Is Raccoon Feces Dangerous/Toxic to Touch or Breathe?

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Yes. There’s absolutely no doubt about it, raccoon feces are very dangerous to touch or breathe. Raccoons carry diseases that can be contracted by our pets and even by us. If you have a raccoon infestation in your attic (or anywhere else on your property), you will be able to clearly see their toilet, too. So, yeah, you never just have a raccoon den in your attic, you also have a raccoon latrine in there. And while they sometimes restrict their pooping area to a tight section, it’s more common for them to leave their excrements and urine all over the place. Raccoon infestation equals fecal contamination.



So, what is toxic about raccoon feces? Raccoons carry a parasitic disease, roundworm. And while this disease doesn’t affect them, it can be very dangerous for humans, being able to cause neurological damage and even death. The raccoons excrete this parasitic worm and its eggs in their feces. If exposed to this eggs, we can become infected. The roundworm eggs expelled by raccoons are extremely resilient, being able to survive extreme temperatures, both cold and hot. Once the eggs dry, they become airborne.

We can get roundworm either by touching the feces with our hands or by breathing in contaminated dust particles once the eggs are airborne. Although as not as dangerous as the roundworm, raccoon feces may also contain giardia, a flagellated parasite that also presents a threat to us. Raccoon urine is equally dangerous, and can carry a bacterial infection that poses a major threat to our kidney function – leptospirosis.

Decontaminating a previously raccoon infested area is paramount. If you’ve just solved your attic raccoon problem, it is very important that you don’t start resting on your laurels just yet. A complete decontamination includes cleaning your attic. And there are important rules to this. First off, no matter how disgusting you might find handpicking excrements, it’s really the only safe way to do it. By using a broom or by vacuuming, you increase the risk of dangerous air particles raising, hence increasing the risk of contracting the roundworm parasite. If raccoons made their business in your attic, your insulation is probably compromised. If you find droppings on the insulation, there’s no doubt about it, you have to get rid of it. But even if you don’t find excrements directly on the insulation, I would still pull it up and throw it away.

Not properly cleaning up your attic can lead to major ulterior health risks, but not wearing adequate protection gear while doing so is equally – if not more – dangerous. Ideally, you should wear a biohazard suit, a respirator facemask, eye protection, and gloves. After the cleanup is complete, all the protective gear should be put in a bag and disposed of (burning the gear is even better). I know, it sounds like a hassle. And it is. On the bright side, it won’t be such a hassle to find a local wildlife removal company that also offers cleaning services, so you always have that option.

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