Are Raccoons Dangerous Around My House?

Raccoons don’t have the best reputation. They are often known as being mean, aggressive and “dirty” carriers of the rabies virus.

In fact, many people consider all raccoons to be rabid, and they panic when they notice raccoons hanging around the house. While you certainly would never want to approach a raccoon, having them around your home is not a reason to panic.

Raccoons: A Reason to Panic?

It’s true that raccoons – along with skunks, foxes and bats – are referred to as a “rabies vector species” because they are a primary carrier for rabies infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only one person has ever died from a raccoon strain of rabies, so the event is highly unlikely to occur.

Still, it’s important to know how to deal with raccoons if they are hanging around your home.

If you do happen to see a raccoon in your yard, remember not to stay calm because that they are more afraid of you than you are of them!

Chances are good that it is a mother raccoon who is out looking for food for her young. She may also be moving to a new location, or checking things out when the dogs are indoors. Now, there is a difference between seeing one raccoon out and about one day versus many raccoons hanging around your home.

If you’re dealing with the latter situation, you will need to do some maintenance steps, because there is something obviously attracting the pests to your home. Here are some simple albeit helpful tips.

Tips for Deterring Raccoons from Your Property

  • Clean up all garbage. This includes berries from trees, paper and food scraps.

  • Seal your garbage cans. Purchase garbage cans with tightly sealed lids. You may also want to consider a garbage can with a latch; pests can be clever.

  • Keep the garbage cans clean. It doesn’t take long for garbage cans to smell like food scraps, so keep them clean by hosing them off every so often. It will make the garage smell better, too.

  • Identify points of entry. If raccoons are lurking outside your home, they may be trying to get in sooner than later. Make sure that there are no entry points to your home, and if there are, get them sealed ASAP. Metal meshing works great.

  • Watch for signs of an infestation. There is a chance that you could have raccoons living in your attic, so listen for unusual noises. Also, you can perform a number of “traps” in areas where you think the raccoons could be getting in. If the traps are moved or fussed with, you know that the raccoons are actively pursuing your home.

In short, no, raccoons are not dangerous around the home. However, if you see many raccoons out and about, there is a good chance they are being attracted to your home for a particular reason, and you don’t want them to make YOUR home THEIR home.

Still, it’s a good idea to know what to do if you happen to feel threatened. First, if you see a sick looking raccoon, do not approach it or try to help. Call the local animal control or police department for assistance. You may also need assistance if the raccoon:

  • Has discharge coming from the mouth or eyes

  • Has wet and matted hair on face

  • Has self-inflicted wounds

  • Is wandering erratically

  • Is oblivious to noise or movement

  • Is vocalizing in a high-pitch voice

Raccoons are commonly active during the day, but it’s rare that they will show aggression toward a human for no reason. It is possible that a mother raccoon will arch her back and growl at someone she fears could pose a threat to her babies, but it’s unlikely that she would chase after them. Still, this behavior could be frightening.

If you’re worried about these types of interactions occurring, call Dugas Pest Control today and ask about our wildlife control and removal programs. That way you can leave the animals to us!


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