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Microscopic Urban Menace


Raccoons are common place in the cities Joplin, Carthage and Neosho. Often times you won't realize you have raccoons frequenting your yard, living in your barn or shed or maybe even in your attic or chimney? In addition to the obvious damage they can do to your home, raccoons also pose an even greater microscopic threat; it's a parasite known as Raccoon Roundworm.

Raccoon Roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) is a zoonotic parasite, meaning that humans can catch it from animals. Well-known zoonotic diseases include rabies, transmitted by the bite of an infected mammal, hantavirus, carried by deer mice, and Lyme disease, carried by deer ticks.

To the public, zoonotic diseases are a little-recognized hazard posed by animals around us and because raccoons are common in cities and suburbs, they (and their zoonotic diseases) represent some of the more dangerous urban wildlife.

Here in many areas of Southwest Missouri among healthy and wealthy people and their well cared for pets, are large numbers of wild carnivores carrying a parasite that is capable of causing devastating disease in both people and other wildlife species that inhabit the area. It is estimated that between 70 and 82 percent of raccoons in the Midwest are infected.

Raccoon Droppings in an attic

The raccoon roundworm, inhabits the small intestine of a raccoon, often in large numbers. Raccoon droppings can contain millions of microscopic eggs. If they are eaten by another animal (including people) it causes a rare but devastating neurological disease. Children are stricken more commonly due to their habit of "geophagia" (the exquisite scientific term for eating dirt), and generally cramming stuff in their mouths.

To learn more about Raccoon Roundworm visit our page by clicking here.

For more information about Raccoon Roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) you can visit the CDC’s page here:

If you would like to discuss solutions for controlling raccoons on your property call us today and one of our technicians would be happy to help you.


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