Are Opossums Dangerous? Will They Attack People and Pets?

Are opossums dangerous

In this post, we discuss if opossums are dangerous to humans, dogs, and cats and if they carry diseases and rabies.

Opossum behavior is not well known by most people. Very often people know very little about them, what they eat, how they behave.

We are more familiar with squirrels or raccoons, which we are more likely to encounter and observe their behavior.

The possum, however, is less well known. They are entirely nocturnal animals, so we rarely see them. They are also solitary and will avoid contact with humans.

Because of these reasons, we don’t know much about opossums.

When we see a possum, it is not cute like other animals. It looks more like a giant rat than a cute bunny or a squirrel. No one ever seems to want a pet possum.

Then when we encounter an opossum in our yard and we wonder, are opossums dangerous?


Are opossums dangerous animals?

Opossums are rarely dangerous.

Opossum showing teethThey are solitary animals, slow moving, and usually very docile.

Opossums co actually have a full mouth full of sharp teeth and may bear their teeth if threatened.

Even with those menacing looking teeth though, it is very unlikely that they would attack a person or other animals.

We have witnessed people poke an opossum with a stick while its teeth were showing and it still will usually not even attempt to bite.


Will opossums attack people?

It is very rare for an opossum to attack a human.

Any wild animal can become dangerous if cornered and threatened.  However, it is very unlikely that an opossum will attack a human.

They may bear their teeth. More than likely they will become still and maybe play dead. As long as you don’t try to pick them up, an opossum is very unlikely to try and bite you.


Will opossums attack dogs?

Opossum in treeIn reality, it is much more likely that a dog will attack an opossum than a possum will attack a dog.

As we said before, opossums are very docile. They are very non-confrontational. They avoid contact with humans and with other animals.

An opossum will choose to escape or play dead before it will go out of its way to threaten or attack a dog.

We recommend you keep your dog away from opossums, but more for the safety of the possum then for your dog. It is possible a cornered opossum could bite your dog, but even in that case, it is unlikely.


Will opossums attack cats?

Just like with dogs, it is much more likely that a cat will attack an opossum than an opossum will attack a cat.

Opossums are not aggressive animals, despite their impressive set of teeth. They would always prefer to avoid contact with other animals, including cats.

An opossum is much more likely to try to escape or play dead than to attack a cat.


Do opossums carry diseases?

Opossums can carry diseases that may be transmittable to humans including leptospirosis, coccidiosis, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. These can be transmitted through contact with opossum droppings.


Do opossums carry rabies?

rabies virusAll mammals are potential carriers of rabies. However, rabies is very uncommon in opossums. 

Very few opossums contract rabies, and if they have it, they very rarely transmit it to other animals.

It is much more common for rabies to occur in skunks, bats, and raccoons than in possums.

That said, just because it is a docile animal unlikely to carry rabies, we would recommend you NEVER attempt to touch or pick up a possum.

All wild animals can be unpredictable and even dangerous if they feel threatened, even the docile opossum. They can also carry fleas, ticks, and other diseases.

Always leave wild animals in the wild where they belong.


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional possum removal services in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane wild animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!

More Opossum Resources:
Facts about opossums – Havahart
Opossum, Facts and Behavior – Mother Earth News
Opposums – Wikipedia

How to Keep Rodents Away From Your Home Without Using Poison

How to keep rodents away from your home

In this post, we list ways you can help keep mice and rats away from your home.

No one likes to have a mouse in the house. Even worse is if you have a rat on your property.

Rodents outdoors are one thing, but if they find a way into your home, that can be a problem.

The dangers of mice include the diseases they carry, the urine and droppings they leave everywhere they go, and chewing wires that may cause electrical fires, and many other health and safety issues.

If you can help keep them away from your property, it will make it less likely they will find their way into your home.

Continue reading for tips to help keep mice, rats, and rodents away from your home.


