Suburban Raccoons

Raccoon Roundworms

August 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Health Risks No Comments »

Raccoon RoundwormsIn our previous post we wrote about raccoon roundworms, what they are and how you can ingest the roundworms and what the impact might be if you were to ingest them.

We ended the post by indicating that no confirmed case in humans has ever been successfully treated which is pretty scary when you think about it. Sounds like it is pretty serious and something you definitely do not want to deal with. If you have raccoons living in your area or raccoons living in your attic, there is a very high probability that there are literally millions of round worms in your attic, on your roof and in your eaves trough. We suggested how to protect your person and your family from ingesting roundworm.  This is something to take seriously and that is why we are continuing to add more posts about this subject and how to protect yourselves. We talked about how a person could ingest these raccoon roundworms but we did not discuss the symptoms.

Raccoon Roundworms – Symptoms

Symptoms can include irritability, weakness, lethargy, deteriorated speech, behavioral changes and change in vision. Infection of the central nervous system may cause further problems as well. Contact with an infected person is not a risk factor since humans are considered an intermediate host and does not infect the intestine. We do not shed eggs like the raccoon will, as many as several million every day. There can be many other diseases that have these same symptoms so it is best to see a doctor and have this problem diagnosed rather than ignore it hoping the situation will improve.

Raccoon Roundworms – Prevention

Raccoons are here to stay in suburbia. They are very adaptable animals and can exist almost anywhere. Trapping them, killing them, or taking them miles away will not solve the problem. Many of them are just too smart to enter a trap and will ignore the traps much to our frustration.

Consumers need to make their home unattractive to raccoons. Eliminate all potential food sources outdoors to decrease the interest in spending time around your yard. Don’t feed raccoons and if you have such things as grubs in your lawn, kill the grubs with the appropriate treatment and eliminate that particular food source. Skunks also like grubs and eliminating the grubs will keep the skuncks away as well.

If you must deal with raccoon feces, wear gloves and also a mask if the feces are dry and come apart or float in the air. Raccoon roundworms can exist for years and in very difficult conditions. Disturbing dry powdery feces in your attic is a perfect condition for contraction of roundworms. Remember your attic gets very hot in the summer time and just about anything is going to dry out, especially the feces of Raccoons, but not the roundworms.  They can last forever and that is one of the reasons that you must protect yourself in these conditions. Be sure to hire professionals to remove them, your insulation and arrange for proper disposal of the insulation as well. This should be consider an environmental hazard.

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Exposure to Raccoon Feces

October 7th, 2011 ernie Posted in Health Risks 1 Comment »

Exposure to Raccoon FecesWe have seen a number of searches and comments about exposure to raccoon feces and we thought that since this issue is so important, that we would write a post specifically about this subject. Exposure to raccoon feces can be serious and can cause health issues if proper care is not taken. This is in addition to the ugly mess that they can leave in your homes attic of wherever else that they take up residence. Deal with the situation quickly so that you do not have a mess like this one to clean up. before proceeding read more about the problems associated with raccoons in your home on this web site.

Exposure to Raccoon Feces

The best way to deal with raccoon feces is to stop raccoons from entering your attic in the first place. Read this post, How to get rid of raccoons, to find assistance in dealing with raccoons in your home. Ask professionals to deal with these pests!

Raccoons carry a parasite that can cause death if contracted by humans. You can come in contact with these parasites by touching raccoon feces and then putting your hands near your mouth. In most cases it is young children who contact this parasite, however adults working in areas inhabited by raccoons can also contract this disease. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AND WEAR A MASK IF WORKING IN A CONFINED AREA.

Parasitic Worm in Raccoons etc

This parasitic worm is common in raccoons, squirrels and mice as well as , rabbits, birds, woodchucks, and dogs. It is a referred to as a parasite, or  a roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis. The roundworm larvae cause problems as they travel through the person’s muscles and various organs, including the liver, brain, lungs, and eyes. The severity of the infection depends on how many of the parasite’s eggs were ingested, and where the larvae migrate. Although serious infections are rare, raccoon roundworm can be fatal in people.

Raccoons will shed millions of the microscopic roundworm eggs in their feces or scat. It takes about a month for newly deposited eggs to develop to the infective stage. The eggs can only develop into worms when they’re in an animal’s body, but the eggs are hardy and may survive for years in soil, sand, or water.

People may encounter the eggs through direct contact with raccoon droppings or by touching a contaminated area or object. Attics were raccoons have lived can be particularly bad as their feces will dry out and the parasites will float in the air as the attic is disturbed. You may breathe these parasites into your lungs or get them on your hands unless proper precautions are taken.

Small children are particularly vulnerable because they tend to put their hands, and any objects such as bark, wood chips, toys, soil, or even droppings, into their mouths. Constant care must be taken when outdoors with small children in areas were there are raccoon feces about.

Other animals such as your dog or cat may become infected by eating an infected animal or through contact with the feces of an infected animal.


