Raccoon Roundworm

Raccoon toilette on a roof of a house. Photo by Stephen Vantassel.
Raccoon latrine on the roof of a house. Photo by Stephen Vantassel.

This deadly infection, caused by Baylisascaris procyonis, can cause blindness, neurological damage, and death. While raccoons may be cute and fun to watch, they can be dangerous if you don’t take appropriate precautions. Recent studies found that up to 60 percent of raccoons can be infected with this worm. Take special precautions when working near a raccoon latrine. Even nearby soil may be contaminated, as rain may carry eggs.

For more information, review the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Parasites – Baylisascaris infection This site has general information, risk factors, biology, signs and symptoms, treatment, and prevention & control.

Raccoon Latrines: ID and Clean-up This CDC fact sheet explains what a latrine is, why they are dangerous, and what to do if you find one.

Universities and State Agencies

University of California Davis (2012)

Iowa State University (2013) with images of microscopic eggs and adult worms.

Wisconsin Department of Health (2015)