Be Careful of Sick Raccoons: A Call for Awareness

A few recent incidents around the country have put sick raccoons in focus. But, rest assured those occurrences are not something to be alarmed about. Rather, they are incidents that call for awareness.

Sick RaccoonsIn the recent years, there have been several occurrences of raccoon distemper in the country. However, one specific case triggered some locals to believe the illness was caused by rabies.

Last month, a man was allegedly pursued and chased by a raccoon. It was reported by a dispatch officer from the Animal Services that the creature bit the toe of the man’s boots.

The animal in question was captured and put down. Also, blood tests have been conducted. The results showed that it was not raccoon rabies. Instead, it was Canine Distemper Virus.

As of the moment, the representative for Toronto Animal Services, Tammy Robinson, clarified there have been no recorded cases of raccoon rabies. But, there could be chances that some of these animals are affected only by Canine Distemper Virus, which subsists within a certain raccoon population.

He said that these creatures may behave violently, especially if they are ill, troubled from their habitat, are being defensive, or feel in jeopardy.

It is easy to distinguish a distempered raccoon. More often, it displays changes in behavior. It seems to walk blindly and experiences seizures. Mucus might also build up around its eyes and nose.

If you notice a raccoon is acting strange, Robinson’s suggest you call 311. If possible, do not get close to it. Do not even attempt to feed it.

Then again, similar incidents involving distempered raccoons have already been reported around East York. Effie Papadopoulos, a local from East York, came across with a raccoon that is acting abnormally.

She recalled that the raccoon was trying to get into her house last month. It was going in a back and forth motion for more than three hours. The animal’s odd behavior made her decide to call Toronto Animal Services.

She also added the creature’s eyes were filled with pus. Unfortunately, by the time assistance arrived, the raccoon had already left.

As a general rule, sick raccoons should be put to death after being caught. Robinson explained that there is a zero chance of survival for a distempered raccoon. So, the best and most benevolent thing they can do is to euthanize it.

If ever you have a raccoon encounter, Mary Lou Leiher, program director of Toronto Animal Services, has important tips for you.

Observe caution. If a raccoon looks as if it is approaching you, move away. It is not a behavior you should expect from a healthy animal. Also, if you see it walking around in circles and seems like it keeps on tripping over again and again, looking worn out, and have bad discharge from their nose and eyes, the animal is likely to have the symptoms of canine distemper virus.

They mostly hibernate during winter. At this time, they should be spending their time sleeping, but they aren’t really true hibernators. Sometimes, they go out of their shelters and mate.

They prefer high places. By nature, raccoons reside in elevated areas such as trees. But, there are these rare instances when you find them building their nests at the top of a building or even in your home’s attic. Of course, they can do that easily. After all, they are expert climbers.

They can infest your property. If you want them out of your sight, you should be aware of the importance of garbage management. With their decreasing habitat and food sources, these creatures find ways to resolve hunger and be able to survive. That is why if they see piles of garbage, they would not think twice about seeking shelter. Then again, your home could also be a great habitat for them. To deter them, be sure you restrict entry and be sure no food sources are available.

Interestingly, in 2015, Canine Distemper Virus cases rose among the raccoon population in the Greater Toronto Area. Luckily, the outbreak eventually levelled off.

Check Out Our Other Posts on Raccoon Problems & Removal:

1) Need Help With Toronto Raccoon Removal?

2) Raccoon Problems Toronto GTA

3) Raccoon Removal Tips


Troubles due to Neighbor’s Negligence – Raccoons Disrupt Peace


Property Standards for the City of Toronto sets the rules and standards for all its properties. All the property owners are required to strictly adhere to it. Section 9 of Chapter 629 states, “All properties have to be kept free of pests, including rodents and insects.”

Raccoon Removal

Sadly, this is not followed at all times. Here is one such instance where a raccoon from their neighbor’s home has been a menace to a typical resident of Toronto for almost 2 years!

Chris and Christina Fowler have been living in Greenwood, where their home is semi-detached from the neighbor’s house. They have been facing troubles because of raccoons and squirrels invasion.

Raccoons are mammals with grayish fur found in colder regions. They are considered to be dangerous as they can carry several diseases like rabies.

The neighbors seem to have holes in their roof through which these creatures get into the Fowlers’ house easily. The pest trouble has increased to such an alarming level that raccoon feces and tracks can be seen everywhere. The couple, along with their daughter, has resorted to sleeping on a bed in their office across the master bedroom, that is if they are able to sleep at all.

When hearing them scratch and run around the walls of the house became a daily nuisance, the family then moved down to the basement for nights.

Abiding by the law, Chris has complained to the authorities a number of times since the year 2016 when this problem began. As per the investigation services in the city, a 14-day appeal period and thereafter a 21-days period to comply with the order is given to the property owners. Failing this, the city can do whatever work that needs to be done to resolve the problem and pass on the cost to the owner’s taxes or take them to the provincial court. $ 50,000 is the maximum fine if the owner fails to comply with the order.

You cannot simply go to your neighbor’s house and fix something which causes an inconvenience to you. There is a standard procedure wherein you can take the city’s permission or take the person to court to resolve the issue which can take months and is an expensive process too.

Studies show that about 10 percent of the property owners vacate their houses due to troubles with their neighbors.

