Tag Archives: raccoon diseases

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

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ZOMBIE RACCOONS IN ROCKFORD – 97ZOK

Canine Distemper – Wikipedia


raccoons carrying disease into your home

Common Raccoon Diseases

There are plenty of reasons why you don’t want raccoons on your home or property, but probably the biggest concern is the diseases that they carry.

Diseases that raccoons carry can be spread to humans and also to our pets.

You can be in danger of contracting diseases from not just an encounter with a raccoon, but also from accidentally coming in contact with their urine or droppings. This can especially put children or pets at risk because innocent play can bring them in contact with excrement.

That’s all the reason you need to want to get rid of raccoons. You don’t want them in your attic, under your shed or on your property.

Let’s review a list of some of the dangerous and contagious diseases that raccoons can carry.


If you need professional raccoon removal, contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


Common Raccoon Diseases

Distemperraccoon roundworm

Distemper is a viral disease that can infect raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and many other animals. Dogs are especially susceptible to contracting the disease from wild animals or infected dogs.

It is much more dangerous to your dog actually than it is to you. Humans can contract the virus but usually produces no symptoms or illness.

Related: Chicago raccoons with distemper

Giardiasis

Giardiasis is an infection that can be transmitted by raccoons as well as many other animals. It is a microscopic parasite that can be spread through feces and can contaminate water, soil or any surface it contacts. Humans can become infected by unknowingly ingesting the droppings on contaminated surfaces.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that raccoons can spread through their urine and droppings. This infection can spread to both humans and animals. Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, or even death.

Related: Leptospirosis: A pest-related infection

Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacteria that is infectious to humans and can cause severe illness. It can spread from raccoon droppings which contain the salmonella bacteria. This can infect surfaces with salmonella and then be accidentally ingested or spread through contact.

The bacteria can stay dormant in a dry environment for a long time, and then become active when conditions become favorable to it. It can cause fever, severe diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Rabies

Rabies is a virus which can be carried by raccoons and many other wild animals. It can infect both humans and pets. It can spread from saliva or by being scratched or bitten by a raccoon. It is very important to seek treatment if you have come in contact with a raccoon because rabies can be fatal.

Related: Six signs a raccoon may be rabid

Roundworm

Roundworms are parasites that can spread from raccoons to humans and pets. Raccoons can be infected with roundworms and then spread their eggs through their droppings. The eggs are very tiny and may become airborne, making it possible for them to be inhaled and infecting people.

If infected with roundworms, symptoms are likely to show and cause serious illness within a week. Roundworms can affect the central nervous system, impair organs, impair brain functioning and can even be fatal or cause blindness.

Related: Raccoon roundworm: A dangerous threat


If you need professional raccoon removal, contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


 

Dangers of Raccoon Feces in Attic

Beware of raccoon feces in attic

Raccoons are a common nuisance in the Chicagoland area. They can knock over your garbage cans, dig in your lawn and enter your shed, garage or attic.

Raccoons in your home are definitely unwanted and an issue you should take care of as soon as possible.

If you end up with raccoons in your attic then you will not only have to deal with potential damages and messes they cause, you can be at risk for diseases raccoons carry such as leptospirosis.

For professional attic restoration services contact us at (847) 464-1861 to get a free estimate.

Raccoon Disease Contamination

Some of the diseases that raccoons carry can be transmitted to humans through contact not just with the raccoon but inadvertent contact with their droppings or areas where they have been active or defecating.

These diseases could also be potentially spread to your household pets as well.

Because of this, it’s very important to not only remove raccoons from your property but to perform careful raccoon feces cleanup and attic restoration to remove the dangers of the disease.

Related: What is Attic Restoration?

Identifying Raccoon Feces

Raccoon poop will closely resemble the appearance of feces of a smaller sized dog. It will be brown/dark brown and cylindrical in shape.  Very frequently you will notice undigested berry seeds within it.

Raccoon Latrines

Raccoons will commonly defecraccoon feces in atticate and urinate in the same place. The place where a raccoon continues to return to will begin to form noticeable piles. These areas are commonly referred to as raccoon latrines.

In nature, you will find them near trees or tree stumps. Around the home, you find them along fences, the corners of garages, under decks, or worst of all inside a shed or an attic.

Raccoon Feces Removal

Never attempt removing raccoon feces without protective clothing and equipment! Because of the diseases raccoons carry, there is a threat of the spread of disease and contamination.

Any insulation that has been urinated on or defecated on will need to be removed and disposed of.

The area will need to be disinfected to remove disease and bacteria. It will also need to be treated in order to kill any pests that the raccoons brought in with them such as ticks or fleas.

Contamination from raccoon pet is a serious threat to you, your family and pets.

We do not recommend that you attempt to clean up raccoon feces in your attic or on your property yourself. 

For a free estimate on raccoon feces removal anywhere in the Chicago area, call us today at (847) 464-1861


Photo credit: Benny Mazur

More info about raccoons on Wikipedia

raccoon roundworm

Raccoon Roundworm: A Dangerous Threat

What is Raccoon Roundworm?

The species of roundworm often found in raccoons is known as Baylisacaris procyonis. Raccoons can excrete millions of roundworm eggs in their feces. These eggs can become airborne and easily inhaled. The eggs hatch in the intestine and travel through organs and muscles. These eggs are highly resistant to most environmental factors. In fact, they can survive for years before hatching, if the right conditions are present. In order to hatch, the eggs must be ingested.

How Raccoon Roundworm Is Contracted

Baylisacaris is most often contracted by touching a contaminated area or object, not washing hands, and touching mouth. Children are particularly susceptible as they spend more time outdoors and often have their hands in their mouths. Raccoons (and your pets) can contract roundworm from eating a smaller animal infected with Baylisacaris.

Signs of Roundworm

Signs of Baylisacaris include: nausea, skin irritations, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of muscle control and coordination, loss of vision, or blindness. This disease can affect the central nervous system, impair important organs, and cause coma or death. The symptoms differ from person to person and are dependent on the amount of eggs ingested

Treatment & Prevention

If you suspect exposure to raccoon roundworm, immediately seek medical care. If caught early enough, the disease may be prevented. Pets should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible and continue to be monitored for several weeks.

Prevention is often the best method to avoid Baylisacaris. If you’re working in an area contaminated with raccoon feces, wear proper protective gear like rubber gloves and boots, disposable coveralls, and a respirator. Pets can be wormed to prevent roundworm infection. In addition, discourage raccoons from living near your home. Seal entrances to the attic, garage, shed or any other structure that they may inhabit. In addition, eliminate food sources for raccoons; do not leave cat food outdoors and keep garbage cans tightly closed. Clear brush areas, hay piles, or woodpiles where raccoons may nest.

Dispose of Raccoon Feces

To safely dispose of raccoon feces, which may contain eggs, they should be carefully burned. They can also be double bagged and buried deep in the ground or sent to a landfill. Clothes that may have eggs on  them can be washed in boiling water.

If you discover a raccoon on your property – call animal control services to remove the animal immediately.