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Raccoon Poop and Urine and Associated Diseases

If you are finding raccoon poop, you have a raccoon problem.  Raccoon feces can contain ‘raccoon roundworm’ which is extremely dangerous to human health.  The feces can also contain Giardia or leptospirosis.   The feces must be properly removed to avoid any contamination.

How to Spot Raccoon Feces

Raccoon poop is about two or three inches long, and is tube-shaped.  It resembles a hot dog, but is just slightly smaller in diameter.  Actually, raccoon feces looks like dog feces, but there are some distinctions.  With raccoon poop, you will see a great deal of undigested food throughout.

Since raccoons usually go to the bathroom in the same place, time and time again, piles of raccoon feces are called a ‘raccoon latrine’.

They are typically located near trees, tree stumps, in your garage, or under your deck. If the raccoon can gain entry into your home, they may have a latrine in your attic.

Dangers to Humans

While the most widely known disease transmitted to humans and pets by raccoons is rabies, it is usually transmitted via saliva, from a raccoon’s bite or scratch.

One of the dangers humans and pets face when it comes to raccoon feces is roundworm.  The adult stage of ‘raccoon roundworm’ lives in a raccoon’s intestines.  These adult roundworms produce microscopic eggs that are then shed in the raccoon’s feces.  Anyone, or any animal, coming into contact with it runs the risk of contracting roundworm.

Sometimes pets will eat raccoon poop and become infected.  Symptoms can include a loss of muscle control, fatigue, liver complications, and even blindness if the eyes are affected.

Another problem with raccoon poop is GiardiaGiardias can be transmitted by a number of animals (and birds), and the raccoon is one of those animals.  Raccoons can carry the Giardia organism in their feces and this in turn can contaminate any surface it touches (water, soil, etc).  Both pet and people can become infected.   The symptoms of Giardia include nausea, cramping, diarrhea and dehydration.

Finally, raccoon can transmit the bacteria leptospirosis, but in their urine rather than their poop.  The symptoms of leptospirosis include headache and muscle ache, fever, diarrhea and jaundice.

Reduce Your Risk

If you suspect that the feces you see around your house is that of the raccoon, it is important to take action.  Inspect your property first, to find any raccoon latrines, especially ones which may be in your garage or inside your house (like in the attic).

If you have storage buildings or a deck that raccoons can crawl underneath, make sure to inspect these, too.

If you find raccoon feces, remove it.  Clean and disinfect any surface that it came in contact with.  However, make sure that you are using protective clothing and equipment so as to protect yourself from contamination.  If you don’t use the proper equipment, you can spread the problem.

Finally, use pest control products on any areas where you found raccoon feces. Use insecticides that are designed to kill parasites like fleas and ticks; these will kill any parasites left behind by the feces.

Pest Control Professional

Before trying to do any cleanup yourself, make sure to contact a professional to find out the best way to remove the problem.  You may just want to have a professional come out and do the job for you, to eliminate any risky mistakes.

Proper removal of the feces is key, but so is disinfecting the area and spraying insecticides.  These methods often require the knowledge of an experienced individual, someone who has had dealing with raccoons in the past.

While raccoons may seem like a simple nuisance, they can become much more dangerous if not cleaned up after properly.  Protect your family and pets by doing the job right!

Rabid Raccoons : Distemperment or Rabies?

Whether you live in the country or in the middle of suburbia there are going to be at least one type of pesky critter that comes savaging around. Raccoons are well-known pests that will go through trash cans, pet food, compost and gardens in search of food. While these sneaky bandits are one of the more loved pests they can also pose a threat. Raccoons are a rabies vector species. This means that can carry and transmit the disease to humans and other animals.

Having been documented for thousands of years rabies is neither a new disease or one of the past. If raccoons are a common place pest around your home it’s a good idea to brush up on the need to know about rabies.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the nervous system. Animals cannot be carriers of the disease. If they have rabies they will show signs of it and during the later stages it can be transmitted to other animals and humans.

