Raccoon Poop: Does It Carry Diseases And How Can We Dispose Of It?

Deepthi Reddy
Apr 12, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa
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Close up of raccoon sniffing for food

Raccoons are cute to look at, but they are not animals you want around your property.

They are mammals and belong to the Procyonid family. Typically found in woods with water sources nearby, raccoons are also commonly seen in urban areas.

Raccoons have a black circle around their eyes and a bushy, striped tail. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, which gives them a hunched appearance when walking. They measure about 3 ft (0.9m) in length, including the tail, and can weigh around 15-40 lb (7-18 kg) depending on the food availability in their surroundings.

Raccoons are omnivores and forage for food in the wild. However, due to the easy availability of food around humans, they prefer to settle around them.

They excrete waste in the same place and their feces pile up, commonly known as raccoon latrines. Common locations for defecation are garages, tree bases, attics, or under the deck. If you find overturned trash cans or purged compost piles and destroyed gardens around your house, it is likely done by raccoons.

They also tear screens when trying to enter a closed property. If a raccoon infestation is present in your attic, you will hear loud noises or scratching sounds as raccoons scamper around.

In this article, you will learn all you need to know about raccoon feces and its dangers. If you find the information here helpful, do check out our articles on a group of raccoons and do raccoons attack humans.

What does raccoon poop look like?

Raccoon poop shares a resemblance with dog poop or possum poop. They are reasonably large, cylindrical droppings with a diameter of about 0.75 in (1.9 cm).

They have a strong smell and are blackish in color. The tips are typically broken and sometimes rounded. You can spot berries in raccoon poop as they are constantly foraging in the woods for berries and fruits.

Raccoon latrines pose a severe health hazard to humans as well as to pets. Homes with small children need to be very careful as kids are very vulnerable since they spend a lot of time outdoors.

One of the unique things about raccoons is that they prefer to excrete in the same place whenever possible. So, if you find animal feces in a particular place near your house every time, the chances are high that it is a raccoon latrine.

What diseases are in raccoon poop and urine?

Raccoon poop is a storehouse of many diseases. A person can get seriously sick if they come in contact with raccoon poop.

Roundworm disease, leptospirosis, and giardia are common infections caused by raccoon poop. Raccoon droppings also contain salmonella bacteria and can cause salmonella poisoning.

Harmful bacteria and roundworms commonly infest raccoon poop. Diseases caused by these parasites pose a risk to humans and other animals and pets.

Raccoon droppings are home to several thousand roundworm eggs called baylisascaris procynosis. Humans and other animals who come into contact with raccoon feces can accidentally ingest these eggs by swallowing or inhaling.

These eggs transform into larvae in a week and can move to different body parts, causing severe problems. Common symptoms caused by infection by baylisascaris are fatigue, liver problems, muscle control loss, and in some rare cases, people can fall into a coma.

Another disease that gets transmitted from the urine of raccoons is leptospirosis. The disease is fatal for dogs. Humans infected with it suffer from diarrhea, a high fever, headaches, jaundice, or influenza-like symptoms. Raccoon droppings also cause giardia. Symptoms of the disease include dehydration, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.

Why is raccoon poop dangerous?

Raccoon poop may not look harmful, but one must be very careful while disposing of it as it is a reservoir of many harmful bacteria and worms.

Raccoon poop is dangerous because it contains roundworm eggs that can cause serious illness to humans, pets, and other animals if ingested. Though rare, these infections can prove fatal and cause irreversible damage to the heart, eyes, and the brain.

Raccoon mother and baby on road

At what point are raccoon feces dangerous?

Raccoon feces are dangerous to you as well as your pets. If you sight raccoons around your property or see signs of their activity around, contact your local wildlife control department for help.

Freshly excreted raccoon feces are not infectious. They become infectious after about two to four weeks. To reduce the risk of disease being spread, prompt removal and destruction of feces is essential. The area and surroundings should be adequately cleaned and disinfected.

