Solved! What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like? (2022)

Unwelcome guests are never fun, especially if they leave traces on your property. If you’re asking yourself, “What does raccoon poop look like?” follow the tips below to determine what you’re dealing with.

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Q: I recently spotted feces in my yard that doesn’t look like it came from a dog or cat. I suspect that it’s raccoon feces, but what does raccoon poop look like?

A: Although similar in size and shape, raccoon poop can appear different in its contents than the droppings of household pets. What does raccoon poop look like? Well, it’s often dark, long, and tubular, similar to a dog or cat poop. However, raccoon droppings can also contain visible evidence of their diet and invisible pathogens that are dangerous to pets and humans. Determining whether you have raccoons visiting your property or just a stray neighborhood cat can make all the difference in deciding what precautions to take when determining how to stop raccoons from pooping in your yard.

Raccoon feces is 2 to 3 inches long, and it’s dark and tubular in shape.

When looking at raccoon poop images or directly at scat in your yard, raccoon poop may not look much different than the droppings of a small or medium-size dog. Their feces are usually about half an inch to an inch in diameter and tubular in shape, typically with a break in the middle. The feces are dark in color. The exterior of raccoon poop might look brittle, almost similar in texture to tree bark.

While you may not mind having a friendly outdoor cat visit your property, it’s unlikely that the poop you’re finding outdoors comes from a cat. Unlike dogs and raccoons, outdoor cats will bury their poop as a way to avoid unwanted attention from potential predators.

While an individual piece of raccoon poop is probably nothing to worry about, a pile of it can be cause for concern, according to Thomas Ward, training specialist and biologist at Critter Control. “Raccoons exhibit a behavior called ‘using a latrine,’” he explains. “They pick a spot that is the designated ‘bathroom,’ so you might start to notice a lot of droppings piling up in one area.” As raccoons are social animals and tend to stick together for security, these latrines will usually be quite large, especially if the raccoons have been in the area for a while. A raccoon latrine signals extensive raccoon presence and likely will require intervention if they’re encroaching on your property. An unpleasant odor will also accompany a raccoon latrine—even more reason why you’d want it off your property as soon as possible.

Raccoon latrines can appear in a variety of places. “I’ve seen droppings show up on roofs, and also in pools,” says Ward.

Photo: Thomas Ward III, Training Specialist & Biologist at Critter Control

Unlike dog poop, raccoon poop will contain bits of undigested food.

A noticeable difference between raccoon poop and dog poop is the evidence of undigested food. Whole berries or seeds are usually visible in raccoon feces, where other animals’ feces appear homogenous. This undigested food can contribute to raccoon scat’s pungent odor—it’s much stronger and more unpleasant than other animal droppings.

(Video) 3 ways to get rid of raccoons fast

The only other animal droppings that may contain visible traces of food are from bears. However, as expected, bear scat piles are much larger in size and looser in form.

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Solved! What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like? (5)

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Solved! What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like? (6)

Raccoon feces can carry disease-causing pathogens that can be harmful to humans and other animals.

Raccoons aren’t just nuisance pests that eat your garbage—they can be a serious health concern. Raccoons can carry various bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Many of these agents are zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred from animals to humans. Diseases include rabies, leptospirosis, and toxoplasmosis. And like raccoons themselves, their feces can carry infectious disease-causing pathogens.

Because raccoon scat can carry these harmful viruses, bacteria, and parasites, it’s important to distinguish between their feces and the droppings of other animals by reviewing raccoon poop pictures. One common parasite found in raccoon poop is roundworm, also known as Baylisascaris procyonis. Roundworm and its eggs are too small to be spotted from a difference, and they can affect humans and pets—even if you’re diligent about giving your pet its flea, tick, and worm prevention. If the eggs of roundworms are ingested or inhaled, they hatch into larvae and move into different parts of the body, sometimes causing nausea, loss of coordination, liver enlargement, loss of muscle control, and blindness. Pets will require a round of dewormer medication (available from a veterinarian), and stool samples will be necessary to confirm the presence of the worms and to determine if they’ve been eradicated. Medications like mebendazole, albendazole, and ivermectin are used for treating parasites in humans.

(Video) HOW TO SAFELY KEEP RACCOONS AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSE/PROPERTY AND OFF YOUR FENCES

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But just because you’ve determined that the scat in your yard isn’t from a raccoon doesn’t mean that it’s totally safe. Even scat from creatures like deer has the potential to transmit germs like E. coli, so it’s safer to have a professional remove any unknown feces from your property.

