Raccoons are strong, stocky animals with "masked" faces and and ringed tails. In fact, a lot of people think they're cute -- or at least handsome. (Raccoons themselves also think they're pretty cute: 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 the truth is that raccoons don't "wash" their food at all. They examine it with their hands. The water makes the nerve endings in their forepaws more sensitive and helps them decide whether the food is safe to eat. Nonetheless, the behavior does make them look more fastidious and human-like.
But despite their cute appearance, raccoons have a not-so-nice side.
For one thing, wild raccoons aren't harmless animals 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 put a serious hurting on a human if they want to.
Because they're "cute" animals with a nasty streak, raccoons are especially dangerous to children, who may assume that wild raccoons are tame and try to pet them, play with them, or even try to bring them home.
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 are acting tame or 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. So make sure your children know to stay away from raccoons (and wild animals in general). Instead, contact us immediately for prompt, professional removal.
In fact, raccoons can transmit several serious diseases. They're susceptible to rabies, as mentioned above; as well as mange and many arboviral diseases carried 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, as in the picture on the top right of this page. 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.
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 that's secondary to the raccoon damage. The damage caused by raccoons can cost many thousands of dollars to repair if it's not dealt with promptly.
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 animal control professionals. Rid-A-Critter is the region's largest animal cotrol company, and our technicians provide humane raccoon removal and raccoon damage repair in Atlanta and all of North Georgia.
Raccoon control consists of the following:
Remember: raccoons are very strong, powerful 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 pictures of raccoon removal and damage-repair jobs we've done in Georgia.
Three baby raccoons removed in Norcross
Do-it-yourself raccoon control - FAIL
Raccoon droppings in an attic in Villa Rica
Raccoon damage at a house in Roswell
Raccoon damage to a soffit in Suwannee
Raccoon captured in Dunwoody, Georgia
How raccoons got into a house in Ball Ground
Raccoon removed from a patio in Villa Rica, GA
Raccoon trapped in Alpharetta, Georgia
Raccoon trapped in Woodstock, Georgia
Raccoon damage found at a cabin in Cartersville
Raccoon damage in the attic in Buford
Baby raccoon removed from house in Columbus
Raccoon droppings in a house in Alpharetta
Raccoon entry hole into a house in Roswell
Raccoons were under the porch of this Roswell home
Young raccoon awaiting relocation after removal
How raccoons got into a house in Dunwoody
Raccoon damage to attic insulation in Sugar Hill
Guess how raccoons got into this Gainesville home?
Raccoon hole in the soffit of a house in Dacula
Raccoon damage to a roof in Roswell
Raccoons made a mess in this attic in Suwanee
Raccoons made a mess of this attic in Suwanee
With offices throughout North-Central Georgia and in the Birmingham, Alabama area, Rid-A-Critter has the tools and personnel to handle any raccoon removal or damage repair job, so please call us today.