Raccoons are highly intelligent animals, and like any other wild animal, they are led by instinct. Therefore, raccoons can be found foraging for food, water, and dens, anywhere available, and that means inside your home. You may ask yourself, “What problems do raccoons create?” Raccoons can cause tremendous amounts of problems when they decide to nest inside your attic, porch, or any other area in your property. Let’s go over some of the reasons why raccoons have become a terrible nuisance to some homeowners.

What Problems do Raccoons Create?

There are six major problems and health concerns that raccoons create.

1. Raccoons Damage Your Property

Raccoons are known to cause significant damage to walls, roofs, and attics. When a female raccoon is searching for a place to nest, any accessible area of your home that isn’t already being resided by people can end up being a prime nesting area for her.

Raccoons may cause structural damage to an attic while attempting to build a den. Let alone the noise and smell they may be causing, they have also been known to chew on electrical wire which can cause real problems for homeowners. They also commonly raid gardens, destroy bird feeders and tip over trash cans in search of food; This leaves garbage littered across lawns, and crops destroyed. Raccoons also sometimes roll back sod, disturb mulch, and dig through turf in search of grubs for food, further causing damage to your property.

2. Raccoons Carry Disease

Raccoons and their feces carry diseases that can cause harm to you or your family. When a raccoon is nesting in your home, a buildup of raccoon feces may occur, along with the possibility of disease. Besides the buildup of feces, having a raccoon nest in your attic or under your porch will put you in the path of defensive raccoons more often and could potentially lead to bites and scratches, which could cause disease. Some of the diseases raccoons carry are:

3. The Rabies Virus

The most famous disease that raccoons carry is the Rabies Virus. Apart from being the most famous and admittedly the scariest, it is also the most common disease that raccoons transfer to humans. Rabies is carried in the saliva of infected raccoons and can be transferred to people through bites, and in more rare occasions from scratches or infected saliva coming into contact with an open wound.

Rabies affects your central nervous system and it can cause hallucinations, fever, and seizures. This disease is very commonly fatal.

4. Salmonella

What problems do Raccoons Create? Raccoons carry salmonella
Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories,NIAID,NIH
Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells.

Salmonella is a bacteria found in raccoon feces and can infect humans through incidental means of ingestion, such as coming into contact with infected feces and subsequently not properly washing hands before a meal. Salmonella causes severe diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. It should also be noted that this bacteria can lay dormant for a long time if not properly cleaned and can reactivate if its environment conditions improve, such as when it it introduced into a host organism.

5. Roundworm

Roundworms are a parasite that are also found in the feces of raccoons, transmitted similarly to salmonella, through incidental ingestion. The majority of raccoons are infected with roundworms. They can lead to serious problems in humans and can also affect pets such as dogs. Roundworms can migrate through tissue into the brain and cause significant damage or even death. Immediate treatment is necessary.

6. Leptospirosis

Leptospira is the bacteria that causes this disease, and is carried in the urine of raccoons. It can be contracted through drinking water infected by raccoon urine. Leptospirosis can cause fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, and body pain, and headaches, but can even lead to bleeding of the lungs, and kidney failure.

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