Most wild animals are pretty clean, and many will go to the bathroom in the same spot, away from where they eat and sleep. This spot is known as a “Latrine Site”. Luckily an animal’s commitment to a latrine site isn’t very strong, so it’s usually pretty easy to get them to choose a different one.

How to stop animals from defecating in a particular spot

Move around some furniture

If the spot is on a deck or patio, you can just move around some furniture. Put a planter or a table in the spot the animal usually uses. Animals reuse the same spot because it’s habit—break the habit and they might move on.

Animals don’t like to walk on plastic

Because their paws are so sensitive, many animals don’t like to walk on a double layer of plastic. Tape two painter’s sheets or garbage bags over the latrine area for a couple of weeks. That should convince the animal to find a new spot, and once the habit is broken you can remove the plastic.

Soak them out

If the latrine site is on a lawn or in a garden, overwater the area so that it’s wet and muddy. You can stop overwatering once the animal has stopped using the latrine.

A motion activated sprinkler (or a person turning the hose on them when caught in the act!) will also deter animals from a latrine site. No one likes to get wet while doing Number Two!

Is feces dangerous?

All feces (even human!) can contain bacteria and other microorganisms that can be dangerous if ingested. A little bit of common sense will go a long way in keeping you, your family, and your pets safe.

Be careful when cleaning up feces. Wear disposable gloves and a mask.  If the feces are old and dried out, give them a spritz with water first to keep the dust from floating in the air. If the latrine area is solid (like a deck or rooftop) steam-cleaning will make sure any infective agents are killed. If the latrine is on a lawn or in a backyard, turn the soil or add a layer of topsoil to limit exposure. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards, and avoid touching your face while cleaning.