Raccoons are nocturnal, thus it’s difficult to spot them easily during the day. But, raccoon poops and urine smell are key indicators in case of invasion.
So, what does raccoon poop look like? Well, raccoon poop is brown in color (dark to light brown) and appears like an elongated pinky finger on the ground.
- The poop’s size is about 3 to 6 inches long. Raccoon droppings can be piled in a cluster form or slightly scattered within the area.
Raccoon poop (fresh) has a strong odor that can be detected from a couple of feet away. Raccoon poop is very contagious as it houses roundworms and bacteria that transmit diseases such as hantavirus and histoplasmosis.
Details: What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?
Raccoon poop is usually brown in color (this may vary from light to dark brown, depending on the climatic conditions).
- In addition, the poop color is slightly altered by the type of food which the raccoon had eaten previously.
At times, you will notice a black spot on the raccoon droppings or darker brown outer part than the interior. Nevertheless, the poop should never be black or yellow whatsoever.
Related: How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Unlike cat or rat poop, fresh raccoon droppings release a strong unpleasant smell, which can spread over 100 meters away.
- Usually, the scent increases with freshness and fades as the poop dries out.
You will also note the smell of urine (for fresh raccoon poop) though this may not be as sharp as that of fresh droppings.
Raccoon poop is tubular/cylindrical in shape (like a solid pipe). It appears like an elongated pinky finger on the ground.
- The diameter size of the rod-like poop ranges between a half to one inch depending on the age of the raccoon (baby or adult raccoon).
Raccoon poop length ranges between 3 to 6 inches – this measurement may change slightly depending on the raccoon age as well.
The weight of raccoon poop is a variable, which is estimated between a quarter to one kilogram.
- The baby raccoon droppings could weigh as low as 5 grams, while the adult raccoon poop could measure far beyond one kilogram.
The variation in the number of raccoon droppings is determined by the availability of food, the health condition of the raccoon (sick raccoon droppings are less in weight), or gender (female raccoon poop weighs more than that of male counterpart).
Unlike other wild animals like squirrels, raccoon poop is piled/clustered in a specific area within its habitat.
- These are areas designated by raccoons for excretion purposes only and are treated as latrines where all other members of that raccoon family are expected to release bowels.
Further, raccoon poop breaks at a given length (about 3 to 6 inches) during excretion – it’s not a continuous one like in the case of the opossum.
- Indeed, you will find that the poop is piled up on top of each broken part.
Nevertheless, in arid areas, raccoon droppings may break/disintegrate (due to heat) and spread out though this may not go beyond a hundred-meter radius.
Often, you will find raccoon poop hidden in tall grass, shrubs, untrimmed bushes, lawns, tall flower beds, garbage bins, underground holes in open fields, riversides, or even ponds.
- The choice of “raccoon latrine” depends on the climatic condition of the area and the availability of food sources.
NB: When identifying raccoon poop, always have personal protective gears on for your safety.
Related: Smells that Raccoons Hate?
Which Risks are Caused by Raccoon Poop?
Raccoon poop is associated with various risks as highlighted below:
1. Houses Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a common bacteria found in raccoon urine.
- Upon contact with cut body parts or wounds, the bacteria penetrate the body and cause a fatal kidney infection.
In extreme cases, Leptospirosis causes meningitis, which leads to lethal body somatic cells failure.
2. Causes Giardiasis
Giardiasis is a severe intestinal infection, which is caused by direct contact with raccoon droppings.
Upon detection, Giardiasis should be treated instantly in order to avoid traces of microorganisms that denature specialized body cells.
3. Bear Roundworms
Baylisascaris procyonis (round worms) are borne in raccoon poop and transmitted through direct contact with fecal matter.
- Ascariasis is easily transferred through their eggs (inhale), which later find their way to various body organs (intestine).
Usually, roundworms affect eyes, brains, or lungs and cause major damages to the vital organ system leading to death eventually.
4. Carry Salmonella
Salmonella is a bacteria borne in raccoon droppings, which causes salmonellosis disease.
- When you touch raccoon poop, the salmonella bacteria get into your body through wounds or any other openings.
Normally, salmonellosis affects the food ingestion process, which may lead to seizure if not attended to in time
How to Clean Raccoon Poop
Raccoon poop cleaning/removal process is critical and should be undertaken professionally as highlighted below:
- Always wear protective gear (gloves, respirator, safety shoes, overall, and head cover) before you begin the raccoon fecal removal process.
- Carefully, use a shovel or an inverted plastic bag when scooping.
- Seal the poop bag tight before transporting it to the disposal area
- Bury the droppings in a deep hole and cover the top with a sufficient amount of soil
- Treat the scooped area with raccoon poop disinfectant chemical – twice of thrice
- Wash shovels and gloves (used in the scooping process) thoroughly – to prevent any infection.
- For indoor cases, clean the surface with soapy detergents
- Clean all protective gears in high-temperature soapy detergents – helps kill any salmonella bacteria in the attire.
- Finally, take a warm bath after the entire process
Related: What Do Groundhogs Eat?
How to Avoid Being Infected by Raccoon Poop
The following are possible ways of preventing yourself from being infected by raccoon urine or poop:
- Never touch raccoon poop or urine directly
- Keep off raccoons from your home or yard
- Always keep your pets indoors at night
- Keep your garbage bins safe or secure with tight lids – prevents raccoons from accessing into them
- Never feed wild raccoon or pet raccoon directly whatsoever
- Avoid getting into contact with soil, vegetation, or water that is contaminated with raccoon urine
- Undertake special cleaning when removing raccoon fecal matter
- Thoroughly clean your grills and barbecue after use – they attract raccoons a lot
- Raccoon fed food should be disposed of far away from human reach
Related: Life Expectancy of Squirrels
What is the Best Raccoon Repellant?
Raccoons are invasive and dangerous animals if not eliminated. The actual removal process could be such a cumbersome task. Therefore, consider using raccoon repellents such as:
- Garlic Juices and Garlic bulb
- Agitated peppermint oil
- Raccoon eviction fluids
- Use of predator urine – it scares raccoons off
- Sprinkle Epsom salt
- Pepper and onion mixture
- Cinnamon solution
- Hot pepper concoction
- Grounded black pepper
- Raccoon repellant spray
Raccoon Prevention Tips
The following are ways of prevention raccoons and moles from visiting your place:
- Keep the yard neat – minimizes raccoon hideouts
- Reinforce possible raccoon entry points such as vents and screens – limit any openings
- Remove food sources from access and visibility – keep food in closets it locked granary
- Plant raccoon repellant plants in your compound – flowers or hedges
- Keep your pet’s food enclosed after feeding
In summary, what does raccoon poop look like, the direct answer is its round and elongated solid lump?
- The general appearance of raccoon poop resembles a pinky finger that measures about 3 to 6 inches on the ground.
- The outward color is brown (which ranges from light to dark depending on the weather).
Further, raccoon droppings may either be piled in a cluster form or slightly scattered – a few millimeters apart.