Do Raccoons Carry Rabies?

While raccoons may look cute, you should always observe caution when encountering a raccoon as they are wild animals that are capable of carrying and transmitting disease. In fact, an interaction with a wild raccoon can put you at risk for catching rabies because the critters can bite or scratch when they feel threatened. Here is some important information on how to recognize the signs of a rabid raccoon. 

Do Raccoons Carry Rabies?

Along with bats, skunks, and foxes, raccoons are known carriers for rabies. These animals are considered vector species, meaning they’re some of the primary carriers for rabies in the United States.

While raccoons can carry rabies, it’s very rare for them to spread it to humans. Most rabid raccoons die a few days after they become infectious. Furthermore, treatment for a rabies exposure is easily available to most people.

According to the CDC, there’s only been one recorded death from the raccoon strand of rabies. Still, you do not want  to catch this disease. Symptoms for rabies include fever, headache, fatigue, and dizziness, but can progress to vomiting, excess salivation, muscle spasms, mental confusion, and paralysis.

5 Signs of a Rabid Raccoon

While it’s rare to get rabies from a raccoon, it’s important to know the signs of rabies so you can avoid contact with a rabid animal. A rabid raccoon will present several symptoms, including:

1. Seeming oblivious to its surroundings

2. Wandering around during the day

3. Making repeated, high-pitched noises

4. Staggering walk

5. Discharge from its mouth or eyes

If you have noticed signs of a rabid raccoon on your property, stay clear of the animal and call a wildlife removal professional right away. Rabid raccoons are highly dangerous and should only be dealt with by a raccoon removal expert. Regardless if the raccoon on your property is rabid or not, you should never attempt to deal with a raccoon on your own. Raccoons can also carry other diseases, including roundworm and leptospirosis, as well as ticks and fleas. Fortunately, Critter Control® of Polk County is here to help.

Fast and Effective Polk County Raccoon Removal

The experienced wildlife removal technicians at Critter Control® of Polk County will quickly and safely remove raccoons and other unwanted wildlife from your property and keep them from returning. To schedule your inspection and receive a free estimate for our effective raccoon removal services, call Critter Control® of Polk County today at 863-204-2815.


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