Raccoons are probably the most commonly dealt with nuisance animal in Washington. They have adapted to living with humans. They have learned that garbage cans and dumpsters are excellent sources of food, and that houses are a excellent place to nest. A mother raccoon will often tear a hole in a roof to access an attic, where they will destroy your insulation and create loud noises. They can cause significant damage in an attic, both by contamination from their waste or by structural damage to insulation, beams, or even by chewing on wires. They will scavenge everywhere for food, and will often tip over garbage cans, raid dumpsters, and steal pet food. They will often break through screened foundation vents to seek shelter in your crawlspace. If there’s food or shelter to be had, raccoons will aggressively persue it.
They carry a number of parasites and diseases that can affect people or pets. They are the #1 carrier of rabies, a potentially fatal disease. They also carry canine distemper, which can kill your dog. Their feces may contain raccoon roundworm, the spores of which humans can breath in and become seriously infected by, so it is important to capture raccoons using human habitat.
Tips for Prevention:
- Secure your garbage can using bungie cord
- Don’t leave pet food out
- Lock pet doors
- Put steel mesh over foundation vents
- Seal any opening on your roof with steel flashing.