Raccoons can be a major nuisance around your home. They love to dig through trash, ravage your garden, and can even invade your home. One unfortunate byproduct of trash panda activity includes a parasitic invader, the Raccoon Roundworm. Known as Baylisascaris procyonis, this parasite can pose a threat to people and pets alike. This article will discuss the harmful parasite commonly found in urban raccoons.
What is a Raccoon Roundworm?
The raccoon roundworm is a parasite commonly found in raccoons. As many as 90 percent of raccoons in urban areas may be carrying this parasite, according to a study from UC Santa Barbera. This fast-producing creature lays over 100,000 microscopic eggs each day. The offspring can then be ready to be infective in just 2-4 weeks. While the roundworm doesn’t cause any symptoms in infected raccoons, many other animals can be significantly harmed by the parasite.
How is the Parasite Spread?
Generally, raccoon roundworms are spread through scat. After the eggs pass through the digestive system of the raccoon, they can gestate within the fecal matter. The parasite can then spread to unsuspecting animals or humans. Animals that may get infected can include dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. The infection of this roundworm is known as baylisascariasis. Generally, there are only about 25 human cases in the US each year. However, the condition is more common in animals. Dogs or cats may inspect the infected fecal matter and contract the parasite, for example. Young children may also be more prone to infection from playing in infected areas. Once infected, the roundworm will continue to produce more eggs, creating further opportunities for infection.
Symptoms of Raccoon Roundworm
Once infected, the common symptoms may include fatigue, nausea, coordination loss, fever, balance issues, muscle stiffness, and liver enlargement. In more severe cases, blindness, seizures, or comas may occur.
Exposure Risks and Cleaning Potentially Infected Areas
Any areas exposed to high raccoon traffic may be harboring the parasite. It is important to proceed with caution when cleaning up areas affected by a raccoon’s presence, such as cleaning up a spilled trashcan. If you see animal scat on your property, use gloves when cleaning it up. Additionally, a face mask may also be a good precaution. After removing the waste, the affected areas should be sanitized with boiling water.
Raccoon Removal and Sanitization Services
If you have a raccoon on your property that requires removal, our expert team can safely and humanely remove the animal. Also, we clean and sanitize any affected areas. Our team can also repair any damage caused by the animal, such as roof damage that allowed them to access the interior of your home.