How A Raccoon Infestation Can Affect Your Health

Updated on August 10, 2020

The most commonly associated impact of a raccoon infestation is the damage that raccoons cause. It’s important to know, however, that the impact from a raccoon infestation goes much further than just damage to your building’s structure. It may surprise you, but raccoon infestations can be detrimental to your health. But how exactly do raccoons harm your health? Read on to learn more about the potential impact that raccoons can have on your health.

Why Infestations Happen

Before moving into how raccoons can harm your health, it’s imperative to understand why you have a raccoon infestation. Raccoons are just like us. They want to live somewhere where they have food, water, and shelter. Furthermore, raccoons like to live where there is as much protection as possible. Unfortunately, your house provides the perfect combination of these factors. Because of this, raccoons are likely to make themselves comfortable in your home. When infesting your home, they create a wide variety of issues. They damage your house, steal your food, and can keep you up at night. But, by far the most dangerous of these issues is the damage they cause to your health.

Raccoons- Cute But Not Cuddly

Raccoons, though they look docile, are still wild animals. Raccoons will attack if they feel cornered. Like most other animals, raccoons have a strong survival instinct. We’re predators to them. Because of this, if approached by a human, raccoons won’t hesitate to strike. A raccoon attack can be dangerous, not only because of the physical harm they do but also because of the potential health risk, since raccoons bite. A bite from a raccoon has the ability to pass a multitude of diseases to you. 

For starters, raccoons can pass along rabies to us. Rabies is an extremely dangerous disease and, if left untreated, is almost certainly going to be fatal. Raccoons are linked to the most reports of rabies. Raccoons can also cause canine distemper, an extremely deadly disease for your dog. Raccoon bites and scratches can also become infected if not properly cleaned. 

A raccoon attack is dangerous in-and-of-itself. Raccoon attacks can leave people disfigured. Raccoons have sharp claws, teeth, and incredible strength. These factors combined make for a dangerous situation. Because raccoons often forage through trash, they collect a wide variety of bacteria on their claws and teeth. If they bite or scratch you, these diseases can be spread to you. Raccoons are vicious animals who will fiercely defend themselves if they believe that their lives are in danger. But that’s not the only way that raccoons can harm your health.

The Unseen Danger

The dangers to your health aren’t limited to just physical attacks, though. There are a wide variety of viruses and other bacteria that can be passed through raccoon’s waste products. These illnesses can be passed either through contact with the waste products or the contamination of food products.

Raccoon Ascarid, also known as roundworm, is a parasite that lives in the intestines of raccoons. They lay eggs in the raccoon’s stomach and are then spread through the raccoon’s feces. Roundworms can cause significant problems in humans such as problems with the lungs, heart, stomach, and brain. Roundworms are also a risk due to the problems that they can cause with digestion. They are also known to cause nausea, diarrhea, and blockages. If roundworms go unchecked another disease known as Visceral Larval Migrans can occur which, in turn, will impact the central nervous system.

Giardiasis is a disease caused by infected food or water caused by cysts from the raccoons. Once the disease infects the human host it will result in a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues, most often severe.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the waste products of raccoons. This illness can infect humans through the consumption of infected food or water. It causes a wide variety of symptoms that are often confused for other illnesses. Symptoms range from high fevers to bleeding.

There are a wide variety of other illnesses that raccoons can transmit to humans. Illnesses such as Salmonella or E. Coli are commonly transmitted by raccoons through waste products and infected food or water products. However, there are even more impacts that raccoons can have on your health.

The Mental Impact

Raccoon infestations can cause a wide variety of impacts on your mental health. This is an often overlooked aspect of a raccoon infestation but one of the most common impacts.

Sleep deprivation is one of the worst impacts that a raccoon infestation can have on you. Raccoons aren’t quiet guests. They move around, tear apart wood and insulation, and chatter. Raccoons are nocturnal animals and, because of how loud they are, will often keep homeowners up at night. Sleep deprivation can lead to issues such as depression or anxiety.

Stress is by far the worst issue that raccoons can cause. Whether financial stress, insurance stress, or general stress from an infestation can take a major toll on your mental health. Stress caused by staying up late and figuring out how to deal with the infestation can cause a wide variety of issues. Stress can manifest itself in physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or shaking.


Raccoon infestations can be a dangerous issue to have. Not only do they cause damage to your home, but they can cause damage to your health as well. Understanding the potential impacts that raccoon infestations can have on you is an absolute must. Now that you know the health impacts, be sure to call a professional to remove the raccoons as soon as you can. Protecting yourself and your family is most important. For more information on how to deal with a raccoon infestation, go to

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