Raccoons are common throughout North America and usually live in small, loose-knit groups. They are especially annoying pests because they are quite bold and ingenious at finding food.
Raccoons are normally about 2' to 2.5' in length. They are nocturnal and omnivorous, and are capable of opening containers such as trash cans with their hands in search of food. Those who live near human habitations will eventually loose their fear of humans and some even venture into homes through pet doors or other openings. They have also been known to take up residence in attics and garages, especially in colder months.
Raccoons usually try to avoid humans and household pets, but they will gradually lose their natural fear of us. When threatened, they become aggressive and will attack. This is a danger to humans and especially pets, besides the obvious physical threat, because raccoons frequently carry such diseases as rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, and Baylisascaris roundworm; of the approximately 6,850 reported cases of rabies in 2004, 37.5% were in or caused by raccoons
If a racoon is seen during the day, is aggressive without provocation, or is acting as though sick, it is probably rabid. In any case, because of their aggression, raccoons are a pest best left to the professionals, such as Keystone's Wildlife Division.
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