Suburban Raccoons

Asthma from Raccoon Feces

April 21st, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

Asthma from Raccoon FecesAnyone with asthma knows that triggers can be caused by many different situations. Pets typically can cause asthma attacks particularly if there’s lots of dust on their fur or the dander that is natural to their fur is an asthma trigger to that person. While they will not be in physical touch with raccoons, unless they have a pet raccoon, the dust from their feces can be a trigger for asthma sufferers. Believe it or not some people do have pet raccoons and we have several pictures about these raccoons on other posts on this site.

Raccoons can get into your attic and set up a den, raising their pups and living in your attic without many consumers even being aware that they are there. Attics are typically very hot, drying out the feces which causes them to turn to dust when they are disturbed. The feces can be disturbed by the raccoons, or humans going into the attic to investigate how much damage there is from the raccoons, or cleaning the attic of all of the urine soaked insulation and the raccoon feces.

Asthma from Raccoon Feces – Going Into the Attic

If you do go into an attic where there are raccoon feces, make sure that you are wearing environmentally protective clothing and breathing mask to avoid triggering an asthma attack if you are susceptible  to asthma as well as to avoid breathing in roundworm eggs from the raccoons feces. These eggs are very resilient and can last a long time in dry hot conditions. Once ingested into the human body, they will hatch and the worms will migrate to the brain and into the eyes causing irreparable damage and even death.

This is far worse than an asthma attack however asthma sufferers will understand completely when we say avoid all situations where there is dust from feces and natural dust that can be in an attic. Asthma attacks can occur from people having colds, flu, exposure to pollen, exposure to dust, and other fragrances that are in the air naturally. You don’t want to make it worse by breathing in the dust from raccoon feces.

If you need information on getting rid of raccoons, trapping raccoons, or cleaning your attic there are many other posts on the site that provide information on these subjects.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Can Raccoons in the Attic Cause Asthma

April 7th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

Can Raccoons in the Attic Cause AsthmaThe answer to this question, can raccoons in the attic cause asthma for people living in the home is “yes” for some people. To understand why we say yes, you first have to understand a little about people who have asthma or are susceptible to asthma. You also need to understand a little about raccoons, the damage they can do and what happens to their feces that are left in the attics of homes. The picture on the left is a rather dramatic result of raccoons living in an attic for quite some time. Not only are there a lot of feces, the insulation will be soaked with urine and it is also compacted providing virtually no insulation for the home owner. You can read about these issues in other posts on this site, now back to the main question.

Can Raccoons in the Attic Cause Asthma

Person who are susceptible to asthma attacks have probably learned if they have had it long enough that there are in fact all kinds of triggers that can bring on an attack. Regardless of what the trigger is, the important thing is to deal with it immediately to avoid a severe asthma attack. Take your medication and remove yourself or what is the trigger from your surroundings to ensure that the attack is only a mild one. Triggers can be colds, the flu, dust, pollen, cosmetics and a myriad of other smells and odors that are in the air.

In the case of raccoons in the attic, they leave feces on the insulation as shown in the picture. The attic is often very hot and dry which tends to fry out the feces and turn them into dust particles the moment they are disturbed. This could be from a slight breeze or someone going through the attic and disturbing the feces. As long as there is no air path from the attic into your home’s living area, you should be ok. If you go into the attic and do not wear a face breathing mask, these dust particles from the feces as well as the natural dust in the attic could definitely trigger an attack if dust is one of your triggers.

There are many other dangers to raccoon feces which we have discussed in other posts on this site. Raccoon worms can lie dormant for a long time in eggs and then mature and hatch inside humans if breathed into the lungs. When cleaning an attic like the one shown in this attic, hire a professional environmental control company to remove all of the insulation, the feces and make any repairs that are needed. Do not volunteer to help them unless you wear the same protective gear and follow the same procedures they follow.

Finally install a one way trap door over the entrance area so that they cannot get back in and repeat the process. More on that also on other posts on our site.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Raccoon Chimney

November 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

raccoon chimneyHe is on top of the world and surveying his domain!  This is a raccoon chimney for sure and this guy seems quite comfortable perched atop a warm chimney surveying his surroundings before he heads out for the night to look for food. He is probably spending his days in the chimney somewhere where it is dark and warm. It can be a major problem for home owners with this kind of situation, since the raccoon is possibly doing damage to the chimney and also blocking the chimney from working properly. Carbon Monoxide could be building up inside the house and it could make the occupants very sick or even kill them. There is an easy solution to this problem of raccoons in your chimney, however the first step is to make sure that they are out of your chimney. Most consumers will hire a professional to make sure they are removed and cannot get back inside the chimney. They might still sit up on top, but that is not as big an issue as being inside the chimney. We cannot emphasize this enough regarding the safety of the occupants of the home. If your furnace cannot exhaust the gases from combustion out the chimney, they will need to go elsewhere and that is usually inside the home. This is serious and can cause you to become very sick or in the worst case, kill you from carbon monoxide gases which are odorless and colorless.

