While raccoons definitely have that cute factor, they should never be viewed or treated like pets. First, they can bite and scratch, causing serious injury just like any other wild animal. Second, they are a high risk for rabies. In fact, next to bats, raccoons are the most common species for rabies infection in the US. Raccoons can seem docile and even willing to take food right from your hand without incident but it’s never a good idea to feed raccoons or be close enough to touch them as they could attack if they have rabies or other issues. Also, feeding raccoons attracts them to your home, which is something you don’t want.
What Attracts Raccoons?
A number of things can attract raccoons to your home. Outdoor pet food, gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, unsecured trash cans and places to hide under porches or decks are all attractive to raccoons. If they can get access into your home, particularly your attic space, they will take that opportunity. The damage they will cause will be far worse than their cuteness factor makes up for.
Damage Caused by Raccoons
Raccoons can cause a lot of damage. Just a few of the ways raccoons can damage your home include:
- Removing shingles and damaging vents to get into attic space
- Ripping up insulation and siding for nesting material
- Scattering garbage all over your yard from the trash bins
- Blocking up chimneys and vents with their nests
As mentioned, many raccoons also carry and transmit rabies and other illness-causing pathogens that are a danger to humans. Never approach or try to catch a raccoon or remove one from your home. It’s best to call Pee Dee Wildlife Control to come out and trap and remove the raccoon(s) that have made their way into your home or other structure like a garage or shed. This protects you from the diseases they transmit and helps prevent you from being attacked by a raccoon. They might look cute but they are still wild animals and are still capable of attack.
Prevention measures can help to avoid a raccoon roommate situation. Eliminate and seal up access points they could use to gain entry to your home. Have your attic inspected for vulnerabilities and then remedy those issues. Keep garbage cans tightly lidded. Never leave pet food and water dishes outdoors. Don’t allow clutter to build up in your yard or on your property. If you do find yourself dealing with a stubborn or determined raccoon, call Pee Dee Wildlife Control and let us take care of your raccoon problem.