How to keep rodents away

  • Mice in House May Carry DiseaseDon’t leave your garage door open.
  • Don’t store pet for bird food in the garage.
  • Don’t leave pet food in bowls outdoors.
  • Keep your garbage in cans with secure lids.
  • Stack firewood far away from your home.
  • Remove trash piles, wood or leaf, and brush piles.
  • Don’t have landscaping too close to your home.
  • Clean up spilled pet food or bird food.
  • Pick up pet droppings in your yard.
  • Remove water sources on your property.
  • Inspect your home exterior and patch holes.
  • Keep food in containers and sweep up spilled food.
  • Keep your home clean. Piles are attractive homes to rodents.
  • Pick fruits and vegetables from your garden as soon as they are ripe.

We do NOT recommend using poisons to keep mice and rats away from your home. Using poisons often creates other unintended problems, and can often kill other animals you didn’t intend to kill.

Related: Reasons you should use rat and mice poisons


What attracts mice and rodents?

The things that attract mice to your property or home are the things they need to survive: food, water, and shelter. 

By working to minimize their access to what they need to survive, you’ll give them fewer reasons to try and move in.


Remove food sources

Try to remove food sources for rodents.

  • House Mice carry disease

    Photo by Max Pixel

    Pet food

  • Bird food
  • Unsecured garbage cans
  • Dog droppings not cleaned up
  • Food scraps and crumbs in kitchens
  • Easy access to food on counters
  • Seal your air conditioner lines
  • Fruit and vegetables rotting in garden or yard

Keeping your home and property clean and free from easily accessible food sources is the biggest thing you can do to keep mice and rats away.

A lot of their food sources come from places you might not suspect are a big problem. Keeping your kitchen clean and securing your garbage cans should be obvious, even if we can’t always clean up.

You might not realize though that leaving out pet food, especially outside can attract rodents. Letting fruit or vegetables rot in your garden or yard can attract many pests, not just rodents but also raccoons and skunks. You may not realize that rats enjoy feasting on dog droppings. This can actually be a major source of food for them.

Related: Protect your home from animals in winter


Don’t give them shelter to build nests

Keeping your home, garage, shed, and yard clutter-free will take away places for rodents to hide and nest.

  • Diseases in House MiceClean up piles of clothing, newspapers, scrap wood, and clutter in your home, attic, and basement.
  • Keep your lawn mowed.
  • Remove wood piles, stacks of brush and leaves if possible.
  • Keep wood piles a few inches off the ground and away from your foundation.
  • Don’t plant dense landscaping near your foundation.


Close rodent entry points to your home

To help keep mice out of your home, make sure you close all the common entry points where they are likely to enter. A mouse can fit through a very tiny opening, so all small holes must be filled.

  • common animal entry points in homeInspect your roof and siding for possible access points.
  • Inspect crawl spaces under the house.
  • Patch all holes with steel wool, copper mesh, or hardware cloth and then fill them with a patching compound. This will discourage rats from chewing a hole in the same location.
  • Caulk around pipes and wiring where these materials enter the home.
  • Make sure your dryer vent has a screen to stop rodents from entering through there.

Related: How do animals get into your home?


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional mouse and rat removal in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!


Related sources to keep rodents away:

7 Poison-Free Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home – The Spruce
How to Keep Rats Away – WikiHow

Skunk Nest Identification and Removal

skunk nest identification and removal

Do you think you might have a skunk burrow in your yard, under your porch, or shed?

That is the kind of unwanted guest nobody wants on their property!

Skunks are not usually aggressive or dangerous, but if you cross paths at the wrong time, they sure can be stinky.

A skunk might not spray you, but you might still end up wondering what to do when your dog gets sprayed.

In this post, we discuss how to identify a skunk nest and what you can do to remove a skunk from your yard.


Skunk habitats

Skunk prepared to spraySkunks are native to the Chicagoland area and to much of North America. Many estimates say that there are more skunks in the Chicago area than ever before because of a series of mild winters and early springs.

Stripes skunks originally were most often found in rural, wooded areas, but skunks are fairly tolerant of humans and can be found in suburban and urban areas.

They will live anywhere there is a shelter with access to food and water. Skunks rarely travel farther than 1-2 miles from their den, so they will be found nesting near food and water sources.


Where do skunks nest?

Skunks will often move into the abandoned den of another animal such as into a hole dug by a woodchuck or fox. If an existing burrow or shelter is not available, skunks are capable of digging their own.

They will also build a nest in hollow logs, under brushes, woodpiles, culverts, and even open prairies and lands.

