Tag Archives: raccoons

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


 

Raccoon behavior FAQ

Raccoon Behavior FAQ – Answers to Your Most Common Questions

In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions about raccoon behavior. People want to know what raccoons can do. Can they dig through walls? Here are the answers.

Beware of raccoon feces in atticWill a raccoon have babies in my attic?

Yes, definitely. Finding a safe warm den to have babies is the most likely reason a raccoon will move into your attic in the first place.

Can raccoons scratch through walls?

It is very unlikely if you hear raccoons in the wall that they will dig their way through the walls. A panicked raccoon that is trapped would certainly try to get out through a wall but it’s unlikely they would be able to dig through. A raccoon is unlikely to get stuck in a wall unless you’ve sealed it in with no other way to get out.

Can raccoons break through the ceiling?

It is rare but yes, it has happened. A raccoon that has lived in one place for long enough may be able to damage the ceiling with urine, making it softer and weaker over time. That is not a pleasant situation! If you think you have a raccoon in your attic, don’t wait to call a professional raccoon removal specialist.

Raccoons carrying disease into your homeCan a raccoon climb a wall?

Raccoons are very good climbers. Raccoons can climb nearly any surface with the exception of glass and un-weathered sheet metal. They are known to climb wood, stone, brick, masonite siding and downspouts.

Can raccoons get on the roof?

Raccoons can get on the roof of a home. The preferred method to do this would be to climb a nearby tree with overhanging tree branches. Trimming branches close to your home can help keep them away. However, they still may be able to climb a downspout and a determined raccoon may climb up brick or siding.

Related: How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Home

Raccoon Family on PropertyCan raccoons climb trees?

Raccoons are excellent at climbing trees. In the wild, raccoons will climb up trees to build a den in a hollow nook of a tree. Trees near your home should be trimmed to not be too close to your house. You can also wrap a two-foot wide sheet metal beginning two feet above the ground to keep them out of your trees. This may also work for squirrels.

Can a raccoon climb a downspout?

Raccoons are excellent climbers and most adults can easily climb downspouts.

Can raccoons climb brick walls?

Raccoons are excellent climbers. In nature, they will climb and live in trees. A brick wall can be climbed by most raccoons. Their preferred way to get onto a roof or into an attic would be by climbing a tree, but a determined raccoon can climb bricks.

How fast can raccoons run?

Raccoons are known to run up to 15 MPH. They may run on average somewhere between 8-15 MPH.

Can raccoons swim?

Raccoons can swim. They can stay in the water for several hours at a time if necessary and can swim at up to 3 mph.

What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are opportunistic and will eat almost anything. In the wild, they will eat fruit, nuts, berries, snails, earthworms, snakes, clams, birds, eggs, fishes, frogs, and small mammals. They will eat corn from fields and vegetables from gardens. In urban areas, they will eat almost anything they can find in a trash can. They are also fond of eating pet food that is left outside.

When is raccoon mating season?

The Raccoon mating season generally falls between January and March and gestation lasts about 63 days. They may mate up until early summer.

Related: When is raccoon mating season?

Are there really Zombie Raccoons?

Zombie Raccoons IllinoisThere have been a lot of stories recently in the news about zombie raccoons. Are there really zombie raccoons terrifying people in the countryside? Not really.

The “zombie raccoons” in the news are actually raccoons that have contracted a viral disease called distemper. This disease can cause unusual behavior that can sometimes appear “zombie-like”, but they are not actually the walking dead.

How do you get a raccoon out of your attic?

If you have raccoons in your attic, you should hire a professional animal removal specialist. If you have a raccoon living in your attic, it is very likely that the raccoon is a female with a den and baby raccoons. Their instinct is to remain quiet, so you may not even be aware they are in the attic. The mother will need to be trapped and the babies will need to be removed by hand. All of them should be released into nature together. Your attic should also be professionally cleaned because of the diseases carried in raccoon feces.

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


 

How to Keep Raccoons Away From Your Home

In this article, we’ll discuss ways to discourage raccoons from coming onto your property.

