What types of damage can raccoons cause?

image of a raccoon

Raccoons are intelligent and curious creatures, and their curiosity often gets them into trouble. Their dexterous front paws are known for getting into garbage cans, raiding bird feeders, rummaging through the garden, and just overall wreaking havoc on your property.

Property damage caused by raccoons:

Adult raccoons are the size of a medium dog and are quite hefty. 

Depending on the environment and food supply, the average female raccoon weighs about 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.4 kg), and the average male raccoon weighs about 20 pounds (9 kg). Generally speaking, males are 10 to 30 percent larger than females.

One of the worst things a raccoon can do to your house is tear open your roof to build its nest inside your warm attic. It causes significant damage to your home and puts your family at risk for diseases carried by raccoons, such as rabies, distemper virus, and parvovirus.

The following are some of the headaches that raccoons can cause:

Raccoon waste

Raccoons may turn your attic into a massive litter box and nesting site. The smell of raccoon waste is powerful and can penetrate through the walls of your home, making it unbearable to live in. 

The mold and rot caused by raccoon feces can cause severe health problems and other diseases. Also, it may also contain roundworm eggs which are transmissible to humans.

Furthermore, raccoon waste in your attic can attract insects and other wild animals such as squirrels, rats, and snakes.

Insulation damage

A well-insulated home is vital to maintaining a comfortable temperature and reducing your carbon footprint.

Raccoons often tear open the insulation in your attic to build their nests. This is how a mother raccoon takes care of their young. This causes substantial damage to your home and decreases your insulation’s efficiency, leading to higher energy bills.

You may incur excessive heating and cooling costs, or have to repair raccoon damage to the tune of thousands of dollars.

Electrical damage

Electrical damage is one of the most dangerous types of damage that raccoons can cause. They regularly harm electrical and ventilation systems that pass through attics. When raccoons gnaw on electrical wires, these frayed wired can result in extreme risk of fire if they are not replaced.

Air quality contamination

The raccoon waste dumped in your attic or wall could potentially carry pathogens that can infect humans. Still, they will also contaminate the air in your house. Homeowners will first detect a slight odor, which will only worsen over time.

Detecting the exact location of the smell can be a frustrating scavenger hunt. The last thing you want is your family breathing in dangerous particles in the air just because it is difficult to locate the source of the smell.

Infectious diseases from raccoons

The most dangerous aspect of a raccoon infestation is the high risk of disease transfer to your family. Raccoon waste can lead to health complications for humans and pets.

They commonly carry the following diseases:

  • Baylisascaris is a species of roundworm that can seriously harm your nervous system or cause illness.
  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that could potentially lead to organ failure.
  • Rabies is a dangerous and often fatal disease that attacks your nervous system.
  • Canine Distemper Virus is a potentially fatal illness that attacks your respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems.
  • Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that will attack your gastrointestinal system and can be deadly for puppies.

Exterior damage: Lawn, Garden and Livestock

Raccoons are notorious for exploiting poorly secured garbage cans. This often leads to trash strewn around the yard. They’ve also been known to do a number on carefully planted vegetable gardens in search of cheap and easy calories. Even young trees aren’t safe, as raccoons will gnaw at and damage juvenile tree bark.

Raccoons are omnivores known to eat just about anything, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even insects. Raccoons will dig small holes in search of food, damaging your grass and trees and making it more difficult for your plants to grow. Also, your garden is no exemption.

If you have a pool, you need to pay very close attention to raccoons around home! These critters can contaminate your pool water with their waste, making it unsafe for your friends and family to swim in. This can be pretty messy for homeowners, costing tens of thousands to repair.

They are also known to kill small scale livestock, such as birds, chickens, and rabbits. When having raccoons on your property, it is essential to protect them.

How to keep raccoons away from your property

Raccoons search for food, water, and shelter when they enter an area. They won’t have any cause to remain if they cannot locate any. Therefore, ensuring that raccoons won’t find what they’re seeking is the most effective approach to keeping them out.

Below are ways to “raccoon-proof” your place:

Remove the food sources around the property.

Raccoons are attracted mainly through food sources, particularly outdoor trash cans. So always check your garbage bins and make sure they are correctly sealed. You can use raccoon repellents to stop them from nibbling through the lids. Garden beds, fruit trees, pet food, and bird feeders are other food sources.

Use motion-activated sprinklers

Homeowners can purchase motion-activated sprinklers at most hardware stores. A surprise burst of water will discourage raccoons from loitering and keep them away.

Inspect and patch up your place

Check your house for possible entry points for raccoons in soffits, walls, chimneys, and vents. Once you’ve found them, seal them with raccoon-proof materials like wires, screens, hardware cloth, or caulk.

Keep your lawn, gardens, and landscaping well-maintained, and trim the shrubs and trees around your property so that raccoons don’t have any place to hide. Also, keep your grass short since long grass provides a great hiding spot.

Scent Repellents

Scent Repellents are sometimes effective for keeping raccoons away. There are many different types of scent repellents available on the market, so make sure you choose one that is fits your needs.

Some of the most popular scent repellents include:

  • Mothballs
  • Coyote urine
  • Ammonia
  • Capsaicin

Repellents like mothballs, ammonia, and capsaicin produce strong smells that raccoons may find unpleasant. Coyote urine supposedly works because it gives the illusion that a predator is nearby, and raccoons will avoid an area where they think they might be in danger.

You can also try to make your scent repellent at home, such as a cayenne pepper spray. It’s a simple and reliable raccoon repellant since they dislike spicy scents.

Hire a pro

If you can’t deal with a raccoon invasion alone, there is no pressure. You can always ask for help from nuisance wildlife professionals like AAAC Wildlife Removal. We’ll be happy to help you remove the animals and help with repairs.

Professional Raccoon Removal

Fortunately, the pros at AAAC Wildlife Removal are available to assist in resolving problems caused by unauthorized visitors. To contact and find out more about the various services we provide, call us!

Final Word

On the bright side, raccoons are pretty cute animals. And as long as they are not in our homes or yards, we can appreciate them from a distance without all the mess and destruction they’re capable of causing.

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