Raccoons are strong, stocky, medium-sized mammals with "masked" faces and ringed tails. A lot of people think they're cute -- or at least handsome. (Raccoons themselves also think they're pretty handsome: Just ask the one in our logo picture.)
Raccoons are also very intelligent animals who have excellent dexterity and are able to manipulate objects such as gate latches and trash can lids. Their ability to "outsmart" humans who are trying to keep them out of places they don't belong can be so frustrating that it's almost amusing. Trying to keep raccoons from scavenging through garbage cans and dumpsters can make a person feel like Carl Spackler battling the dancing gopher in the movie Caddyshack.
Raccoons also have a habit of "washing" their food in water, which makes them seem even more human-like and contributes to their "cute" reputation. But raccoons don't "wash" their food at all. They examine it with their hands. The water makes the special nerve endings in their fore paws more sensitive and helps them decide whether the food is safe to eat. Nonetheless, the "washing" behavior does make them look more fastidious and human-like.
But despite their cute appearance and behavior, raccoons have a not-so-nice side.
For one thing, wild raccoons aren't harmless wildlife who just happen to be mischievous. They are very strong, very unfriendly, and very dangerous -- especially when they're cornered. They will attack if they feel threatened, and they're strong enough to cause serious injuries to humans and pets if they have a mind to.
Because they're "cute" animals with a nasty streak, raccoons are especially dangerous to children. They may assume that wild raccoons are tame and try to pet them, play with them, or even bring them home. It's very important that children be taught from an early age that wild animals like raccoons are not pets and should be avoided.
In addition to the risk of being attacked, messing with a wild raccoon can result in a person being infected with rabies. Wild raccoons that seem tame or friendly, or that are wandering around in the daytime, are quite possibly rabid; and all it takes is a drop of saliva on a scratch for a human to become infected. Not all rabid raccoons show signs of being ill, however, especially in the early stages. So don't try trapping and removing raccoons yourself. Instead, contact us immediately for prompt, professional removal.
Raccoons can transmit several serious diseases. They're susceptible to rabies, as mentioned above. They can also transmit mange and many arboviral diseases vectored by their parasites. Raccoons can also harbor a parasitic intestinal roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis, that can be deadly to humans when it gets into the person's body and migrates to his or her brain. According to the CDC, B. procyonis is a major cause of serious or fatal larval migrans diseases, especially in young children. Infection in humans causes brain damage that can include cognitive impairment ranging from mild to profound, as well as paralysis, coma, blindness, and death.
Raccoons can also cause serious damage to homes and property. The damage they cause can be very expensive to repair if the problem's not dealt with promptly. In addition, long-standing raccoon problems usually require decontamination of the attic and replacement of disease-laden insulation to protect the health of the family living in the house. That's why it's much better to seal up your home to prevent raccoons from getting into your house in the first place.
When raccoons get into buildings and nest in secluded places like attics, chimneys, soffits, crawl spaces, and other voids, they need to be humanely trapped and removed. Raccoons can do major damage to the building, as well as water damage secondary to the raccoon damage. The damage caused by raccoons can cost thousands of dollars to repair if it's not dealt with promptly. Raccoons can also cause damage when they get into garages, sheds, barns, and other outbuildings.
In addition, raccoons create a health hazard through their urine, droppings, shed fur, and parasites. Some of the germs associated with raccoons can become airborne and travel through the home through natural air currents or through forced-air heating and cooling systems.
Raccoon trapping, removal and exclusion are risky jobs that require special equipment and highly-trained wildlife-control professionals. Rid-A-Critter is Georgia's largest animal control company, and our technicians provide humane raccoon removal and raccoon damage repair throughout North Georgia.
Raccoon control consists of the following:
Remember: raccoons are very strong, powerful wild animals who are prone to rabies and can become very aggressive when they feel threatened. An attack by a raccoon -- or even a scratch or a drop of their saliva on your skin -- can be life-threatening, making raccoon control far too dangerous for untrained individuals. So be safe. Leave raccoon control to the professional animal control technicians at Rid-A-Critter.
Here are some randomly-selected pictures of raccoon removal and damage-repair jobs we've done in Georgia.
With offices throughout North-Central Georgia and our extended service area, Rid-A-Critter has the tools and personnel to handle any raccoon removal or damage repair job, so please call us today.