Raccoons can create big problems on your property. Many homeowners have had to clean up trash that raccoons have spread across their yard. Others have had to call in specialists to clean up raccoon feces in the attic, which can endanger your family because of the diseases raccoons can carry. They will empty your bird feeders and eat your garden vegetables. Raccoons will move into your attic and make themselves at home.

Related: Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter

With all the raccoons making themselves at home in suburban and urban areas, it becomes very likely that you may have to deal with one of these issues.

It can be much easier to try to keep raccoons off of your property and out of your home then to try and clean and repair your attic from a raccoon infestation.

Below are some ways to discourage raccoons from looking at your property and home as an inviting place to visit.

Remove food sources

raccoons invade the suburbsThe main reason that a raccoon will visit your home is in a search for food. If your property becomes identified as an easy source of food, raccoons will return again and again to get food.

Trash cans are a popular destination for raccoons. You need to make sure that your garbage cans are secure from becoming a picnic for raccoons. Make sure the lids are secure. If a can or lid becomes broken, replace the can.

Keeping them out of cans isn’t always easy though because raccoons have a combination of prying hands, intelligence and the ability to learn.

You need to make sure your bird feeders are secure from raccoons, possibly even bringing them inside at night if it’s the only way to keep them away.

Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.

Clean up fruit that has fallen off of your fruit trees.

Add lighting

Raccoons are generally nocturnal animals and are most active during darkness. Lighting on your property may discourage them from coming onto your property. Motion activated lights on your property can startle raccoons and keep away from your property.

Repellents

People have been using DIY home raccoon repellents for decades. Their effectiveness will vary though. Some people swear by certain methods and other people will say the same ones have not worked for them. It can depend on the particular animal that is coming onto your property. Raccoon repellents people use include cayenne pepper, ammonia, mothballs, human or animal hair and predator urine. These repellants do occasionally work so you may wish to try them.

Seal your roof and home

Beware of raccoon feces in atticMake sure you’re not making raccoons lives easier for them by leaving places where they can enter your home. Check your roof and attic for any openings that may give a raccoon (or other animals) the space they need to get inside. Have a cap on your chimney to make sure they can’t get in through there.

Related: Common animal entry points

In summary

If a raccoon is able to get into your attic and make himself at home it becomes a much more serious issue. It can be a real challenge to remove them humanely. It also requires a nuisance animal removal license in the state of Illinois.

You will also need to clean up raccoon poop from your attic, which can carry diseases that can become airborne, requiring safety procedures to protect yourself.

Your best solution is to discourage those pesky raccoons from hanging out on your property in the first place.


Attic restorationDo you need help getting raccoons or other animals out of your attic?

If you are anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area, we can help!

Humane raccoon removal and safe cleanup and repairs of your home.

Phone (847) 464-1861


 

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

https://attic-solutions.com/raccoons-living-shed-deck/Permit to Remove Nuisance Animal in Illinois

You may not realize it, but that nuisance animal in your attic, shed, garage or on your property might be legally protected in Illinois.

Most wildlife is protected by law and cannot be killed or even removed without a permit.

Raccoons carrying disease into your home

The Illinois Department of National Resources is tasked with conservation and management of wild species in Illinois. By Illinois law, a property owner or tenant needs a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

By Illinois law, property owners or tenants need a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

Is the animal you want to remove a protected species? We’ve listed the most common nuisance animals in Illinois below. 


Questions? Call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861


Mice, Norway rats, moles, voles, gophers, and shrews

dangerous rats, are rats dangerousThese small mammals may all be removed with no permit needed.

Exceptions to this rule include the eastern woodrat and rice rat, which are endangered species in Illinois. These two species may not be removed.

Related: Rat and Mice removal and control

Ground squirrels and chipmunks

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.

