Possum is a marsupial native to Australia. It can dwell in a wide range of habitats, including cities and environments developed by humans. Hence, you may see them around.
Possums are nocturnal so you stepping on their feces in the early morning is not an ideal way to start a day.
What does possum poop look like? Just like other animals, the appearance of possum poop depends on its diet. It can be similar to koala poop but smaller. The color of the possum poop ranges from black or dark brown to greenish-brown, as this animal can consume leaves and garden fruits.
Scat is the term for the poo of wild animals, and it’s not an interesting topic to discuss. But knowing how to identify a poop or scat gives you an idea of the animals that are around you.
You’ll be aware that a possum is nearby if you see its poop. This article will guide you with its identification and other important details regarding this matter.
Table of Contents
How to Identify Possum’s Poop?
The appearance of a scat is based on the animal’s diet. Possums are omnivores as they don’t only go after fruits, nectar, flowers, and leaves. They also eat insects and chicks or eggs.
A study about glossy black cockatoos conducted in Kangaroo Islands revealed this habit.
Due to this discovery, metal collars are placed on tree trunks to stop possums from climbing and accessing nests. Therefore, you won’t only see vegetation on a possum’s poop. This also implies that color variations will likely come up.
What Does Possum Poop Look Like?
The shape of the possum poop is similar to koala poop. It’s cylindrical, and it sometimes contains vegetation. In addition, the poop can look like an uneven pellet or olive pit that is around 1 cm long. The color can be red-brown, dark brown, black, or greenish.
Since possums are omnivores, the appearance of their scat varies. The larger possums usually have darker poop.
Do Possum Poop Stink?
Possum poop stinks as it’s mixed with urine. Then, it begins to smell like ammonia and rotting feces. That’s why it can attract flies and other parasites.
Where Do Possums Poop The Most?
Possums poop under the tree the most because it’s where they have been feeding.
Is Possum Poop Dangerous?
Possum poop is dangerous because it contains disease-causing microorganisms. As a wild animal, it can bite or scratch you.
Can Humans Contract Diseases From Possums?
Humans can contract diseases from possums. Due to their feces, Australia is the only developed country where a tropical disease called Mycobacterium ulcerans or Buruli ulcer exists. It’s also called Bairnsdale ulcer or Daintree ulcer in Australia.
Although mosquitoes are responsible for transmission, they get bacteria from possum poop. It was confirmed by the study published in the journal PLOS.
These ulcer-causing bacteria consume a person’s skin and flesh. Painless skin necrosis commonly forms on the arms and legs.
Possums are also prone to leptospirosis, and since they live near humans, the transmission of this disease is possible. Based on the findings of a study, the older the possum is, the likelihood of getting this disease. Leptospirosis causes a lot of complications and even leads to death
Tularemia, a zoonotic disease, can be transferred by a possum to a person through a scratch or bite. It can also be contracted when handling infected tissue like skinning possums or other infected animals.
A woman who got bitten and scratched by an infected possum experienced symptoms such as sore throat, fatigue, and swollen lymph glands.
Another way of exposure to this disease is through getting in contact with environmental sources like soil and water that are contaminated by the animal carcass.
The bacteria that caused tularemia may get into an open wound, or eye, and digestion of contaminated food. Anyway, it’s not common for humans to be infected with tularemia.
Can Pets Get a Disease From a Possum?
You also need to take care of your pets and not let them get diseases from a possum. For example, leptospirosis from possums can be transferred to other animals through contaminated soil and water.
This is usually caused by the urine of animals like possums. So, you should watch out for it when there’s heavy rain or flood.
Humans can be infected with leptospirosis, as well as their pets. It can lead to meningitis which is the inflammation of the membrane around the spinal cord and brain.
Other consequences are kidney damage, respiratory distress, and liver failure. The worst is when it leads to death.
How to Safely Remove Possum Poop From Your Yard or Attic?
Since possum poop can cause diseases, you have to be wary when handling it. You can’t just pick it up as you need to remove soiled insulation and some things that might be affected just to be sure. If you don’t do it, mold will grow around the area.
Here are the things that you need: rubber boots with a disposable cover, spray water, gloves, enzyme cleaner or strong disinfectant, surgical mask, double bag, gasoline, and shovel.
