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Raccoon Latrines

4-1 raccoon latrine2 IMG_2714Raccoons defecate in communal sites called latrines. Often these latrines are located on a raised, flat surface or at the base of a tree. Over time, the scat accumulates. Should you come upon a latrine, it’s best not to investigate too closely, as raccoon feces harbor roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) eggs which can be easily ingested and cause harm (serious eye disease, spinal cord or brain damage, or even death) to humans. One of these roundworms can produce more than 100,000 eggs a day, and the eggs remain viable for years in the soil.

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6 responses

  1. I see these latrines all the time, esp. under large trees at the water’s edge. Sometimes it can be hard to rule out otter scat, because they also make latrines at the water’s edge where there happen to be large trees. It looks like there are either fish scales or crayfish parts in the scats in your photo, which would be consistent with either species.

    April 2, 2015 at 9:40 am

  2. Gardening-Guy's Blog

    Hi Mary, Back in the days when I was an electrician, I was working in a garage and there was a racoon latrine up where I had to run some wires. It was Awful!!! I left work, went home right after being up in the area. Ugh! I’ve had a negative feeling about racooons ever since. Glad I didn’t know that I could have died or gone blind!

    Henry

    April 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

  3. Major

    Hi Mary: The very word, “latrine,” brought back memories of Viet Nam and the 6″ diameter pipe stuck into the sand to serve as our “toilet.” I had a serious problem with hookworms then but have no idea if it was related to the latrines. Asi es la vida – Such is life!

    April 2, 2015 at 11:05 am

  4. The cats used to bring home rodents (and thus, roundworms) – never worried about it (until now- lol!), just wormed them. They’ve been indoor only for a couple years, less to worry about all around.

    April 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm

  5. Helen Gingras

    Hi Mary, Any known harm to dogs from the raccoon scat? Thanks, Helen Gingras

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland To: helengingras@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, April 2, 2015 6:58 AM Subject: [New post] Raccoon Latrines #yiv6117957184 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6117957184 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6117957184 a.yiv6117957184primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6117957184 a.yiv6117957184primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6117957184 a.yiv6117957184primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6117957184 a.yiv6117957184primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6117957184 WordPress.com | Mary Holland posted: “Raccoons defecate in communal sites called latrines. Often these latrines are located on a raised, flat surface or at the base of a tree. Over time, the scat accumulates. Should you come upon a latrine, it’s best not to investigate too closely, as raccoon” | |

    April 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

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