 

Raccoons, skunks, opossums, beavers, muskrats, red foxes, gray foxes, mink, river otters, badgers, weasels, woodchucks, coyotes, and bobcats

striped skunkThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove fur-bearing animals. If you want to remove a fur-bearing animal yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, the IDNR encourages removal of most furbearers during open hunting and trapping seasons whenever possible. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Related: Common animal entry points

Gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, and southern flying squirrels

Tree SquirrelThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove squirrels. If you want to remove a squirrel yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, gray squirrels and fox squirrels may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Related: How to Squirrel-proof your home

Rabbits

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove rabbits. If you want to remove a rabbit yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, rabbits may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Bats

The (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional bat removal service to capture and remove bats.

Bats inside rooms will usually exit on their own. Close off exits to the room and keep windows open overnight.

Related: How to get bats out of the house

White-Tailed Deer

white tailed deer fawnWhite-tailed deer are protected under the Illinois Wildlife Code as a game species. It is illegal to take live deer from the wild unless you have received a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

IDNR Deer Removal Guidelines (PDF)

In rural areas,  deer hunting is permitted in season. All state hunting regulations must be followed. Outside of hunting season, or in situations where hunting is not allowed, a deer removal permit may be issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.

A person who hits and kills a deer with a motorized vehicle can legally claim the deer to salvage the meat, hide, and antlers.

For more information on hunting and trapping in Illinois visit the Illinois Department of National Resources.


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

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

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

Satisfaction guaranteed!


 

Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter

Raccoons are everywhere in the suburbs and their numbers are growing.

Not only is raccoons territory growing, but they adapting, learning and getting smarter.

Even stranger, they’re getting smarter because humans are forcing them to learn and adapt.

The raccoon population in the midwest and Untied States has expanded at an “astonishing” rate over the past 80 years, according to zoologist Sam Zeveloff, author of “Raccoons: A Natural History.

Raccoons have become highly tolerant of humans.

raccoons invade the suburbsTheir numbers in the suburbs have been growing for decades and they continue to expand in dense urban areas as well.

They’ve been able to expand into the city because of their tolerance for humans, their capability to eat anything; vegetable, meat, birdseed, cat food or garbage, and because of their ability to learn.

Raccoons will sleep anywhere too, from a hollow log, an abandoned burrow, under your deck, in your attic, in the garage or anywhere they can feel safe.

Related: How to keep raccoons from moving into your home

For professional raccoon removal in Chicagoland, call us at (847) 464-1861

raccoons carrying disease into your homeTo summarize, they’re not picky eaters, not picky sleepers, aren’t very afraid of humans, and most of all, they have nimble hands and the ability to learn from their environment.

This ability to live among humans has been a problem because raccoons are more likely to carry rabies than other animals, often suffer from distemper and can spread diseases through raccoon feces.

Related: Common raccoon diseases

In Toronto, which is known as the “Raccoon Capital of the World”, the city has been fighting a losing war against raccoons. The pests have been able to adapt and learn how to open every garbage can and dumpster lid that the city has tried to use to keep them away from trash.

And this is how we are unintentionally making raccoons smarter. 

“If we have this evolutionary arms race to keep them out of our attics and garbage cans, and those that survive figure out how to get in, then what you’re going to see over generations is their brains are different,” says biologist Suzanne MacDonald from York University in Toronto.

So raccoons are adapting to us, we are adapting to them, and they continue to adapt to us.

Time will tell who will win in the end. Or if there is even an end to this war.

One thing that is certain, though, is that the man versus raccoon war will not be over anytime soon. 


For professional raccoon removal in Chicagoland, call us at (847) 464-1861


Sources:

The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon

Will Raccoons Trump Rats as the Ultimate Urban Mammal?

Raccoons: A League of their own


 

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

Raccoons in the Attic

racoons-in-the-attic-illinoisCharging rent is not the answer.

Raccoons are more likely to visit in winter, but they can and will get inside at any time of year. A mother may choose an attic as a safe spot for giving birth to and raising her young.

Warm Dens

Raccoons seek out warm dens in the winter to help protect them from the elements. They most commonly seek out hollow trees, but are opportunistic about other options. Raccoons have been known to take over the underground burrows of other animals, use caves or make dens in attics to keep warm. They sometimes den with other raccoons as well to take advantage of the mutual body heat, especially in severe winters.

