What Does Racoon Feces Look Like
How to Identify Raccoon Poop
- 1 How to Identify Raccoon Poop
- 2 How to Identify the Feces
- 3 Raccoon Feces
- 4 How to Help Keep Raccoons Off of Your Property
- 5 Should You Try to Remove Raccoon Feces Yourself?
- 6 Photographs of Raccoon Poop
- 7 Raccoon Feces — Pictures, Danger, and Diseases
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Recognizing if raccoons are inhabiting your area is important because of the destructive nature of these animals and also because their feces may transfer disease to humans and pets. Raccoon droppings may carry the parasitic roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis, which can cause illness or death in humans. Here’s how to identify whether the droppings come from a raccoon, so you can take the necessary precautions.
How to Identify the Feces
Compare the raccoon droppings to that of a medium-sized dog. Raccoon poop looks much like dog feces: dark, tubular in shape, up to 1/2 inch or so in diameter and usually in well-formed, blunt segments. They many have a strong odor. Older feces can resemble dry leaves or a small pile of debris.
Observe (without touching) the contents of the feces. Poorly digested seeds and peelings of seasonal fruits are usually present. Berry seeds are a good indicator. Insects, such as grasshoppers and crickets, may be found in raccoon feces if they are abundant in your area.
Look for other evidence that raccoons live in the area to help verify that you have found raccoon droppings. There may be hair on fences or tree bark where they have been climbing. Young racoons often disturb areas near the base of trees where their dens are located. Overturned trashcans and other mischievous activities often indicate the presence of raccoons.
Use caution if you run across a raccoon latrine. These are areas that raccoons frequent, returning time and again to leave fresh feces on top of old droppings. Such latrines are often at the base of trees, along fence lines, woodpiles, on roofs or in unsealed attics.
The eggs of the Baylisascaris procyonis are resistant to most disinfectants. If raccoons have occupied your attic or a storage area, clean the area with a hypochlorite bleach solution after you have had them removed. Always use disposable rubber gloves, rubber boots that can be scrubbed and an N95-rated mask when cleaning raccoon feces.
Raccoons are known to sometimes carry pathogens that may cause disease, but did you know that many of these pathogens are actually carried in their feces? Raccoon feces are usually about two to three inches long, dark and tubular in shape. An easy way to tell dog feces from raccoon poop is to look for undigested food. Raccoon feces often contains pieces of undigested berries that can be easily seen.
Raccoons establish community latrines, which are sites where they repeatedly deposit droppings on top of old feces in one particular area. And since raccoons tend to be social animals that live in small communities for protection, the latrines are often quite large and easy to find.
As mentioned before, raccoon feces can carry pathogens that may cause disease. One of the biggest health risks is raccoon roundworms, which is also called Bayliscacaris procyonis. According to research by the University of Georgia, it can be difficult to diagnose, especially if the physician does not know about a past exposure to raccoon feces.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Baylisascaris procyonis is a roundworm that can be harmful, even fatal to people. The roundworm eggs are passed in the feces of infected raccoons, and people can become infected by ingesting or even inhaling the eggs.
Once the eggs have entered into the body, they hatch into larvae that then move to different parts of the body. This can cause illness in a short amount of time. The University of Georgia says that symptoms of infection in humans can include:
- Liver enlargement
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of muscle control
Canine distemper is another disease that’s associated with raccoons and their droppings. Both cats and dogs are vulnerable to it, especially if they have not been vaccinated against it. If you have pets, consult with your veterinarian about vaccinations.
How to Help Keep Raccoons Off of Your Property
It is important to protect yourself if you think you may have raccoons on your property. To do this, remove or tightly secure any potential outside food sources, if possible, that might attract raccoons. This includes pet food, garbage cans or bird feeders. Raccoons are notorious for getting into these while looking for food at night, typically due to their ability to use their paws to open items.You should also try to remove any water sources that a raccoon could find overnight.
Also make sure to never feed raccoons or bring them into your home. Make sure to close off any potential access points to attics, crawl spaces or basements. Also, if you know raccoons frequent your property, always wash your hands after working outside in the dirt so you do not accidentally carry or ingest any potential roundworm eggs or bacteria.
