ER physician Dr. Travis Stork shares that raccoons throughout the country have gotten distemper, a viral infection that can manifest much like rabies and causes the raccoons to display neurologically deranged behavior. While humans are unable to contract the virus, pets can.
The Doctors advise people to avoid leaving dog food or bird seeds outside. Also, keep the lids on your trashcans. Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra says she read that raccoons hate the smell of ammonia and cayenne pepper. She suggests once the trash is taken out of the cans, about once a week, pour ammonia straight into them.
Dr. Travis warns users to call animal control if they see an animal acting rabid because if there is one there are probably more. “When a raccoon is foaming at the mouth, we all know that’s not the start of a good day!” jokes Dr. Travis.