Skunks will also move into human areas, especially under porches and sheds, but also garages or abandoned buildings.

Related: What animal is digging in my garden?


Skunk burrows

Skunk Removal ServicesThe entrance to a skunk burrow will usually be around eight inches in diameter. Usually, there will be more than one entrance, sometimes as many as four or five.

The burrow will often have more than one chamber, sometimes up to three or four. Skunks will use grass and leaves to line the den.

Sometimes the skunk burrow is identifiable because of that unmistakable skunk odor. However, that is not always the case, which can sometimes make finding the den a challenge.

Related: Skunk Spray FAQ


How to locate the skunk nest

First of all, use caution when seeking out the skunk nest! You don’t want to startle the skunk at close range and find yourself the victim of its foul spray. A skunk can hit a target up to ten feet away.

Skunks are most active at dusk, so the best time to do your search is during the afternoon when it is likely to be asleep.

Sometimes the hole may be visible and identifiable by its smell. If you cannot find the burrow by following the skunk smell to its nest, you will have to use another way to search it out.

One trick that people use is to leave out a food source as bait, for example, peanut butter because of it’s strong smell, and then surround the bait with flour all around it. If the skunk comes for the food, you may be able to follow the tracks back to it’s home.

To confirm the den is occupied, you can lay or lightly tape a sheet of newspaper over the hole during daylight hours. If you come back the next day, you should be able to tell if the newspaper was disturbed by the skunk exiting the burrow.

Once you have confirmed the skunk residence, you can then plan how to have it removed.

Related: Protecting your yard from skunks


Skunk removal

Record number of skunks in ChicagolandOnce you have identified a skunk nest, your next step will be to try and figure out a way to remove them.

Keep in mind that skunks are a protected species in Illinois. They may only be removed with a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It is not legal to poison skunks.

Related: Permit to remove wildlife in Illinois

If you want to attempt to drive skunks away on your own, try to make their living environment unpleasant.  Skunks do not like loud sounds, bright lights or strong smells. Use these to your advantage.

Shine a bright light onto their den area. Find an old radio and set it to a talk radio station and place it by their entrance playing loud enough for them to hear it all day. Soak a rag in ammonia and place it near their nest entrance to irritate them with the odor. Ironically, skunks are irritated by strong odors.

After removal, take steps to deter skunks in the future: remove food and water sources, mow overgrown grass and brush, and remove wood piles that could be attractive dens. Fence or screen areas under porches, decks, and sheds.

Make sure after the skunks have left to fill in the den with rocks and soil. As we said earlier, skunks are fond of premade burrows, and if one skunk found it attractive, it’s very likely another one will.


Professional skunk removal

Skunk Removal Service Chicago AreaFor professional skunk removal services in the Chicago suburban area, contact Attic Solutions for humane removal of skunks and other pests.

Contact us online or call 847-464-1861


What Damage Can Chipmunks Do?

What damage can chipmunks do

In this post, we discuss what kinds of damage that chipmunks can do and why some people want them removed.

Can chipmunks cause damage to your home and landscape? Should they be removed from your property? Keep reading for answers.


About chipmunks & ground squirrels

Eastern Chipmunk

Chipmunks (sometimes called ground squirrels) are small rodents native to North America. They are relatives of tree squirrels, mice, rats, voles, muskrats, beavers, and gophers.

There are three species of chipmunks that can be found in Illinois: the Eastern Chipmunk, the Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel, and Franklin’s Ground Squirrel.


What damage can chipmunks cause?

Chipmunks can be considered nuisance animals but in most cases, the damages they cause are annoying, but not necessarily serious.

Ground squirrels will create holes and tunnels in your yard and may eat flower bulbs and damage landscaping.

These could be damaging if close to your foundation or the structural supports of stairs, patio or retaining walls.


Chipmunk Damage

Eating flower bulbs

Flower bulbsChipmunks are known to eat the bulbs of your spring flowers. Favorite bulbs eaten by chipmunks can include tulips, crocus, and gladioli.

You can prevent rodents from eating your flower bulbs by burying chicken wire in the ground that has openings too small for bulbs to be reached and removed, but wide enough for sprouts to grow.


