Raccoons are often seen as a nuisance and for good reason since they can destroy parts of your home or harm some of your pets. This may all be a part of their wild instinct but it doesn’t leave many looking to keep raccoons around as pets. That said, raccoons are very interesting animals and sometimes even scary.
1. Raccoons Have Human-Like Hands
Not only do raccoons have five fingers, they use those five fingers just like humans do. It’s why they have an uncanny ability to get into so many things that most animals can’t. Opening latches, prying open containers, getting into closed garbage bins and even picking up a small dime are all easy feats for this busy-handed critter.
2. They Are Extremely Clean Animals
This fact may surprise you since raccoons are popularly known for digging in dirty garbage cans in search of food. Contrary to this fact, however, is that raccoons are also commonly known for washing off their food in water before they eat it and when they use the restroom they bury their droppings in the same area as a way of being more sanitary.
3. Raccoons Are Primary Carriers Of Rabies
Rabies can cause muscle weakness, hallucinations, fever and even death. Any animal that has rabies will start acting erratic, unaware of sounds and have matted hair around the face that is wet. Raccoons are the most frequently reported animal with rabies making it one of the primary carriers.
4. Raccoon Droppings Can Be Deadly
It’s a good thing raccoons bury their droppings because they contain serious illnesses for pets and small children. Unfortunately, if raccoons are burying their droppings close to your yard, that places you and your loved ones at risk. Salmonella, raccoon roundworm and leptospirosis are all bacterial viruses and parasites that are found in raccoon droppings. If raccoons frequent your yard space you will want to find a safe and effective way of removing their feces as well as preventing raccoons from making your yard their dumping ground. Raccoon roundworm is easily spread since all you have to do is be close enough to breathe in the parasitic eggs. The other viral infections are spread by touching actual raccoon droppings.
5. They Are Vicious When They Attack
Oftentimes raccoons will not be aggressive unless they feel threatened but that doesn’t mean that’s the only time they are aggressive and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should feel safe around raccoons. A raccoon’s hand has very sharp nails that are made to cut and tear away. They are non-retractable and will easily slice through human flesh or even large pets. Mother raccoons can be very protective of their young and will do whatever is needed to protect them. Just sensing danger is enough to cause them to attack in order to protect their babies.
6. Raccoons Can Quickly Destroy Your Belongings
Those sharp claws are made with purpose and the main purpose is to climb to shelter or shred items in order to create their nesting areas. If raccoons get underneath your home they are more than likely to tear their way through your insulation, electrical wiring and anything else that would prove to be good nesting material. Their teeth are also very good at shredding things allowing them to quickly destroy whatever is in their path.
7. Spicy Scents Can Deter Raccoons
Raccoons have a very good sense of smell which is likely why they despise strong scents like those that comes from spices. Hot peppers, onion and garlic are all strong scents that raccoons disapprove of and one tactic to keep them away from an area is sprinkling a heavy layer of cayenne on the ground.
8. Raccoons Hate Tomatoes
Small gardens are common for homeowners these days which means that anything you grow can be an attractant for wildlife. One homegrown vegetable that you will not have to worry about attracting raccoons is tomatoes. Raccoons seem to prefer lean protein sources and sweeter vegetation like cherries and watermelon.
Raccoons have been around for over 40,000 years so your going to see them around from time to time regardless of where you live. If there is a food source a raccoon is probably in the vicinity. Protecting food sources like pet food, small animals and gardens will help keep these critters from invading your property but if you do see them be sure to keep a safe distance and when necessary call your local raccoon control agent to take care of any problems they are causing.