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The good news about raccoon feces, is that it will generally be kept altogether, much unlike many other wild animals, who just drop their waste matter whenever and wherever they feel like it. Raccoons are quite refined creatures really, and prefer to do their business in one spot, almost like humans use the bathroom / toilet. These ‘latrines’ help to make the cleanup operation much easier, but at the same time, also poses a very big problem. The poop might be in one localized area, but that means the disease threat is going to be very concerning for the latrine. That's before you start to think about things such as smell. Imagine how bad that stench will get in the middle of summer ...
The most common places to find these raccoon latrines are under the deck (or on top of it), in swimming pools, in haylofts, on the roof or in the attic, within piles of wood, stones, rocks, or general garden debris, and even just randomly scattered around the yard. If you spot a latrine, there's a very good sign that you have a raccoon problem somewhere close. If the latrine is in your yard, there is a very big chance that the animal will be living on your property, perhaps even in your loft?
What do they look like? Well, most homeowners will often confuse raccoon poop for cat or dog poop. You shouldn't be so quick to blame the neighborhood domesticated pets, however, as it might not be one of those that is the culprit.
Raccoon poop is generally quite dark-colored, and it will be shaped like a tube. Rather than having pinched-off or tapered ends, the droppings will have blunt ends. You will more often than not find bits of undigested food int he droppings when it has come from a raccoon, and this can help you identify these droppings from those left by household pets.
If you have found a raccoon latrine, you are going to want to proceed with extreme caution. There are a number of disease concerns with the waste matter of these wild animals, and with raccoons, you have roundworm eggs to contend with.
Raccoon can leave feces that are teeming with roundworm eggs, and in the worst affected animals, the droppings can contain thousands of them. These eggs can be accidentally digested. If you were to wear rubber gloves to move around the droppings, but your face or head was left uncovered, the roundworm eggs could still make their way into your mouth. They are tiny, remember? If you were to accidentally touch contaminated material — the soil next to the droppings, for example — you could have those eggs on your hands, and then you might accentually put your hands near your face or mouth. Ingestion of the roundworm eggs is easier than you’d think, and it is much more dangerous than you’d think too. The eggs lie dormant and not infectious for a couple of weeks after the dropping have been … dropped.
Baylisascaris is the name of the infection, and it can prove to be very nasty if it is left untreated or undiagnosed. Humans can be infected, as well as a wide range of other animals, wild and domesticated, although the number of human cases are low, and it is considered to be quite a rare occurrence.
In short, raccoon feces and urine can be incredibly dangerous. You should leave it to the professionals when it comes to cleaning it up, unless you can be one hundred percent sure that you have gotten up every last remnant of the animal. This doesn’t just include the waste matter the raccoon leaves behind, but also the babies it probably had in tow, and also the nesting or bedding material, which is likely to be somewhere in your home, that will also be contaminated and need to be disposed off correctly and safely.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
raccoons in the attic