Because raccoons can cause damage to property (feeding in garbage, denning in chimneys, destroying attics, raiding gardens and fruit trees) and are carriers of diseases, many residents have concerns about living in close proximity.
One of the main parasites raccoons carry is a roundworm. Roundworms are commonly passed through raccoon feces; children are more likely to put their hands in their mouths after being outside and carry a greater risk of infection. The best prevention is frequent handwashing, especially after working or playing outdoors, and clearing of raccoon latrines.
When raccoons defecate in gardens, there is some concern that the roundworms could compromise the plants. Only plant parts with direct contact with latrines or infected soil can be contaminated.
If you need to clean up a raccoon latrine, take precautions to avoid exposure to roundworm eggs. Wear protective layers and disposable gloves, use boiling water to disinfect tools, double bag the waste, remove the top few inches of contaminated soil and heat treat the area if possible. California Health Department has more steps for cleaning raccoon latrines.
For nuisance raccoons in a builidng or garden, most repellents are not effective and trapping and exclusion are the best management options available.
Read more about raccoons and their management from the K-State Research and Extension Publication Raccooons: Urban Wildlife Damage and Control.
Our office has some do-it-yourself trapping resources available. Call the front desk 913-715-7000 for more information or to get the list of Nuisance Wildlife Operators to hire an expert in your area. We also have videos on Trap Placement and Setting a Trap.