Identify and remove raccoon droppings

Identify and remove raccoon droppings

the essentials in brief

  • Raccoon poop looks different depending on the season and the food you eat. Indigestible seeds and hair are typical. Raccoons use fixed toilet places, the so-called latrines.
  • Other animal solutions differ from raccoon droppings in shape and size. Images can be used for comparison.
  • Raccoon droppings can be contaminated with roundworm eggs and larvae. Humans can become infected, but are considered false hosts.
  • Protective measures are necessary when cleaning. All smells must be removed so that the animals do not use their latrines again.

What does raccoon poop look like?

The legacies of the small bears have a typical appearance to the trained eye. As a layperson, identifying the culprit is more of a challenge. Pictures of raccoon droppings can help with the search. But the environment in which you find the heaps also provides clues.

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raccoon droppings

The indigestible residue left in the raccoon's feces depends on the food eaten. The menu of these small bears is based on the seasonal offer. In the spring it is mainly worms, beetles and other insects that are eaten away, while in the autumn it is preferred to eat high-calorie foods such as nuts and fruit.

Raccoons are omnivores:

  • Invertebrates : 40 percent
  • Plants : 33 percent
  • Vertebrates : 27 percent

Recognize and distinguish

The solution of raccoons can be found in so-called latrines. These are preferably set up in elevated locations such as stacked firewood. Thick branches are an ideal latrine place, which is usually shared by several raccoons. Raccoon droppings are reminiscent of what a small dog left behind. In autumn, indigestible seeds such as cherry or sunflower seeds are often recognizable. In addition to a pungent odor, hair is typical of the aftermath. The first clues to the polluter are provided by special habits:

typical habitcoloring
racoonfrequently used toilet spacevariable shades of brown
dogavoid raised areasvariable, often brown
catFeces are buried in the sandbrown
martenfrequently used toilet spacedark brown to black

Is raccoon droppings poisonous?

The parasite spectrum of the raccoons living in Europe is very low compared to American animals. The raccoon roundworm is a potentially dangerous parasite for humans. This settles in the small intestine of the animals, so that affected raccoons excrete eggs with the faeces. Diseases are extremely rare in humans, however, as they are not a suitable host for the roundworm.

Possible consequences after smear infection:

  • Destruction of the tissue through the wandering movements of the roundworms
  • Organ disorders such as blindness
  • often fatal course after attack of the central nervous system


Way of life of the raccoon roundworm

The raccoon is the main host of the roundworm and can accommodate up to 200 organisms without being significantly affected. An infected bear excretes between 20,000 and 26,000 roundworm eggs with every gram of faeces. They last for many years and develop into infectious larvae in moderate temperatures and humidity conditions.

Intermediate hosts:

  • mostly small animals
  • often rodents and birds
  • serve as food for raccoons

If larvae get into a suitable intermediate host, they penetrate the intestinal wall and nestle in tissue and organs. Serious damage to the nervous system can occur, resulting in disorders of balance and coordination. The eyes and brain can be severely damaged. Comatose states with fatal consequences are possible. Larger pets and mammals usually survive an infection without consequences because they represent a false host and not food for raccoons.

Life cycle of roundworms

Eliminate raccoon droppings

If you find raccoon droppings in the garden or in the attic, you should thoroughly clean the toilet areas. It is important that you protect yourself from a possible infection with roundworms. The more thoroughly you go about cleaning, the longer the success will last. This also includes a follow-up.

There is an increased risk of roundworm infection when cleaning latrines.


  1. Put on rubber gloves and a face mask
  2. Sweep up extensive latrine spaces or clean them with a powerful vacuum cleaner
  3. Pick up isolated heaps with kitchen roll
  4. Put leftovers in a garbage bag and close it tightly

Protecting your hands is a top priority when cleaning latrines. This will reduce the risk of roundworm smear infection. In dried excrement there can be persistent eggs that spread through dust particles in the room air. With a protective mask you prevent the inhalation of contaminated dust particles.


Clean the soles of your shoes after work so that you do not spread germs or carry them into your home.

