Raccoons defecate in communal sites, much like humans. Just like we try to limit our waste activities to the bathroom, raccoons tend to pick out a spot to use as the bathroom together. These spots are referred to as Raccoon Latrines.
Common Latrine Sites
Raccoons will often use certain spots as their latrines. Common sites include bases of trees, hidden spots under decks/patios, sheds, attics, koi ponds, and pools. Raccoons will frequently use a few different sites as their latrines. They probably do this to limit the scent to specific areas of their domain. Raccoon feces are dark brown, tubular, and have a pungent odor.
Why are They Dangerous?
Raccoon Latrines are dangerous because of Baylisascaris procyonis, a dangerous roundworm that is commonly carried by raccoons. The roundworm can infect people when the eggs are ingested. The eggs can survive outside of the raccoon for over a month. Exposure to raccoon fecal material can put you at risk of becoming infected. Young children or developmentally disabled persons are at a higher risk of infection, as they are more likely to put contaminated fingers, soil, or other objects into their mouths. Stirring up dust and debris near the latrine can also increase risk of infection.
Exposure to the eggs can lead to infection. Symptoms usually become present after 1-4 weeks. Signs and symptoms can include: nausea, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of muscle control, blindness, and coma. It can potentially become fatal.
Hire A Professional For Clean-up
Do not attempt to clean up a Raccoon Latrine yourself. Hire a professional Wildlife Removal service to remove the feces and properly clean the affected area. Prompt removal and destruction of the feces will reduce risk of exposure and infection for you and your family.