By
 In Racoon, News

Among the pests that populate Quebec, the raccoon is certainly the one you need to be most wary of. Although cute, these beasts can be dangerous, and for many reasons. Vectors of numerous diseases such as rabies, they are a danger to both humans and pets such as cats.

The Montreal exterminators at Élite Gestion Parasitaire explain why raccoons are dangerous to you and your pets.

Are raccoons nice?

The term “nice” can be a bit ambiguous when it comes to describing the behavior of wild animals like raccoons. Raccoons are wild creatures and their behavior is largely influenced by their environment and individual experience.

Does raccoons attack humans?

In the wild, raccoons are generally shy and avoid direct interaction with humans. They usually then don’t bite humans, except if they’re threatened. They may appear curious and intelligent, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “nice” in the sense we understand domestic animals to be. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and may forage in areas inhabited by humans, but this should not be interpreted as friendly behavior.

That being said, their dangerousness is not the result of their behavior. You’ll understand.

Are raccoons dangerous to humans?

Long story short, yes, raccoons are dangerous to humans. It’s a vector for serious diseases, and its unpredictable behavior means it’s best to be wary of it. In particular, they’re dangerous because their droppings carry many diseases.

Raccoons and diseases: a widespread cocktail

The main danger associated with raccoons is the fact that they are unwilling carriers of numerous diseases, some of which can be very serious.

Rats can transmit rabies

Raccoons can carry several dangerous diseases, including raccoon rabies. While incidents involving rabid raccoons attacking humans are rare, you certainly don’t want to take the chance that an infected raccoon will transmit this severe disease to you.

After being bitten, the rabies virus spreads through the nerve cells. When the virus reaches the brain, it multiplies rapidly. This causes severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord after which the person who was bitten suffers a rapid deterioration of their physical condition. If the case is not treated quickly, the consequences can be disastrous.

Raccoons droppings are dangerous

Raccoons are also carriers of other diseases, which can also be transmitted to humans. The medium? Their droppings. The dangers of raccoon feces are real as they carry various diseases.

The raccoon roundworm

Baylisascariasis is a parasitic disease caused by a nematode called Baylisascaris procyonis. This parasite mainly infects raccoons (Procyon lotor), but can also affect other animal species, such as dogs and humans.

Raccoons are natural carriers of Baylisascaris procyonis. The eggs of this parasite are present in the feces of infected raccoons. When these feces contaminate the environment, such as the soil or sand of playgrounds, the eggs can remain infectious for several years.

If a raccoon has roundworms, eggs will be present in its poop. These eggs represent a real danger if ingested or even inhaled.

For this reason, when cleaning up raccoon droppings, you should wear disposable gloves and a mask. It’s unlikely that you’ll contract roundworms, but your pets may. If you’re dealing with a large quantity of droppings, you should entrust their removal to a raccoon exterminator to limit the risk of spread.

Leptospirosis

As for leptospirosis, this is a bacterial disease that can be present in soil and contaminated water. Infected raccoons disperse this dangerous bacterium with their urine. This infection is also rare in humans, but can cause liver failure, kidney damage and more. In some cases, it can lead to death. All the more reason why we really recommend you take extra care with this animal.

Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that affects carnivores, including dogs, raccoons and other wild animals. The disease is caused by the distemper virus (CDV), which belongs to the paramyxovirus family.

Raccoons are susceptible to distemper and can act as natural reservoirs for the virus. They can contract distemper through direct contact with infected animals or exposure to contaminated body secretions, such as saliva, urine or… feces.

Canine distemper can be transmitted from raccoons to domestic dogs via direct contact or contaminated secretions. Unvaccinated dogs are particularly vulnerable to the disease, and may show symptoms similar to those seen in infected raccoons.

Are raccoons dangerous to cats and other pets?

We’ve just seen with distemper, but yes, raccoons are dangerous to your pets, especially cats and dogs. As well as being a danger to humans, raccoons are even more dangerous to your pets. Especially cats. Why them, especially?

Cat and raccoon: that’s a no

Raccoons are territorial animals and can come into conflict with cats over access to resources such as food, water and shelter. These conflicts can lead to fights between the two species, exposing cats to injury and infection.

While cats are natural predators of other animals such as rodents, they are less able to compete with a raccoon, which is much larger and hardier than a cat’s typical prey.

Diseases, rabies, worms, bite lesions, ingestion of droppings – your pets are at risk when they live close to these pests. To protect your cats from raccoons, make sure that animals from the outside cannot enter your home, and vice versa. Otherwise, take action to keep raccoons away from your home.

And if you ever witness a raccoon attack on your cat, or suspect that one has bitten your pet, consult a veterinary clinic without delay. Don’t try to trap the raccoon yourself: you’ll also be putting yourself in danger as the animal will be aggressive.

Are raccoons dangerous for your house?

Yes. Although raccoons are omnivores, their canines are designed to shred food. While their lower canines are rounded, their upper canines have the potential to do serious damage.

If raccoons get into your attic, they can wreak havoc, even creating short circuits, thereby increasing the risk of fire. In other cases, they can cause thousands of dollars of damage by damaging the insulation materials in an attic and soiling them with their droppings.

To prevent this kind of damage in your home, you should take action to prevent pests. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises or unexpected encounters in your home.

Prevent yourself from the danger of raccoons by calling on Élite

As you’ve seen, raccoons present many dangers against which it’s important to protect yourself. Keeping raccoons away from intruders is the best solution for everyone.

However, when raccoons invade your home, the dangers for you and your pets are many. So, to prevent you or your cat from being bitten, call on our residential exterminators for responsible, long-lasting capture.

Contact Élite Gestion Parasitaire today. Our team will come to your home and make the right diagnosis and take the right action to rid you of these pests for good.

Pascal Rock
Pascal Rock  
Director, Elite Pest Control
Founder and mainstay of Elite Pest Control, Pascal Rock has embodied expertise and dedication for over a decade. His training, acquired with expert mentors in extermination and pest decontamination, has shaped an outstanding professional. Under his leadership, a team of six seasoned technicians deploys the very best pest control strategies. Together, they ensure the peace of mind and safety of residents and professionals from Montreal to Quebec City, by offering fast, effective interventions, available at all times.