Raccoons in the attic

As intelligent problem-solvers with great dexterity and determination, raccoons often find their way into attics at entry points where different building materials join. This might be where dormer junctions occur, where unpainted trim board creates structural defects, or where the building material itself is pliant, enabling them to push their way past, as is easily done with some plastic soffits.

Raccoons in the chimney

When a mother raccoon sees an uncapped chimney, she sees a perfect nursery. It’s a safe and sheltered place to give birth to and raise her young until they are able to get around on their own.

The fireplace chimney is usually preferred because the horizontal “smoke shelf ” is a convenient size to nestle with her kits, but she may also use the chimney venting a furnace.

Call a professional

If more immediate and direct intervention is required to remove raccoons, then we strongly recommend hiring Attic Solutions. Evicting a raccoon can be difficult. There are potential safely risks to the homeowner and humane concerns for the raccoons if the eviction isn’t done properly.

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Image Source: Business Insider
Post Sources: Humane Society & Pets on Mom.me

Top 6 Signs That a Raccoon is Rabid

Top Signs a Raccoon is Rabid

Raccoons may have a reputation for carrying rabies and it’s warranted. Raccoons are the number one animal to contract rabies.

In fact, raccoons make up about 30% of all animal cases of rabies; bats, skunks, and foxes follow them.

It’s important to protect yourself and your family from animal pests, especially rabid animal pests. Below are our 6 top signs that a raccoon is rabid.

Top 6 Signs That a Raccoon is Rabid

Raccoon Trapped in a Cage1. Walking strangely – If you see a raccoon that is walking in circles, or walking like it has partially or fully paralyzed hind legs, it most likely has rabies.

2. Look confused or disoriented – Raccoons typically look alert and interested in what they’re doing. A rabid raccoon will be lethargic.

3. Foaming at the mouth – Foaming at the mouth or drooling are classic signs of rabies. This is due to choking caused by the virus. Avoid any contact with a raccoon that exhibits this sign of rabies.

4. Making strange noises – Though raccoons are chatty, a rabid raccoon will be making bizarre or wild noises.

5. “Weeping” eyes – A rabid raccoon has a goopy, weepy appearance to their eyes.

6. Aggression – Raccoons typically retreat when approached, but a rabid raccoon may start a fight with your pets, or even you.

 

Mistaken Signs

Zombie Raccoons IllinoisRaccoons are typically nocturnal and most active at night. It is a common misconception that any raccoon active during the day is rabid.

If the raccoon exhibits standard raccoon behavior, besides being active during the day, it probably is not rabid.

 

When To Call Pest Control

Call animal control if the raccoon pestering your home exhibits any of the top 6 signs that a raccoon is rabid.

Stay away from the raccoon at all costs and keep children and pets indoors or away. Rabies is a very serious virus that can cause serious health issues to pets and humans alike. Call an animal removal specialist immediately to have rabid raccoons safely removed from your property.

 

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

Attic Solutions can provide you humane live animal 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

 

Can You Domesticate Raccoons?

Raccoons are not pets

Raccoons may be cute but they are not pets.

Raccoons As Pets

Though raccoons are occasionally raised as pets, they are wild animals and should not be domesticated. Raccoons are not pets in the sense of cats and dogs, and do not have companion instincts. This means they will not obey the commands of their keeper unless it suits their needs. They can easily become fiercely distempered without hesitation. Raccoons are wild animals and belong in the wild, in almost every situation.

Legality

Owning a pet raccoon may not be legal in your state or city. They are considered wild animals and if found with a pet raccoon illegally, owners can be fined, arrested, and charged with Illegal Possession of Wildlife. In addition, to own a raccoon legally, they must be obtained from a licensed breeder and the owner must purchase a license. This license must be renewed every year to keep the pet legally.

Raccoons are known for their destructive, mischievous behavior and they bite frequently. Due to these behaviors, raccoon owners often purchase liability insurance, which can be very difficult or nearly impossible to have approved by insuring companies. The legal expenses and insurance are significant in pet ownership of a raccoon. Considering that most of this is unnecessary with a pet dog or cat it is clear that raccoons are not meant as pets.

