One of the most invasive pets you will ever come across in human settlements is the Possum. Although they look really cute, they are very dangerous and can bring you a lot of trouble as soon as they’re settled in the basement or attic of your home!
Possums are smart creatures, with a great deal of reconnaissance your basement or attic may become their new home and toilet. They excrete poop that stinks terrible and plays host to some very dangerous pathogens and diseases.
Possums are nocturnal animals, so attics provide them with the right amount of darkness they need to remain hidden. Thanks to their nocturnal nature, their vision kicks in at night. They will become frequent visitors to your basement, attic, backyard, and garden before making it a permanent residence for nesting.
They remain out of sight in the daytime, making it difficult to detect their presence on your property.
But of course, you can rely on other clues to confirm a possum invasion. For instance, you can look out for a scratching sound from the attic, their paw marks, and several other things. But when it comes to possum invasion, the perfect way to identify them is through their poop because they drop a whole lot of that.
However, there are tell-tale signs that can reveal the activities of these little trouble makers. If you hear a scratching sound coming from your attic, you are most likely dealing with a possum infestation. This article is a passionate attempt to help you fish out these bandits based on what their poop looks like.
So, what does possum poop look like? A Possum’s poop has a lot of similarities with that of a dog, both in appearance and color. But possums, unlike dogs, do not leave their droppings in a pile. Their droppings will typically be big-sized, with a cylindrical shape, having a diameter of 3/4th of an inch.
Keep reading to learn more on how to identify a possum’s poop.
What does possum poop look like? Best way to identify possum dropping
As mentioned in the previous section, possums freely roam around at night and they poop wherever they please. A possum poop looks a lot like a dog’s poop and even has the same smell and color.
Meaning, if you have any other pet in your home, you might not be able to identify a possum’s poop. For this reason, you are advised to be very careful when clearing out your pet’s poop from your yard because it may just be possum poop.
Generally, possum poop is large with a diameter of about 3/4th of an inch with sides that are quite smooth. These furry animals are omnivorous scavengers and so you may not be able to identify the poop through its color. But possum poop is generally known to be blackish or brown.
A stick-based inspection in search of berries may not yield significant results as possums are opportunistic eaters.
Possums poop piles and this may be the most obvious way to identify their poop, the pile will look like a train. The poop typically lacks consistency, so you’ll be on the lookout for breaks or cracks in the middle. In conclusion, if you come across poop that lacks consistency and is stocked in a pile, you may just be dealing with possum infestation.
Possum: where do they poop the most?
Most invasive pets like raccoons do not poop in a single latrine site. They tend to poop wherever they deem fit.
Finding possum poop is quite easy, these little invasive creatures are known to excrete a ton of waste materials. Their poop can easily be identified around garbage bins, attics, swimming pools, basements, and grasses in the backyard.
Possum poop: does it stink?
Yes, besides their invasive tendencies, possum poop stinks a lot. You can liken the smell of possum poop to something rotten, irrespective of how old the poop is.
The smell is more offensive if the poop mixes with their urine. If you perceive a pungent smell emanating from your basement or attic, you may be dealing with possum infestation.
Possum poop: How to identify possum poop?
Possum poop is not easy to identify, and this is because it looks like dog poop. It can get trickier if you have dog pets in the house because the similarity goes as far as color.
These invasive creatures are opportunistic. As omnivores, they’ll hunt, kill and eat just about anything that crosses their path. Therefore, the stick-based detection approach will not be effective in identifying their poop as can easily be done with raccoons, which leaves you with nothing but the smell.
An unbearable rotten smell is the most obvious way to identify possum poop. Most times you’ll find the poop mixed with urine. The unbearable smell is caused by the presence of ammonia in the poop.
Possum poop can also appear cylindrical with a brown or blackish color and smooth edges. On close examination of the poop, you’ll notice the poop lacks consistency, that is, not continuous. They tend to be in piles stacked upon one another with a mix of urine.
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- A rotten smell due to the presence of ammonia in their urine.
- Smooth edges with brown or blackish color
- Droppings stacked upon one another
- big-sized droppings with a break in the middle
How dangerous is possum poop?
Yes, possum poop is dangerous due to the presence of disease-causing pathogens and viruses. Their feces are known to play host to deadly bacteria that cause diseases such as leptospirosis and salmonella.
leptospirosis and salmonella can be spread through direct interaction with possum poop. But, they are not as dangerous as Buruli bacteria. This bacteria can cause skin ulcers in humans.
