Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores who have adapted well to living in urban settings especially in areas where food and water sources are abundant. Raccoons are well known for their mischievous and curious nature and will eat out of trash cans which they either tip over or pull open. They are adept at stealing pet food which is a particular favorite and will often enter homes through pet doors to gain access. Raccoons are nocturnal so most often the damage is done at night. It is not uncommon for home and business owners to wake up and find trash strewn across driveways and yards. Raccoons are easily identified by their distinctive black masks and ringed tail.

Raccoon Damage to Homes, Yards & Gardens

In the wild, raccoons will build their homes in hollowed out trees and logs close to streams. They are not afraid to enter into populated areas to forage around for food and will build dens in attics, chimneys, outbuildings and under porches. The raccoon’s diet varies depending on the season. During spring and summer, a raccoon will eat frogs, fish, and insects. They are also known to destroy lawns and flower beds digging for worms. During the fall months, raccoons will forage for grains, nuts, and berries along with stealing from garbage cans and dumpsters. Raccoons will also eat small rodents and birds eggs, stealing chicken eggs from hen houses when they have the opportunity.

Signs You May Have Raccoons; Poop, Paw Prints, Noises & More

Other than the obvious signs that raccoons are present such as overturned trash cans or partially eaten food, you should also be on the lookout for structural damage caused by raccoons entering your homes such as damage to the roof and attic. Other signs of raccoons include scat (fecal matter), tracks, and noise coming from the roof or attic late at night.

Raccoons Carry & Transmit Disease

Raccoons carry a long list of diseases many of which can be transmitted to pets and humans. Raccoons are carriers of the rabies virus which is fatal if left untreated. If you or a family member comes in contact with a raccoon and is bitten or scratched, seek the advice of your primary care physician or health care professional immediately. You will be given a series of vaccines that will stop the virus from becoming active in your system. Raccoons also carry canine distemper which is a disease that can be contracted by both dogs and cats and has similar symptoms to the rabies virus. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your pets receive the required vaccines. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your pets are fully protected should they ever come in contact with a raccoon that has been infected with canine distemper or rabies. Raccoon dropping is also extremely dangerous, especially to children that play outside. The list of harmful diseases includes raccoon roundworm, giardia, salmonella, and leptospirosis. The bacteria and parasites spread by raccoons can be extremely dangerous to humans; some can even be fatal. If you or a family member comes into contact with raccoon droppings, make sure hands are washed immediately.

Raccoon Wildlife Removal

The knowledgeable professionals at Rentokil can customize a solution to deter raccoons by minimizing access to food, water, and shelter. To prevent damage to your property, your Rentokil professional will set traps to remove the animals along with other measures to ensure than your home is protected by preventing and excluding raccoons from gaining further access to your property. If you are experiencing a problem with nuisance wildlife in your home or business, contact the experienced professionals at Rentokil today and ask about our comprehensive wildlife control, exclusion and removal services today.

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