Other things chipmunks eat

Besides flower bulbs, chipmunks may also eat seeds in the garden, plant seedlings, as well as bird seed, grass seed, and also pet food. They can be very frustrating if they dig up newly planted seeds or young seedlings in your garden.

Whether to protect your garden, flower bulbs or to prevent tunneling, a solution of water and cayenne can function as a repellent for chipmunks but must be reapplied frequently.


Chipmunk tunnels

Chipmunks live underground and will dig tunnels and elaborate tunnel systems beneath the surface. They can have tunnels up to 30 feet long and sometimes quite wide.

These tunnels could cause parts of your landscape so sink or collapse. If chipmunk tunnels are underneath the foundation of structures such as stairs, fence posts, or other foundations, it’s possible this could lead to more serious issues.

Burrows are typically dug directly underneath or next to cover because so that the chipmunk burrow is concealed from predators.

If chipmunk burrows are built directly next to your home’s foundation, this could be a concern because of water and moisture reaching the foundation.

Ways to prevent them from digging near your foundation include removing planting that provides them safe cover and using a gravel or stone border.


Chipmunks getting into your home

Ground squirrels will not typically have any desire to enter your home but this does occasionally happen. In this case, it’s best to close other entrances and leave an exit open so they will leave on their own. They will not want to remain in your home.


Chipmunk diseases

Chipmunk in a tree

Rarely will a chipmunk get close enough to a human or become aggressive to a human. It is possible however they may bite a person if they feel threatened. Chipmunks are not carriers of rabies but they may carry other rodent diseases such as salmonella, hantavirus, or plague. If bitten by a ground squirrel or any wild rodent, you should always call your doctor.


Chipmunk removal in Illinois

The eastern chipmunk and the thirteen-lined ground squirrels may be removed without a permit.

Franklin’s ground squirrels are listed as threatened in Illinois and may not be removed.

Related: Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional chipmunk removal in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!

More chipmunk information:

How to identify chipmunk damage

Deterrents for chipmunks and ground squirrels

About Ground Squirrels – University of Illinois Extension

How to Get Rid of Chipmunks – HGTV

What to Do About Chipmunks – Humane Society

Living With Chipmunks & Ground Squirrels – DuPage Forest Preserve


How to Get Rid of Dead Animal Smell

Dead Animal Smell

In this post, we will tell you how to get rid of the dead animal smell.

Are you suffering from the horrible smell of a dead animal somewhere in your home?

If you have a dead animal in your wall, crawlspace or attic, we’re sure that you want to get rid of that nauseating dead animal odor as quickly as possible.

We can tell you how to get rid of the smell and start to breathe easier again.

For professional dead animal removal services, cleanup, and odor removal in the Chicagoland area, call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861.


Dead animals in the home

Animals in need of a warm, dry, and safe space are very good at finding entry points into your home to get inside.

Dead mouse in house When these animals get inside, sometimes they may die in your home, and that leads to a stinky, gross problem. They may die in your walls, in an attic or even an air duct.

The sooner you can find and remove the animal the better. The smell is definitely not going to get better if the animal carcass is still there.

A dead animal will also attract maggots, parasites and potential diseases. Get that dead animal out of there as soon as possible.

Related: Preventing Wildlife From Entering Your Home


How to get rid of dead animal smell

  • Locate the dead animal
  • Get rid of the dead animal
  • Clean and sanitize the area
  • Clean any fabrics
  • Get rid of material that can’t be cleaned
  • Ventilate the area
  • Deodorize the area

Related: What’s that Noise? Animals could be in Your Home


Locate the dead animal

Usually, a dead animal in the home can be found simply by following the smell. Sometimes, it takes more investigation to find it.

Places to look where dead animals can be found may include behind walls, under floorboards, behind insulation, under debris, near air vents, near heat sources, by your plumbing.

Related: How to find a dead animal in an air duct


Get rid of the dead animal

You will need to remove the dead animal wherever you found it. Hopefully, you can locate it in an easy to get at location, and not behind a wall, which will be more challenging.

When you find it,  don’t touch the animal. You will need to wear gloves and use a tool like a shovel to move the carcass.

