Raccoons can be a real pain when they decide to take up residence on your property. Not content with destroying your attic and upending your trash cans, raccoons create a health hazard by establishing communal latrines, which you will need to clean up and you need to call us for professional raccoon feces removal services.
What is a raccoon latrine?
A raccoon latrine is a name that’s given to a designated area, which is used by a group of the animals as a communal defecation site.
Popular latrine locations include:
- In the base of and around the forks of trees
- On fallen logs, stumps, rocks, and woodpiles
- On your deck or patio
- In your attic
- In your garage
Raccoon feces not only smells bad and looks unsightly, but it can also present a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets.
Why should you clean up a raccoon latrine?
Raccoons carry roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis), which can be passed on to humans in the feces of animals that are infected with the parasite. Anyone who has raccoons on their property could potentially contract roundworms. Young children are most at risk, as they are more likely than adults to put their fingers into their mouths after having touched soil or other contaminated objects.
Also, domestic pets can contract roundworms if they come into contact with raccoon feces, leading to potential health problems for your dog or cat.
If you find a raccoon latrine on your property, cleaning the area could prevent infection. It takes around two to four weeks for roundworm eggs in feces to become infective, so promptly cleaning up may help to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
Before you begin getting down and dirty cleaning up a raccoon latrine, take note of the following tips to keep you safe:
- Wear disposable gloves to protect your hands from contamination.
- Wear long rubber boots that you can scrub, or use disposable booties to cover your footwear.
- Before you go back into your home, scrub and disinfect your footwear so that you don’t accidentally carry roundworm eggs back into your house.
- If the raccoon latrine is located in a confined space, such as your attic, wear a respirator so that you don’t inhale bacteria and other viruses that may be present in the raccoon feces.
How to clean an outdoor raccoon latrine
If raccoons have chosen to create a latrine outside on your property, here’s how to clean it up.
What you’ll need
- Plastic bags
- Boiling water
- Propane torch
How to do it
- Start by using a shovel to remove raccoon feces and other contaminated material. Put the debris into a plastic bag.
- Seal the bag with a secure knot and put it in the trash for disposal in a landfill. Alternatively, burn the debris well away from your home.
- Chemicals and bleach won’t kill roundworm eggs. Instead, use boiling water or a propane torch to disinfect patios, decks, and other soiled surfaces.
- Use boiling water to disinfect shovel blades.
- Be sure to dispose of gloves and shoe covers, and wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and antibacterial soap.
- When you’ve finished the cleanup, change your clothes and machine-wash them on a hot temperature setting, using detergent.
Using a propane torch to sterilize raccoon-soiled areas
Most household chemicals won’t kill roundworm eggs and are not effective for outdoor use. However, intense heat kills roundworm eggs instantly.
To be sure that any roundworm eggs that may be lingering in the soil are destroyed, use a fork to turn over the ground, flaming the area each time with a propane torch.
Although it’s generally safe to flame bricks, concrete surfaces, metal shovels, and other garden implements, never use direct heat on any areas that could catch fire or melt.
Before you use a propane torch on a latrine site, ask your local fire department for safety advice and for details of regulations that apply in your state.
Never use a propane torch inside your attic or garage!
How to clean an indoor raccoon latrine
A raccoon latrine in your attic or garage is very unpleasant and should be cleaned up and removed as soon as it’s discovered.
What you’ll need
- Spray bottle and water
- Hot water
- Dish soap
- Plastic bags
- A sponge
How to do it
- Use a spray bottle filled with clean water to mist the latrine area lightly. That prevents contaminated dust and debris from flying up into your face as you work.
- Fill a bucket with hot water, and add a generous amount of dish soap.
- Remove all feces and contaminated material, using a shovel. Put the debris into a plastic bag. Place the bag and its contents in the trash or burn it.
- Next, take a damp sponge and wipe the soiled area over, rinsing the sponge frequently in the bucket of hot water.
- Flush all the dirty water down the toilet.
- Use boiling water to disinfect the bucket.
- Put your soiled sponge into a plastic bag and toss it into the trash.
- Wash your hands thoroughly in hot running water and antibacterial handwash.
- Dispose of all disposable gloves and shoe covers in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and place it in the trash.
- Finally, be sure to wash all your clothes using a hot temperature setting and plenty of washing detergent.
Be sure to clean up a raccoon latrine as soon as you discover it. Raccoon feces can carry roundworm eggs, which could present a danger to your family and pets.
If you have a problem with raccoons taking up residence in or around your home and you’re concerned that the animals’ habits may be presenting a health hazard, always contact a local wildlife pest removal firm for advice. Wildlife pest removal technicians are experienced, highly trained, and fully licensed to deal with these nuisance pests safely and humanely.