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Raccoon Poop: What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?

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Raccoons are one of the most destructive urban pests, causing a lot of trouble and threatening humans. Even if you've never seen a raccoon, or even seen raccoon droppings, there's a good chance you've seen a raccoon at some point in your life. They are commonly found in yards, scavenging in trash cans, and chasing away household pets. In addition to forests, swamps, meadows and grasslands, they can also be found in suburbs and cities. These cat-sized creatures have been known to eat just about anything. The bandit-like patterns on their faces may look cute to some, but they represent a species that loves to sneak and wreak havoc.

A raccoon invasion starts when they often visit your garden at night, when you most likely won't see them. Unwelcome visitors are never pleasant, especially when they leave an unpleasant mess on your property. The best way to tell them apart is by their droppings, as it can be difficult to tell them apart by their paw prints. So, what does raccoon poop look like? What danger do raccoons leave behind with their poop? This article will cover everything we need to know about raccoon poop and more.

What does raccoon poop look like?

What is raccoon poop what raccoon poop looks like 1
Raccoon droppings are usually tube-shaped, 2 to 3 inches long and usually black in color.

©iStock.com/Chimperil59

In photos or when viewed up close in your yard, raccoon droppings may resemble that of a small or medium-sized dog. Their droppings are usually tube-shaped, 2 to 3 inches long, usually black, with rounded or snapped ends. However, the color varies depending on the food the animal eats.

As has been said, dog and raccoon droppings may resemble each other, but the dead giveaway is the food fragments in the droppings. Only a close inspection with a stick and looking for undigested berries or seeds can confirm that it is raccoon excrement. Fruits, herbs, vegetables, nuts, and grains are the raccoon's main diet, which means these undigested items will undoubtedly be in their droppings.

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What is a Raccoon Toilet?

The places where raccoons leave their droppings or droppings are called "toilets." The way raccoons poop is what sets them apart from other animals because they don't move around and poop as they please. Despite making a mess on lawns and trash cans, raccoons have a well-organized way of defecating. Raccoons first choose a site away from their den (the toilet site), which may be near your house. They will then use the same area over and over to defecate, so expect to find a lot of feces and urine in one place.

Even more annoying is their practice of using community toilets. This means that raccoons living in the same area may leave their feces in the same place. Their usual toilet locations are tree bases, tree stumps, under decks and attics. Raccoons visit these areas at night, or return when they need to poop or urinate.

Does raccoon poop smell?

raccoon on tree
Raccoons are perhaps the most famous masked animal.

©iStock.com/amadeusamse

Yes, raccoon poop smells bad! Raccoon droppings often contain whole berries or seeds, compared to droppings from other animals. Raccoon droppings have a stronger and more disgusting stench than other animal droppings from these undigested foods. In addition to the rotting poop smell, raccoon urine can cause their droppings to have a strong ammonia-like smell. Take extra precautions if you leave raccoon droppings in the attic, as it attracts flies, larvae, and other parasites.

Is Raccoon Poop Harmful to Humans?

The quick answer is yes. Given that wild animals do not receive immunizations or vitamins, raccoon droppings are particularly dangerous to humans as they carry various viruses and diseases. For example, raccoons have been found to frequently carry the rabies virus, roundworm eggs, and the bacteria that cause leptospirosis.

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About one-third of wild raccoons have rabies. Humans can contract the virus through raccoon droppings, and it can be fatal if left untreated. Mild symptoms may include fever, headache, general weakness and aches and pains. Rabies is preventable with timely vaccination; however, once symptoms appear, the disease is incurable.

The second and most common threat are roundworm eggs in raccoon droppings. The roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis is also the most dangerous parasite on these animals. The eggs can remain active in the feces for about two to three weeks, increasing with the time they spend dormant. Even when they spread to the human body, they still go through the same cycle. It's important to remember that no disinfectant will destroy roundworm eggs found in raccoon droppings, and the only viable solution is to burn them.

Direct contact with these eggs can be fatal to human life, whether through open wounds or drinking contaminated water. In worst cases, roundworm eggs can cause severe heart and brain damage, vision loss, and even death.

Another disease that people who handle raccoon droppings without taking proper precautions can contract is leptospirosis. While early symptoms such as headaches, jaundice, and fever can be important indicators, in rare cases they can be disastrous for an individual.

What do raccoons eat?

what raccoons eat
The raccoon's diet is estimated to consist of a fairly even mix of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates.

© AZ-Animals.com

Raccoons like to eat seeds, berries, nuts and tubers. However, the best way to define a raccoon's diet is as "opportunistic," changing from one location to another depending on the availability of food. Opportunism is actually getting food by any means necessary, at least in an ecological sense. Raccoons can choose what food they want to eat at any given time, rather than being restricted to a specific food source. Invertebrates, plant matter and vertebrates are estimated to comprise relatively equal proportions of their diets.

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Raccoons are generally opportunistic, not skilled or natural hunters; they don't spend a lot of time chasing and killing prey. However, when they spot a good hunting opportunity, they will feed on small rodents such as mice and squirrels, as well as live frogs, snakes, crayfish and snails. If they think they have a chance of getting away with it, they will try to steal the eggs or chicks from the nest.

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raccoon standing in the field
Raccoons are more likely to flee their environment than attack humans.

© iStock.com/JZHunt


about the author

Victor Victor


For six years, I have been a professional writer and editor of books, blogs and websites, with a particular focus on animals, technology and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with my friends.

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