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Raccoons: Why You Don’t Want Them As Roommates

Raccoons seem cute and cuddly and many people say that they would love to have one as a pet. Did you know that raccoons are extremely dangerous to humans?  If a raccoon inhabits your home or even your attic, it’s very important to let them know that they are not welcome! At Catawba Wildlife Control LLC, we specialize in safe, reliable raccoon removal services

Here’s why raccoons make bad roommates……

Raccoons can carry Racoon Roundworms. These roundworms are very dangerous for humans. While racoons and dogs can host these pests in their gut, if a human comes into contact with these roundworms, they can actually escape the gut and can enter human intestines, eyes, brains and other organs. This infestation can lead to seizures, paralysis, comas and eventually death. There is no test to see if you’ve been infected with raccoon roundworm and the only treatment is a deworming medication that must be used before the larvae have hatched in the roundworm lifecycle. This is a treatment that is used for animals and could be unsafe for humans. There is currently no other treatment available.  

Raccoons can carry Canine Distemper.  Canine distemper affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems in racoons and in dogs as well as other animals. This virus is transmitted through saliva and airborne pathogens.  This means that it can be transmitted through toys that animals play with or feeding sources such as a water or food dog or cat bowl. Canine distemper is related to the measles and mumps virus so it is thought that, in humans, if you’ve been vaccinated against these viruses it can prevent infection. This can be extremely harmful to other animals because there is no cure for Canine Distemper and an animal’s body has to fight the disease off with natural immunity.  In addition, raccoons can also carry feline distemper and can spread it to pet cats.  

Raccoons can carry Leptosporosis which is a bacterial infection that is spread through animal urine.  This infection can cause fever, headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes and vomiting.  Left untreated, this infection can lead to kidney and liver failure and possible death.  Leptosporosis can be treated with antibacterial medication.

Parvovirus is another sickness that raccoons can spread to humans.  Parvovirus can cause lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and severe muscle pain. There is no treatment for Parvo but the death rate is lowered with proper care. Unlike most animals, racoons can carry feline, canine and raccoon strains of Parvovirus. 

Mange is a skin disease caused by mites that live on raccoons or other animal hosts. There are different types of mange and raccoons can carry multiple types. These mites take nutrition from their hosts and leave the host malnourished. This can cause rapid weight reduction and sickness in racoons, dogs, cats and humans! These mites are transmitted similar to lice and can live for weeks with no host at all.  Mange is treatable by medications and by decontaminating the environment in which the animal lives, sleeps and plays.

The most common nuisance that raccoons carry are fleas!  Fleas bite and cause extreme skin irritation, sores or wounds from scratching and can also cause an animal or human to lose hair. Fleas are easily transmitted from host to host and throughout the environment.  While an extreme nuisance, fleas can be treated by topical or oral medication.

Last, but always deadly in the wild, racoons can carry Rabies.  Rabies is a virus that enters the body through saliva and travels quickly to the brain.  Some symptoms of rabies are headache, vomiting, hallucinations, partial paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty swallowing, confusion, hyperactivity and excessive salivation.  Fortunately rabies does have a vaccination that is safe for humans, cats, dogs and ferrets.  This vaccine can be used as preventative care but can also be used for 14 days post-exposure, if needed.

Ready to have a raccoon as a pet?

If you have a raccoon who wants to be your roommate, give us a call today.  At Catawba Wildlife Removal, we specialize in safe, reliable animal removal services so that pests, like racoons, can’t take up residence in your home or attic and expose you to all of the bacteria, viruses and parasites that we’ve shared with you.

Call us today at 704-564-5686 to “evict” wild animals from your home!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Follow these professional tips to deter animals from coming into your home.