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What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like? Raccoon Scat Identification

Raccoon poop, also called scat or feces, refers to the waste material excreted by the species. Since these animals are omnivores, their poop has a distinctive look and smell that makes their scat easily identifiable.

Therefore, this article aims to provide valuable information to help you know what raccoon poop looks like and distinguish it from other species’ scat.

What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?

The raccoon poop is usually cylindrical, with tapered ends and a blunt, rounded appearance. It typically ranges from 2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.

Depending on the raccoon’s diet and other factors, it can also vary in color and consistency. Regarding color, raccoon poop can range from dark brown to black and may have a slightly shiny or greasy appearance. It may also contain visible bits of undigested food, such as seeds or fruit skins.

The species’ poop is also known for its distinctive odor, which can be strong and musky. Therefore, this odor can be a helpful clue if you’re trying to identify a raccoon scat.

What is a Raccoon Latrine?

A raccoon latrine is a site where raccoons repeatedly defecate in the exact location. They are known to create communal latrines, where multiple individuals use the same area for defecation.

Such spots can be found in various areas, such as attics, crawl spaces, decks, or under sheds, and can contain a large amount of feces and urine.

Therefore, if you suspect that you have a raccoon latrine on your property, it’s essential to take precautions to avoid direct contact with the feces, such as wearing gloves and a mask when cleaning the area.

Contacting a professional wildlife removal service is also recommended to safely and effectively remove them and clean up the latrine.

Also read: Distemper in Raccoons: What You Need to Know

Raccoon Poop
Raccoon Poop

Is Raccoon Poop Harmful to Humans?

Yes, raccoon poop can be harmful to humans. These animals are typically carriers of many diseases, and their droppings can contain parasites and harmful bacteria such as roundworm, leptospirosis, and salmonella.

Therefore, if you accidentally come into contact with raccoon feces, it is vital to take precautions to avoid exposure to these diseases. Wear gloves and a mask, and use a shovel or other tool to clean up the feces.

Dispose of the waste in a sealed plastic bag, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. It’s also important to avoid touching your face or mouth while cleaning up the feces, as this can increase your risk of infection.

If you develop any symptoms of illness after coming into contact with raccoon feces, such as fever, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, seek medical attention immediately.

How Long Are Raccoon Feces Dangerous?

Raccoon feces can be dangerous if infected with a parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis, which can cause a rare but severe disease called Baylisascariasis.

The parasite’s eggs can remain viable in the environment for years, so there is no definitive answer to how long raccoon feces can be dangerous.

However, it’s vital to note that the risk of infection is higher when the feces is fresh, so it’s essential to clean up raccoon feces as soon as possible.

If you suspect that you or someone else may have been exposed to raccoon feces or infected with Baylisascaris procyonis, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Also Read: How Do Raccoons Get Rabies & Are All Raccoons Rabid?

Raccoon Poop vs. Possum Poop

Raccoon and possum poop can look somewhat similar, but there are some key differences to look out for.

Raccoon Poop

It tends to be more cylindrical and typically segmented with visible ridges. The color of raccoon poop can vary depending on what it has been eating, but it is generally dark brown or black. It may also contain bits of undigested food, such as seeds or fur.

Possum Poop

Possum poop, on the other hand, is generally more tubular and lacks the segmented appearance of raccoon poop. It is also smaller than the latter. The color of possum poop can vary, but it tends to be light brown or grayish.

Fox Poop
Fox Poop

Raccoon Poop vs. Fox Poop

Both raccoon poop and fox poop can vary in appearance depending on various factors, such as the animal’s diet, size, and health.

However, some of the differences that can help you distinguish between the two are:

Size: Raccoon poop is generally larger than fox poop ranging from 2 to 3 inches in length and 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. In comparison, fox poop is usually thinner and shorter, about 1 to 2 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter.

Shape: Raccoon poop is typically more cylindrical, while fox poop tends to be more twisted or tapered at the ends.

Color: Raccoon poop is dark brown to black, while fox poop is usually more reddish-brown.

Content: Raccoon poop often contains seeds, nuts, and undigested food particles, while fox poop may contain fur and bones from their prey.

Raccoon Poop vs. Groundhog Poop

Raccoon poop and groundhog poop are different in appearance and size.

Raccoon Poop

Raccoon poop is usually smaller, cylindrical, and has a more uniform texture. It can range in color from dark brown to black and often contains undigested seeds or fruit.

Groundhog Poop

It is typically larger (two to three inches long) and oval-shaped. It can also vary in color from light to dark brown, and it often has a more textured surface with visible grass or plant fibers mixed in.

Coyote Poop
Coyote Poop

Raccoon Scat vs. Coyote Scat

Raccoon poop and groundhog poop are different in appearance and size.

Raccoon Scat

Raccoon scat often resembles that of a tiny dog since it’s usually small, cylindrical, and segmented. It can contain undigested fruit, seeds, and insects.
When a raccoon has recently eaten fish or other smelly meals, their poop may have a pungent stench.

Coyote Scat

On the other hand, a coyote scat is bigger and more elongated. It might include hair, pieces of bone, and small animal remnants. The smell of coyote scat can sometimes be quite strong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Raccoons Bury Their Poop?

Raccoons have a natural urge to cover their excrement to lessen the danger of being discovered by predators or other animals. However, they don’t literally “bury” their poop like a cat may do in a litter box.

Typically, they have specific latrine locations that they frequently use to defecate in, and they often cover their waste with dirt, twigs, or other natural materials nearby.

What Does Raccoon Poop Smell Like?

The smell of raccoon feces is often pungent with an ammonia-like undertone. But, depending on the specific raccoon’s diet, the excrement might also have a sour or acidic smell.

Final Thoughts

Since you are now better positioned to identify/ distinguish raccoon poop, it’s vital to note that they can carry several diseases and parasites, including roundworms, which can harm humans and pets. 

Therefore, if you spot raccoon poop on your property, you should contact a professional animal removal service to safely and effectively remove them and clean up any feces or damage it may have caused.

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