A raccoon is a medium-sized mammal known for its distinctive ringed tail
and bandit-like face mask. They are particularly intelligent creatures,
and are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both meat, fruit, nuts, invertebrates,
and vegetables. While initially, the habitats of the raccoon were deciduous
and mixed forests, they have adapted to living closer to humans because
we have encroached upon their territory and they adapt well to readily
available food sources.
These animals are incredibly cute, but they do come with many problems.
First and foremost, they are wild animals, meaning they will act as any
wild animal will do when feeling threatened. If a child or a pet gets
too close to a raccoon and it perceives them as a threat, it will lash
out. Most people fear being bitten by raccoons because they are known
carriers of the rabies virus. Rabies is a disease that can cause brain
inflammation in humans and other animals eventually leading to death.
They are also known to carry other diseases and parasites, such as raccoon
roundworm, giardia, and leptospirosis, which can all cause severe symptoms.
Many times, raccoons are drawn toward human dwellings and businesses because
of the foodstuffs left in the trash cans. People can usually tell when
they have a raccoon problem, because of signs of feeding damage, including
overturned trash cans, partially eaten garden items, or structural damage
if they try and enter the building.
The best way to avoid raccoons is to minimize their access to suitable
food, water, and shelter. You can do this by sealing up any significant
gaps, crawl spaces, access doors, chimneys, areas under the eave, areas
under decks, garage door openings, and gable ends. Vents in the roof should
also be heavy duty and animal proof. Ensure trees are all 6 to 8 feet
away from your home to prevent raccoons from entering your home through
the roof. You can also install caps to cover the chimney or other roof vents.
Another precaution to take is to keep your trash cans clean and pick up
any debris from around the garbage disposal area. If you have space, keep
refuse containers inside the garage and bring them outside the next day
for trash pickup. All trash cans should have tight-fitting lids. If raccoons
are still removing your lids (they are smart enough to figure this out),
then get some heavy duty bungee cords to go over the top of the can.
Food should never be readily available to raccoons, so if you leave leftover
pet food outside, make sure to bring it inside. If you have fruit trees,
remove any fruit that drops on the ground. Likewise, cover compost piles
to prevent wild animals from feeding on any food scraps. If raccoons are
attracted by your bird feeders, you may have to dispose of those.
Limiting available water is another good way to prevent raccoons from moving
in. Raccoons might use small fishponds or other pools as food sources,
particularly if you have live fish in those pools. If you have one, you
can buy metal leaf netting to throw over your pond. Ensure it is heavy
duty so it can support the weight of a raccoon.
If you think you have a
raccoon problem, don’t hesitate to call us.
Critter Control of Houston offers safe and ecologically-friendly removal of problem animals. We are
locally owned and operated, and we have more than 30 years of experience
performing these services for residents across Houston.
Contact us at 713-334-4103 or fill out our online form to schedule a free inspection
with our team. Our technicians can not only trap the animal, but we can
also offer inspections of the damage cause and implement prevention methods
to discourage further infestations.