The increasing number of raccoons in urban areas has resulted in diverse reactions in humans, ranging from outrage at their presence to deliberate feeding. Some wildlife experts and most public authorities caution against feeding wild animals because they might become increasingly obtrusive and dependent on humans as a food source. Other experts challenge such arguments and give advice on feeding raccoons and other wildlife in their books. Raccoons without a fear of humans are a concern to those who attribute this trait to rabies, but scientists point out that this behavior is much more likely to be a behavioral adjustment to living in habitats with regular contact to humans for many generations. Serious attacks on humans by groups of non-rabid raccoons are extremely rare and are almost always the result of the raccoon feeling threatened; at least one such attack has been documented. Raccoons usually do not prey on domestic cats and dogs, but individual cases of killings have been reported.
While overturned waste containers and raided fruit trees are just a nuisance to homeowners, it can cost several thousand dollars to repair damage caused by the use of attic space as dens. Relocating or killing raccoons without a permit is forbidden in many urban areas on grounds of animal welfare. These methods usually only solve problems with particularly wild or aggressive individuals, since adequate dens are either known to several raccoons or will quickly be rediscovered. Loud noises, flashing lights and unpleasant odors have proven particularly ineffective in driving away a mother and her kits. These methods do not work. Typically, though, only precautionary measures to restrict access to food waste and denning sites are effective in the long term.