Raccoons are among the more intelligent nuisance animals we encounter on a very frequent basis. Raccoon intelligence combined with their very strong dextrous fingers can be a nightmare for your home. They are able to rip down pieces of soffit as well as most standard wire mesh from vents in order to gain entry to your attic. Once inside they will make themselves at home in your insulation or even the duct work of your a/c system. Raccoons have a unique approach to urinating/defecating; they will find a spot in your attic and make a latrine. This area essentially becomes a restroom for raccoons in your attic. The raccoons will return to this spot any time they feel the urge... As the urine sits on the floor of your attic it gradually soaks through and can cause waste products to leak through into your living space. Raccoons are also capable of wreaking havoc on the insulation and wiring in your attic. When dealing with raccoons it is imperative to find experienced wildlife professionals as they can be very aggressive when threatened.
The most common disease people acquire from raccoons is rabies. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system in humans, and it can lead to fevers, hallucinations and seizures. If a raccoon carries rabies, the virus is present in its saliva, so infected raccoons can transfer the disease via bites or scratches, as their claws are likely to have come in contact with their mouths. Staying away from raccoons in the wild is always a good idea, but this is especially true if their behavior appears especially aggressive or erratic. Rabies can be deadly, but there are very few confirmed cases of raccoon-acquired rabies that have resulted in human death.
Salmonella bacteria are found in raccoon feces, and humans can contract Salmonella infections as the result of contacting droppings and subsequently ingesting the microorganisms by inadvertently transferring it from the hands to the mouth. These particular bacteria can lay dormant in a dry environment for an extended period of time, and can then become active under favorable conditions. Salmonella poisoning can lead to fever, abdominal pain and severe diarrhea. It can be particularly dangerous to children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals.
Raccoons can excrete high numbers of roundworm eggs through their feces. The eggs are light and can become airborne, potentially leading to infections resulting from inhalation. Incidental ingestion can also infect a host. Roundworm parasites can lead to serious health issues in humans as they affect the central nervous system, and can impair the body’s organs, including the brain. The most severe roundworm-related infections can result in vision loss or even comas.
The bacterium Leptospira causes the disease Leptospirosis, which infects humans and a host of other animals, including raccoons. They excrete this particular microorganism through their urine; as such, people can become infected by drinking water that has been contaminated with these bacteria. Mild cases of Leptospirosis can result in high fevers, body pain and both vomiting and diarrhea. More serious cases may lead to anemia, meningitis and liver failure.
Tufts Wildlife Services has had years of experience dealing with nuisance raccoons in the home and attic. Although each case is different, we pride ourselves on our professional ability to safely and efficiently remove raccoons from your property without incident. We will locate the entry points on your home and then begin our trapping on the exterior of your home. Once we have trapped a raccoon we will put "passive barriers" on the entry points to monitor whether or not a raccoon as been entering the home. Once we have determined that the animal is no longer in the attic, we will perform a raccoon exclusion on the home. This process includes repairing any damages cause by a raccoon seeking to enter your home. We will also identify any "potential" entry points and reinforce them so that no raccoons are able to enter the home in the future.
Once this exclusion process is complete, Tufts Wildlife Services will perform an attic sanitation. During this service we will remove any and all accessible feces and contaminants using a commercial grade vacuum equipped with a hepa filtration system to avoid the spread of spores and roundworm eggs. Tufts Wildlife Services will then use a commercial atomizer to disperse hospital grade sanitizer throughout your attic to kill any remaining bacteria. This chemical is safe and effective when it comes to removing potential health threats as well as any scent trails or odors left behind by raccoons and other wildlife.