Are Raccoons Harmful & Do They Spread Disease? How to Get Rid of Raccoon Pests in Your Whitehouse, NJ Attic & Property
Raccoons are highly intelligent and curious, but will become a nuisance to homeowners. They can be found throughout most of North America and can destroy gardens, make a mess by digging through trash and cause structural damage when looking for food.
What Do Raccoons Look Like?
Raccoons are 24 to 36 inches long with a distinctive black mask and a pointy black nose. Their fur is gray with 4-7 black rings on their tail. Raccoons are nocturnal and will eat just about anything. Their dexterous front paws make it possible for them to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They’re also great climbers which allows them access to food and shelter inside our homes. Raccoons are found in forests, marshes, prairies and even in cities. Heavily wooded areas will provide raccoons with access to trees and abandoned borrows from other animals. They are very adaptable and can be found around our homes in attics, sewers, sheds and barns. They are most active in spring, summer and fall and will spend lots of time in the winter asleep in their dens.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Using different prevention and control methods at the same time will you give you the best chance at getting rid of raccoons and keeping them away.
1. Eliminate food and water and make your yard less attractive to raccoons by removing or securing trash cans, cleaning up nuts, seeds and berries, etc. Wash your trash cans from time to time to get rid of food smells and don’t leave pet food out.
2. Inspect for areas with damage to help you find out where they are living early.
3. Choose the right raccoon control methods. The more layers of defense you have the better. After you’ve figured out where the raccoons are frequenting you can decide on the best methods to use.
– Raccoon repellents will act as barriers to keep raccoons away and come in granular or spray form. Raccoons can be persistent so give it time to work.
– Electronic repellents will frighten the raccoons and will condition them to stay away. Electric water sprinklers are chemical-free and are lower maintenance compared to liquid and granular repellents.
– Live raccoon traps will physically remove the raccoons. After you position the trap, you can bait it making sure the raccoon has room to completely move into the trap to step on the trigger plate. Check the trap regularly so you don’t leave a raccoon trapped inside for too long.
– Electric fencing can be a highly effective way to keep raccoons away too.
Are Raccoons Harmful?
Raccoons can be destructive. Some signs that you might have raccoons are tipped over trash cans, pilfered gardens, raided bird feeders, damaged crops, torn shingles and raccoon tracks. Raccoons have five long toes and fingers that look like human hands. Raccoons can carry some bacterial diseases and parasites that we can get through bites or contaminated food. These include rabies, salmonella, roundworm and leptospirosis. Rabies is associated with raccoons but there has only been one case recorded in the United States where someone died after being bitten by a rabid raccoon. If you’re worried about having raccoons around your home, give Merlin’s Pest Control a call for professional help!