Can Raccoon Poop Make You Sick?

Can Raccoon Poop Make You Sick? featured image

Have you ever wondered if raccoon poop can make you sick? Well, today we’re going to find out! Raccoons are cute and furry animals that live in forests and sometimes even in cities. They have a special place they use to go to the bathroom called a latrine, where they all poop together. But here’s the important question: can their poop make us sick?

The answer is yes, it can! Raccoon poop may contain a harmful parasite called Baylisascaris. This parasite can make people very sick if they accidentally swallow it. But don’t worry, getting sick from raccoon poop is not very common. It usually happens if we touch the poop or soil that has the parasite eggs and then put our hands in our mouths.

So, it’s important to remember to always wash our hands after playing outside or touching things in nature. This way, we can stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors without getting sick from raccoon poop.

Raccoon Feces: Identifying and Handling

Physical appearance of raccoon feces

Raccoon droppings, also known as scat, can vary in appearance depending on the raccoon’s diet. They are typically cylindrical in shape and range in size from 3 to 5 inches long. The color of raccoon feces can vary from dark brown to black, and they often have a shiny, moist appearance. You may notice undigested food particles, such as seeds or berry skins, in raccoon droppings.

Differentiating raccoon feces from other animal droppings

It’s important to be able to distinguish raccoon feces from other animal droppings to accurately identify potential health risks. Raccoon droppings can be mistaken for those of other animals, such as dogs or cats. However, there are a few key differences to look out for. Raccoon feces are typically larger and have a more tubular shape compared to dog or cat feces. Additionally, raccoon droppings often contain undigested food particles, which is not commonly seen in the droppings of domestic pets.

Potential health risks associated with raccoon feces

Raccoon feces can pose health risks to humans and pets due to the presence of parasites and diseases. One of the main concerns is raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis), a parasitic worm that can infect humans if ingested. The eggs of the roundworm are shed in raccoon feces and can survive in the environment for years. Accidental ingestion of these eggs can lead to serious health issues, including neurological damage.

Transmission and symptoms of raccoon roundworm infection

Raccoon roundworm can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with raccoon feces or by touching contaminated surfaces, soil, or objects. Ingesting the eggs can lead to a condition called visceral larva migrans, where the larvae migrate through the body and cause damage to organs and tissues. Symptoms of raccoon roundworm infection can vary but may include nausea, fatigue, loss of coordination, and even blindness in severe cases.

Other potential diseases or parasites in raccoon feces

In addition to raccoon roundworm, raccoon feces can also contain other disease-causing bacteria or parasites. These may include leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and giardiasis. These diseases can be contracted through direct contact with raccoon feces or by consuming contaminated food or water.

Proper handling and disposal of raccoon feces

When it comes to handling raccoon feces, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from potential health risks. Always wear gloves and a face mask when cleaning up raccoon droppings to prevent direct contact and inhalation of any harmful particles. Use a shovel or scoop to carefully collect the feces and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Dispose of the bag in a secure garbage bin or contact your local waste management for proper disposal instructions. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after handling raccoon feces.

Recommended disinfection methods

After removing raccoon feces, it’s crucial to disinfect the area to eliminate any remaining bacteria or parasites. Use a mixture of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) to clean the affected surfaces or objects. Allow the bleach solution to sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water. This will help kill any potential pathogens and reduce the risk of contamination.

Now that you know how to identify raccoon feces and handle them safely, let’s explore some ways to prevent raccoon-related health risks.

Preventing Raccoon-Related Health Risks

Minimizing raccoon presence around your property

Raccoons can be attracted to residential areas due to the availability of food and shelter. To reduce the likelihood of raccoon encounters and minimize health risks, it’s important to take certain precautions. Start by removing attractants such as unsecured garbage, pet food left outside, or open compost bins. Raccoons are notorious for raiding trash cans, so make sure your bins are secure and inaccessible to them. Consider using locks or bungee cords to keep lids tightly shut. Additionally, inspect your property for potential entry points like holes or gaps in fences, crawl spaces, or attics. Seal these openings to prevent raccoons from making themselves at home.

