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Understanding and Preventing the Dangers of Raccoons

Maintaining your home can be difficult due to all the different tasks involved. From cleaning your carpets to repairing loose roofing shingles, it is easy to see the challenges of maintenance. And though you may not know where to begin, pest control is also important.

Repairing damage can be costly, so understanding the risk of raccoons is imperative. With this guide and the help of professionals, you will learn how these pests can harm your home and health and learn the best solutions to reduce the risk of raccoons entering your house.

Dangers of Raccoons

For many people, raccoons are cute furry animals that look fun to play with and comfortable enough to cuddle with. Unfortunately, raccoons do not make good pets or companions.
One of the first things you should know is that raccoons can and will bite or scratch you if they feel threatened. Even if they are in your home, these critters will fight back if you try to make contact.
A bite or scratch can be painful, of course, but it can also lead to an infection if left untreated. In addition, many wild animals are infected with rabies.
In the last 10 years alone, an estimated 28 deaths occurred from rabies in the United States. Visit the emergency room at your local hospital if you are bitten by an animal that may have rabies.
Additionally, raccoons are not just dangerous to your health. If a raccoon enters your home, it could cause enormous damage.
Raccoons can enter your crawlspace and attic through small cracks and openings. These wild animals will tear and dig through plastic vapor barriers, ductwork and drywall in your crawlspace and attic. Raccoons can also eat through insulation, making nests that they plan to live in throughout a season.
Damage to the ductwork, electrical wiring, drywall and insulation decreases the function of your home's systems while reducing energy efficiency. Repairing this damage could be physically, emotionally and financially overwhelming.

Prevention of Raccoon Problems

Making your home less appealing is one of the easiest ways to prevent raccoons and other wildlife from entering your home.
Clean up spills inside and outside your home and make sure all food is sealed properly in cabinets and pantries. Clean up pet food bowls indoors and outdoors at night. Also, make sure garbage cans have lids that seal properly over the container.
Since raccoons consider insects and small pests food sources, keep the area around your home free of insects, frogs, worms, and even bird nests. Also, avoid planting fruit and nut trees too close to your home.
Raccoons and other wildlife could use tree branches as a path into your home's attic. Use pruning shears to trim tree branches that are too close to your home.
Inspect your roof regularly for cracks and holes, since the attic is the most common place for raccoons to enter. Repair torn soffits or broken vent covers, and replace missing shingles.
Make sure doors to your crawlspace and basement are always closed.
You likely already have a raccoon problem inside the home if you notice the following signs:
  • Droppings that look similar to fecal matter from dogs
  • Flattened insulation that appears to be chewed or clawed
  • Chewed wiring and damaged ductwork
Never attempt to catch and remove a raccoon on your own. If the handler does not have proper knowledge and experience, their handling a wild animal can lead to severe injury.
While cute and cuddly, raccoons can be incredibly dangerous. To learn more about how raccoons and other wild animals can harm your home and health, contact OakRidge Wildlife Control today.