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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


 

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.