Educating children and pets about raccoon safety

Teaching children about the potential dangers of raccoon feces is crucial. Explain to them that raccoon droppings may contain harmful parasites and that they should never touch or play near them. Encourage kids to wash their hands thoroughly after playing outside, especially if they’ve been in areas where raccoons are known to frequent. Similarly, it’s important to supervise pets and prevent them from coming into contact with raccoon waste. Dogs are especially prone to sniffing and even eating raccoon feces, so keep a close eye on them during walks or outdoor playtime.

Seeking professional assistance for raccoon infestations

If you suspect a raccoon infestation on your property or notice signs of repeated raccoon activity, it’s best to seek professional help. Wildlife control experts are trained to handle raccoon removal safely and effectively. Attempting to handle a raccoon infestation on your own can be dangerous and may lead to further health risks. These professionals can assess the situation, identify entry points, and implement proper measures to prevent future raccoon intrusions. Remember, it’s always better to leave raccoon removal to the experts and avoid potential complications.

Additional Information and Resources

Raising public awareness about raccoon-related health risks is essential for the well-being of communities. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide valuable information on raccoon-related diseases and prevention methods. You can visit their website for detailed guidelines and resources. Additionally, local wildlife control services and animal control departments can offer assistance and advice specific to your area. Be proactive in staying informed, as knowledge is the key to protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from potential health hazards associated with raccoon feces.

Additional Information and Resources

To learn more about raccoon-related health risks and how to handle them, check out these helpful resources:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on raccoon roundworm and other zoonotic diseases associated with raccoons.

2. Wildlife control services or local agencies: Contact your local wildlife control services or government agencies to seek assistance with raccoon removal and prevention.

3. Animal control departments or organizations: Reach out to your local animal control departments or organizations for guidance on dealing with raccoon-related issues in your area.


1. Can raccoon poop make you sick?

Yes, raccoon poop can potentially make you sick. Raccoons can carry various diseases and parasites, such as roundworms, which are commonly found in their feces. These microscopic eggs can be harmful if accidentally ingested or inhaled. It is important to avoid contact with raccoon feces and take necessary precautions if cleaning it up.

2. How can I protect myself from raccoon poop-related illnesses?

To protect yourself from potential illnesses related to raccoon poop, it is important to follow these guidelines:
– Avoid direct contact with raccoon feces or contaminated areas.
– Wear gloves, masks, and protective clothing when cleaning up raccoon droppings.
– Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling raccoon feces or contaminated materials.
– Disinfect the affected areas properly using a bleach solution or other appropriate disinfectant.
– Keep children and pets away from areas contaminated with raccoon feces.

3. What should I do if I come into contact with raccoon poop?

If you come into contact with raccoon poop, it is recommended to:
– Avoid panicking or creating unnecessary dust by sweeping or vacuuming the area.
– Carefully remove any visible feces using disposable gloves and place it in a sealed bag.
– Clean the affected area with a bleach solution or other suitable disinfectant.
– Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
– If you have concerns about potential exposure to diseases, consult a healthcare professional who can provide appropriate guidance and advice.


Raccoon feces can indeed pose potential health risks to humans and pets. The presence of raccoon droppings can indicate the presence of raccoon roundworm, which can cause severe illness if ingested. Additionally, other diseases and parasites may be present in raccoon feces, further increasing the risk of contamination.

It is crucial to handle and dispose of raccoon feces properly to minimize the risk of infection. Wearing personal protective equipment and following step-by-step instructions for cleanup and disinfection can help ensure safety. Taking preventive measures to minimize raccoon presence around your property, such as removing attractants and securing potential entry points, is also essential.

Education plays a vital role in preventing raccoon-related health risks. Teaching children to avoid contact with raccoon feces and supervising pets to prevent ingestion of waste can significantly reduce the chances of infection. In cases of raccoon infestations, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from wildlife control experts who employ safe and effective removal methods.

Public health awareness regarding raccoon-related risks is crucial for ensuring the safety of individuals and communities. Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wildlife control services, and animal control departments can provide valuable information and resources to help address raccoon-related concerns.

By understanding raccoon behavior, properly handling and disposing of raccoon feces, and taking preventive measures, individuals can minimize the risk of getting sick from raccoon poop. Stay informed, stay safe, and protect yourself and your loved ones from potential health hazards associated with raccoons.

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