New York City’s Public Health website says that anyone who has come into contact with or may have ingested raccoon feces should immediately contact a health care provider to help prevent further infection. And if someone has symptoms of raccoon roundworms, he or she should seek immediate medical care.
Should You Try to Remove Raccoon Feces Yourself?
It’s not recommended to try to remove raccoon feces yourself. There are too many risks of exposure to dangerous diseases and bacteria if not removed professionally and you could potentially stir up microbes that can be inhaled.
It’s also important that you do not try to remove raccoons, or any other nuisance wildlife animal, on your own. Although removing the raccoon, or other nuisance wildlife animal, responsible for the droppings will be the first step towards removing the droppings, this is also best left to a professional as there are potential consequences with DIY nuisance wildlife control.
If you have raccoons in your home, or spot signs of raccoon activity, then the nuisance wildlife control professionals at Terminix should inspect your property and help you get rid of them.
Photographs of Raccoon Poop
RACCOON POOP DESCRIPTION: Fairly large, like dog poo. Averages 3/4 inch in diameter. The sides are usually textured, and the tips are often rounded or broken off. The surefire giveaway is if there are berries in the poop. Raccoon feces commonly have berries, so if you see them, it’s definitely raccoon.
The above image of raccoon feces was photographed in the attic of a house with a raccoon problem. I was able to identify the type of animal by inspecting the turds. Once I know what type of critter is in the house or the crawlspace, ceiling, yard, or any other part of the property, I can take the proper steps to get rid of the unwanted wildlife.
Does raccoon poop cause any health risk or disease concerns? Yes. Raccoon Roundworm in both people and pets is caused by contact with infected raccoon feces, which can pass the eggs to humans. Contracting this disease occurs by ingestion or even inhalation of the eggs. Infection of humans can lead to larval parasites, which affect the central nervous system. In addition to roundworm, Giardia lamblia is a protozoan causing diarrhea, and is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated by raccoon excrement. Raccoon Roundworm — What is it?
The above picture is part of a raccoon latrine — lots of feces and pee. I have more pics of raccoon poop here on my website, or I can send some more to you if you write to me. I don’t think anyone else out there has as many images of raccoon poop and droppings as me — I often take photos of animal droppings to show the customer what kind of animal they have, and so that they can decide if they need me to clean up the raccoon waste, the scat and urine, and decontaminate. If you need to know how to identify raccoon poop, pictures such as the ones above are the best bet, but you can take a photograph and send it to me, and I’ll tell you what kind of animal droppings you have.
How do I clean up the raccoon latrine? You must remove the feces by hand, including any soiled and dirty insulation and bag it in plastic bags. Be sure to wear gloves and a HEPA respirator mask, and even a Tyvek suit. I then spray / fog the area with a special enzyme cleaner, but any good disinfectant will suffice for some of it. To kill raccoon roundworm, you need a special cleaner. Read more info on my: attic cleanup and restoration page.
Customer email about raccoon poo:
Hello, Thank you for all the work you have put into informing the public about animals in the wrong places. I am in the tree service business and have minimal experience with live trapping. We bought our house in 1991 and at the time, the home was vacant for 3 years. We are in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and are near a large, old wooded golf coarse. When we got the house, it had many problems, one was infestation. Ants, mice, and Raccoons. The attic was absolutely full of raccoon shit, and mouse crap too. The elderly women that owned the house fed the birds (religiously) and boarded cats and dogs for people. I found four inches of rotten bird feed in the sub floor in the garage storage closets. The exterminator (at the time) said «It was the largest population of mice in a devilling I have ever encountered». We had a raccoon in the attic and it was finally eliminated (live trapped and relocated). The house (a one story ranch) had screened in air vents (under the overhangs) that I put a double layer of 1/4″ hardware cloth over and new moldings that proved to discourage entry. Since then, no problems until 3 years ago, when I found them under our deck, nesting inside a window well. The female had pups and we watched them age (through the glass in the basement). When fall came, and they went to make their own way, I put a few moth balls out and closed off the entry way and thought, problem solved. Last month while pruning a tree, I found (on the other side of the house) an entry way in the overhang air vent (that was never re-enforced with the hardware cloth upgrade. dumbass). My eleven year old daughters’ bedroom is right under that part of the attic and we here the goings on at dawn and dusk. This house has a very low angle roof line and almost a flat roof (Frank Lloyd Wright style). The attic is more a belly crawl space and really complicated the last removal efforts. I don’t think I can reach the raccoon latrine. In the north, when do you think the cubs will be moving on? I have a nice, big, Havahart live trap. Jim
My response: Raccoon cubs move on in 6 months, but I’d try to get them out sooner, by manual removal, because you don’t want that racoon feces building up in your attic.
