Opossums are rat-like creatures that might be running around your house. Possums are scavengers therefore, they like to visit homes and dumpsters. If you live in North America opossums or possums may be a problem for you since they are native to North America.
Often people come across animal feces and wonder if it belongs to the possum. Opossum feces are usually the first indication of the animal being in your home. Since possum feces can cause many diseases it is very important to identify the droppings and process them accordingly.
In this article, we will tell you what possum poop looks like and what to do when you come across droppings in your home.
What does opossum poop look like? Images of possum droppings
Possum poop contains harmful bacteria and can spread bacterial infection. Hence, a possum scat could expose you to serious health risks. Even a cat and dog can get infected as a result of possum infestation. This is why it is important to know what possum poop looks like.
Possum feces look very much like other pets such as cats or small dogs. The average size of possum poop is 1-3 inches long and ¾ inch in diameter. Mostly, possum droppings are brown.
Opossum feces are generally large droppings and not broken into pieces. It can be very easily mistaken with dog poop. Although, possum droppings can be identified according to their curly shape. Possum scat identification is quite tricky and you should pay extra attention to the shape of the feces.
You may mistake possum’s poop with raccoon poop. Although, there is a clearly visible difference between possums poop and raccoon’s feces. Raccoon poop tends to break in the middle and it usually has seeds in it. Additionally, opossum droppings are one continuous pile which is very helpful for possum droppings identification.
Possum waste is also clearly different from rat poop. Even though they are very similar in size, rat poop has pointed ends while possum poop is rounded and has smooth sides.
Overall, you can identify possum poop according to its shape, color, arrangement, and location.
Does opossum poop cause any health risks or disease concerns to humans?
The reason why opossum feces are a topic of discussion is the health risks they bring. Opossum poop is very toxic for both humans and animals. It can cause major health issues.
Possum poop can harm humans due to the contamination of food, water, and soil. Pets often get infected from swimming pools and through food or drinking water. When people have contact with contaminated surfaces or substances, they are exposed to the infections possums may carry.
Opossum can carry bacterial diseases which makes it very toxic. Possum poop is especially dangerous because it carries serious diseases. Therefore, it is highly advised not to touch or smell possum poop because even that can be dangerous.
Generally, touching possum is not harmful, they mostly do not carry rabies which is the main concern when you have physical contact with certain animals.
The most common diseases that possum poop contains are:
- Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)
Each of these illnesses is quite serious and should be treated with care.
Salmonella is a zoonotic disease that can spread between animals and humans. If you are infected, you may experience headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. This bacterial disease is usually spread when contaminated feces has contact with water that is used for irrigation.
Tularemia is one of the zoonotic diseases. On the other hand, coccidiosis is a parasitic disease that mainly threatens domestic animals. Humans cannot contract this illness from animals.
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)
If you have horses, then you should be especially careful with possums because their feces carry EPM. This is one of the most common neurologic diseases among horses. While horses cannot pass this illness, it harms them very much because this illness attacks their nervous system. Thus, every horse owner should ensure EPM disease control.
According to CDC, leptospirosis is spread through animal urine, in this case – possum urine. The bacteria enter the body through the skin or mucous membrane. In humans, leptospirosis can cause abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and rash.
In severe cases, most of these illnesses can be fatal and if left untreated can cause serious health issues. So, if you come across possum poop, be extremely careful, pay attention to any symptoms, and call the doctor.
Technically, possums can transmit diseases through scratching and biting. However, this is highly unlikely in the case of humans. The opossum is not an aggressive animal and it does not attack people.
How to remove possum feces safely?
When it comes to possum poop, you have to be extremely careful. Possum droppings can cause health issues even through touching and smelling. To ensure safety, follow this detailed guide:
- Put on thick rubber gloves and do not touch the poop with bare skin
- Pick up found feces with utmost care. Make sure it does not break and have contact with another surface
- Put the poop in double plastic bags
- Throw away the bag of poop in the garbage outside of your house
- Clean the area thoroughly: use strong chemical disinfectant. Bacteria can be spread around, so clean and ventilate the area carefully. Possums pee in the same area they poop, but unlike poop, the urine is not that clearly visible. Since the pee is toxic, it is better if you disinfect the whole surface in your house.
How to keep opossums away from your property for good?
Possum removal is not an easy task and requires serious dedication. It is highly recommended to call a professional pest control company to get rid of these animals. While there are several ways to repel and get rid of this annoying animal, it is always best to refer to human services.
Here are some methods to keep possums away from your house:
Repel them with a strong scent
There are some specific scents that possums absolutely hate and try to avoid it as much as possible.
The hated scents include:
- Cayenne peppers
Use predator’s hair
You can scatter the hair of wild animals around your house. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get predator hair so you can use the hair of a dog or cat. Do not use the hair of your pets.
Animal Repellent Spray
You can make your own spray using the products that have a foul smell for possums. However, it may not be a pleasant experience so it might be best to purchase a ready-to-go solution.
You can use the following sprays and solutions to spray around your house and property:
For a homemade solution, mix 2 tablespoons of garlic powder or chopped garlic with one liter of hot water. Keep the solution overnight and then spray/sprinkle around the area you want to protect.
Ultrasonic Animal Repellent
This works not only against possums but other animals as well. This solar animal repeller uses solar power and you can use it for a long time. It has an ultrasonic sound that repels rodents.
Be aware of chemical disinfectants and make sure they are not harmful to your pets. Some solutions not only repel possums but may harm pets you own.
Frequently Asked Questions
What attracts possums?
Opossum Society of the United States reports that you need a food source to attract possums. They are attracted by the foul smell of ripe and old food. Because they are scavengers they feed on anything they can find. The odorous smell of food turns out to be something they are especially attracted to. This is why they can be found around garbage cans most times, they eat ripen fruit and vegetables as well as old food.
Is possum poop toxic to dogs?
As we already mentioned, possum poop as well as urine are toxic and can harm people a lot if they are contaminated. Possum feces are harmful to dogs as well. Leptospirosis is a disease that can be spread from possum poop. This disease affects cats and even horses.
What color is possum poop?
The possum poop is dark brown. In certain cases, you may see white or yellow mold on it.
Does possum poop stink?
Possum poop has a strong and unpleasant smell. It has a noticeable urine smell. As time goes by the smell of ammonia gets stronger.
The most important lesson from the article is that possum poop is dangerous. It can be harmful to you as well as your pet dogs. If you come across possum’s poop, remove it immediately and disinfect the area. If you have pets, remember that you may mistake possum feces with dog poop. Be aware that possums eat food in the garbage, so through the trash away regularly and use repellents to protect your home.