Raccoons often leave their feces in communal sites called latrines.
Because raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyanis, a roundworm that can harm people, and the roundworm eggs may be present in raccoon feces, their latrines should be removed and cleaned up whenever they might pose a health hazard. This the task requires extreme caution.
Where might a raccoon latrine be? If not around the base of a tree or on a log, rock, stump or woodpile, a raccoon latrine may be in an attic, garage, roof, deck or patio.
Raccoon latrines in or near a dwelling should be are considered a potential health hazard.
Best left to the professionals
It is safest to hire a professional to do the cleanup, but if you must do it yourself, follow the CDC’s recommendations [PDF] for doing it as safely as possible.
- Wear disposable gloves and either rubber boots that can be scrubbed or disposable booties that cover your shoes.
- Wear a N95-rated respirator (available at hardware stores).
- Use a spray bottle to mist the area to be cleaned up with water to minimize the dust that may be stirred up while cleaning up the latrine.
- Remove feces and feces-contaminated material using a shovel or inverted plastic bag; then, burn, bury or bag it and send it to a landfill.
- If outside, treat feces-soiled surfaces with boiling water.
- If inside, repeatedly wipe the feces-contaminated area with a damp sponge, rinsing the sponge frequently in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Flush the water down the toilet when done.
- Disinfect the shovel and bucket with boiling water. Place the sponge in a plastic bag and throw it away.
- Scrub boots with hot soapy water or throw away disposable booties in a plastic bag.
- Dispose of gloves in a plastic bag and wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water.
- Wash clothing thoroughly with hot water and detergent, and wash hands again after putting clothing into the wash.
- Do not bring wood on which raccoon feces have been found into the house. Burn such logs outside.