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 Giardia. Giardias 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!