Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Masked bandits with furry little paws

So let's add raccoons to the list "Animals I am no longer fond of".

As we were preparing for my son's birthday BBQ this weekend, my husband noticed a pile o' poo. After a little investigation, we determined it was a raccoon latrine. Damn.

From my days of being a volunteer and an employee at the Wolf Hollow Wildflie Rehabilitation Center, I knew that this was a serious hazmat situation and my panic button was on.

So here is the 411 on raccoons. They may have cute little faces and furry paws, but they are home to many diseases/parasites that are lethal to humans, particularly little humans. The worst of these is raccoon roundworm(Baylisascaris procyonis).

I will admit that I am a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to these things, but when a website says "The adult stage of the raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) lives in the raccoon’s intestine and produces microscopic eggs that are shed in the raccoon’s feces. One raccoon roundworm can produce more than 100,000 eggs a day. A raccoon can pass millions of eggs in its feces everyday, depending on how many worms are in its intestines. Once deposited in the environment, the eggs develop into the infectious form in 2-4 weeks, and can survive in the soil for several years." I panic. I panic because I think of feet from outside coming inside. I think about my lil' babe on the floor. I think about her hands and everything else in her mouth. And I panic. I know this may not be rational to most people, but it makes me worry. I worry about my husband cleaning it up because I love him. I worry about my kids because I love them. I worry about my friends' kids because I love them too. I worry.

And so you will see why I married my husband. He went outside (with a mask and gloves on)dug around the offending area and sealed the dirt in a 5 gallon bucket. He then busted out his fire-breathing dragon tool and burned the remaining soil and then put new soil on top and covered it with vinegar (raccoons dislike the smell). Then he threw his clothes to be washed in hot water and a hot dryer. Crisis averted.

So raccoons, you are not on my warm fuzzy list anymore; my husband, most definitely is.

For more info:


  1. Duuuuuuude.. I have enough to freak about. You had me a 100,000 eggs.

  2. Ya, I know! And I am told "don't worry". Gah!

  3. Duuuuuuude.. I have enough to freak about. You had me a 100,000 eggs.

  4. Oh my goodness Val, this is so funny to me! Look in Facebook and see what ChristianSuperMom's status is today. :-) I was just doing a google search to learn more about Raccoon's and on the first page of my search, YOU showed up!! So naturally I had to click over and see what your experience was. I think it's quite awesome that your husband went to such measures to remove the Raccoon poop and it's surrounding soil. My greatest concern right now is that I'm about to get started with my container gardening and I don't need these pests eating my plants. :(



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