What is a raccoon latrine?
Raccoons defecate in communal sites, called latrines. Raccoon feces usually are dark and tubular and have a pungent odor. Latrines may be found at or on: trees (around the base and at forks), raised horizontal surfaces (such as fallen logs, stumps, woodpiles, or large rocks), decks or patios, attics, garages flat roof etc.
Raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm that can be harmful to people. Roundworm eggs are passed in the feces of infected raccoons, and people become infected by ingesting eggs. Anyone who is exposed to environments where raccoons frequent is potentially at risk. Young children or developmentally disabled persons are at highest risk for infection as they may be more likely to put contaminated fingers, soil, or objects into their mouths.
If you have found a raccoon latrine in or near your home, call Wildlife Detectives to have the problem addressed by professionals to reduce the risk of contamination.
If you choose to clean the site yourself, here are some tips to assist you:
•Take care to avoid contaminating hands and clothes.
- Wear (PPE): disposable gloves, Wear rubber boots that can be scrubbed or cover your shoes with disposable booties that can be thrown away afterwards, so that you do not bring eggs into your household.
- Wear a N95-rated respirator (available at local hardware stores) if working in a confined space to prevent accidental ingestion of eggs or other harmful materials.