You will need to check with your local laws about how to dispose of the carcass.  Your city may allow you to bury it, burn it. dispose of it in the garbage or call animal control.


Clean and sanitize the area

Use glove, a rag or paper towels to clean up all animal matter in the area where you found it. Pick up any fluids, fur, and animal droppings you find.

Attic restorationBe sure to put on gloves, then use a rag or paper towels to pick up any leftover fur, juices, or anything else left behind by the animal. Use an enzymatic cleaner to spray down the area.

This will break down organic compounds, odors, and eliminate diseases. Let the solution sit on the area for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it down with a clean rag that you can throw away when you’re done.

If there are animal droppings, you may want to call a professional animal cleanup services. Some animals, such as raccoons, can carry diseases and parasites in their feces. You should not handle this and leave the cleanup to a professional who can help protect you from contamination.

Related: Common raccoon diseases


Clean contaminated fabrics

You will need to clean any fabrics that were contaminated by the animal. This may include curtains, linens, clothes, cushions, or anything else.

You will need to handle fabrics carefully. You may be able to use a dry cleaner or clean them in your washing machine using hot water. If you are using your washer, add a cup of either bleach or hydrogen peroxide to the load.


Get rid of material that can’t be cleaned

Sometimes you will not be able to clean everything, or you may not want to and prefer to replace it instead. This might include fabrics that you just want to get rid of or insulation that is not possible to clean.


Ventilate the area

Open up as many windows as possible in the home, especially near where the dead animal was found. Use fans and window fans to help circulate fresh air.



Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationDo you need help removing animals from your property?

Attic Solutions can provide you with dead animal removal or humane removal of live animals in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861

NEW! For a limited time, get a 10% discount when you mention coupon code WEB10%


Wasp Nest FAQ

Wasp Nest FAQ

In this post, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about wasp nests.

The site of a wasp nest on the overhang of your home or garage never results in a happy response.

People are rightfully scared of getting in the way of wasps and suffering a sting. They have a very painful sting that no one wants to experience.

The wasps don’t really care what you think though. If the queen decides the eves of your home right outside your porch entrance is a good spot for a nest, then that’s where they will build it.

If you want a professional to remove a wasp nest from your property in the greater Chicago area, you can contact Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861


How do wasps build their nests?

Wasps build their nests by taking wood scraps they find outdoors and chewing it the wood into a pulp they mix with saliva. This creates a mouthful of soft paper pulp that the wasp will take to their chosen nesting site to begin constructing the nest.

Worker wasps form the paper pulp into hexagonal shaped cells. The pulp will dry to form a sturdy nest, often build on the underhang off a roof or garage.

Paper wasp building a nest

What are wasp nests built with?

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets all build their nests with paper. The paper is created by female wasps chewing up raw wood they find (usually sticks, logs, bark, scraps of cardboard) and mixing it with saliva to create a wood paper pulp. They use this as the building material, which will dry and harden.


Where do wasps build nests?

Yellow JAcketWasps build their nests below gutters and overhangs of homes, in spaces between bricks and siding, cracks in foundations, in garages, sheds, in tree stumps, under openings in the bark of trees, in bushes and in holes in the ground.


Do wasps stay in their nest in winter?

When winter weather arrives, the wasps will die off because of the lack of food. The queen wasp will find a safe location to hibernate for the winter and the nest will be abandoned.


What happens to wasps in winter?

Wasp colonies die will die off during the winter months. They cannot survive winter because a lack of food will cause starvation.

Only the mated queens will hibernate over the winter and survive into the spring. Queens find crevices and other shelters for the winter. Most hibernating queen wasps will not actually survive the winter. Ones who do survive will start a new colony in the spring.


Do wasps return to their nests? Do wasps reuse nests?

Wasp nestWasps do not return to nests or reuse old nests. Once freezing temperatures arrive, a wasp colony will die off. Before this happens, the queen will abandon the colony to find a place to hibernate over the winter and then start a new nest in the spring.

Because wasps do not reuse old nests, they are perfectly safe to remove after cold weather has killed off the colony. They will not come back to the same nest in the spring.


Is it safe to remove a wasp nest yourself?

After the wasp nest has been abandoned for the winter, there will be no danger in removing the wasp nest yourself.