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It’s not recommended to try to move raccoon feces yourself.

With the risk involved in handling raccoon poop, it’s best to let a professional handle the process. The potential exposure to disease or bacteria is not worth the money or time you might save by doing it yourself. But if you do have to handle it, it’s best to be overly cautious. “If you have to handle [the droppings], I recommend using gloves, storing and disposing of them properly, and washing your hands well,” advises Ward. Getting rid of raccoons is also a job for a trained professional since wild animals are often unpredictable and need to be handled by an expert. If you’re unlucky enough to have had raccoons make a latrine in your attic or within insulation, you’ll need to replace the insulation; urine and feces ruin the insulation.

Prevention is the best way to keep raccoons away from your property. DIY solutions like sprays of garlic or cayenne or planting cucumber can deter raccoons. Close off any access points to your home, and make your yard less welcoming by tightly closing any garbage cans and covering water sources.

If you spot evidence of a raccoon or wild animal on your property, it’s best to call a pro to help with raccoon removal. “If you’ve seen a raccoon come through your yard just once or twice, it is probably a transient raccoon that is trying to get from point A to point B and happened to cut through your yard,” explains Ward. “If you start seeing an animal like a raccoon regularly that’s when you might want to think about taking action.”

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(Video) DIY Deck (Part 26): How to keep Raccoons off your patio furniture in backyard for good?

Raccoons are usually on your property to find some food and a safe place to rest, and they can get aggressive if they feel threatened. While you may have heard that seeing a raccoon during the day means it’s rabid, this isn’t always the case. A raccoon could be using the daylight hours to scavenge for more food or move to a new location. But do take extra caution if you see a raccoon staggering, oblivious to noise or other movement, or excreting discharge from the eyes or mouth—this raccoon could be rabid.

“Wild animals will generally leave you alone if you leave them alone, but some more urbanized species like raccoons have adapted to feed off of the human presence, so they will go through the trash or eat from cat food and dog food bowls,” explains Ward. “When they are a little less timid about humans, that is when the potential for a negative interaction is raised. So if it starts coming closer to the house or porch, that may be a good time to call somebody about it. [Raccoons] are one of the cuter animals that we deal with but they can be kind of aggressive or can carry diseases like rabies, so I would advise caution.” When it comes to interacting with wild animals, it’s often best to call in the experts to advise you on how, and if, you need to take action.

FAQs

What does a raccoons poop look like? ›

Raccoon feces are usually about two to three inches long, dark and tubular in shape. An easy way to tell dog feces from raccoon poop is to look for undigested food. Raccoon feces often contains pieces of undigested berries that can be easily seen.

What color is raccoon poop? ›

Raccoon feces are typically tubular, 2 to 3 inches long, and usually black in color. When seen in pictures or up close in your yard, raccoon scat may resemble those of a small or medium-sized dog. Their feces are typically tubular, 2 to 3 inches long, and usually black in color, with rounded or broken ends.

Where do raccoons usually poop? ›

Raccoons typically defecate at the base of or in raised forks of trees, or on raised horizontal surfaces such as fallen logs, stumps, or large rocks. Raccoon feces can also be found on woodpiles, decks, rooftops, and in attics, garages, and haylofts.

Do raccoons all poop in the same spot? ›

Raccoons are actually very clean animals, and will go to the bathroom in the same spot, away from where they eat and sleep. This spot is known as a “Latrine Site”. Luckily a raccoon's commitment to a latrine site isn't very strong, so it's usually pretty easy to get them to choose a different one.

What does raccoon or possum poop look like? ›

Their feces are usually about half an inch to an inch in diameter and tubular in shape, typically with a break in the middle. The feces are dark in color. The exterior of raccoon poop might look brittle, almost similar in texture to tree bark.

Do raccoons cover their poop like cats? ›

Do Raccoons Bury Their Poop? Raccoons do not bury their poop as cats do. They like to do it in groups, and where it's comfortable, and they'll often come back and use the same place repeatedly. It's called a “raccoon latrine” and you don't want that in your garden or attic.

What should you do if you are exposed to raccoon poop? ›

Material that may contain raccoon feces should be removed; wear gloves and a facemask, and clean and treat exposed surfaces with boiling water. Susceptible populations such as young children and those with developmental disabilities should be discouraged from ingesting soil and other debris.

