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How Dangerous is Raccoon Waste?

Once raccoons have invaded your home, you’ve got several things to worry about beyond their removal: Rabies, property destruction leading to fires and floods and contaminated food to name a few. Their waste is another major factor. Did you know raccoon feces and urine can contribute to the spread of diseases in your home?

Most homeowners rarely notice raccoon waste off the bat, as it looks similar to dog waste. However, the odor tends to be stronger, and it typically displays undigested particles of what they’ve eaten. Raccoons also tend to use communal areas – also called raccoon latrines – that may be indoors or outside. You’ll find them anywhere from the base of a tree to a deck, porch, attic or garage.
As you attempt to get rid of the raccoons, consider the following factors for your safety.

Diseases and Parasites

Raccoon feces carry several diseases and parasites, all of which can be harmful to your family’s health:

  • Roundworm: Also known as Baylisascaris Procyonis, this parasite is harmful to both humans and dogs, and is typically contracted through secondary consumption. If it goes untreated, roundworms can progress through the body to the brain, where the condition causes significant damage or death. As such, because it’s easy to pick up their eggs via raccoon waste, it’s recommended that you seek treatment right away, should you come in contact with it.
  • Salmonella: Being exposed to these bacteria can lead to diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain, but be warned: Its effects don’t surface right away. If you don’t try to get rid of salmonella, the bacteria may lay dormant for quite some time and may return in the right conditions.
  • Leptospirosis: Carried through raccoon urine, this disease can get into your home’s drinking water and cause a combination of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, general pain, headaches, bleeding of the lungs and kidney failure.
  • Giardia: Present in raccoon feces, this disease can spread to any surface in contact with a raccoon’s waste and even your home’s drinking water. Symptoms typically include nausea, abdominal cramps, dehydration and diarrhea.

Keep in mind that, while raccoons are known carriers of rabies, their waste won’t spread the disease. Transmission happens through contact with their saliva, including through a bite or even a scratch.

Preventing Infection

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people and those with developmental disabilities have the highest risk of infection, as they’re more likely to touch contaminated soil and put their fingers into their mouths. If you’ve found a latrine:

  • Consider cleaning the area to reduce infection risks. Eggs deposited in raccoon feces take anywhere from two to four weeks to transmit an infection.
  • Avoid contaminating your hands and clothing by wearing disposable gloves, rubber boots and a respirator.
  • Dispose of any waste, so that it doesn’t enter your household, contaminate other materials or result in accidental ingestion.

Rather than continue to endanger your health, work with Eliminate ‘Em to get the infestation under control and remove the remaining raccoon waste. To make an appointment, give us a call today.