Health

The health of raccoons is one reason that they are difficult to own as pets. Raccoons can be difficult to own because many vets do not have the ability to properly care for them. Unless they are wild animal specialists, vets will often turn away pet raccoons. Consider that a pet raccoon may sustain injuries or catch different parasitic diseases and the options for treatment may be fewer, or nonexistent unless a wildlife veterinarian is available in your area.

Raccoons are not immune to rabies. It is unknown if the rabies vaccine (used on dogs) is effective on them. If a pet raccoon bites someone and they file a complaint, it is nearly guaranteed that the pet raccoon will be euthanized. The only way to test for rabies is after the animal is dead, contributing to the likelihood that the pet would be euthanized if rabies were a question. Additionally, raccoons are prone to heart problems and become obese easily. These issues combined make it very difficult to own a raccoon as a pet and keep them healthy.

Commitment

Raccoons are a significant financial and time commitment as a pet. The average indoor raccoon lives around 16 years. Once raised by hand, some raccoons cannot be released into the wild. Raccoon keepers will find themselves unlikely to leave town or vary their schedule often, as it’s rare to find a raccoon pet sitter. In addition, raccoons must have a suitable substitute home if their keeper passes before they do.

Aside from the life commitment of a pet raccoon, they are also a financial commitment and burden on a home environment. They will likely need their own room with bedding and toys. These must be frequently replaced, as they like to destroy indoor furniture, clothes, plants, etc. No place in the home will be off limits unless locks are put in place. It’s suggested that locks should be placed on the medicine cabinet, kitchen cabinets, oven, fridge, freezer, dressers and rooms to allow a raccoon to live safely in a home. Raccoon-proofing a home is an extensive step in ensuring raccoon safety and well being in a home.

Temperament

Raccoons are destructive to a home environment as they are meant to live outdoors. They can cause massive destruction and damage to your home and possessions, as they cannot truly be domesticated. Raccoons will defecate anywhere they please and are not easy to litter box train. Raccoons use their scent to mark their territory and if in a home. They will assume the house is theirs and leave feces not only on the floor, but on top of cabinets and tall objects that only they can reach easily.

Though they may appear to be cuddly, smart creatures, raccoons are very mischievous, vengeful, and have no remorse. If a raccoon is frustrated or mad, they will seek revenge by destroying objects in the home. This can be inspired by something as simple as the owner coming home late from work. Raccoons require constant attention to stay entertained within a house environment and will not behave if left alone. Additionally, they do not cage well, which seems obvious, as a wild animal does not belong in a cage in a home.

Raccoons are very curious and will open every cabinet and even rip through upholstery to examine the object. This behavior is impossible to break, as it is part of their nature. In addition, they will rip window screens, tear buttons off clothes, empty bookcases, and dig up plants, as documented by raccoon pet owners. Some raccoons learn to unlock doors and even turn on sinks and flood homes.

Raccoons do not tend to be comfortable with strangers or sharing and may rifle through pockets and steal whatever objects they please. They will become angered and scared when someone attempts to take their objects back. Raccoons in stressed, scared situations often bite; their teeth are sharp enough to draw blood.

It cannot be emphasized enough, raccoons are wild in natural tendencies because they are wild animals and not meant for indoor, pet life. This poor behavior grows worse as they age and go through mating season.

Raccoons Are Not Pets

The difficulties with legality, temperament, and commitment of a raccoon are excellent reasons to pursue a different route of pet ownership. Dogs, cats, and numerous other pets are legal, domesticated, trainable, and are meant for human companionship. Raccoons are a stark contrast because they are truly wild animals and will never lose their instincts, regardless of breeders breeding generations of “domestic” raccoons. Although they may not significantly harm a human, it nearly guaranteed that they will be destructive and cause damage a home and bite someone, at some time.

If wild raccoons take residence in your home or you find babies without a mother, you should immediately call pest control to safely remove and relocate them. Raccoons are not meant for pet ownership, regardless of their cute, fuzzy appearance.