Health Risks of Raccoons Living in Your Attic SpaceBecause of their gentle look and curious nature, people often ask, are raccoons dangerous? In most situations, raccoons prefer to avoid confrontation, but that doesn't mean they are docile or approachable. Also, raccoons present other risks to families, including pets, that might not include physical injury or aggression. The animal can pose significant health risks to a family if it is nesting in their attic space.
1. FecesRaccoon roundworm is a dangerous infection both humans and pets can contract. While rare, the condition stems from a parasite in the animal's intestines, and its eggs and larvae can appear in raccoon poop. The strange thing about the parasitic infection is it has little to no effect on raccoons, but it has a violent effect on humans and other animals. The disease attacks the central nervous system and is among the most severe infections humans can contract from wild animals.
2. RabiesRabies is also a rare condition that is transmittable to humans and pets from wild animals. It affects the nervous system and, more often than not, leads to death. Raccoons are especially susceptible to rabies, meaning avoiding any contact with the animal is crucial. A rabid raccoon may display several symptoms, including:
- Frothing at the mouth
- Approaching people
- Acting aggressively
3. GiardiasisGiardiasis or beaver fever is another parasitic infection common in raccoons and other wildlife. It is also one of the most common diseases people contract from wildlife. The parasite resides in the intestines of infected animals and passes in their stool. The illness occurs in people when they ingest the infective cysts from the feces or animals directly. Most commonly, infection occurs when you or your pet come into contact with affected surfaces or ingest contaminated food or water. The symptoms of the infection typically start one to three weeks after exposure and can last for up to six weeks. The most common symptoms of the condition include: