Do Raccoons Carry Disease?


As it turns out, yes, raccoons do carry disease. Here is what you need to know.

1. Raccoon Roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis Infection)

The most common disease contracted from raccoons is raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis). It can be deadly to humans and pets if ingested. Raccoons are natural carriers of this parasitic infection, which they shed through feces. Where raccoon habitat exists, it is fairly easy for roundworm eggs to make their way into the soil. They become a danger only after the eggs have been dormant for some time. This is bad news for homeowners who move into a new property that previously housed raccoons. If people or animals come into contact with contaminated soil and then put their fingers in their mouths or eat without washing first, the larvae migrate through the body and cause serious damage.

Potential places for contamination:

- Your garden, if you have one.

- Your house or apartment, if your place has a yard–especially older homes with cracks in the foundation that are ideal spots for digging.

- Old sheds or outbuildings where raccoons are known to nest may also pose a contamination threat.

If you’re concerned about a raccoon problem, Midwestern Termite & Pest Control can help remove them.

2. Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis)

While this one is rare in raccoons, infected animals can transmit it to humans through bites or urine. In humans, it is known as Weil's disease and symptoms include fever, muscle pains, vomiting and jaundice. Treatment usually involves hospitalization for a minimum of five days on an antibiotic drip.

If you’re struggling with raccoons on your property, don’t struggle alone. Check out Midwestern Termite & Pest Control’s Residential Pest Control Services.

3. Rabies

Rabies is a virus carried in the saliva of infected mammals. When a raccoon with rabies bites you, their saliva enters your body. The disease begins multiplying, causing fever, headaches or general weakness. Eventually, the virus reaches the brain, where it causes hallucinations and paralysis. The animal also dies during this final stage of infection; however, there is no tested cure once symptoms arise.

4. Giardia

Giardia is a protozoan–a tiny, one-celled organism that sometimes causes diarrhea in healthy people. This parasite is carried in the feces of infected raccoons and spreads by touching contaminated soil, water or anything else that may have come into contact with it.

We can remove raccoons from your property to prevent any of these diseases from happening to you. Contact Midwestern Termite & Pest Control today.

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