Will bleach keep raccoons away? ›

Apply cap full of bleach to top of the trash can

This will only keep the raccoons away from the trash can for several hours. However if you know when the garbage men are coming, you only need an hour or so.

What is a good racoon repellent? ›

As a general rule, the best raccoon repellents irritate the senses of a raccoon to keep them away. Peppermint essential oil, bright lights, coffee grounds, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, epsom salt, predator urine, ammonia, vinegar, loud noises and fragrant soaps all can repel raccoons.

How long should a pool be closed after raccoon poop? ›

*Remember to close the pool to swimmers until you have finished cleaning the pool. Option 1: Filter the pool for a minimum of 24 hours and then backwash the pool filter. Put on disposable gloves to replace the material doing the filtering (if possible).

What temperature kills raccoon roundworm eggs? ›

Raccoon Feces and Latrines

procyonis. If using outdoor branches or bark chips in cages and terrariums, bake at a low temperature of 62°C/144°F to kill eggs that may be present. Raccoons defecate in communal sites known as latrines (Figure 8).

Why are raccoons pooping in my yard? ›

Raccoons will poop in your yard because they have found a place where they feel safe and comfortable to open their bowels. Once a raccoon has a safe pooping spot, it will continue to come back again and again. That's when the poop starts to mount up.

Do mothballs keep raccoons away? ›

Mothballs get rid of all kinds of critters

Raccoons dislike the strong smell of mothballs. Buy a box and scatter them around your property to prevent raccoons from taking up residence.

Is there an app to identify animal poop? ›

Who Poo® includes a built-in filter, the circular purple button in the Library tab, where users can input scat and track dimensions to find the closest animal nearby matching those characteristics.

What does skunk feces look like? ›

Skunk droppings look similar to those of a cat and are typically found in lawns and gardens. The waste is tubular, has blunt ends, and usually measures about a quarter to half an inch in diameter and one to two inches long. Skunk poop generally contains bits of undigested insects, berry seeds, fur, or feathers.

What animal has black tarry poop? ›

Melena in Cats. Melena, the term used to describe a black, tarry appearing feces, is typically seen due to bleeding in the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also been seen in cats after they have ingested a sufficient amount of blood from the oral cavity or respiratory tract.

What does a fox poop look like? ›

Fox scat looks more like cat poo than dog poo. It is dark brown to black and about the length and width of a thumb, and it can look a bit dry and stringy with a pointy end.

Why are racoons pooping on my roof? ›

Latrines on Roof – Raccoon will create latrines on the roof of homes. If raccoons can make it to the roof they are likely to test for “soft spots” and attempt to gain entry. Make sure that possible entry points are solid if you see this happening. Accumulated raccoon feces and pine needles on a roof.

Do raccoons poop to mark territory? ›

Raccoons have paired anal glands that secrete a substance they use for territory marking by rubbing their behinds on anything they wish to claim. They also use urine and feces, both of which contain strong smells, to mark their home territory.

What if my dog eats raccoon poop? ›

The feces of a racoon can carry a parasite called raccoon roundworm. Dogs can serve as a host for this parasite. Please make sure that you properly clean up any areas with raccoon feces and deworm your dog on a regular basis. It is very rare, but people can also become sick from this parasite and it can be fatal.

Can you get sick from breathing raccoon feces? ›

Raccoon droppings are dangerous because many contain tiny roundworm eggs that can infect humans and cause serious illness if accidentally swallowed or inhaled. Although these infections are rare, they can lead to irreversible brain, heart, and sometimes eye damage and death.

Is it safe to clean up raccoon poop? ›

Eggs in newly deposited feces are not infectious and take at least 2–4 weeks to become infective. Prompt removal and destruction of raccoon feces will reduce risk for exposure and possible infection. Take care to avoid contaminating hands and clothes. Wear disposable gloves.

How long does roundworm live in raccoon poop? ›

These eggs must develop in the environment for 2 to 4 weeks, after which the eggs are able to cause infection. The eggs are resistant to most environmental conditions and with adequate moisture, can survive for years. While raccoons are the roundworm's primary host, other types of animals can become infected.

Does Epsom salt keep raccoons away? ›

Continuing in the vein of undesirable scents, Epsom salt is another ingredient that keeps raccoons away. For the most effective protection, sprinkle Epsom salt both inside and surrounding your vegetable garden. Racoons will generally keep a safe distance from that smell, avoiding your garden and coops.

