Raccoons or racoons are the bandits in the night. Known for their ability to spread your trash out like a 10-course meal, raccoons are almost ambidextrous in the way they use their front paws. Raccoons will tip over your trash cans, use their paws like hands to remove the lids and spread out the garbage looking for the tastiest items. Sometimes they are living in your home or under an elevated deck or in your chimney or attic having babies.
Raccoons are highly intelligent and curious animals. In their natural habitat, they live in large trees where limbs have broken off leaving an opening. Raccoon become a nuisance when they venture into populated areas looking for food and a place to den. Raccoons enjoy items in your trash or pet food left outside. Some of their favorite areas to den are attics, below elevated decks and chimneys. Their average size is 12” tall and 14”-23” long. Raccoons have grey fur with a ringed tail, black nose and a black mask making them look like bandits.
They mate in the winter and have a litter of 1-6 kits in April or May. Raccoons are social. Once the kits are 50-60 days old they start accompanying their mother out looking for food. This new family will stay together for about 1 year.
Signs of Raccoons.
Signs of raccoons in your yard or home include the obvious, your trash cans tipped over and trash spread out. Other signs are paw prints on your porch or deck support columns. This is from the soot in your chimney. Excrement may be seen on a roof or high deck. Look for damaged roof vents as this is the calling card of both male and female raccoons. Another sign is the squealing of her babies above your fireplace when the mother is out feeding.
Raccoon removal starts with your Freedom technician assessing your home for entry points. The technician will place traps in areas that show past signs of activity or damage. Once the raccoon(s) are removed we will close the entry point with wire mesh. All repairs should be completed during the warranty period in the event additional raccoons try to gain entrance. DIY trapping is very dangerous with animals and highly recommended to call a trained professional.
Do Raccoons Carry Rabies?
Raccoons are considered a vector species and can carry rabies. Any warm-blooded animal including humans can carry rabies but these are primary carrier of the disease are raccoons, skunks, foxes, squirrels and bats.
If the animal survives the initial attack it will only live about 3 days. Signs of rabies are wandering erratically, discharge from the eyes or mouth, high pitch screams and are not reactionary to noise or approaching movement.
Can Raccoon Droppings Make Me Sick?
Raccoons usually have an area they reserve as a latrine. This can be in a garage, shed or your attic. Raccoon droppings can carry a parasite called Baylisascaris worms, a roundworm. The worms start off as eggs in raccoon droppings. Once the eggs hatch it takes 2-4 weeks to become infectious. Children are effected mostly because they are outside playing in the dirt or in places where the droppings are located. Hunters and others working outdoors near wildlife are also at risk. The best protection is proper handwashing every time you come inside. Symptoms are tiredness, nausea, lack of attention, blindness and coma. Fewer than 25 cases have been documented in the United States but many could have been misdiagnosed.