Raccoon Feces — Pictures, Danger, and Diseases
Raccoon Feces — Whether you find a concealed raccoon latrine in your yard or garden, or you encounter raccoon feces while you are investigating a possible animal problem in your attic or wall cavity, it is very important to treat raccoon feces with caution. It can transmit several different types of diseases, and there is often quite a lot of it, meaning that you need to be careful and cautious when cleaning up any raccoon feces. Indeed, if you aren’t confident in dealing with the issue, and you’re worried the raccoon may still be present around your home, it can often be a good idea to hire a professional wildlife removal expert to ensure there is no more threat from the animal.
Precautions To Take Before Dealing With Animal Feces
Whether you are going into an area where there is likely to be a high concentration of animal feces, or heading into a confined space such as an attic that might contain feces, it is important to take the right precautions. Make sure you wear appropriate long sleeved clothing with thick material, along with thick gloves such as gardening gloves, making sure that there is no skin uncovered to come into contact with the feces. A breathing mask will help you to ensure you don’t inhale any airborne spores or particles, while eye goggles can also help to keep them from getting in to your body that way.
Identifying Raccoon Feces
Raccoon feces will often look quite similar to dog poop, with fairly long cylinders that are usually quite dry, and the feces will often have visible pieces of berry, which is typical of raccoon feces. Unlike many animals, raccoons will usually tend to try and use one area as a latrine, where they will deposit the majority of their urine and feces, and seeing a concentration of feces in one area can also be an indication that it is raccoon feces that you are looking at.
Cleaning Raccoon Feces In An Attic Of Wall Cavity
When it comes to cleaning up the feces, the first and most important thing to remember is that diseases and spores can be transmitted, so you need to make sure that you wear the appropriate clothing, and that you protect yourself wearing the mask and goggles. You also need to ensure that you either have several black garbage bags that can be used to carry the feces, or a sealable container into which the feces can be placed. In many cases, insulation material will have been torn or heavily soiled by the raccoon feces, and in this case it is usually best to replace the material rather than clean it. Once the feces is removed, spraying the area with a disinfectant solution will help to make the area safe and decontaminated again.
Disposing Of Raccoon Feces
If you weren’t already aware of the possibility of contamination and disease transmission caused by raccoon feces, it is also very important that you dispose of the feces correctly. If the material is within one garbage bag, seal that bag, and place it within a second bag that is also sealed. This should be tough enough to keep the material inside, and allow for the bags to be put out with the garbage, while a sealed container can also be put out this way. However, you can also look to bury the material or incinerate it, with incineration helping to make sure that no other harmful particles escape from the feces.
Diseases Transmitted By The Feces
One of the most common diseases that can be transmitted through raccoon feces is raccoon roundworm, and usually happens when the eggs that are found in the feces are inhaled or swallowed. Symptoms can include respiratory problems, nausea and a loss of balance. Giardia is another common disease transmitted through raccoon feces, and can cause stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Leptospirosis is another condition that can be contracted by those dealing with raccoon feces without taking the right precautions, and while symptoms such as headaches, jaundice and fever can be early indications, in rare cases it can have serious repercussions for the individual.
Carrying Out Repairs To Raccoon Damage
If you are dealing with an area that has been damaged by raccoons, it is very important that you look to ensure the safety of others that might need to enter that area or cavity in the future. This means removing the feces responsibly, and then disposing of the feces in a way that won’t harm anyone else along the way. Once this is done, make sure that you replace any areas of insulation that have been soiled by the raccoon, and check on all wires and cables to make sure they haven’t been gnawed by the raccoon.
Finally, make sure that the area is decontaminated with a disinfectant spray that will kill off any remaining bacteria or spores, and will allow you to start using the area safely again.
Go back to the main Raccoon Removal page for more information about raccoon droppings, feces, or poop. Are the raccoon feces toxic or dangerous? What kind of diseases can you catch from raccoon droppings or excrement.