Are Raccoons In Memphis Yards Dangerous?

10/15/2020

With the weather cooling down, October is a common time for these pests to roam around your yard. They might just seem like trash scroungers, but be warned – it’s not safe to have repeated interactions with raccoons. Let’s discuss how to identify these pests, what makes them dangerous, and how to discourage them from your Memphis home.

raccoons in a tree

Raccoon Identification Guide

Raccoons are a medium-sized mammal found throughout Tennessee. They are most recognizable by their “face mask” colorings, as most raccoons have dark ringed eyes comparable to a bandit’s mask.
 
The average raccoon grows anywhere between 16-28 inches long. Their fur is multicolored, though usually, they have a gray base with splotches of white, brown, and black. A raccoon’s fluffy tail can grow between 6-10 inches and has repeating stripes.
 
Raccoons are agile creatures. These mammals can climb trees, get inside trash cans, and scurry much faster than you might expect. Additionally, raccoons are wily, often avoiding traps and poisons with ease.
 
Humans and raccoons have coexisted for many centuries, and as cities have grown, raccoons have been able to adapt and benefit from the increased amount of food and housing. These pests will rarely if ever, try to come inside your home, but they will gladly eat your food and trash and nest nearby.
 
If it weren’t for the diseases raccoons can carry, perhaps their presence wouldn’t be so awful. However, raccoons can be quite infectious and cause issues to your home’s health and safety.

Diseases Associated With Raccoons 

Raccoons are most well known for spreading rabies to both humans and pets. Rabies is a neurological disease spread when a raccoon’s saliva enters the bloodstream, so the disease can spread when a raccoon bites you, or even sometimes from a simple scratch.
 
Thankfully, not every raccoon has rabies, and not every raccoon bite spreads rabies. Still, raccoons can spread a variety of diseases around your Memphis yard. Any raccoon problem could result in the following diseases:

  • Rabies
  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Roundworm
  • Fleas & Ticks 

Fleas & ticks can spread additional diseases, such as Lyme disease or anaplasmosis. Any of these diseases can affect your entire household, and some, such as roundworm, can host inside of your body simply through air travel.
 
A raccoon’s presence around the home is never a good thing. So, how can you keep them away?

Raccoon Prevention Tips

Because raccoons are so smart and agile, simple traps and poisons won’t discourage them. If anything, they might just endanger other harmless wildlife.
 
Rather, you should try to keep your yard from attracting any raccoons. Keep your trash safely locked in the garage or inside so that these pests never start foraging in your yard. Additionally, keep your garden safe and well-fenced so that they don’t eat your plants or vegetables. Finally, raccoons may be discouraged by the presence of ashes, garlic powder, or chili powder around the lawn, so this may provide an additional level of deterrence.
 
However, if a raccoon decides to cause problems around your Memphis home, you won’t be able to stop it on your own. Don’t let pesky raccoons spread serious diseases around your property; contact Memphis’ top pest experts at Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife today, and we’ll keep your family and pets safe from raccoon-borne diseases.

Tags: raccoon prevention | raccoon diseases | raccoon identification |

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