Urban wildlife poop ID

Asked July 13, 2015, 8:44 PM EDT

Hi Extn Expert: Urban wildlife has been using our backyard as a latrine for about a week now...same place ever night or so. Any idea of the critter responsible? Raccoon, possum, turkey...? Here are a few photos to help with the ID. The follow-up question is how to deter them? Thanks, John & Shirley Sent from my iPad

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

It's hard to ID the scat for certain because the high liquid content is producing patties rather than a more easily identifiable shape. However the prospect that this could be a raccoon latrine in the making is a concern, so let's work with that. Not to panic, but handling raccoon feces requires some special care due to a parasite that some, not all, raccoons carry: raccoon roundworm. The CDC has an excellent handout here about cleaning up latrines safely:http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/baylisascaris/resources/raccoonLatrines.pdf
I'm curious about the latrine location - Is this at a base of a tree, or beneath something that might be a potential den? Also with regard to the larger area - How large is the yard? Is it fenced? I'd like to follow up with you about the exclusion and deterrence question you have. Strategy really has much to do with the characteristics of the area from which we're trying to exclude animals - especially challenging with raccoons. Let's talk some more, OK?