Raccoons in the Attic

Raccoon Feces in the Attic

When raccoons live in your attic, they poop in your attic! This waste is unhygenic, can possibly spread disease, and encourages new raccoons to enter.

Raccoon Feces in the Attic - How to Identify and Clean

Of course raccoons always deficate and urinate in the attic. This can cause odor problems, a breeding ground for mold, is host to potential pathogens and health risks, and the odor can attract other raccoons into the attic. Sometimes the feces or urine can leak through the drywall and onto your ceiling. I have seen that many times. Be sure not to touch or even disturb raccoon feces in an attic. The greatest risk with raccoon droppings in the attic is the raccoond roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis which can infect people and pets, even if inhaled from disturbed droppings. It is often a good idea to clean it up, with a full attic restoration.

As for how to identify raccoon feces (or droppings, poop, scat, turds, latrine, whatever you want to call it), look at the below photographs. The feces are large, and as you can see, very often contain berries. But because raccoons are omnivores, the appearance of the feces will depend largely upon what the raccoon ate! If it ate something without berries or fiber or hair, the poop is very mushy and without texture.

Photographs of Raccoon Feces in Attics - Click for Larger Image

Raccoon Feces with Berries

This is the tell-tale sign of raccoon droppings, at least where I live. Most of the time, the feces contain berries like this, and are immistakable.

Hand Shown for Size

The droppings are fairly large, maybe the same size as a medium dog. Of course, a dog won't poop on the roof like this!

Raccoon Latrine in Attic

If you don't remove the raccoons in your attic soon, the feces will begin to pile up. This entire attic was coated in raccoon crap.

Be Sure to Clean the Attic

You can remove the feces piles by hand (with gloves and a proper respirator), or you can remove all the insulation and get new insulation.

Information About Raccoon Feces in the Attic

Raccoon Feces In The Attic – How To Identify And Clean
If you have any animal in your attic, then there will also be feces left behind. This is just a simple fact as no wildlife is going to leave the safety of their nesting area to go to the bathroom. In cases where you know for a fact you had raccoons in your attic, you won’t have to waste time identifying the droppings to figure out what type of animal it was. Otherwise, you will want to be able to tell what animal was in your attic based on the feces so you know what type of damage to look for.

Recognizing Raccoon Feces
Raccoon feces tend to be fairly large in size and similar to droppings of dogs. The average size is about ¾ of an inch in diameter and the tips tend to be broken off or rounded. The sides are also textures, making it more recognizable. To make them even easier to identify, you will frequently find berries in raccoon feces. While they are not always present, if you see them, you can confirm that you are dealing with raccoon feces.

Health Risks Of Raccoon Feces
As with any other type of animal waste, you should never touch raccoon feces because of the risk of disease associated with it. Raccoon roundworm is commonly found in their waste and it can infect people and our pets. If you come in contact with their droppings, the roundworm eggs may enter your system by being inhaled or ingested. The larval parasites affect your central nervous system and in some cases can even cause death. Many types of raccoon roundworm found in their waste products can also cause diarrhea and overall discomfort.

Removing Droppings By Hand
There is bad news for those who need to clean up raccoon feces in the attic; you have to do it by hand. Unfortunately, this is the only safe way to actually remove the waste. Have a sturdy plastic bag handy and remove the pieces of feces along with the soiled insulation, placing it in the plastic bags. Because you should never touch raccoon feces or risk breathing in roundworm eggs and bacteria, you should wear gloves in addition to a HEPA respirator mask. Ideally, you will also have a Tyvek suit on to further protect you.

Sanitizing The Area
Once you have physically removed all of the raccoon droppings from your attic, you still need to disinfect the entire space. You can typically get away with any strong disinfectant, even bleach, but it is ideal to use a specific cleaner designed for the purpose. You need one of these special cleaners to kill the raccoon roundworm. The best option is to get an enzyme cleaner and fog or spray it throughout the attic. This technique allows particles of the cleaning solution to fall on every area of the attic, even those you cannot reach if you were to scrub by hand.

Safety Precautions
Wearing gloves and a HEPA filter mask are the bare minimum requirements for safety when cleaning up raccoon feces in the attic. You should also have booties on your shoes or opt for rubber boots so you can wash them thoroughly using hot soapy water. Try not to disturb the feces too much as you don’t want particles to become airborne, which would increase the risk of contracting disease. You can use a spray bottle with some water inside to help with this. Once you are done cleaning the attic, be sure to wash your skin very thoroughly and either do the same to your clothes using hot soapy water or just toss them out with the garbage.

Have A Professional Clean
The average homeowner will find it preferable to pay for someone to clean up the raccoon feces in their attic instead of doing it themselves. The task can be time consuming and since you have to pick up the droppings by hand, you may find yourself stretching into awkward positions. There is also the matter of safety and unless you have a filter mask and gloves, you put yourself at risk of health issues from the raccoon droppings. Professionals will have the necessary safety gear already so this isn’t a concern for them.

Restoring Your Attic
After you have removed all of the raccoon feces from your attic and sanitized the space, you can start making the necessary repairs. You will almost always find yourself in need of new insulation and should also pay close attention to the air ducts, wires, and wooden beams for signs of raccoon damage that requires replacement. Don’t forget to seal up the holes the animals used to get inside your attic; otherwise, more will just come inside, leaving you with another mess to clean. You should have a professional inspect your attic after it is cleaned so you don’t miss any necessary repairs.

The Bottom Line of Raccoon Poo

How to get rid of raccoon droppings in the attic - the best approach is a full cleanup, with either vacuuming of feces or insulation removal, and fogging of the attic with a special enzyme cleaner. Most of the time, raccoons have left enough droppings that this is an important step. If you want to hire someone to clean up, read more about how much does raccoon removal cost. If you just have some poop in your attic and want to know which animal caused the poop, look at the above images of raccoon droppings, and you should be able to identify if raccoons are the culprit.