What attracts raccoons to your yard? ›

Main Attraction: Raccoons are attracted to sweet foods, especially ripe fruit such as apples, peaches, and plums. They also feed on apricots, cherries, and mulberries.

What is the natural enemy of the raccoon? ›

Predators. Hawks, owls and humans are major predators. Snakes may eat young raccoons.

What do raccoons hate the most? ›

Spices like cinnamon, black pepper or cayenne pepper bother a raccoon's sense of smell, forcing it to relocate to a more livable area. By mixing cayenne pepper and onion in boiling water, you can create a natural raccoon repellant. You can add hot sauce to the mixture, as well.

Does Irish Spring soap keep raccoons away? ›

Many of the same smells that deter deer, such as capsaicin and mint, also repel raccoons. In general, Irish Spring soap can be an effective raccoon repellent. For the most part, you'll never see a raccoon munching in your garden.

Does Pine Sol get rid of raccoons? ›

Homemade Raccoon Repellents that can be used

Ammonia - It can be applied or soaked onto pieces of cloth or even kept in small opened bottles. The soaked pieces of cloth can be placed around the house, such as near food sources or around garbage cans and bins. Pine Sol can also be used in place of ammonia.

What smells will keep raccoons away? ›

Since raccoons have a strong sense of smell, which they use to find convenient food sources, one can take advantage of this feature by using scents they hate. Hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt are a few scents used to repel raccoons.

What are raccoons afraid of? ›

Raccoons stay away from animals that are their natural predators. These natural predators include; bobcats, coyotes, the great horned owl. You may have picked up a pattern here- raccoon predators are typically large. They need to be large as raccoons are formidable targets.

What sounds are raccoons afraid of? ›

As a general rule, raccoons are repelled by the sound and noise from wind chimes, radios set to a conversational station that mimicks human voice, bioacoustics from other animal noises, shouting, firecrackers, and the banging of pots and pans.

What does racoon pool look like? ›

Raccoon droppings are cylindrical in shape, have rounded or broken ends, and are typically dark in color, though coloration varies depending on what the animal has recently eaten. Raccoon scat is likely to contain berries, as they are a favorite food source.

Do racoons like water? ›

Raccoons and Swimming Pools

Raccoons are attracted to swimming pools, as they love water and often reside close to lakes and streams. In addition to swimming, part of these mammals' attraction to water is their habit of "washing" their front paws and food before consumption or dunking their food in a body of water.

Do racoons poop in water? ›

And like a lot of animals, they like to hide their feces (like a cat pooping in the sand), and so they like to poop in water. If you have a swimming pool in the home range of a raccoon, it will likely use your pool as a toilet. This is all the more common if you have some shallow steps leading down into the pool.

How long does it take to get sick from raccoon poop? ›

The incubation period (time from exposure to symptoms) is usually 1 to 4 weeks. If present, signs and symptoms can include the following: Nausea. Tiredness.

How do I know if I have raccoon roundworm? ›

Symptoms of an infection in humans include nausea, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, loss of muscle control and blindness. Human infections are rare, but children or those who are more likely to ingest dirt or animal waste have a higher risk of acquiring the parasite.

What does raccoon roundworm look like? ›

Description. The raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) is the common large roundworm or ascarid found in the small intestinal tract of raccoons. Adult worms measure 15 to 20 cm in length and 1 cm in width. They are tan-white in color, cylindrical and taper at both ends.

Can ammonia keep raccoons away? ›

Finally, raccoons hate the smell of ammonia, so leave a saucer full of the stuff (or an ammonia-dipped rag) near the creatures' entry point.

Will a porch light keep raccoons away? ›

Although a porch light is helpful, it will not keep every raccoon away because the light source is too high. Motion-activated floodlights are lower and will only activate after a raccoon triggers the sensors. If you place the lights in key locations around your property, they will scare the raccoons away.

How do you raccoon proof your house? ›

How to get rid of raccoons
  1. Secure the trash can. ...
  2. Bring in pet food. ...
  3. Keep an eye on your bird feeders. ...
  4. Pick up fallen fruits and nuts. ...
  5. Put a fence around your garden, fish pond, compost pile or newly installed turf. ...
  6. Never intentionally provide food for raccoons. ...
  7. Yard work. ...
  8. Seal off your chimney.
12 Jun 2018

Does chili powder repel raccoons? ›

Capsaicin, the substance that makes hot peppers hot, deters all types of mammals. So using it as a raccoon repellent also keeps squirrels away.