When the nest is active, you should not remove the nest until you are sure you have managed to kill all the wasps using a wasp spray that can safely shoot from several feet away.

Use the spray very carefully during late evening or very early morning when the wasps should be inactive. Make a plan of attack ahead of time and have your escape route planned so you can get away quickly after you’ve sprayed the nest.

Related post: Identification of Bees, Wasps and Hornets in Illinois


Wasp Removal ServiceGet a professional to remove your wasp nest and keep you safe.

If you need professional yellow jacket and wasp removal services in the Chicago area, please contact us online or call us (847) 464-1861.

Zombie Raccoons in Illinois

Zombie Raccoons Illinois

Have you been hearing the stories about Zombie Raccoons in Illinois?

It sure makes for an interesting headline. You can imagine the walking dead raccoons strolling through the Chicago suburbs screaming “Brains… more brains!”

That’s not what the “zombie raccoon” phenomenon is really about, despite the headlines or stories you may have seen on WGN, NBC7 or Fox News.

The zombie raccoons stories actually have to do with a disease that has been affecting raccoons in the Midwest for years: Raccoon Distemper.

It’s just that “raccoon distemper” doesn’t have the same ring to it as ZOMBIE RACCOONS does, so that phrase has taken over the headlines because it gets people’s attention.


What are Zombie Raccoons?

Aggressive Raccoon“Zombie raccoons” are wild raccoons displaying unusual behaviors such as being active in the daytime, walking on their hind legs, bearing their teeth, and falling over backward and going “into almost a comatose condition” before later arising again.

That unusual behavior of appearing to “go comatose” is what has given them the nickname of “zombie raccoons”.

They are not actually walking dead raccoons who wander the earth in search of human or animal victims.

The true cause of these zombie-like behaviors is actually a disease known as “raccoon distemper”.

Related post: Raccoon FAQ


What is Raccoon Distemper?

raccoons carrying disease into your homeDistemper is a viral disease which can affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of infected raccoons. It may cause twitching, seizures, and paralysis in raccoons, which is the reason they have been said to display zombie-like behavior.

In the wild, distemper most commonly affects raccoons, skunks, and foxes. It can also be transmitted to domesticated dogs and cats.

Related post: Do raccoons attack humans, dogs, and cats?

You should always keep your pets away from raccoons because they can carry rabies. It should go without saying that if you see a “zombie raccoon” that you should definitely keep your dogs and cats away from them.

There is no cure for raccoon distemper. Your dog can be vaccinated to help protect it. Humans are safe from distemper because it cannot be transferred to humans.

Related post: Common raccoon diseases


What should I do if I see a zombie raccoon?

RUN!!! Or at least don’t go near them.

Seriously, you should always stay away from wild raccoons because they can carry diseases, including rabies or distemper. Raccoons rarely attack a human, but it does happen. A raccoon displaying unusual behaviors is likely to be diseased.


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationDo you need help with raccoon removal in the Chicago area?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


Related Zombie Raccoon Stories and Sources:

Wildlife officials explain why raccoons in Illinois, Ohio are acting like ‘zombies’ – WGN9

Police Investigate Reports of ‘Zombie’ Raccoons – NBC Chicago

Fearless ‘Zombie Raccoons’ Can Be Fatal To Pets – Chicago Patch

‘Zombie raccoons’ are freaking out residents with bizarre behavior, Ohio police say – Sacramento Bee

‘Zombie raccoons’ terrorizing town – Fox News


Canine Distemper – Wikipedia

How Common is Rabies in Raccoons?

How common is rabies in raccoons

Most cases of rabies occur in the wild. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), wild animals account for over 92% percent of reported rabies cases.

The disease is much rarer in domestic animals. Rabies is usually only transferred to a dog or cat through the bite of an infected animal.

We’re often asked about raccoons and whether there is a danger to pets from raccoons giving them rabies.

Related: Raccoon Behavior FAQ


How common is rabies in raccoons?

Aggressive RaccoonThere has not been a reliable study to show the percentage of raccoons with rabies. The majority of raccoons DO NOT have rabies. However, as far as reported cases of rabies are concerned, raccoons are one of the most likely wild animals to carry rabies.

