Mature Opossum Looking Down From Inside a Barn
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What Does Possum Poop Look Like?

Possums are marsupial animals often found in many residential areas, and finding their droppings can be a source of concern for homeowners. They can look similar to other animal droppings, so it’s important to be able to identify them. This will allow you to create an appropriate strategy for dealing with the problem.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to identify opossum poop, understand the potential health risks associated with its presence, and how to remove it safely.

Key Pest Points:

•  Possum droppings are dark, tapered at the ends, and about 3/4 inches long.

•  Possum droppings can have potential health risks, including the spread of diseases through contact with infected feces and contamination of food or water sources.

•  To remove possum droppings safely, wear protective gloves and use a disinfectant or bleach solution to kill the bacteria.

What Do Possums Eat?

Possums are omnivorous scavengers, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet includes insects, fruit, vegetables, eggs, small mammals, birds, carrion (dead animal remains), and pet food. Their diet is quite different, so that possum droppings can vary in shape and size. You may even find a mix of plant and animal remains in their feces.

How to Identify Opossum Scat 

Knowing what possums eat can help you identify their droppings. Generally, possum scat is dark or brown, tampered at the ends, and measures around 3/4 in length. Possums also leave poop piles near areas where they sleep or feed.

Opossum poop scattered on the floor.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Removal

It’s important to remember that identifying animal poop can be difficult and that possum scat is often confused with the droppings of other animals, such as small cats and dogs. If you need help determining what type of animal it is coming from, you should take extra precautions and contact a licensed wildlife removal specialist to inspect your property.

What Does Possum Poop Smell Like?

In addition to its physical appearance, possum scat can be identified by its smell. They have a foul and pungent odor that is distinguishable from other animals. It can also smell like ammonia due to the urine mixed in the droppings.

You may even find flies or other insects on the scat and bits of undigested food like berries. Mold can also be present in possum scat, especially if it’s been sitting for a while.

It’s also important to know that possums can play dead and emit an offensive odor when threatened. This is not the same smell as their droppings, however. If you notice this odor in your backyard, it’s a sign that a possum is living nearby.

Where You Might Find Opossum Feces 

Possums prefer to live in dark, forested areas away from predators. Common hiding spots include under decks or sheds, attics, garages, and basements. You may also find possum droppings near food sources such as trash cans. It’s crucial to inspect these areas if you believe a possum is living on your property.

The presence of possum droppings is a sign that the animal is present and needs to be removed. But make sure to take the necessary precautions when dealing with this issue. It may contain dangerous diseases and parasites that can be passed on to humans, so it is essential to wear protective clothing and gloves when handling possum feces.

An opossum hides next to a building behind a bush.

Health Risks Associated With Opossum Poop

In addition to the unpleasant smell and mess, possum scat can pose a health risk to humans. The poop may contain parasites like roundworms and tapeworms, which have been found in humans. That is why keeping children and pets away from any visible possum scat is important.

Horse owners should also know the potential for infection from possum droppings. Horses can become infected with Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) from consuming water or food contaminated with possum feces. This disease can lead to severe central nervous system impairment.

Possums are not aggressive or dangerous animals unless provoked. But their droppings can be a health risk, so if you find evidence of possums on your property, you must take the necessary steps to remove them. 

Prevention and Clean-Up Techniques for Possum Droppings 

Once you’ve identified the possum scat, it’s essential to prevent further problems. Here are a few tips for getting rid of possums and cleaning up their mess:

1. Secure areas around your home where possums might enter, such as window and door frames, chimneys, air vents, and other potential entry points.

2. Remove all food sources around your property that may attract possums, such as garbage cans, pet food dishes, and bird feeders.

3. Purchase a disinfectant to clean up any possum droppings on your property. Ensure the area is completely dry before letting children or pets near it.

4. Wear protective gear such as gloves and a face mask when handling possum droppings. This will help prevent the spread of parasites, bacteria, and other germs.

5. Contact a licensed wildlife removal specialist if you cannot remove the possums from your property. They can set a humane opossum trap allowing the animal to safely relocate away from your home.

Possum scat can be unpleasant and hazardous, so watching for any signs of the animals on your property is essential. If you find evidence of possum scat, take the necessary precautions to ensure you and your family remain safe.

A possum feeding at my backyard bird feeder.

When to Contact a Professional for Removal of Possum Waste

If the possums on your property are not responding to repellents or other deterrents, it may be time to contact a professional for assistance. Licensed wildlife removal specialists have the knowledge and experience to remove any possums from your property safely. They can also advise how best to clean up any opossum droppings left behind and prevent future infestations.

FAQs

How to tell the difference between possum and rodent droppings?

Rats and possums might be small, but their droppings are easily distinguishable. Rat poo looks like tiny pellets, while the much larger scat of a possum will surely grab your attention.

Do possums poop in the same area?

Possums often like to stick to familiar spots as their restrooms. If you’ve noticed a few too many droppings around your yard, chances are it’s due to them. Have an eye out for any areas that may be serving as local feeding grounds. This could include the base of trees and near garbage cans where they’re likely to find food.

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