- Before working on poop removal, put on a mask, disposable gloves, and rubber boots with a disposable cover. The mask is to prevent from inhaling the poop.
- If the possum poop is dry, you have to spray it with water as it can easily fly off.
- Pick the poop with a shovel and place it into the double bag. To play it safe, pour gasoline on the stool and light it. This will inhibit contamination in soil and water.
- With the disinfectant or enzyme cleaner, clean the area where the poop was, as well as the tools and items that you used.
How to Keep Possums Away?
Here are the two ways of keeping possums away from your house and garden:
1. Not letting possums enter your house.
Possums would likely make a nest in the roof cavity. So, it’s best to block any possible entrances with wire or wood netting and sheet metal. If you’ve already observed that a possum has entered your house, cover the passage that it’s familiar with at the right time.
This is because the possum will leave its nest when the sun goes down to forage. While it’s out, you can block the entryway. You would know that the possum wasn’t able to enter by its noises.
After it fails entry, you can build the permanent blocking during the day. When the possum is gone for good, disinfect the passageways to get rid of the traces that a possum has left behind.
2. Keeping possums out of your garden.
A garden has a lot of food sources for possums, like ornamental plants and fruits. To prevent damage, you shouldn’t allow them to enter your garden. Since they can only jump 1 meter high, a 1.5 m fence can keep them away.
Some modifications can help to ensure that the possums can’t get past through the fence. You can add wire mesh and wire that has a high tensile. The wire is essential so the mesh won’t overhang the outside of the fence.
The wire mesh or floppy top bends as the possum puts its weight on it. Once the animal feels instability, it won’t continue climbing. Trees can also let the possum enter your garden, so cut the lower branches. You may also place sheet metal collars on tree trunks.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Raccoon Poop and Possum Poop?
Raccoon poop is similar to a dog’s poop that is either rounded or broken. On the other hand, a possum poop is similar to a koala and in pellet form. Berries are always present in the texture poop of raccoons.
Fruits can be present in a possum poop, but it’s not a consistent thing.
The color of the poop of raccoons and possums are both in the dark shade, but the latter can sometimes be greenish or red-brown. Due to the ¾” diameter of the raccoon poop, it’s much bigger than the possum poop, which is only 1 cm long.
What Color Is Possum Poop?
The color of possum poop is black, dark brown, red-brown, or greenish.
Do Possums Poop in the Same Place?
Possums can poop in the same place where they usually eat and it’s under the tree.
What Smells Do Possums Hate?
Here are the smells that possums hate:
- Animal-derived fertilizers
- Fish smell
What Is the Best Possum Repellent?
Possums don’t like the fish smell, so you can use fish-based fertilizers like GS Plant Foods Organic Hydrolyzed Liquid Fish Fertilizer and Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer as possum repellents.
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There are several natural ingredients that you can make as a possum repellent. You can spray them on the areas and plants that attract possums.
- Tea-based – In two liters of boiling water, put four tablespoons of Lapsang Souchong tea. Let it cool and strain the liquid to be transferred into a plastic spray bottle.
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- Fish sauce – The spraying mixture is one tablespoon of the fish sauce to one liter of water.
- Garlic or chili – You either use freshly crushed garlic or chili. Once crushed, put the spice in one liter of hot water. Let it stand overnight, and you can use the spray the following day.
- Quassia chips – You need bark chips from a South American tree. 100 grams of these chips should be heated up in two liters of water for an hour. Strain before adding one tablespoon of detergent. One part of this solution should be diluted in four parts of water before spraying.
- Tabasco sauce – There’s no need to mix something with Tabasco sauce as you can directly apply it as a spray or paint.
The possum poop is cylindrical and like a pellet that is only one cm long. Due to the varieties of food that this omnivorous animal can eat, the color and content of its poop can be different. It always depends on what the animal eats.
Once you see this description, it means that the possum is roaming and nesting nearby. You’ll likely see possum poop under a tree.
List of Sources
Possum Repellents Fact Sheet. (2008). The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Possum poo study sheds light on human epidemics. (2014). Australian National University.
Fauna Notes – Possums – Damage Prevention and Control. (2017). Government of Western Australia – Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Eyyman, J., et al. (2007). Leptospirosis serology in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) from urban Sydney, Australia. Journal of wildlife diseases.
Rare infection from possum scratch prompts warning. (2020). NSW Health.