Symptoms in people vary but may include nausea, skin irritations, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination and muscle control, blindness, inattentiveness, and coma.


Get treatment immediately if exposure is suspected. It can be very difficult to diagnose.


If you’re working in an area such as an attic that’s contaminated with raccoon feces, wear a proper respirator, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and disposable coveralls. Because the eggs are resistant to common disinfectants, the feces and any contaminated materials should be burned. If that’s not feasible, double-bag the materials and bury them deeply.

Contaminated clothing can be double-bagged and discarded, or washed in boiling water with bleach. Scrub rubber boots with bleach and a scrub brush. Clean traps before storing, to remove feces while they are fresh. Traps and other equipment that can withstand the heat can be flamed. If that’s impractical, clean with boiling water and bleach.

Advice for customers

  • Have your pets “de-wormed” three to four times each year.
  • Keep them away from areas that are frequented by raccoons.
  • Cover their sandboxes.
  • Train them to wash their hands and scrub their fingernails after playing outdoors, especially if they were in your garden or the sandbox.

Prompt removal and destruction of raccoon feces will reduce the risk of human exposure. Raccoons typically defecate at the base of trees, on fallen logs, on large rocks, and wood piles, and in barns or other outbuildings. Raccoon feces may also be found in children’s sandboxes, attics, fireplaces, garages, decks, rooftops, haylofts, and compost piles.

Areas of soil or concrete are best decontaminated by a thorough flaming using a handheld propane torch (weed burner). Wooden decks and patios can be cleaned with boiling water. Soil can be turned over with a rake or shovel, then flamed. Repeat this process several times. To decontaminate a fireplace or woodstove and chimney, build a roaring fire.


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Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks

September 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Health Risks 1 Comment »

Raccoon Droppings and Health RisksRaccoon droppings are a potential health risk. Many people who end up with raccoons in their attic or somewhere around their home are focusing on the potential damage that they are doing and not on the associated potential health risks that might affect them. Sure we don’t want any damage and we do not want the mess that they leave etc. We want them out of the attic before something like what we see in this picture happens. Who really wants to go in an clean out this mess? It turns out that there is a good reason why you should not clean stuff like this out without the proper protective equipment. read on to find out more!

We want them away from our home as quickly as possible, but what about the associated health risks? Earlier posts have dealt with getting rid of raccoons and if you want to read some of these posts, check our archives or our categories for the appropriate post that you would like. In the mean time read on about what we consider to be a health risk and steps you should consider if the raccoons are in the attic.

Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks – Details

There are several health risks associated with Raccoons. First is the health risk from raccoon droppings which is commonly infected with roundworm. If the eggs are ingested by humans they can cause nausea, organ malfunction, blindness, loss of muscle control and even death.

Great care must be taken if you are going to enter a raccoon den to clean up the raccoon droppings, repair damage from raccoons or even to remove the raccoons.It is usually very hot in the attic which drys out the raccoon scat or droppings  turning them into a powdery dust. As you work in the attic, you are disturbing this dust and particles will float in the air for you to breath. This is were you can get into trouble.

The eggs of the round worm are very resilient, so you may breath some of the eggs into your lungs or they can be contracted when they are on the ground as you are cleaning or from cleaning dirt out of your  eaves trough so it is wise to take extra precautions. If raccoons are in the attic, chances are they have left raccoon poop on the roof which washes into your eaves trough. Use gloves and wear a mask at all times when you suspect there is raccoon droppings in your work area.

The feces or raccoon droppings even though they may be dry from being in the attic, which can be quite hot during the summer months can be disturbed and migrate through the air in small particles to be breathed as you move about the attic. Proper precautions must be taken such as ventilation and breathing mask to avoid any possible health risk.

Raccoon Droppings and Health Risks – Hire Professionals

If you are uncomfortable with this or do not have the equipment, it is a good idea to hire professionals to clean up the mess and complete any repairs that need to be looked after. If you successfully remove the raccoons early before they have their babies in your attic then you will not have to be concerned about raccoon droppings or damage to your attic and the insulation. Deal with this problem quickly to avoid significant build up of raccoon droppings. See our post about getting rid of the raccoons from your attic once they have raccoon babies and avoid potential significant damage.

Raccoons also contract rabies and a raccoon with rabies is very difficult to distinguish from one that does not have rabies.  Abnormal behavior such as seeing them in the daytime, and aggressive behavior are two indicators. Avoid being bitten by a raccoon since rabies is usually transmitted through the saliva. If you have been bitten, seek medical treatment immediately.

If the raccoons have young babies, you will want to read the page on avoiding raccoon damage. Essentially, adult raccoons will tear your roof apart to re-enter the den to return to their young if the den entrance is blocked. Then not only will you have raccoon droppings to deal with you could have major damage to your roof as well.

Most experts recommend that you wait until the young can leave on their own before you seal up the entrance to the den. You must make sure that they are all out before sealing the entrance to the den. Use a one way trap door for this purpose.

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