Raccoon 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.
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.
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.