There are five main strains of rabies, skunk, fox, canine, raccoon and bat. They are named after the animal that is most susceptible to it, but any mammal can get rabies. To contract rabies saliva from an infected animal must come in contact with broken skin, such as bites, scratches and abrasions.

Signs of a Rabid Raccoon and What to Do

Rabid raccoons will show signs that they are sick. Learns these signs and how to distinguish fact from myth.

  • A rabid raccoon will have difficulty walking. Their hind legs may be fully or partially paralyzed. They may also be walking around in confused circles.
  • They will act confused or disoriented. Healthy raccoons are very mindful creatures. They are constantly alter and looking for something; food, water or a pretty bobble to play with.
  • Rabies infected raccoons may make crazy noises. When healthy, they will often chatter a bit with other raccoons, but when sick they could make squealing and screeching sounds that they don’t otherwise make.
  • A classic sign, and one that signals the later stage of rabies, is foaming at the mouth. If you are close enough to see this sign get away from the animal. Keep your pets and children away.

There are also a number of healthy raccoon behaviors that people mistaken as oddities. Even if they raccoon doesn’t seem infected you should still leave the animal alone.

  • Many healthy raccoons have little or no fear of humans. This isn’t a sign of rabies. It just means that the animal has been around people enough not to fear them.
  • Mother raccoons will go out during the day in search of extra food for their babies.
  • Aggression is not a sign of rabies. It might just be a bad tempered raccoon.

What to Do With Rabid Raccoons

If you think that a rabid raccoon is wondering around your yard or neighborhood call animal control or the local equivalent. Do not attempt to catch the raccoon on your own. Some states have laws against handling any rabies vector species, whether they are showing signs of rabies or not. Be aware of the laws in your area and follow them.

If you find baby raccoons on your property contact animal control or an animal rehabber. The mother may come back for the babies, but there is a vaccination for rabies that the babies can be given. This can help reduce the chances of rabies becoming a problem in your area.

Prevention of Rabid Raccoons

There is no for sure way to stop a rabid raccoon from showing up at your home, but there are steps you can take to control the raccoon population.

  • Keep the yard clean and trash free. Spend a little extra time picking up any debris that might be laying around in the yard. This not only makes the yard look better, but removes items that raccoons can explore or use. Keep trash cans clean and sealed. If a raccoon can’t get into the trash they can’t eat what’s inside.
  • Kill off their food source. Raccoons love bugs and will eat them up. If there are grubs or ground dwelling bugs in your yard you’ll see signs of raccoons digging for them. Apply a pest killer that will kill off these pests and save your lawn while repealing raccoons.
  • Stop them from using your yard as a bathroom. Raccoons will often use the same areas over and over. Put a stop to this by applying fox or coyote urine. The smell of a predator will deter them.
  • Keep pet food inside and feed outside pets earlier in the day so that most of their food will be gone by nightfall.
  • Install motion sensitive lights. If a raccoon starts across your yard and a light pops on it will scare them off the first few times. The lights can also be an early detection of raccoons stopping by. If the lights pop on every night try searching for signs of raccoons and start taking prevention measures.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons from House, Yard, and Shed

Raccoons are extremely intelligent creatures that love exploring due to their curious nature. Their curious nature however, is what gets these furry mammals some people call bandits because of all the trouble they can cause around a yard, inside a home, within a picnic area and even on campsites. These little trouble makers love dumpster diving and will eat any kind of food if its in reach of their little tiny paw like hands that can open up a jar of peanut butter or jelly if this snack of choice is they only thing available too them when their tummies are screaming out in hunger.

For these reasons, people try to find ways to get rid of raccoons from their yard or place of business, but before we get into the methods found the most useful for ridding these creatures away it is time to learn exactly what raccoon are to help better understand them.

What are raccoons?

