Raccoon Prevention Tips: Never Ignore a Raccoon Sighting.
Every Homeowner should know at lest a few Raccoon Prevention Tips. Raccoons are a common nuisance and while they tend to be associated with city life, they can show up anywhere with human activity. They might appear cute but can carry dangerous diseases and parasites, transmittable to both humans and pets. Raccoons can also cost homeowners hundreds of dollars in damage. If a raccoon problem isn’t sorted out immediately, the issue will often escalate to the point of needing help from a wildlife control company.
What’s so bad about one raccoon?
Spotting a single raccoon in your yard might not seem like a huge deal. They’re common animals and it’s normal for them to wander around at night. They might even seem docile at first since they aren’t always quick to scurry away. Never approach a raccoon, however, as their cute faces can be misleading. While a raccoon won’t normally go out of its way to attack someone, they can be aggressive and are known to transmit diseases. In addition, letting a raccoon get into your trash once means it’ll be back the next night, possibly with buddies.
What diseases can a raccoon carry?
As far as urban pests go, raccoons can be some of the most dangerous when it comes to disease transmission. Raccoons can carry rabies and distemper. Both can infect and kill a dog, especially if there’s been a lapse in vaccinations. Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can affect many mammals, including dogs, cats, and even people. Over a third of human rabies cases in the United States are caused by raccoon bites.
Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end there and raccoons can carry a number of dangerous bacteria. Raccoons act as vectors for leptospirosis, listeriosis, tetanus, and tularemia. All of these diseases can be transmitted to humans and, in some cases, pets. In addition, raccoons often harbor parasites such as roundworms. Unhealthier individuals can also carry fleas and ticks. This might not seem bad compared to the other possibilities but would you really want fleas on your pet and in your house? Tick-borne diseases are also a hazard during a raccoon infestation, with Lyme disease being especially common in certain parts of the United States.
Are diseases the only problem?
Raccoons do a lot more than carry diseases–they can also cause serious damage. Raccoons will knock over trashcans and spread garbage everywhere as they forage. They might harass or even injure a pet that’s been left in the yard. Raccoons will also steal food from gardens and bird feeders.
If it’s cold or denning season (when a mother raccoon looks for a place to keep her kits), there’s an even higher potential for real damage. A raccoon may attempt to break into your attic, chimney, or garage since a quiet, warm area makes for an attractive den. The animal might even chew cords in the process. This can cause serious home destruction that will cost thousands to repair. Even worse, raccoons are intelligent and cooperative creatures–leading to more of the pests showing up.
What can I do to prevent a raccoon invasion?
The most important Raccoon Prevention Tips for preventing a raccoon infestation is the elimination of any food sources. Get trashcans with locking lids that are heavy enough so as not to be tipped over. Don’t ever toss food scraps into the yard, that’s one of the fastest ways to attract pests. Store pet food indoors and if you must have a food dish outside, don’t leave the food unattended. Bring the bowls (including the water dish) inside at night; raccoons are primarily nocturnal critters.
Bright lights and loud, annoying noises will sometimes scare raccoons or encourage them to try another yard. Motion-activated lights and radios on maximum volume can be left outside until the raccoon leaves. Some people recommend sprinklers but raccoons are rarely deterred by water–lights and noises are usually more effective.
To avoid denning behaviours in your attic, make sure any points of entry are blocked off. Seal up any holes in the roof. Unfortunately, if the raccoon has already made a den in your attic or chimney, you’ll need to get a professional to trap and remove the animal.
What if I already have a raccoon problem?
Trapping and relocating raccoons outside their territory in any way is both dangerous and illegal. If you’re dealing with a serious raccoon problem, you’ll need the help of a raccoon removal professional. If the above Raccoon Prevention Tips fail to deter a raccoon (or if one has already entered your home), call a wildlife control company as soon as possible.