How do you clean up raccoon poop?

Raccoon poop is more than just a nuisance, and proper care must be taken when cleaning it up. Homes with small children who spend a lot of time outdoors should be extra vigilant. Roundworm eggs found in raccoon poop are very light and can spread through the air.

Humans can swallow or inhale these worms, which can lead to the contraction of diseases. Hence, raccoon feces removal should be done by someone who knows how to deal with it.

Wearing a HEPA respiratory mask and proper gloves is a must. Professionals may also wear a Tyvek suit for extra precaution. The area must then be disinfected or fogged with the proper cleaner for the prevention of any further infection.

Regular disinfectants are not sufficient to kill roundworm eggs, so one has to use a special cleaner. If you come across raccoon feces on your property, seek professional help.

What can you do if raccoon waste comes into contact with your skin or clothes?

There are a few precautions to follow when you see raccoon poop and also a few remedies you can follow if you come in contact with it.

Watch for any symptoms of illness in the coming days. If you accidentally touch raccoon droppings, wash your hands thoroughly and immediately with soap.

Change and disinfect your clothes. If you become unwell, tell your doctor about the contact with the raccoon latrine; it will aid in narrowing down the ailment. You should treat any possible infection from roundworms by the care of a doctor.

How can you get rid of the raccoon skat left in the attic?

The attic of a house is one of the favorite places for raccoons to infest. If you find raccoon poop in your attic, you must seek professional help to assess the situation there.

For the removal of raccoon poop from the attic, you must take all suitable measures for safety like wearing a HEPA mask and disposable gloves, wearing a cover over your shoes, or wearing rubber boots that be washed and disinfected later. Be very careful when cleaning up droppings because disturbing them can make roundworm eggs airborne.

Spraying a mist of water while cleaning can be helpful. One can safely use a shovel or a scoop to collect the latrine and put it into a plastic garbage bag.

The contaminated surface must be cleaned with boiling water and then cleaned with a sponge. One should check the surrounding material and insulation, and any infested part must be removed and decontaminated.

Once done, throw away the sponge in a sealed bag. The garbage bag containing the feces must be appropriately sealed and carefully taken down from the attic and put into a secure garbage can.

The attic must be disinfected thoroughly. When the task is completed, wash your hands thoroughly.

Change your clothes and wash all the tools used with hot, soapy water. Things that can be disposed of should be disposed of appropriately for the prevention of any disease being spread.

What happens if a dog consumes raccoon poop?

Raccoon poop is home to several types of bacteria and poses a serious threat to dogs if they eat raccoon poop.

Leptospirosis is one of the diseases that gets transmitted via raccoon urine. If a dog ingests infected raccoon poop or drinks infected water from a puddle, it will contract the disease.

Humans can get infected from the dog's urine. Symptoms of leptospirosis include loose bowel movements, fever, muscle aches, dark urine, and jaundice-like eyes. For dogs who spend time outdoors, a leptospirosis vaccine is a must.

Giardia is another disease that a dog can contract by eating raccoon poop, and it can be passed on to humans as well. Symptoms of giardia include diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy.

Raccoon poop infested with roundworm can cause raccoon disease in dogs when they ingest the excrement. Humans can also get infected by dogs with disastrous results. Symptoms of raccoon disease are loss of muscle control, circling, confusion, problems swallowing, and seizures.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for raccoon poopthen take a look at raccoon symbolism or raccoon facts.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Shruti Thapa picture

Shruti ThapaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

With a passion for American, British, and children's literature, Shruti is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Garden City University, Bengaluru. Her fluency in Nepali, Hindi, and Mandarin demonstrates her linguistic abilities and global perspective. In addition to her literary pursuits, she has a keen interest in non-fiction literature, aesthetics, early childhood education, and Egyptian history. Shruti's research paper 'Bringing Art Illustrations In Education And Pop Culture' showcases her proficiency in these areas and her dedication to academic excellence.

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