Raccoon droppings are cylindrical in form and have rounded or broken ends, which range from light brown to dark black. The color of raccoon droppings varies depending on what the animal has recently eaten. Raccoon scat is likely to include berries because they are their favorite food source.
What are the Dangers of Raccoon Poop?
When cleaning up after raccoons, extreme caution is recommended since their feces might contain thousands of roundworm eggs. Humans and household pets can get roundworm by eating (or even breathing in the eggs) and become infested with larval parasites, which can potentially damage the brain. Due to the hazards, individuals should always use disposable gloves, shoe covers, and respirators when cleaning racoon feces without expert help.
The eggs hatch into larvae that migrate to various locations within the body, causing disease in a short period of time. Although some may never get symptoms, the University of Georgia claims that human infection symptoms include:
- Liver enlargement
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of muscle control
Another disease that is linked to raccoons and their droppings is canine distemper. Both cats and dogs are susceptible to it, especially if they have not been vaccinated against it. Consult with your veterinarian about vaccines if you have pets.
What Should You Do If You Find Raccoon Poop?
If you discover a raccoon latrine in or near your home, cleaning the space can help prevent an infection. Newly laid eggs aren’t infectious and require at least 2-4 weeks to become infectious. Prevention of exposure and infection is enhanced by prompt excretion and disposal of raccoon feces.
If you want to clean the site yourself, follow these guidelines:
- Take special care to keep your hands and clothing clean.
- Wear gloves that are disposable.
- Wear rubber boots that can be cleaned or cover your shoes with disposable shoe covers to prevent bringing eggs into your home.
- If working in a small area, use an N95-rated respirator to prevent accidental egg ingestion or other hazardous materials.
What is a Raccoon Latrine?
Raccoons have a tendency to defecate in communal areas, which are known as latrines. Surprisingly, they frequently come back to the same latrine spot to do their business just like humans do with their own restrooms. Raccoon feces are generally black and tubular with a foul odor.
Common areas that you may find a raccoon latrine include:
- trees (around the base and at forks)
- raised horizontal surfaces (such as fallen logs, stumps, woodpiles, or large rocks)
- decks or patios
Cleaning an Outdoor Raccoon Latrine:
- If feces or material contaminated with raccoon droppings are to be disposed of, they should be removed (using a shovel or an inverted plastic bag) and burned, interred, or placed in the garbage for disposal at a landfill.
- Although chemicals do not always kill roundworm eggs, heat will incinerate them. Treat feces-soiled surfaces, such as decks and patios, with boiling water or a propane torch.
- Use boiling water to cleanse hard, smooth surfaces, such as shovel blades.
- To assist further lower the danger of infection, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water. To properly clean or launder your clothing, use hot water and detergent.
Cleaning an Indoor Raccoon Latrine:
- Mist the latrine region with a little water from a spray bottle to avoid stirring up dust and trash.
- Fill a container with hot, soapy water.
- To be disposed of safely, all raccoon feces and material contaminated with the stuff should be removed (using a shovel or an inverted plastic bag), burned, buried, or packed and placed in the trash to go to a landfill.
- Use a damp (but not wet) sponge to clean the area.
- Rinse your sponge in the bucket on a regular basis.
- After you’ve cleaned the space, drain dirty water down the toilet and then use boiling water and disinfectant to clean the bucket.
- Remove the sponge from the container and place it in a plastic bag. Place the bag in the garbage.
- To safeguard against infection, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. With hot water and detergent, clean/launder your garments properly.
Do not use a propane torch indoors!
Should You Flame the Latrine Site With a Propane Torch?
Because a variety of chemicals do not kill roundworm eggs and are not appropriate for outdoor usage, they are not viable options. Eggs will be destroyed in a matter of seconds when exposed to extreme heat.
Soil should be broken up and turned over numerous times before being subjected to flame, each time flaming. Firing with a propane torch is very dangerous as it could cause a fire or severe injury.
Call your local fire department for information on local rules and safety precautions before lighting a latrine location. Without harm, concrete pads, bricks, and metal shovels or gardening equipment may be heated. Do not try to heat materials that might melt or catch fire.
How to Keep Raccoons Off of Your Property
If you believe raccoons are on your property, it is critical to safeguard yourself. Remove or tightly seal any potential outside food sources, if feasible, that may attract raccoons to avoid attracting them. This includes pet food, garbage cans, and bird feeders.
Raccoons are skilled at using their paws to pry open containers, which is how they’re able to get into them while seeking for food at night. You should also try to remove any water sources that a raccoon may use overnight.
Also, make sure to never offer raccoons food or bring them inside your home. Make certain to seal off any potential attic access ways, crawl spaces, or basements. Also, if you know that raccoons frequent your yard, wash your hands thoroughly after working outside in the dirt so that you don’t pick up or accidentally ingest any roundworm eggs.
- Those who have come into contact with or ingested raccoon feces should immediately visit a healthcare professional to prevent infection. If you suspect that you have raccoon roundworms, you should get medical help right away!
Raccoon poop can look different depending on what the raccoon has been eating, but it is usually dark in color with a tubular shape. Raccoons typically defecate in latrines, which are sites that they use over and over again to relieve themselves.
Roundworm eggs can be found in raccoon feces, and these pose a serious health risk to humans if ingested. It is important to take precautions when cleaning up any raccoon droppings, such as wearing gloves and a mask, and disposing of them properly.
If you think you may have come into contact with roundworm eggs, see a doctor right away. Finally, taking measures to keep raccoons off your property can help reduce the risk of infection.