Identifying a Dead Raccoon in the Yard Raccoons in the wild typically live two to three years, but when infected with disease or injured by larger animals, their life can be cut short. Within a few days, a dead raccoon will begin to rot and cause a terrible odor. In fact, the smell is so rancid that it may attract other unwanted pests. Raccoon carcasses are easy to identify, as these robust mammals are known for their black ringed tails and bandit-like masks. The most common causes of death include disease, accidents, human hunting and trapping, and attacks from predators. It's important to note that the appearance of the animal may vary based on how it passed. Where Is the Stench Coming From? The bodies of dead raccoons can be found in a number of areas around the home or yard. In most cases, they are outside around the edges of yards or hidden underneath structures like decks. However, if a raccoon is infected with disease or hurt, it may seek refuge in attics, chimneys, or basements to remain concealed from predators. No matter the location of the dead raccoon, refrain from handling the body, as it may still be infected with transmissible diseases like rabies and raccoon roundworm. Prevention & Exclusion To dissuade live raccoons from entering homes and yards in the first place, remove food and shelter options. Since they are known to raid garbage cans, keep waste in a tightly sealed container. Also, residents should ensure that all cracks, windows, chimneys, and doors are properly screened and secure so that raccoons cannot gain access indoors. These methods may decrease the chances of pests living and dying around homes, but if there appears to be a carcass in yard, call the professionals at Critter Control for help with dead raccoon removal.