How to thoroughly clean up fresh raccoon scat on pebbles?
June 29, 2015 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I found fresh raccoon droppings in my backyard this morning. Yuck. I carefully scooped out the mess and some surrounding pebbles (about 8 x 8 inches total), double bagged it, poured about a gallon of freshly boiled water around the area, and added a couple of cups of bleach for good measure. (The shovel got boiling water, too.) Results. But given the fact that I'd rather not have residues of dried up shit and roundworm in my yard, should I remove more of the pebbles and re-treat the broader area with boiling water?
posted by maudlin to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This seems more than fantastically thorough. I cannot possibly imagine doing any more than that.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:20 PM on June 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I found this helpful .gov website on the topic.

Honestly? I think you probably did a better than average job already. If you have a blowtorch and the intelligence to use it safely - why not?

I think it was not the contamination threat that an established raccoon latrine would be, and you've more than handled it.
posted by jbenben at 1:20 PM on June 29, 2015


Yup, just put some pebbles in that cleared out area and call it good. Anything more than that would start to seem unreasonable.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:22 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm reassured. I'd already read that .gov website jbenben linked and followed most of the advice. But even though I knew I didn't have old scat or a full-fledged latrine, the mentions of scrubbing an area thoroughly (that isn't exactly possible with pebbles versus a flat surface) and the advice on how to use the blowtorch I don't have made me wonder if I should really take this further.
posted by maudlin at 1:35 PM on June 29, 2015


Take away the water with which they wash their food, take in pet food overnight. Secure garbage cans. If they have a den on your property then rent some traps.

With all that, I like raccoons, I listened to them talk one night late, they have a huge language. I didn't understand them, but there were some key noises of appreciation, when they found the cat food.
posted by Oyéah at 6:48 PM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I read the question repeatedly and do not understand why this is of concern. This is...outdoors, right?

A hose would have sufficed for aesthetics. Waiting for the next rainfall would have been fine too. A random bit of shit doesn't require pest control measures. If this was their go-to spot, that's a different story, but a one-off? Just forget it.
posted by kmennie at 8:41 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey, I have never had to deal with wild omnivore shit in my tiny urban backyard before (11 foot by 11 foot, with a good chunk of that taken up by the porch and the window well). The worst invasion I've dealt with so far is the odd bit of sod dug up by a skunk.

Ignoring the steaming pile (and the group of happy flies it had already collected) wasn't going to work because it was huge, foul-smelling and right in the path from porch to gas grill/faucet. Hosing it off would have splashed the stinky shit into the grill wheels on one side and/or the raspberry bush on the other side (both just outside the frame of the pictures I took).

I would have just shovelled and rinsed and walked away if local media hadn't made a big stink (sorry) about roundworm and raccoon droppings. Google searches pulled up links like the one mentioned above, which actually honest-to-God describes how you can finish the job with a blow torch. Google also directed me to a well-rated local pest control company, who advised me on the basic steps I took. I just wasn't sure if the uneven pebble surface could harbour enough problematic shit that I should go back for a little more digging and cleaning.
posted by maudlin at 9:18 PM on June 29, 2015


< random >
Oyéah, I'm not sure what drove you to clarify that you didn't understand the raccoons, but I do appreciate that you mentioned it.
< /random >
posted by ovenmitt at 9:43 PM on June 29, 2015


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