When nature calls, it doesn’t take time and place into account. You could be on the highway or stranded in the woods with no access to a toilet for miles. But when it comes to nature, it has to take its course.

If you ever fall prey to such inconvenient circumstances, you might consider answering nature’s call out in the open. While in a dense forest with lots of foliage to cover you, this makes sense. But what if you are not deep in the woods? What if you are in your own yard?

Is It Illegal to Poop in Your Own Yard?

Yes, pooping in your own yard is illegal. There a numerous charges you can face including indecent exposure if you are seen. Pooping in your yard also carries many health and safety concerns you should be aware of.

If you have a privacy fence or hedge around your backyard, you might even get away with it without anyone batting an eye. However, if your neighbors catch a glimpse of you doing your business, they might report you to the police for public defecation.

This is justified if you consider the aftermath of your deed.

You might feel like you have the right to do anything in your backyard, and you are right to an extent. It is technically illegal even within the boundaries of your property, it is the environmental hazard you should be more concerned with. Pooping openly in the environment should be avoided at all costs.

cleaning up poo with a shovel

What Happens If You Poop In Your Own Backyard?

Real cases have been reported against people who habitually use their backyard as a toilet.

Being a neighbor to people like this can be a torment. Not only does it leave a horrible odor, but it also attracts unwanted visitors to your neighborhood. 

Animals like bears, rats, flies, and other insects are attracted to unclean places and bring all sorts of diseases. Human feces can transmit bacterial toxins to the environment and further spread these diseases.

One such case was reported in Colorado in 2013, where a few furious neighbors reported a mentally unstable woman for continuously using her backyard as a toilet.

Her ill deed was inviting unwanted rodents into the neighborhood, making it smell like an outhouse.

Is It Illegal To Poop On Someone Else’s Property?

If you are caught in the act of pooping on someone else’s property, you can be easily sued for trespassing, or worse. If it is a deed done in times of desperate need and if the offender is ashamed of it, they might get away with just a warning. 

However, if it is done repeatedly or maliciously, the offender is bound to face hefty charges or even imprisonment. In such cases, the perpetrator may be charged with indecent exposure, trespassing, or vandalism. It is all very dependent on the local laws of your county or city, and the situation.

Finding a place to poop outside

What Happens If You Defecate In Public?

The same goes for a person who poops in public. It is an illegal offense to do so. If caught, you can be penalized to pay a fine. For more serious cases, you may even face imprisonment.

Can You Poop Out In The Woods?

There can be unfortunate times when you have no access to a decent toilet. In desperate times like these, your first response should be to clench and hold tight. Avoid squatting and hold as much as possible until you find a proper toilet. 

If you must poop out in the woods, it is fine if you are discreet and leave no traces. It is best to bury your poo in the ground as it speeds up the decomposition process (which usually takes 6 months to a year). Additionally, burying your waste also prevents the spread of diseases and toxins. 

The Bottom Line About Pooping In Public

There is a reason why pooping in public is illegal. Human feces contain toxins that can be very harmful to the environment. It is not just a matter of legality but an environmental hazard and a social ethics violation.

If, at some point, you ever find yourself debating whether or not you should poop on your lawn, think of it this way: It’s you who has to live there. Having a clean and toxin-free space to enjoy should be your only concern.