But this is not an option for the Fowlers. They are not ready to leave their family home after living there for 16 years. They have too many memories associated with the place to leave it and move elsewhere just because the neighbor is unwilling to look after their property.

This is the reason why we advise our clients not to wait till the problem gets worse or out of control. It is important that you call our professionals immediately for appropriate and quick actions.

SOS Wildlife Control is a reputed and reliable company which provides pest control and wildlife removal services in Toronto and the GTA region. Our team of experienced, qualified, and trained technicians will help you get rid of all your the pest. They will provide the best possible solution to all your wildlife-related problems. We are available 24*7 for your assistance. Do not hesitate to contact us. Remember, the sooner you call the experts, the sooner your problem will be resolved.

10 Interesting Facts About Raccoons


Raccoons Have High IQ Levels

When considering the mammal IQ scale, raccoons rank closer to humans than most people would normally think. In general, monkeys are ranked right below humans and great apes, and with raccoons scoring average IQ levels below monkeys, they are considerably close to human IQ levels as well. In addition to their high IQ scores, raccoons are known to have evolving intelligence and methods of thinking. They are able to learn from past experiences and engage in critical and problem-solving thinking when obstacles arise. Moreover, as a result of their notable intelligence, raccoons were once candidates for lab testing alongside rats and monkeys but were discarded for being too smart, adaptive and strong-willed.

Raccoons Can Make Over 50 Different Noises

Raccoons have a large array of vocalizations. In fact, studies have determined that these animals can make over 51 different sounds that communicate different things! They hiss, purr and growl when competing for food. Younger raccoons often chirp and squeal and raccoons with rabies often exhibit extremely high-pitched squeals.

Raccoons Have Special Paws

Closeup of a Raccoon's Face

Similar to human hands, raccoons embody five dexterous toes on each of their front paws that essentially function as human fingers. This gives them the ability to easily grasp things, scavenge for food and lift the lids off of trashcans -something they are notorious for doing. Another interesting feature of raccoon paws includes the abundance of nerves that allow them to become extra sensitive and send messages to the brain – when underwater, raccoons use this sensitivity to examine objects. Raccoons also have special feet that are able to rotate 180 degrees which allows them to climb up and down trees head first.

It was planned to conduct laboratory studies of such drugs as Levitra.

Raccoons Can Move At High Speeds

Raccoons are scavengers and are consequently always on the move searching for their food. In addition to walking, these animals are fast runners as well. In fact, raccoons can run at speeds as fast as 15 miles per hour, not only on solid ground but also while climbing up and down trees, and if dropped from a height of 35 to 40 meters, they can still remain unharmed. In addition to running with agility, raccoons are also able to swim to escape from predators and catch prey to meet their dietary needs.

Raccoons Are Nocturnal

Raccoons are nocturnal and are therefore asleep for majority of the day and are most active at night. Moreover, there are many myths claiming that seeing a raccoon up during daylight hours indicates that it is rabid. This is not true as there are many reasons as to why a raccoon may be awake, such as the availability of food during the daytime.

Raccoons Are Extremely Skillful

Raccoons are commonly associated with wild, violent and vicious behaviour; however,  this is not always the case and are actually quite skillful. As a result of their notable intelligence, people have been able to train raccoons to mirror the same basic skills that the average human toddler possesses, such as clapping and dancing.

Raccoons Can Survive Almost Anywhere

Raccoons were originally found in natural tropical areas but overtime, especially throughout the twentieth-century, they have managed to migrate and were then introduced to a wider array of habitats ranging from mountainous terrains to crowded cities; this is because of their noteworthy and uncommon ability to adapt to foreign environments. When considering their survivability, the average life expectancy of raccoons is typically between two to three years in the wild. The reasoning behind this low expectancy rate is simply cars and the expansion of roads and highways – raccoon death rates have increased because of countless roadkill incidents. However, they can live up to 20 years in captivity where they remain safe from road-related accidents.

Raccoons Do Not Have Life-Partners

Unlike wolves, beavers and other animals that mate for life, raccoons often have more than one mating partner. In fact, male raccoons attempt to mate with multiple females each season while female raccoons generally mate with one partner. Unlike other animals, male raccoons have nothing to do with raising their offspring and all of the responsibility falls on the mother as she raises her newborns alone.

Raccoons Have A Special Name

The scientific name for raccoons is Procyon lotor which is neo-Latin for ‘before-dog washer’. In 1780, scientist Gottlieb Congrad created a separate genus for the species Procyon which translates to dog-like, however raccoons and dogs are not related while raccoons surprisingly remain a close relative of the bear family. In addition to the latin name, the English word raccoon was derived from the Proto-Algonquian language and means “one who rubs, scrubs, and scratches with its hands”, which accurately describes this species.


Raccoons Love The City

Although they originated from earthly and natural habitats, raccoons love the city life! In fact, Toronto is one of the most raccoon populated cities in the world; approximately fifty times more raccoons live there than in neighboring suburban areas. Consequently, not only do crowded cities provide them with lots of space to scavenge around, but they also provide raccoons with easily accessible food resources. You guessed it – trash bins. With this being said you might want to keep in mind some raccoon proofing knowledge and a phone number of a reliable wildlife removal company!

If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Inc., we provide raccoon removal servicesquirrel control services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait, call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection, removal and prevention to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.

Call SOS Wildlife 1-800-981-0330!