Why Are Raccoon Latrines Dangerous?
While it might sound kind of silly, raccoons use latrines to eliminate their waste. Like many mammals, they create a designated spot for feces elimination rather than going randomly anywhere they choose.
What Is a Raccoon Latrine?
A raccoon latrine is a particular area that is set aside and used by raccoons specifically for the purposes of defecating. Typically, more than one raccoon is using a latrine in any given time period.
Where Do Raccoons Build Latrines?
Unfortunately, raccoons create both indoor and outdoor latrines, so you might find one located in one or more of the following places:
- An attic
- A garage
- Underneath or on a patio, porch, or deck
- Around the base of one or more trees
- Raised areas such as wood or rock piles
How Can You Recognize Raccoon Poop?
Raccoon feces are noticeably foul in smell and dark in colour. It resembles dog poop in size and shape.
Why Should You Avoid Touching Raccoon Poop?
You should be careful not to allow your children or pets to touch raccoon feces or anything that the poop has come into contact with because it can make them ill. In particular, individuals with weakened immune systems, the young, and the old are all at greater risk of becoming sick if they are exposed to raccoon feces.
How Does Raccoon Droppings Make You Sick?
Unfortunately, raccoons can carry a roundworm that is also harmful to humans. The eggs of the roundworm are passed into raccoon feces. When humans come into contact with the eggs, they can get sick. Touching anything that has been contaminated by the feces (soil, grass, weeds, plants, wood, stones, and indoor items) can lead to a serious infection, particularly if the eggs are transferred to the person’s mouth.
Tips for Cleaning Up Raccoon Latrines
The eggs take at least two to four weeks to develop into an infectious stage. However, removing the feces carefully and promptly is the best course of action since you won’t know how long it has been there.
If you decide to complete the cleanup on your own, use these tips to help protect yourself:
- Wear clothing that can be discarded or washed with hot water.
- Wear protective gloves and goggles.
- Use footwear that you can wash to disinfect them. Alternatively, purchase and use disposable shoe covers.
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose.
- Wash up immediately after completing the cleanup task.
Disinfecting Contaminated Items
Unfortunately, anything that has been contaminated with feces and cannot be disinfected should be thrown away. Roundworm eggs aren’t typically susceptible to pesticides or chemicals. However, they can be killed instantly when doused with water that has been heated to the boiling point.
Once you have removed all of the feces, be sure to disinfect the area using boiling water. You should also use boiling water to disinfect any tools that you have used, including shovels, spades, buckets, and trowels.
If you discover raccoons in your yard or home, it is important to locate their latrine so that you can get rid of it. Raccoon latrines are filled with poop, some of which can be infected with roundworms. If you come into close contact with the poop, you might become infected with the roundworms. You can clean up the Raccoon latrines on your own or you can hire wildlife control specialists to do the job for you.