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Raccoon Latrines

A reliable way to determine an animal’s diet is to examine their scat, ideally several scats over the span of a few days, in every season. This is easily done with Raccoons, as they often create communal sites called latrines where they repeatedly defecate. The pictured latrine consists of several scats containing corn, apples and grapes.

Latrines are usually found at the base of trees, in forks of trees, or on raised areas such as fallen logs, stumps, or large rocks.  Should you discover a latrine and your curiosity has you inspecting the scat contents, do so with caution.  Raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm that is the cause of a fatal nervous system disease in wild animals.  The eggs of  Baylisascaris procyonis can be harmful to people if they are swallowed or inhaled. Raccoon roundworm eggs (invisible to the naked eye) are passed in the feces of infected raccoons at the rate of 20,000 eggs per gram of feces. Although human infections are rare, they can lead to irreversible brain, heart, and sometimes eye, damage and death.

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5 responses

  1. Patty Normand

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    October 2, 2020 at 8:50 am

  2. Virginia Cazort

    I have what may be a raccoons latrine question. One day, while opening a cottage for the summer, I was surprised by long strings of feces that contained nothing but hair and half digested mice, many many mice. Much more vowel content than one animal could possibly excrete. Was that impressive depository, on the wooden porch floor, a raccoon latrine? Virginia Cazort

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    October 2, 2020 at 10:51 am

  3. Alice

    I have info in my head that the eggs can be absorbed by bare feet & that eggs can stay viable in the ground for 12 years. Do you know if this is correct?

    October 2, 2020 at 12:13 pm

  4. Natasha Atkins

    We made the unfortunate discovery of a racoon latrine in the living room of our summer cabin–actually two; one was on the roof. I guess they liked having an indoor option, until we capped the chimney.

    October 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm

  5. Reuben Rajala

    We’ve had exactly the same thing on large tree root masses by the Androscoggin River, behind our house. Initially some of us thought that it might have been from foxes or coyotes but I’m not thinking it was racoons. We have seen them from time to time over the years.

    October 12, 2020 at 8:58 am

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