What does raccoons poop look like? ›

Raccoon feces are usually about two to three inches long, dark and tubular in shape. An easy way to tell dog feces from raccoon poop is to look for undigested food. Raccoon feces often contains pieces of undigested berries that can be easily seen.

What do possum poop look like? ›

Opossum droppings average 1–2" in length, are smooth on the sides, and may be covered in white or yellowish mold growth. Fresh opossum droppings are brown in color. A unique characteristic of opossum fecal matter is that it tends to curl as the animal excretes the waste.

What does a black snake poop look like? ›

However, they share key similarities. Normal snake excrement is dark brown or black. Mostly it is solid and has a log shape with lumps. Usually, with snake poop, you will also see a white urea cap that has a chalk-like appearance.

How do I get rid of raccoon poop in my yard? ›

Treat feces-soiled decks, patios, and other surfaces with boiling water or a propane torch. ** Disinfect hard, smooth surfaces (including shovel blades) • with boiling water. To help further reduce the risk of possible infection, wash • your hands well with soap and warm running water.

What do skunk feces look like? ›

Skunk droppings look similar to those of a cat and are typically found in lawns and gardens. The waste is tubular, has blunt ends, and usually measures about a quarter to half an inch in diameter and one to two inches long. Skunk poop generally contains bits of undigested insects, berry seeds, fur, or feathers.

Does Epsom salt keep raccoons away? ›

Continuing in the vein of undesirable scents, Epsom salt is another ingredient that keeps raccoons away. For the most effective protection, sprinkle Epsom salt both inside and surrounding your vegetable garden. Racoons will generally keep a safe distance from that smell, avoiding your garden and coops.

Will vinegar keep raccoons away? ›

Vinegar will deter raccoons from returning time and again to your home and yard since they hate the smell. Like if you were using peppermint oil to deter them, you can soak a number of rags with vinegar then put them in key access points around your home and yard to keep them away, albeit until the smell fades.

What is the natural enemy of the raccoon? ›

Predators. Hawks, owls and humans are major predators. Snakes may eat young raccoons.

Why are raccoons pooping in my yard? ›

Raccoons will poop in your yard because they have found a place where they feel safe and comfortable to open their bowels. Once a raccoon has a safe pooping spot, it will continue to come back again and again. That's when the poop starts to mount up.

How do I stop raccoon latrine? ›

You can prevent having a raccoon latrine on your property by discouraging raccoons from frequenting your outdoor living space. Don't leave human or pet food out where raccoons can get to it, and keep your garbage storage secure. Close off any possible entrances to your attic or under your house or decks.

Is it safe to clean up raccoon poop? ›

Because raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyanis, a roundworm that can harm people, and the roundworm eggs may be present in raccoon feces, their latrines should be removed and cleaned up whenever they might pose a health hazard.

What do raccoons hate the most? ›

Spices like cinnamon, black pepper or cayenne pepper bother a raccoon's sense of smell, forcing it to relocate to a more livable area. By mixing cayenne pepper and onion in boiling water, you can create a natural raccoon repellant. You can add hot sauce to the mixture, as well.

How do you get rid of raccoons fast? ›

If you're just dealing with adult raccoons, you can DIY their removal by trying bright lights and loud noises (like a loud battery-operated radio in the attic or fireplace) to scare them out. Also, try placing a bowl of cider vinegar at the base of the chimney — it's a smell raccoons find foul, so they'll run from it.

Does Irish Spring soap keep raccoons away? ›

Many of the same smells that deter deer, such as capsaicin and mint, also repel raccoons. In general, Irish Spring soap can be an effective raccoon repellent. For the most part, you'll never see a raccoon munching in your garden.

What color is possum poop? ›

Opossum droppings average 1–2" in length, are smooth on the sides, and may be covered in white or yellowish mold growth. Fresh opossum droppings are brown in color. A unique characteristic of opossum fecal matter is that it tends to curl as the animal excretes the waste.

What does Coyotes poop look like? ›

Coyote scats are rope-like and typically filled with hair and bones, unlike dog scat which is soft from dog food. Coyotes use scat to communicate and so they usually deposit scats in the middle of trails or near the borders of their territories where they are easily seen.

What does snakes poop look like? ›

How to Identify Snake Feces. When snakes excrete waste, it is actually a mixture of feces and urine that looks white and is more of a liquid than a solid, much like bird droppings. The pests' waste may contain bones, hair, scales, and other indigestible materials leftover from meals.

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