Raccoons look cute and cuddly, but they're wild animals, and they carry a lot of diseases. If you have a family of raccoons living in your backyard, you need to get rid of them, even if you think they're adorable. Here are three diseases that these furry creatures can give you. 

Rabies

Raccoons are one of the primary carriers of rabies. Raccoons in any part of the country can have rabies, but they're more likely to be infected in the eastern part of the United States.

Rabies is only spread through contact with infected saliva, so you can't get it from a raccoon's urine or feces, or by breathing the air. The saliva needs to get inside your body for you to get infected, for example, through a bite or a scratch. Raccoons are very aggressive, especially when they're rabid, so keep your distance to avoid an attack. 

This disease is fatal if you don't get treatment before symptoms start, so if you're bitten by a raccoon, get to the hospital right away. 

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is another dangerous disease that you can get from a raccoon. The virus is present in the raccoon's urine and feces, and if they're living on your property, soil, water, and other surfaces in your backyard can be contaminated. 

After being exposed, you might start feeling sick within 2 days, but it can take as long as a month for the symptoms to start. Fever, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea are common symptoms, but you may also have jaundice and a rash. Sometimes, you'll start feeling sick again after you recover. The second phase of the disease is much worse than the first, and can lead to organ failure or meningitis. 

Raccoon roundworm

Most raccoons are infected with raccoon roundworm. About 90% of baby raccoons and 70% of adult raccoons carry this virus. The virus doesn't hurt the raccoons, but it is very dangerous to other animals and humans. 

Like leptospirosis, raccoon roundworm is transmitted by contaminated urine or feces. You can pick up this virus when you're doing yard work, gardening, or even just spending time outside. The virus quickly makes its way to your brain, and symptoms start about 3 days after you're exposed. Severe neurological damage or even death are common results. 

Raccoons don't look so cute now, do they? Raccoons can make you very sick, and letting them live in your backyard is dangerous. Call a company like Accurate Termite & Pest Control right away so that the raccoons can be relocated. 

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