Remove traces of urine

The urine is drawn deep into the wood, making cleaning particularly time-consuming. Conventional means of odor control are usually not sufficient, as the smells are masked, but the cause persists. Many pet owners have had good experiences with “BactoDess”, which is based on the activity of microorganisms.

Important ingredients of BactoDess:

  • Water, fatty alcohol and alcohol
  • Fragrances: Benzyl Salicylate
  • Benzisothiazolinone, Methylchlorisothiazolione and Methylisothiazolinone

The microscopic creatures break down organic substances and contribute to their decomposition, so that the odor-causing cause is eliminated. A disadvantage is the comparatively long exposure time. A cheaper alternative is the all-purpose cleaner “Green Devil”, which works on an enzyme basis.


The product is used like a cleaning agent. To treat drawn-in odor sources, the surface must be cleaned thoroughly before the first treatment. A 1: 1 dilution with water is recommended. Then spray the surfaces or pour the agent generously onto the substrate. Additional dampening of wooden floors is necessary if the urine has already penetrated deeply.


Clean the latrine with boiling water or, if possible, with a flame. Roundworm eggs are resistant to high temperatures and only die at more than 62 degrees. By treating the surfaces in the area with a disinfectant, you will reduce pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Changing the gloves regularly ensures that you do not contaminate any objects or work utensils during more complex cleaning work.

  • shower after major activities
  • wash hands thoroughly after minor clean-up operations
  • If possible, wash worn clothing with whites

How to keep raccoons out of the attic

raccoon droppings

With the help of fine scents, the animals find their old latrine place again, even if it has been thoroughly cleaned. As a result, you may find raccoon droppings in the same place a short time after cleaning. To prevent this, you have to distribute intensely smelling fragrances on the surfaces and renew them regularly:

  • Spray an aqueous solution of pepper or chilli powder
  • use essential oils such as mint or eucalyptus oil
  • Hang up mothballs


Fragrance tokens are also distributed outside the latrine. To keep raccoons out of the attic permanently, you should close all entrances and protect the outer walls with smooth surfaces.

frequently asked Questions

Why do raccoons come to town?

Similar to blackbirds, hedgehogs and foxes, raccoons benefit from the living conditions in the city. Here they find food in abundance that humans make available. There are numerous hiding places in unused attics, which act as winter quarters, resting places and rearing places. The mammals get into the hiding places via downpipes and rain gutters, adjacent trees or green facades.

Extensive menu:

  • Easily accessible earthworms on short mowed lawns
  • neglected fruit trees on old orchards
  • Leftovers in garbage cans and on compost heaps

How do raccoons live?

raccoon droppings

The small bears are active during twilight and at night. In natural environments they seek shelter in tree hollows. Roof trusses and garden huts in residential areas serve as alternative hiding places for cultural followers. The mating season begins in January and continues into March. Young animals are born between April and May. They stay with their mother until the next breeding period before they occupy new territories. From November onwards, the animals retire to hibernate.

Does the raccoon have natural enemies?

Since there are hardly any large predators in Europe, the raccoon is comparatively safe here and can spread unhindered. Viruses and bacteria represent the greatest dangers for new residents. It can lead to epidemic-like epidemics, which severely collapse the populations. Due to their high reproduction rate, raccoons are able to compensate for losses within a short time.

Do hunting measures against raccoons help?

There is no point in capturing or even killing animals on your own property. If a raccoon colony has developed in the area, new animals will keep moving up. It is therefore more productive to make your own garden as unattractive as possible for the small bears. Put scents, noise and light away from unwanted visitors. For a long-term solution, you must eliminate all potential sources of food and make hiding places inaccessible.

How old can a raccoon get?

The life expectancy of the small bears is around 16 years. Natural factors ensure that the majority of wildlife only live a few years. There is a high mortality rate in young animals. About half of all raccoons born in a year die before their first birthday. Reasons for this are the premature death of the mother or a lack of fat reserves in the first winter. In older animals, the annual death rate varies between ten and 30 percent. Most of them fall victim to road traffic or hunters in Germany. These factors reduce life expectancy to up to three years.