Last Updated: June 2016
Raccoons are quite common in Toronto and have become a huge problem not only in the Greater Toronto Area but much of Ontario. With their nimble fingers and high ability to adapt, raccoons have become a nuisance. These black eyed bandits break into people’s homes and offices. We receive many calls about a ‘raccoon in the attic‘, ‘raccoon between wall’, ‘raccoon under deck’ or ‘raccoon down chimney’ so it is definitely not something new. They continually tip over garbage bins and steal pet food. Their strength alone, combined with their determination to get food and shelter make for a potentially costly combination. Weather you plan do it yourself raccoon removal or hiring a professional for raccoon removal, ensure it is humane and in accordance with Ontario Law. It is illegal to kill raccoons in Ontario and it is unnecessary when there are humane approaches available.
Raccoon are larger animals than other urban pests like squirrels or skunks and can wreak a lot of damage on your home.
- Entry Holes: The entry holes they create on the structure of your home/office will allow rain and snow in as they rip off shingles, facia board, and siding to gain entry.
- Chimneys: Raccoon use uncapped chimneys for denning sites as chimneys are better than hollows in trees.
- Structural Supports: They may chew through the structural supports underneath decks and porches.
- Raccoon In the attic: They will chew on wires which may cause a fire hazard. They use the insulation for their nest and as a latrine thus the insulation will be compromised. The accumulation of feces is a health hazard that can cause raccoon roundworm. Read more on our article “Raccoon in the attic“
Once you spot a raccoon in your home have them humanely removed immediately as the damage they cause can be costly. If you have a raccoon in your attic for two weeks there will not be as much damage in comparison to having a raccoon under the deck for several months, however in order to avoid damages altogether it is advised to hire a professional immediately, to get them out and keep them out.
- Raccoon Roundworm
Raccoon droppings can pose a great threat, their droppings may contain Baylisascaris Procyonis also known as raccoon roundworm. Other animals and people can get infected if they accidentally swallow the egg in soil or water or even by breathing in the spores released from raccoon droppings. Although it is rare, it most commonly affects children and there is presently no effective cure. Precautions need to be taken when handling or around raccoon droppings.
Another virus commonly known to be spread by raccoon is rabies, which is contracted through the bite of an infected animal. Raccoon are one of the most frequently reported animal species with rabies. An indicator of a distressed raccoon could be if you see a raccoon during the day as they are mostly active during the night. If you do see one, do not approach it and immediately call a wildlife removal professional. Although there are times you may see mother raccoons out looking for food for her babies, precautions should be taken, and a professional should be contacted.
The Ministry of Natural Resources have an Ontario Wildlife Rabies Control Program which is set in place to reduce outbreaks of the virus. The procedure includes dropping a large number of oral vaccine in the form of bait in the late summer/early fall by air. Since implemented, there has been a great reduction in the number of rabies cases reported. If you, or a pet are ever bitten or scratched by a raccoon, seek medical help immediately. You can read more about rabies in our blog – Rabies in bats, raccoon and other wildlife.