Wildlife Education - Information, Advice, and Techniques for the Safe Removal of Raccoons from Attics

Attic Restoration - Cleanup of Raccoon Poop

If you've had raccoons living in your attic, it's a good idea to have the attic cleaned. Raccoons leave their waste behind when they inhabit an attic. Sometimes there's a specific raccoon latrine, and most of the poop is piled up in one spot. Sometimes it's spread out all over the attic. Same goes for urine as well. Sometimes it's concentrated in an area, sometimes spread all over the place. The poop is easy to pick up and remove, as in the above photo, because the droppings are large. But the urine soaks into the insulation or even the sheetrock (drywall) or wood in the attic. And not all feces or urine will be accessible to remove by hand. That's when it's important to clean up and properly fog the attic to eliminate the odor and potential unsanitary conditions.

Please DO NOT TOUCH RACCOON FECES. It can contain raccoon roundworm, which can infect people, and cause blindness and other terrible symptoms. Call your local professional and you will get free advice about how to handle and clean raccoon droppings. If you want to see photographs, click here for raccoon droppings and feces identification.

This waste can carry a number of zoonotic diseases. There are at least 42 important diseases that people get by ingesting or handling food or water contaminated with animal feces, such as Campylobacter infection, which us found in animal feces, and causes gastrointestinal symptoms. There's also Leptospira infection. Humans get infected via contact of insulation containing urine from infected animals. Left untreated, leptospirosis can be quite serious. There's also Salmonella infection, which people get via contact with animal feces. This often-severe gastrointestinal infection can cause severe kidney damage to young children. The droppings of raccoons can contain raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis & B. columnaris). This parasitic worm can and does infect humans. The egg spores in the raccoon droppings are light and can become airborne, and people can breathe them in and become infected. Infection of humans can lead to larval parasite migration to the central nervous system. These egg spores can live for years as dry pods. Raccoons also carry Giardia lamblia, a protozoan causing diarrhea associated with ingesting food or water contaminated by raccoon excrement. Raccoons are also host to a number of parasites, such as lice and fleas.

To clean the attic, I not only remove all of the waste by hand, I use special cleaners, including an enzyme-based cleaner that eliminates any biohazard organic waste from animals, including droppings and urine. I use the electric powered atomizer as shown in the below photo, which creates a fine mist that flows through the whole attic and gets every nook and cranny, for 100% coverage and cleanup. To protect myself against insulation fibers and animal biohazard, I wear a disposable Tyvek suit and I wear the respirator mask, as shown above. This fogging machine, also called an atomizer, sprays my cleaning solution in a fine mist that permeates the entire attic, and makes certain attic cleanup scenarios easy. In a case like this, in which the homeowner did not want total insulation replacement, the enzyme-based cleaner in the atomizer does a good job of breaking down and sanitizing the contaminated areas of the attic. If your attic has wildlife waste or animal poop, then this is one method that can kill harmful pathogens along with the odor. Homeowner's insurance will pay for attic cleanup and restoration in the case of raccoon damage, because of the potential health risks.



Raccoon Urine: Obviously you can't pick up raccoon pee the way you can pick up raccoon turds. You can, however, remove any insulation encrusted with raccoon urine. It will be smelly, and perhaps even a bit crusty or crystallized. Using the attic fogging techniques above works very well, even if the urine is soaked into the wood or sheetrock. In such cases, an extra dose of the cleaner helps. You have to let the cleaner soak into the wood.

Raccoons can also cause quite a bit of damage aside from just their waste. A good restoration job will fix this damage. I have a whole page of great photos of damage caused by raccoons in an attic. This includes ripping of ductwork, tearing off insulation around pipes, peeling off insulation paper, removing insulation in areas, destroying wood, and of course the problems with feces and urine. Also click here for more photos that answer the question of do raccoons chew on electrical wires?

Reader Email With Big Raccoon Waste Problem in Attic:

Hi there! I found your website online very helpful. I am really hoping you can help shed some light on a few questions that I have for you.
We recently moved on May 20th into a Historically Preserved home in PeWee Valley, KY. It is about 126 years old, and had some remodeling done to it.
When we walked through, we did notice quite a lot of "air" fresheners plugged in. After the first day or 2, my husband had some cabling (he works from home) done and they had to access the attics (there are 4 entry points.)
The minute they opened the attic access, it was almost unbearable. My husband said it smelled like cat pee. We didnt know the smell was raccoons. The "guys" that were cabling were like "It is very unpleasant up there." So I had the local Animal Ridders come out. Their technician went up there and said it was the worse he had seen in 12 years. He said there was "newer" insulation that had been blown over a sea of droppings and urine. The insulation team came out last Friday to take it out and put new insulation in, but once they got down to the nitty gritty, it was not coming up off the sub floor. It is like it solidified to the flooring in the attic.
We know this house sat vacant for a few years, and know now, that the raccoons ran a muck. Now we are stuck with having to have someone scrape the remaining insulation out of all the attics and treat it somehow. Our house stinks to high heavens and I am very bummed by it all. There are no living raccoons in the home at this time. We are covered in blow flies too, on every sunny window in the home. I am not sure there is not something dead in one of the walls.
What is your best recommendation for the removal of the smell? It is horrendous! We have been told to put bowls of ammonia up there, scrub with bleach, wood bleach and use an ozone purifying machine.
I can deal with the mice we have found under the sink, the groundhogs who have torn up the pool area, and started to cave in the concrete patio, the carpenter ants in my cupboards and even the mosquitos...but the smell...not so much!!
Please advise! I thank you in advance for your expertise!!
Kimberly
PeWee Valley, KY

Apparently not even chlorine will kill roundworm spores if a raccoon poops in a pool.
Please be kind to raccoons! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about raccoons in attics, just email me at david@raccoonatticguide.com