As mentioned, raccoons are furry mammals that are highly intelligent. These beings are twelve-inches tall and average around forty-inches long while weighing nearly twenty-three pounds as adults. The lifespan of these creatures on average is around three years, but do live longer when in captivity. The furry beings are commonly know as black eyed bandits and this is because of their black circles around their little eyes that looks like a thief’s mask. The creatures also have long cat like tails with between four to seven black rings around it and a grey fuzzy body with a black snout and dexterous front paws for handling food and climbing. Raccoon are commonly found throughout the United States, but now places in Europe and Japan have begun noticing them living there as well.

What type of habitat do raccoons prefer?

Raccoon prefer living in habitats that are heavily wooded with lots of trees and vegetation surrounding them. They also love being close too water and areas that are easy to dig into the ground to make burrows to live in, or anywhere burrows are abandoned to sneak inside and rest. Most of the time, you can find these creatures nesting in hallow trees, but they can also be extremely adaptable beings which is one of the reasons you can now find them in the suburban and urban areas making their home in people’s homes. In fact, some of the areas inside and outside a home raccoons love living in are:

  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces
  • Barns
  • Sheds
  • Garages
  • Woodsheds
  • Greenhouses
  • Sewer Drains
  • Workshops
  • Picnic Areas

What are some of the ways you can prevent raccoons from making your home their home?

There are countless ways you can use too prevent raccoon from making your home their home. Some of those ways are:

  • Keeping trashcans sealed up with lids and tightly locked up in sheds or the garage
  • Always keep outdoor picnic areas clean
  • Avoid installing doggy doors and remove any that are installed already since raccoon use them as entrances into your home so they can dine in your kitchen or at your pets food bowls
  • Seal up crawlspaces and attics well
  • Replace any broken windows
  • Install motion sensor sprinkler systems to scare raccoons away when they enter your yard
  • Always keep woodsheds sealed up tightly as well as barn doors when you aren’t in these areas
  • Seal up sewer drains tightly with proper covers
  • Place reflectors or motion sensor lights in gardens to spook raccoon away when they try dinning on your vegetables, fruits and herbs
  • Remove water sources from the yard
  • Always clean up fallen nuts, fruits, berries and bird seeds from the yard
  • Avoid hanging bird feeders in easy to reach areas
  • Always put the grill away after cooking

What needs to happen in order to remove a raccoon from an area?

If a raccoon ends up making their home inside or around your home it is essential to call Fish and Game to remove them physically from your property. Trying to remove the raccoon or even raccoon from the yard yourself could potentially be dangerous since raccoon could be carrying bacterial diseases or even parasites that can be transmitted to humans and pets. Some of those diseases and parasites are:

  • Roundworm also known as Baylisascaris Procyonis
  • Rabies
  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis

If you do get bitten by a raccoon while trying to rid and trap it yourself it is extremely importantly to seek medical attention right away since some of these diseases can be deadly without medication. One particular one being rabies. Thankfully, there has only been one known death from a diseased raccoon that has bit a person within the United States. Overall, raccoon do not attack humans and tend to run off when they do come across us.

What are some other ways to keep raccoons away from your home or yard?

Other known methods that help keep raccoon away from your home and yard are raccoon repellent sprays that you can get from garden shops, hardware stores and home improvement stores. Repellents need to be applied properly to your yard or foundation of your home after every rainfall and as instructed on the labels of the bottles they come in for the repellents to work effectively.

However, if you do not like using chemical repellents around your home for repelling raccoon away you could always use electronic repellents that spray water at the raccoon when they enter onto your probably to effectively frighten them away.

Otherwise, raccoon are adorable funny creatures too watch from a distance when you can the opportunity to share a space with them that is in Mother Nature’s woodland areas and not within your home.

Raccoon Repellents – Deterring and Removing Raccoons

Raccoons may look like adorable fuzzy bandits with their little black eyes, round ears, tiny hand like paws and long cat like tail and whiskers, but these mammals sure do like stirring up trouble when they can. You may already know how troubling these furry creatures can be if you hear them outside rocking your trashcans open, snacking on goodies left outside during camping trips or trying to break into your home through the doggy door at nighttime to get a tasty nibble of food. If you are struggling with a ridding these little furry bandits from your home or campsite the tips below will offer you some help.