As discussed earlier, possums can poop wherever it pleases them, including water sources and swimming pools. If you suspect the presence of a possum in your home, check to see that the water is not contaminated by possum poop.
Fungi spores are another cause of concern when dealing with possum poop. Their poop contains fungal spores that can cause damage to the lungs and heart if inhaled.
Possum poop is dangerous to human health and must be evacuated with caution. If you’re dealing with a widespread infestation, you should consider contacting an expert trained to evacuate possum poop.
Can humans contract diseases from possums?
The answer is yes. Humans can contract diseases from possums.
If unattended, these diseases can become life-threatening. However, it is important to note that humans can only contract diseases from possum poop via contact.
Possums are humble creatures, so you can expect them to avoid humans. Therefore, contracting a disease from possum is limited to physical interaction with their feces or consuming water or food contaminated by their poop.
The possum poop plays host to Leptospirosis, a disease caused by leptospira bacteria. The bacteria is largely present in possum poop.
Another disease is Leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted via contact with possum poop or urine by a person with an open wound.
Some of the problems associated with untreated Leptospirosis are liver failure, kidney damage, meningitis, and respiratory complications. Buruli ulcer is also a disease caused by bacteria.
The bacteria responsible for Buruli ulcer is Mycobacterium ulcerans, and it is found in possum poop. Just like Leptospirosis, direct contact with possum poop is the mode of transmission.
Another deadly bacteria associated with possum poop is Mycobacterium ulcerans, a flesh-eating bacteria that starts as a painless lump. Without early treatment and detection, the lumps gradually become ulcers that can lead to permanent disfigurements.
Most of the cases on record are linked to possum poop. The disease doesn’t just affect humans, it does animals as well. If you live in a possum-infested environment, you need to watch over your pets especially when you let them out to play.
Can pets contract diseases from a possum?
Yes, animals can contract diseases from possums. Animals are at a greater risk of getting infected than hums.
Dogs and cats top the list of animals most vulnerable to possum poop infection due to their curiosity. Fights between possums and pets often ensue which puts them at a greater risk of infection.
If you live in a possum-infested neighborhood, ensure you get your pets vaccinated against possible infections.
4 best ways to remove possum poop from your yard or attic.
If you think you’re dealing with a possum infestation or invasive pets, you should get them removed at your earliest convenience. Failure to do so can put your kids or other pets in danger.
Now that you understand the dangers of possum poop, let’s discuss how to safely remove possum poop from your property.
The best removal technique depends on the location of the droppings and how much poop we’re dealing with. We’ll start with the removal of their droppings from nesting sites in your attic, basement, or any location where they may have pooped.
- Possum poop is highly contagious, in dealing with their poop you should wear a rubber boot covered in disposable material, a rubber glove, and a surgical mask to eliminate the chances of inhaling suspended particles from dried feces.
- If the poop pile looks dry, soften it by spraying it with water. This ensures particles do not dried-up particles do not fly off or stay suspending in the air.
- Use a shovel to transfer the poop to a safe location where you can burn it with gasoline. Do not dig a hole and bury the poop, doing so can lead to soil and water contamination.
- After cleaning, disinfect the site with boiled water and disinfectant.
- Ensure to clean the boot and shovels properly, while disposing of the glove.
If the possum poop is in your garden or backyard, wear your protective gear and torch it. Afterward, disinfect the area. If the feces are in your swimming pool, drain the pool, clean, and disinfect with disinfectant.
How to keep possums away
These invasive little pests are attracted to human settlements due to the abundance of food. Besides being opportunistic hunters and omnivorous animals, they are good at scavenging. Human settlements make an excellent foraging ground for possums.
Therefore, if you’re living in possum-infested areas, you should always keep your trash covered and pet food in safe places.
As nocturnal creatures, they love dark places. That makes the attic or basement the ideal spots for nesting.
A smart way to ward them off is by scattering cat or dog fur, the very thought that a potential predator lurks in the dark is enough to keep these pesky little creatures off your property. Garlic, ammonia snd mothballs have also proven effective in getting rid of possums.
Final Thoughts: What does possum poop look like?
As much as possums can be a threat in many ways, we implore you to seek the most humane way of ridding your property of them. If getting rid of them appears overwhelming to you, you can seek out professional pest control agencies to safely remove the possum from your property.