Do raccoons attack humans?
In this article, we’re out to discover the dangers (if any) of raccoons and the level of risks posed to humans and pets.
How Dangerous are Raccoons?
Certain wildlife creatures have adapted to urban life and are found around human dwellings. Raccoons are among these creatures that cause a lot of problems including the spread of diseases.
As cities expand outwards due to increasing populations, incidences of wildlife interactions with people have become quite common. As a matter of fact, some of these creatures have adjusted to city life.
Raccoons are a perfect example of wildlife getting too close for comfort.
Why Are Raccoons Common within my Neighborhood?
If you’ve noticed increased raccoon presence within your neighborhood, it’s possibly because your location is close to, or within a wildlife habitat.
While most wildlife creatures will seek to move further away to safety, some are highly inquisitive and won’t mind getting close to human dwellings.
This is especially true if there’s some kind of incentive around your dwellings. To fully understand this point, you need to know that raccoons have a big appetite for a variety of foods.
These scavengers will come around to feed on discarded food, insects, snails, fruits, fish, nuts, and a ton of other food types.
Do Raccoons in my Neighborhood expose me to Any Risks?
It’s logical and wise to think about your safety when exposed to raccoons.
Many forms of problems are likely to occur with raccoons around. Such include damage to gardens and fruit trees, occupying human structures, raiding of garbage cans, and the spread of diseases.
Raccoons are defensive fighters. As such, your pets or kids are likely to get injured when they get too close. The good thing is these creatures won’t approach humans but cause all sorts of nuisances.
You’ll need to avoid leaving your pets outdoors unattended in areas with a high raccoon presence.
Dangers of Raccoons
Raccoon-prone neighborhoods require the adoption of a variety of preventive measures. Before we get into details on such measures, let’s discuss the dangers you’re exposed to by raccoons.
These are mostly related to the destruction and spread of diseases. Also, there’s a potential for raccoons to become defensive when approached.
i. Damage to Gardens & Fruit Trees
We’ve earlier stated that raccoons eat a wide variety of foods.
These can be scavenged from gardens, garbage cans, fruit trees, and wherever. If you have an orchard close by, it could be one of several incentives that attract raccoons to your property.
These creatures won’t hesitate to give themselves a treat.
Also, garden plants aren’t spared by raccoons. These may be munched on and pulled from the soil while feeding on vegetables.
Raccoons are quite messy when they feed and leave behind a trail of mess which can be upsetting to the gardener. Such areas will have to be cordoned off to prevent access.
ii. Occupying Human Structures
Raccoons find human dwellings attractive and would exploit open spaces to nest, and also to get access to food. Here, all vulnerable sections of the building can be explored.
This includes attics, storage areas, and flues. Trees with overhanging branches located close to buildings are used to gain entry.
They climb up such trees in order to get to the roof. A roof that’s rarely maintained is likely to have weak sections that can be lifted or squeezed through these animals.
Also, holes close to the eaves of the roof offer ready entry points for raccoons and other pests. Without quick intervention, female raccoons may begin to breed.
It’s much easier to prevent entry into your building than it is to deal with raccoons already occupying your structure.
Here, you’ll have to apply a variety of scare tactics to make them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. Raccoons have to be removed before entry points are fixed.
iii. Raiding of Garbage Cans
Your garbage cans offer raccoons a feasting opportunity. They get into the cans to feed on all kinds of edible stuff. Never underestimate their capacity to find something edible as these creatures have a wide appetite.
To address the problem, you might have to make modifications to your garbage can.
That includes changing what goes in and how readily accessible it is. Designing a raccoon-proof can is one such strategy. You might want to research ways to go about such a project online.
Another method is having your yard fenced to keep these creatures out.
iv. Spread of Diseases
You and members of your household stand the risk of exposure to a wide range of diseases. First off, raccoons are vector carriers with roundworm and rabies being among the transmissible diseases they can spread.
In the case of the raccoon roundworm, this is spread to humans through raccoon feces. Transmission to humans can occur when you accidentally swallow any contaminated material or dirt.
Here, it’s obvious that kids are the most vulnerable to this type of transmission.
The raccoon roundworm can also be transmitted when exposed to roundworm eggs. Some of the symptoms include visual problems, nausea, and tiredness.
Raccoon latrines are hotspots where these diseases may be spread. Such may be found near gardens, fence lines, forks of trees, etc.
Other raccoon diseases that may be transferred to humans include leptospirosis, giardiasis, and salmonellosis. Most of these diseases are transmitted through raccoon feces.
In the case of leptospirosis, this can be transmitted through raccoon urine and feces. Salmonellosis is spread pretty much the same way.
v. Defensive Fighters
For the most part, raccoons will do their best to keep their distance from humans. It’s necessary to keep things that way and avoid approaching if you’re not skilled in handling wildlife.
At this point, calling for professional wildlife removal will best serve your needs. Wildlife removal services will do a great job.
Most of the techniques applied for raccoon removal involve the use of traps. These are mostly humane and are designed not to cause pain or death but simply relocate this wildlife to a more suitable habitat.
After the removal process is completed, have all entry points sealed to prevent re-occurrence.
The dangers associated with raccoons are mostly disease-related. These creatures only become aggressive when protecting their young or when they feel threatened.
As mentioned earlier, it’s best to keep a safe distance away and call the pros for raccoon control.