Solutions for Raccoon Chimney Problems

Once the raccoons are out of the chimney, install a heavy gauge wire mesh over the top that prevents them from getting inside the chimney and still allows the smoke and exhaust gases to leave the chimney. It should not impede the chimney in any way. This mesh should have been installed by the builder of your home, however like many things, especially on older homes, they go missing or deteriorate over time. do a check right now and make sure that you have something covering your chimney.

At the same time heavy gauge wire mesh should be installed over any potential entry points that could be used by raccoons or other animals to get inside your home or your attic. You may as well bite the bullet and do it now, since these pests will just look for another home and your house is the nearest thing available.

While it may be expensive to hire professionals to do the job for you, avoiding raccoon chimney problems and raccoons in your attic will save you a great deal of money in the long run. The damage they can do is extensive and it could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs if not looked after properly.

We have lots of other posts on this site that talk about dealing with raccoons in homes and attics. Also some of the precautions that should be taken when dealing with damage caused by them and the danger to your health. We recommend that you review all of this information prior to doing any of the work yourself.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Raccoon in Chimneys

November 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

Raccoon in ChimneysThis is a really good reason to make sure that your chimney is covered with a preventible entry wire mesh of some kind that  keeps not only birds and squirrels out of your chimney, but also raccoons as well. Raccoon in chimneys can be a major problem for many different reasons. As readers can see from this picture there really is not a lot of room for this raccoon to move in this chimney and we are not even sure that it can climb out on it’s own. If he cannot go up, then he must go down and emerge somewhere in your home. This would create a mess not to mention the potential damage that he would create while he scurried around your house trying to get out. He also may have babies somewhere as well which he or she may be trying to protect. If cornered they can be ferocious and do even more damage to your person. If cornered they can become quite viscous and cause severe injuries with their claws and teeth. What can consumers do about raccoons in chimneys?

Raccoon in Chimneys – Prevention

If your chimney is not capped to prevent birds and animals it should be. In fact when it was installed, it should have had a cap on top which prevents birds, squirrels and larger rodents such as raccoons from getting into them. A wire mesh is great provided that it is properly secured and cannot be dislodged by a pesky raccoon.

Birds and squirrels can build nests and raccoons can block chimneys causing your furnace to starve for oxygen and produce black smoke etc along with carbon monoxide. This is very dangerous for humans as well as these animals. Many people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have a cap installed on your chimney to prevent blockage caused by birds and animals building nests in the chimney.

Raccoon in Chimneys – Getting them Out

If your lucky they will be able to climb out on their own. Once they are out install the wire mesh over the top of the chimney so they cannot get back in. You may have to hire a professional to get them out and install the wire mesh. It is dangerous work for several reasons. First there is the height and not everyone is comfortable with getting up on a ladder. Second there is a frightened, probably angry, snarling raccoon to deal with.  It may be as simple as turning on the furnace to heat the chimney to force the raccoon out in this case although there is a risk that he will be suffocated and fall further down the chimney. Better to leave  the job of removing the raccoon from the chimney to the professionals to deal with. While they are there have the technician inspect the outdoor entry points of your home. He or she will recommend any areas that are possible entry points for raccoons or other animals and suggest a solution. While it may seem pricey, it is well worth it to not have to deal with these pests in your home.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Raccoon Roundworms

August 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

Raccoon RoundwormsIn our previous post we wrote about raccoon roundworms, what they are and how you can ingest the roundworms and what the impact might be if you were to ingest them.

We ended the post by indicating that no confirmed case in humans has ever been successfully treated which is pretty scary when you think about it. Sounds like it is pretty serious and something you definitely do not want to deal with. If you have raccoons living in your area or raccoons living in your attic, there is a very high probability that there are literally millions of round worms in your attic, on your roof and in your eaves trough. We suggested how to protect your person and your family from ingesting roundworm.  This is something to take seriously and that is why we are continuing to add more posts about this subject and how to protect yourselves. We talked about how a person could ingest these raccoon roundworms but we did not discuss the symptoms.