Raccoons are the second most common wild species in reported cases of rabies. According to the CDC, raccoons account for 29.4 percent of all reported rabies cases. This is second only to bats, which account for 30.9 percent of rabies cases, and more than skunks, which account for 24.8 percent of rabies cases.

Raccoons, bats, and skunks are the most common “Rabies Vector Species”, along with foxes and groundhogs. These are the types of animals that when infected pose the greatest threat to pass it to others.

Related: Identification of Rabies and How to Protect Yourself and Your Pets


How to tell if a raccoon has rabies

Rabies in RaccoonsThe only way to be certain a raccoon has rabies is for it to be tested. However, a rabid raccoon will often show telltale signs, symptoms, and behaviors.

Signs of rabies in raccoons

  • Appear disoriented
  • Walking unsteadily
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Makes unusual noises
  • Weepy, goopy eyes
  • Aggressive behavior

Related: Top 6 Signs That a Raccoon is Rabid


Raccoon with rabies memeContracting rabies

Rabies is a virus and you or your pet can only contract rabies through direct contact with an infected animal and transmission of its saliva into the body.

This happens usually through a bite from a rabies-infected animal or through its saliva coming in contact with a cut or wound. You cannot catch rabies be being near an infected animal, or simply by touching it.

Related: Common raccoon diseases


Rabies treatment

If you believe there is a chance you may have caught rabies from a wild animal, you should visit your doctor immediately. If treated quickly, rabies in humans is curable.

The CDC recommends washing any wounds immediately with soap and water. Even doing this can decrease your chances of rabies.

See your doctor for attention for any trauma due to an animal attack before considering the need for rabies vaccination.

Your doctor, possibly in consultation with your state or local health department, will decide if you need a rabies vaccination.


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationDo you need help removing a raccoon from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861

More resources about rabies

Raccoons and Public Health – The Humane Society

Rabies – Centers for Disease Control

Rabies – Wikipedia

Wild animals with rabies – Centers for Disease Control

When should I seek medical attention? – Centers for Disease Control


What is Attic Restoration?

What is Attic Restoration

What is attic restoration?

In terms of wildlife removal, attic restoration is the process of returning the attic to its previous safe condition through the removal of animal droppings, disinfection of the space, repair to the attic of damages the wildlife caused and taking steps to ensure any entrances to the attic are closed.

Related post: Why attic restoration and cleanup is important


Four steps of attic restoration and animal cleanup

  • Cleanup of animal urine and droppings
  • Disinfecting the attic space
  • Inspect for and close all animal entrances
  • Repair damages (holes, burrows, chewed wires, etc.)


Cleanup of animal droppings

raccoon feces in atticNo matter what animals you’ve had in the attic, whether raccoons, squirrels, bats, or others, they will have left behind droppings in the attic. Wild animals just don’t seem to want to use the toilet or go outside to poop. They are poor houseguests.

Animal feces in your attic is unpleasant, unsightly and it can stink. Even worse though is that animal feces can carry disease and parasites with it. Raccoons in the attic can bring many diseases with them, some of which can threaten the health of your family and your pets.

The proper cleanup of animal droppings is critical to returning your attic to a safe place again. The germs could spread through inadvertent contact and some diseases can even become airborne. It’s best to leave the cleanup to a professional with the protective gear and experience to do the cleanup properly.

Related post: The dangers of raccoon feces in the attic


Disinfection of the attic

House Mice Carry Disease

Photo by Max Pixel

Disinfection is the second step of attic restoration after an animal infestation. Even after the animal droppings have been cleaned up, stains, oils, and pheromones can be left behind which may attract other wildlife. There may also be fleas and ticks that hitched a ride on your unwanted critter invader.

By using special cleaners and foggers, a professional wildlife cleanup specialist can safely remove the germs and parasites left behind so your family and home are safe again.

Related post: Diseases in bat feces


Inspect for and close all animal entrances

Squirrel in the AtticThe animal removal and cleanup is all a waste if another animal moves back into the attic again. You have to make sure that all entrances into the attic are properly sealed so that animals aren’t invading your home again.

Sometimes the entrances can be easy to find, and other times they can be less obvious. Sometimes there is more than one entrance, so when you find one, you can’t assume it’s the only way in.

