If you follow the news, it comes as no surprise to you that raccoons are not as cute as most people think they are. “Animal control experts are warning about an outbreak of distemper among wildlife, especially raccoons.” “Massachusetts woman is recuperating after a rabid raccoon attacked her in bed.” “Woman says two raccoons attacked her in Central Park.” “A raccoon viciously attacked a child playing”. “raccoons getting into my sweet corn”. The news stories that come up on google go on and on. They speak of rabies, distemper, and other bacteria related illness. They warn of raccoons being clever and breaking into homes. And, they talk of attacks.

It is important to point out that the raccoons cited in the news stories above are not domesticated raccoons. These are wild raccoons we’re talking about. Raccoons in captivity don’t have the issues wild raccoons have. Because of their scavenger tendencies, raccoons get into some of the nastiest things you can imagine. This is why they are connected to the transmission of diseases like, mange, tuberculosis, distemper and rabies, and spread parasites like, ticks, fleas, ringworms, tapeworms, and lice.

These critters are also harmful to property and vegetation. In the country they raid chicken coops, eat vegetables, and are capable of killing a young lamb or goat. In urban centers they dig up yards, ravage gardens, forage in dumpsters, knock over trash cans, and damage homes.

Raccoons are not like any other pest you’re going to run into. Their hands are so nimble they can unlace a shoe, unlatch a cage, and steal coins as thin as a dime from your shirt pocket. To keep them out of your home, you’ll have to work a little harder.

Their favorite places to nest are under decks and porches, in attics and chimneys, and under houses and woodpiles. To keep raccoons away, cut back trees from the roof, so they can’t jump down and gain access to your chimney and attic. Put wire mesh around downspouts, so they can’t use them to climb up. Move your woodpile away from the house and keep your trash in well sealed cans.

If you already have a raccoon nesting in your home or garage, call a professional pest control company. Raccoons may seem docile, but they can be quite fierce when threatened, especially if they are protecting their young. A professional technician is the way to go. They can also show you other exclusion techniques specific to your particular situation, and help you keep those raccoons away for good.