Raccoon Roundworms – Symptoms

Symptoms can include irritability, weakness, lethargy, deteriorated speech, behavioral changes and change in vision. Infection of the central nervous system may cause further problems as well. Contact with an infected person is not a risk factor since humans are considered an intermediate host and does not infect the intestine. We do not shed eggs like the raccoon will, as many as several million every day. There can be many other diseases that have these same symptoms so it is best to see a doctor and have this problem diagnosed rather than ignore it hoping the situation will improve.

Raccoon Roundworms – Prevention

Raccoons are here to stay in suburbia. They are very adaptable animals and can exist almost anywhere. Trapping them, killing them, or taking them miles away will not solve the problem. Many of them are just too smart to enter a trap and will ignore the traps much to our frustration.

Consumers need to make their home unattractive to raccoons. Eliminate all potential food sources outdoors to decrease the interest in spending time around your yard. Don’t feed raccoons and if you have such things as grubs in your lawn, kill the grubs with the appropriate treatment and eliminate that particular food source. Skunks also like grubs and eliminating the grubs will keep the skuncks away as well.

If you must deal with raccoon feces, wear gloves and also a mask if the feces are dry and come apart or float in the air. Raccoon roundworms can exist for years and in very difficult conditions. Disturbing dry powdery feces in your attic is a perfect condition for contraction of roundworms. Remember your attic gets very hot in the summer time and just about anything is going to dry out, especially the feces of Raccoons, but not the roundworms.  They can last forever and that is one of the reasons that you must protect yourself in these conditions. Be sure to hire professionals to remove them, your insulation and arrange for proper disposal of the insulation as well. This should be consider an environmental hazard.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Exposure to Raccoon Feces

October 7th, 2011 ernie Posted in Health Risks 1 Comment »

Exposure to Raccoon FecesWe have seen a number of searches and comments about exposure to raccoon feces and we thought that since this issue is so important, that we would write a post specifically about this subject. Exposure to raccoon feces can be serious and can cause health issues if proper care is not taken. This is in addition to the ugly mess that they can leave in your homes attic of wherever else that they take up residence. Deal with the situation quickly so that you do not have a mess like this one to clean up. before proceeding read more about the problems associated with raccoons in your home on this web site.

Exposure to Raccoon Feces

The best way to deal with raccoon feces is to stop raccoons from entering your attic in the first place. Read this post, How to get rid of raccoons, to find assistance in dealing with raccoons in your home. Ask professionals to deal with these pests!

Raccoons carry a parasite that can cause death if contracted by humans. You can come in contact with these parasites by touching raccoon feces and then putting your hands near your mouth. In most cases it is young children who contact this parasite, however adults working in areas inhabited by raccoons can also contract this disease. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AND WEAR A MASK IF WORKING IN A CONFINED AREA.

Parasitic Worm in Raccoons etc

This parasitic worm is common in raccoons, squirrels and mice as well as , rabbits, birds, woodchucks, and dogs. It is a referred to as a parasite, or  a roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis. The roundworm larvae cause problems as they travel through the person’s muscles and various organs, including the liver, brain, lungs, and eyes. The severity of the infection depends on how many of the parasite’s eggs were ingested, and where the larvae migrate. Although serious infections are rare, raccoon roundworm can be fatal in people.

Raccoons will shed millions of the microscopic roundworm eggs in their feces or scat. It takes about a month for newly deposited eggs to develop to the infective stage. The eggs can only develop into worms when they’re in an animal’s body, but the eggs are hardy and may survive for years in soil, sand, or water.

People may encounter the eggs through direct contact with raccoon droppings or by touching a contaminated area or object. Attics were raccoons have lived can be particularly bad as their feces will dry out and the parasites will float in the air as the attic is disturbed. You may breathe these parasites into your lungs or get them on your hands unless proper precautions are taken.

Small children are particularly vulnerable because they tend to put their hands, and any objects such as bark, wood chips, toys, soil, or even droppings, into their mouths. Constant care must be taken when outdoors with small children in areas were there are raccoon feces about.

Other animals such as your dog or cat may become infected by eating an infected animal or through contact with the feces of an infected animal.


Symptoms in people vary but may include nausea, skin irritations, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination and muscle control, blindness, inattentiveness, and coma.


Get treatment immediately if exposure is suspected. It can be very difficult to diagnose.


If you’re working in an area such as an attic that’s contaminated with raccoon feces, wear a proper respirator, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and disposable coveralls. Because the eggs are resistant to common disinfectants, the feces and any contaminated materials should be burned. If that’s not feasible, double-bag the materials and bury them deeply.