Keep Garbage in Tightly Sealed Trash Cans inside the Garage of Shed

Leaving trash bags outside in the open with attract raccoons. Raccoons are carnivores. They will eat anything they can easily get their tiny paws on. Tearing a trash bag open takes very little effort for these creatures. Raccoons are highly intelligent beings. Even placing tightly sealed garbage bags into trashcans will not keep them out of your trash. In fact, raccoons are so smart they will get on top of the garbage can and try lifting the lids up or rocking the garbage disposal bin back and forth until the can finally falls over and open. This is why it is important too store garbage bags in sealed trashcans in an area raccoons have no access too such as the garage or shed.

Lock Doggy Doors at Nighttime or Eliminate Them 

If raccoons have away of getting into a home at nighttime, they will. One of the ways raccoons seem to be sneaking into homes mostly is through doggy doors. Locking the doggy doors at nighttime or eliminating them will go along ways to keeping these bandits from breaking into your home and stealing your pets food and your food from the kitchen table or counter top. This also means making sure any doors and windows to your home are closed off too at nighttime unless they are screened in. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures and love raising hell as soon as the sun goes down.

Add Motion Sensor Lights to Your Yard or Campsite

Trying to keep raccoons out of your yard in the summertime to protect your gardens that they thoroughly enjoy dinning on, or from raising trouble at your campground is simple. All you have to do is consider installing motion sensor lights. Motion sensor lights tend to scare raccoons away and can prevent them from entering the areas of your yard or campsite you wish to keep them from hanging out in and causing trouble. Even using UV lights that automatically turn on at nighttime can help keep raccoons away. Although once in awhile, you do come across a few raccoons that are brave and could care less about any kinds of lights that pop on during then night, but this is when you go and install a motion sensor sprinkler system that will really scare the heck out of them when they try entering onto your property.

Place Ammonia Soaked Tennis Balls in Areas You Do Not Want the Creatures

You may find this next tip a bit strange, but raccoons hate the small of ammonia. All you have to do is soak tennis balls in ammonia and place the tennis balls any place you wish too prevent the raccoons getting into. For example, if raccoons are making their way into your attic and building a nest place them up their, but it is also important to block off any entrance way they are coming in through and remove the nest to prevent them from coming back. If the raccoons are hanging out in your crawl space, place the tennis balls in this area instead.

Spray Cayenne Pepper Solution around the Foundation of Your Home

Raccoons always use their nose to follow the scent of yummy food. One of the best ways to deter the fuzzy creatures away from your home is with a cayenne pepper solution. All you do is mix up a cup of cayenne pepper with a few gallons of water and spray the solution around the foundation of your home or around the areas; you desire to keep them from getting into. Some people even spray this solution around their gardens but do not spray the solution onto the fresh vegetables, fruits or herbs because the solution will change the flavor of the food for you. Sprinkling a little cayenne pepper powder into bird feeders to keep raccoons out of the bird seed is also another method that keeps them from getting into what you don’t want them getting into. Keep in mind the cayenne pepper will not harm the birds in anyway since birds have no taste buds, but if the feeders are there for squirrels and chipmunks these mammals will be affected because these creatures do taste all they eat with their tiny tongues.

Call Animal Patrol 

If the raccoons in your yard or campsite are foaming from the mouth or are visiting during the day it is extremely important you call animal patrol to come remove them in a professional manner. Raccoons can carry rabies and other dangerous diseases that can be deadly too humans. It is also essential you call animal patrol when your raccoon situation is out of control and you do not know how to rid them from the area you desire them to be gone from safely. Calling in a raccoon removal service is also wise when you have these mammals building nest within your home or place of business. Trying to rid them yourself could wind up getting you bit or ill.

The Least You Need To Know

For the most part, raccoons are not aggressive animals and are easy to deter with the methods mentioned. The best way to keep them away is too keep your grass mowed, yards clean, trash stores away properly and entrance ways into a home sealed shut properly including crawl spaces, garages and attics. After all, you want to keep your family safe and these creatures safe.