Whether we like it or not, raccoons will always be present, in large numbers, in our environment. As they search for food and shelter, they are bound to end up in our backyards and in some cases, inside our homes.
As raccoons travel within our compounds, they tend to leave behind feces in areas commonly known as latrines. They are known to defecate in the same place and these piles of feces and urine are called latrines. The most common latrine locations for raccoons are usually in elevated areas but they could also be found at ground level. They include, rooftop, under decks, tree base, attic, and/or garages.
Why are feces dangerous? Well, raccoon feces may carry a number of deadly diseases. A terrifying 95% of raccoon feces contain the parasite Baylisacaris procyonis or Roundworm. Roundworm infested raccoon feces can result in infectious diseases in humans and pets alike. Surprisingly, the roundworm does not affect the raccoons but can cause serious neurological damage or even death in humans.
We can only get infected when we are exposed to the parasite’s eggs. This puts young children at great risk of infection as they often play outdoors where they can be in direct contact with the feces. Their tendency of putting almost everything in the mouth puts them at even greater risk.
These roundworm’s eggs are pretty resilient and they can survive in both extremely cold and hot temperatures. As soon as the eggs dry, they become airborne. You can get these roundworms by either breathing in once the eggs become airborne or by simply touching the feces. Below are some of the diseases spread by these raccoons feces.
As mentioned earlier, they are contained in the raccoon’s feces. Once the eggs get into our bodies, they hatch into larvae and spread to different parts of the bodies. Some of the symptoms include:
Loss of muscle control.TirednessLoss of visionLack of coordinationComa
Also contained in raccoon’s feces, this organism can contaminate water or anything it gets into contact with. We can also get infected by swallowing the feces. The symptoms include:
This is a bacterial infection caused by both raccoon’s urine and feces. Humans can contract it as soon as they come into contact with the droppings through open wounds. Among the symptoms experienced are:
High feverMeningitisKidney failureNauseaDiarrhea
Raccoon’s feces can also contain salmonella bacteria. Humans contract this by ingesting the droppings. This could result in a number of health problems such as: abdominal pain, high fever, diarrhea.
To avoid all this, you will be required to take precautions when dealing with raccoon feces. Wear appropriate long-sleeved clothing together with thick gloves. Also, make sure your skin is completely covered to avoid coming into contact with the feces. A breathing mask will also come in handy as it will keep you from inhaling the airborne particles.
Disposing of the feces is also crucial. Ensure that the droppings are put in a sealed garbage bag. Place that bag in another sealed garbage bag. This will ensure the droppings remain inside. You can also, bury the feces.