Contaminated clothing can be double-bagged and discarded, or washed in boiling water with bleach. Scrub rubber boots with bleach and a scrub brush. Clean traps before storing, to remove feces while they are fresh. Traps and other equipment that can withstand the heat can be flamed. If that’s impractical, clean with boiling water and bleach.

Advice for customers

  • Have your pets “de-wormed” three to four times each year.
  • Keep them away from areas that are frequented by raccoons.
  • Cover their sandboxes.
  • Train them to wash their hands and scrub their fingernails after playing outdoors, especially if they were in your garden or the sandbox.

Prompt removal and destruction of raccoon feces will reduce the risk of human exposure. Raccoons typically defecate at the base of trees, on fallen logs, on large rocks, and wood piles, and in barns or other outbuildings. Raccoon feces may also be found in children’s sandboxes, attics, fireplaces, garages, decks, rooftops, haylofts, and compost piles.

Areas of soil or concrete are best decontaminated by a thorough flaming using a handheld propane torch (weed burner). Wooden decks and patios can be cleaned with boiling water. Soil can be turned over with a rake or shovel, then flamed. Repeat this process several times. To decontaminate a fireplace or woodstove and chimney, build a roaring fire.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks

September 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Health Risks 1 Comment »

Raccoon Droppings and Health RisksRaccoon droppings are a potential health risk. Many people who end up with raccoons in their attic or somewhere around their home are focusing on the potential damage that they are doing and not on the associated potential health risks that might affect them. Sure we don’t want any damage and we do not want the mess that they leave etc. We want them out of the attic before something like what we see in this picture happens. Who really wants to go in an clean out this mess? It turns out that there is a good reason why you should not clean stuff like this out without the proper protective equipment. read on to find out more!

We want them away from our home as quickly as possible, but what about the associated health risks? Earlier posts have dealt with getting rid of raccoons and if you want to read some of these posts, check our archives or our categories for the appropriate post that you would like. In the mean time read on about what we consider to be a health risk and steps you should consider if the raccoons are in the attic.

Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks – Details

There are several health risks associated with Raccoons. First is the health risk from raccoon droppings which is commonly infected with roundworm. If the eggs are ingested by humans they can cause nausea, organ malfunction, blindness, loss of muscle control and even death.

Great care must be taken if you are going to enter a raccoon den to clean up the raccoon droppings, repair damage from raccoons or even to remove the raccoons.It is usually very hot in the attic which drys out the raccoon scat or droppings  turning them into a powdery dust. As you work in the attic, you are disturbing this dust and particles will float in the air for you to breath. This is were you can get into trouble.

The eggs of the round worm are very resilient, so you may breath some of the eggs into your lungs or they can be contracted when they are on the ground as you are cleaning or from cleaning dirt out of your  eaves trough so it is wise to take extra precautions. If raccoons are in the attic, chances are they have left raccoon poop on the roof which washes into your eaves trough. Use gloves and wear a mask at all times when you suspect there is raccoon droppings in your work area.

The feces or raccoon droppings even though they may be dry from being in the attic, which can be quite hot during the summer months can be disturbed and migrate through the air in small particles to be breathed as you move about the attic. Proper precautions must be taken such as ventilation and breathing mask to avoid any possible health risk.

Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks – Hire Professionals

If you are uncomfortable with this or do not have the equipment, it is a good idea to hire professionals to clean up the mess and complete any repairs that need to be looked after. If you successfully remove the raccoons early before they have their babies in your attic then you will not have to be concerned about raccoon droppings or damage to your attic and the insulation. Deal with this problem quickly to avoid significant build up of raccoon droppings. See our post about getting rid of the raccoons from your attic once they have raccoon babies and avoid potential significant damage.

Raccoons also contract rabies and a raccoon with rabies is very difficult to distinguish from one that does not have rabies.  Abnormal behavior such as seeing them in the daytime, and aggressive behavior are two indicators. Avoid being bitten by a raccoon since rabies is usually transmitted through the saliva. If you have been bitten, seek medical treatment immediately.

If the raccoons have young babies, you will want to read the page on avoiding raccoon damage. Essentially, adult raccoons will tear your roof apart to re-enter the den to return to their young if the den entrance is blocked. Then not only will you have raccoon droppings to deal with you could have major damage to your roof as well.

Most experts recommend that you wait until the young can leave on their own before you seal up the entrance to the den. You must make sure that they are all out before sealing the entrance to the den. Use a one way trap door for this purpose.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Web Content Development