Raccoons are more intelligent than they are often given credit for. Their traditional habitat was in woodlands, but as these have been eroded, they have moved into urban and rural areas too find food and places to nest. They are able to solve problems and will remember things for up to three years. If they have found food just once on your property, they will return, and you could find yourself with an infestation of them.
They tend to be social animals who will live together in groups, usually all female or male apart from in the mating season. Their young, known as kits, are generally born in the spring and will stay with their mother until the fall. In captivity, they have been known to live for as long as 20 years but left in the wild their life span tends to be just 2 or 3 years. This is because of other predators, diseases, hunting, and the likelihood of being run over by a motor vehicle.
They have a ringed tail and facial mask that will leave you in no doubt that it is a raccoon if you see one near your home.
What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?
As raccoons tend to be nocturnal animals, you may not be aware that they have invaded your property unless to come across some raccoon feces. If you are wondering ‘what does raccoon poop look like’ so that you recognize it, it is not unlike that deposited by cats and dogs. The main difference is that you may well see undigested foods in it, such as corn kernel or berries.
They tend to establish latrines, which they will use repeatedly. This does mean that unlike the poop from other animals, you will usually find a lot of raccoon poop in one place. Often times, homeowners will find raccoon poop in their attic which is indicative of a raccoon problem.
Is Raccoon Poop Dangerous?
The simple answer is yes. There are several diseases that can be passed on to both humans and other animals from raccoon feces and it is important that any infestation of this animal is dealt with without delay. Just some of the diseases it can cause include:
As raccoon poop can infect water and soil, it is simple for this infection to spread. The symptoms in humans can be diarrhea, dehydration, stomach cramps, and nausea. Anyone displaying these symptoms should get immediate medical attention to prevent the infection from getting worse.
Roundworms lay millions of eggs in the intestines of raccoons and these are passed out in their poop and urine. Anyone infected with these can become quite ill within a week or so. They will start to get muscle aches, fatigue, possibly liver problems, and some sufferers have been known to fall into a coma before they have received medical treatment.
This infection comes from the urine of the raccoon rather than from raccoon poop. It can make anyone ill but for dogs can be fatal. In fact, in some countries, it is normal procedure to give dogs an annual vaccination to help prevent them from developing this. The symptoms can be a bit flu-like, as well as other common signs such as an upset stomach, headaches, and jaundice.
This is just three examples of problems that raccoon feces and urine can be responsible for, and it really is not wise to ignore it when you find any on your property.
How To Get Rid Of Raccoon Poop
You could try to clean the raccoon poop away yourself, but this is not recommended. You only need a tiny amount to get stuck down a nail or on your clothes for an infection to take hold. You also need to think about how the surrounding soil and water could be contaminated, and that is more difficult to deal with.
As with most infections, prevention is better than cure and you should start by raccoon proofing your property. Ensure that there are no openings where they can enter your home, animal flaps included. Never feed them, as this will encourage them to return and never put your own pet’s food outside. If you and your family have eaten outside, make sure that no bits of food are left lying around. If a raccoon cannot find anything to eat it is likely to move on to look for food elsewhere.
If they have already established themselves in and around your property, it is best to bring in the professionals to deal with them. They could have found their way into your attic, barn, crawlspace, garage, chimney, or nested anywhere on your property. The first thing a wildlife control specialist will do is to check out all the places so that they are certain anywhere that needs to be treated is.
There could be dead or live raccoons and whichever they are you want them and their latrines removed. The professionals will remove them in a humane manner, as of much of a nuisance as they can be, they should not come to any harm. They will use capture methods that are safe and at the same time remove any latrines they have established.
Once that has been done, any contaminated water and soil will be disinfected with special compounds that will kill any larvae and eggs. It is also important to spray the whole area with an insecticide to ensure that no ticks or fleas or left that could give your pets a problem.
The operatives that carry out this work will be wearing protective clothing to prevent them from becoming infected. If in the meantime, you have come into contact with raccoon poop or urine, you should immediately wash your hands in hot soapy water, taking care to clean under your nails especially.
If you can hear noises in your attic or walls or have spotted a pile of raccoon poop on your property, give us a call today. At Precision Wildlife Removal we offer an emergency 24-hour service, as well as our usual daytime inspection and removal services. We offer human and effective Raccoon Removal Services to customers throughout Indiana.