Seen or heard raccoons moving around your property? There are high chances that you could be having a great deal of raccoon poop on your property. At first, raccoon droppings could seem nothing more than irritant to you. However, raccoon waste contains a variety of parasites and diseases, which might affect you, your family, and pets. Raccoon poop has the potential to cause real dangers. This is the main reason why you need to get eliminate raccoon droppings, the moment you see them. This article will talk about raccoon poop, its dangers, and how to clean it.
What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?
Before we look at the dangers of raccoon poop, let us first look at what raccoon poop looks like so that you can know what you are dealing with.
Raccoon poop is small in size, tubular shaped, dark in color, and has a pungent smell. A good way to identify raccoon feces is that it almost shows undigested particles of what it has been consuming. For instance, if a raccoon has eaten berries lately, you will find its poop having purple or reddish brown spots.
Additionally, raccoons defecate in communal areas and these regions are usually referred to as raccoon latrines. Some prime locations for raccoon latrines include: the base of trees, boulders, piles of wood stumps, and fallen logs. If the raccoons are indoors, they can choose to use your attic, garage, or porch. Identifying a raccoon latrine is very easy as far as you know the look of raccoon poop.
Dangers of Raccoon Poop
What are the diseases carried by raccoons?
Contracted though incidental consumption, roundworms from raccoons can be very harmful to humans and pets. These roundworms can find their way into the brain and cause massive damage, and even death. Immediate treatment is hence necessary in case this happens. Any person who might be exposed to latrines or visits places where raccoons visit is at risk. Developmentally disabled persons and young children are at a high risk of contracting roundworms since they are more likely to get into contact with contaminated items.
Symptoms of roundworms include loss of vision, tiredness, loss of muscle power, and coma.
This is an infection transmitted by most animals such as raccoons. Raccoons could have the infection in their droppings, and contaminate soil, water, and any surface where they defecate. In case of ingestion of contaminated items, humans can contract giardiasis.
Symptoms of giardiasis include dehydration, diarrhea, abdominal pains, and nausea.
This is a bacterial infection transmitted by most animals, including raccoons. The disease-causing bacteria is transmitted in raccoon’s urine. Although leptospirosis is not related to raccoon poop, it is good to note that the possibility of getting infected is a good reason to be concerned about raccoons and their body waste.
Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, diarrhea, aching muscles, headache, and jaundice.
Raccoon poop might also have salmonella bacteria. People can contract this bacteria after incidental ingestion of affected microorganisms. Note that this bacteria can stay dormant for quite a while during the dry season if proper cleaning is not done.
Symptoms of salmonella include fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Raccoons can also carry rabies. Therefore, you should be very careful not to come into contact with an infected raccoon. This is because the disease can be quite fatal.
A raccoon with rabies stumbles as if it is drunk, has aggressive behavior, and likes to attack inanimate pets or objects.
How to Reduce the Dangers of Raccoon Poop
If you have a raccoon problem, then you are at high chances of contracting raccoon-related diseases. The first thing you need to do here is to inspect your home. Make sure that there is nothing in your home that has the potential to cause diseases. Look for availability of raccoon latrines both indoors and outdoors.
After inspection, you are likely to find dead raccoons, droppings, and contaminated surfaces. Now, you will need to remove all these, and clean the affected areas. Have a look at more information on how to go about cleaning raccoon poop in the best way possible.
Cleaning Outdoor Raccoon Latrines
When cleaning outdoor raccoon latrines, avoid stirring up debris and dust. To clean, mist the raccoon latrine with some water from a spray can to reduce the amount of dust. Use a disposable rigid scoop or shovel to lift the droppings, and surrounding items that might be contaminated. Place these materials into a garbage bag. Close the bag tightly and place inside a garbage collection can. Ensure that the content cannot be accessed by raccoons.
Disinfect the affected surfaces with boiling water. A lot of chemicals are not suitable for killing roundworms. Therefore, if the soil is heavily contaminated, we advise that you discard the top layer of the soil and replace it.
Cleaning Indoor Raccoon Latrines
Remove indoor raccoon poop in the same way as directed for outdoor poop. If you cannot use boiling water or flame, use hot soapy water, and a wet sponge to wipe the residual fecal matter. When done, flush the dirty water down the toilet and discard the rags or sponge you used to clean. Also, disinfect the containers used with boiling water.
Note: Never attempt this removal step without using the right protective equipment and clothing. This is critical as it might cause extra disease conditions than it solves.
Raccoons can establish community latrines inside or outside your house. When this happens, you, your family, and pets are at a high risk of contracting diseases. Some of these conditions include leptospirosis, roundworms, and giardiasis. Due to this, you should work extremely hard to get rid of raccoon poop and any contaminated material. There are many methods you can use to go about this process. However, you need to use a lot of caution so as not to contaminate the diseases. With the information provided in this article, you should be well equipped to deal with raccoon poop in and around your house.