Raccoons are becoming increasingly common in urban areas due to their adaptability to finding food and shelter in human waste and garbage. However, a growing raccoon population can spread diseases such as rabies and cause damage to homes and property. Homeowners and city officials can take steps to control the population by securing garbage cans, covering openings, and seeking professional help for trapping and relocation. If encountering a raccoon, it’s important to give them space as they can be aggressive and carry diseases. Gardeners can also take steps to keep raccoons out of their gardens such as installing fences and removing sources of food and shelter.
Why are raccoons becoming more common in cities?
Raccoons, which are normally found in forested areas, have adapted well to living in urban areas where they have easy access to food and shelter. They are attracted to human food waste and garbage and can find their way into homes and other buildings in search of food and suitable nesting sites.
What are the risks associated with a growing raccoon population?
A growing raccoon population in urban areas can pose a number of risks, including the spread of diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They can also cause damage to homes and property, especially when they make their way into attics and other indoor spaces. Additionally, raccoons are known carriers of ticks which can carry serious diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Powassan virus.
What can be done to control the raccoon population?
There are a number of steps that homeowners and city officials can take to help control the raccoon population. One of the most important is to eliminate as many sources of food as possible by properly securing garbage cans and compost bins. Covering chimneys, vents, and other openings can also help to keep raccoons out of buildings. Additionally, trapping and relocating raccoons can be effective, but it should only be done by professionals who have the necessary permits and training.
What should I do if I encounter a raccoon?
If you encounter a raccoon, it is important to stay away from it and give it plenty of space. Raccoons can be aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered, and they are known to carry a number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. If you notice a raccoon that is behaving strangely or appears sick or injured, it is important to report it to your local animal control agency or health department.