Here's Why Raccoons In Western Massachusetts Are Dangerous

A raccoon climbing an open window

Many people at one point in their life or another have dreamt about owning a raccoon. Thinking about it, they seem like they would be excellent pets. They are clever, objectively cute, and extremely interactive. The only problem is that raccoons are also mischievous troublemakers. Even when highly trained, these furry bandits will not hesitate to knock over trash cans, break valuables around homes, and generally get into places they don’t belong. Wild raccoons are even worse and pose several threats to properties and homeowners. If you don’t know much about the problems raccoons cause, here is everything you need to know.

A Bit About Raccoons

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals that are native to North America. Best identified by their grey coat, white face, and black mask, these furry pests are more likely to live around rural neighborhoods than out in the wild. This wasn’t true several hundred years ago but has changed as society has advanced and more opportunities for quick and easy food have presented themselves. Today, it is impractical for a raccoon to hunt for food out in the wild when it is so easily accessible from trash cans, garbage piles, and litter. This behavior drives raccoons to neighborhoods in large numbers causing trouble for homeowners all around.

Which Raccoons Are Dangerous?

Not all raccoons are dangerous, but some are. Unless you know how to identify a rabid or sickly animal, there is no way to know for sure whether or not the raccoons around your home are dangerous or not. The best thing to do is assume all raccoons are a threat.
The spread of disease and parasitic worms are two common, and dangerous threats raccoons pose around Massachusetts homes. Here are a few of the most common diseases and parasites these furry pests carry and spread.

  • Rabies
  • Roundworm
  • Leptospirosis
  • Salmonella
  • E. Coli

Raccoons spread these sickness vectors through their fecal matter, urine, and occasionally through biting or scratching. If you suspect a raccoon is inside or around your home, do not interact with it, as it could be dangerous.
Fleas and ticks are also commonly associated with raccoon infestations. In nature, these tiny parasitic pests hitch rides on the coats of wandering raccoons. Once on your property, fleas and ticks will leave raccoons and attempt to get onto your pets. If your furry friends do not have proper flea and tick prevention, you could be at risk of another infestation and a whole different laundry list of problems.

How to Discourage Raccoons From Your Property

Your property attracts raccoons in several ways. To reduce your chances of having to deal with a raccoon infestation, here are some prevention tips for you to try.

  • Make sure all of your exterior garbage cans have tightly-fitting lids.
  • Avoid feeding your pets outside, and if you have to, clean their bowls before it gets dark.
  • Repair damage to the exterior of your home and outbuildings that might allow raccoons to get inside.
  • Clean up thoroughly after outdoor gatherings.
  • Trim back tree branches from the exterior of your home.
  • Make sure all of your window screens are in good condition and that your doors are tightly sealed.
  • Make sure your chimney has a cap.
  • Make sure your decks and basement are animal-proof.

The Only Way to Get Rid of a Raccoon

If you suspect a raccoon has invaded your property, let the professionals here at American Pest Solutions help. We will send one of our highly trained wildlife control specialists your way ASAP to remove any raccoons residing on your property.
Give us a call for more advice on how to prevent raccoons or to schedule a service visit for your Massachusetts home.