Related post: Common animal entry points


Repair damages

Attic restorationIf you’re lucky, the only damage to the home will be the entrance the animal used to get into the attic. Often there will be other damages that need to be repaired, which could include repairs to roofing, fascia, soffit, and siding.

Rodents such as squirrels, mice, and rats will chew constantly because their teeth never stop growing.  There could be wires that have been chewed by squirrels or mice. Sometimes they will damage drywall and support beams. You may also have insulation that has been stained with urine and feces that needs to be replaced.

Related post: How Dangerous Are Mice to People and Homes?


Repairing and restoring your attic from the damages caused by wildlife can take awhile, requires safety precautions and is often better left to professionals.


For animal removal and attic restoration services in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and southern Wisconsin, contact us online or phone (847) 464-1861

With our attic restoration services, we will restore your home to its original condition and evaluate your home for possible entry points to avoid further animal intrusions.

Are House Mice Dangerous to People

How Dangerous Are Mice to People and Homes?

In this post, we review the dangers of mice and the reasons you don’t want them in your home.

It’s pretty much a given that we don’t want mice in our homes. I’ve never met someone who had mice in there home that didn’t want to get rid of them.

But are mice dangerous? How can such a tiny little rodent hurt people?

For mouse and rat removal in Chicago area, call (847) 464-1861

Are mice dangerous to humans?

House Mice Carry Diseases

Photo by Max Pixel

A mouse isn’t dangerous to a human the same way that a predator, a grizzly bear is, or poisonous like a black widow spider. A mouse won’t attack and kill you.


They will, however, bring diseases into your home, create an unhealthy environment create threats that can be dangerous.

Mice can be dangerous because they can bring diseases into your home, they bring unsanitary conditions into your home that can cause illness, they can chew on wires and start fires, and they can even cause problems with allergies.


Dangers of mice

  • Carry diseases such as Hantavirus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis and even the Plague.
  • Mice have no bladder control and will leave a trail of urine wherever they travel.
  • Will create 50-75 droppings each day.
  • Can contaminate foods and food preparation areas with urine, droppings, and hair.
  • Cause structural damage through gnawing and nest-building.
  • Mice can chew wires and cause electrical fires.
  • A single female can produce a litter of six babies up to ten times a year.
  • Can damage electronics and machinery by chewing wires.
  • Mice droppings may cause allergy issues.
  • Mice can carry fleas, lice, mites, and ticks.


Diseases carried by mice

House mice can carry many diseases and transmit them to both humans and pets through their droppings and by contaminating food.

Related post: Diseases in House Mice

Dangers of mouse droppings

Mice in House May Carry DiseaseMice can transmit diseases through their droppings and urine. Because they have no bladder control, they will leave a trail of urine and feces wherever they travel. If these droppings end up in food or food preparation areas, they can cause sickness and disease.

Contaminating food

Mice are naturally drawn to areas where they can get crumbs and food. This will bring them into your kitchen, cupboards, and pantry in search of things to eat. As they search for food, their droppings will contaminate everything they come into contact with.

Related: Differences between rats and mice

Damages by nest building

Mice can chew through insulation, wallboards, cardboard, and even wood. To make a nest they may rip up newspapers, clothing or fabric. Besides destroying items in your home, they will spread their disease filled droppings in all these areas.

Chewing electrical wires

Mice, much like squirrels, will chew electrical wires because their teeth constantly grow and need to be gnawed down. It’s estimated that rodents chewing wires cause almost 10% of home electrical fires.

Related: Squirrels causing electrical fires is a serious issue

Reproduce quickly

Mouse ReproductionA single female mouse can produce as many of 10 litters in a year of up to 6 young. These 60 offspring can mate and reproduce in as little as six weeks. A mouse infestation in the home can escalate quickly.


Many people are allergic to mouse droppings. If left for long enough in the home, mouse droppings can become airborne in the home and cause allergy issues.

Related: Reducing the risk of mice and rats in your home

Biting insects

When mice enter your home, they can bring fleas, lice, mites, and ticks with them. These biting insects can cause issues for both you and your pets.


If you need professional mouse and rate removal services in the Chicagoland area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861.