What Does Possum Poop Look Like? (Identify Opossum Scat)

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Poop talk! Not a very polite topic to discuss but a pretty necessary one. Today, we’re here to talk about possum droppings.

Note: While the correct term in the US is actually "opossum", "possum" is used just as much. Both are part of the Didelphimorphia order of marsupials and their droppings will be similar. For the sake of this article, the terms will be used interchangeably.

Wild animals, just like us, eat, sleep, and of course, poop. And while possums might not always drop on in when you are around, their scat is usually the proof of their visit.

So if you have seen poo like that of dogs around your property, you may have been graced with the presence of a possum in your yard or your house.

But how do you differentiate between a possum’s droppings and that of other animals? Keep reading to find out.

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Related: How to Get Rid of Possums

What Does Opossum Poop Look Like?

To co-exist with a possum means to live with a mess while not necessarily even being aware of it. A possum leaves behind a mess wherever it goes.

Possum feces looks like that of your pet dog’s poop. More specifically, a medium-sized dog. It often even smells the same.

See Also: What Does Fox Poop Look Like?

Pictures of Possum Scat

possum scat

what does possum poop look like?

possum droppings

Identification of Opossum Droppings

A possum usually excretes in the same area where it has been feeding. There are usually piles of poop just lying around, and it won’t be difficult to tell that it’s possum poop.

In most cases, poop can be found in places where a dog cannot usually enter. So, before you blame your poor dog, investigate the spot of the crime with the utmost attention.

Opossum feces is mostly brown in color and is in a curly shape because the animal bends while it excretes.

It smells almost like dog poop and also the closest scat to possum’s is that of some type of skunk. However, a skunk usually only gets close to your house to give birth and when a skunk is around, you usually know.

So, while possum droppings may look similar to a few other animals, it’s usually not too difficult to identify using the information above.

See Also: What Does Coyote Poop Look Like?

Difference Between Opossum Poop and Rat Poop

rat droppings

Now that you are pretty sure that the poop is not that of your dog’s or a skunk, you might be wondering if it could be of any other animal.

Another common question when identifying a possum poop is whether it could be rat droppings.

The golden rule in pest control is “The first step towards dealing with any pest is identifying it”. The best way to identify possum poop is by looking at the shape of the pellets.

Even though similar in size, rat pellets tend to differ from possum poop as the pellets are more pointed towards the end and possum pellets are not so tapered.

rat infestation is even worse than a possum infestation; rat droppings pose more health risks as rats are the carriers of many diseases.

Is Possum Poop Dangerous?

Possum poop, like all poop, is dangerous. In fact, just inhaling the unpleasant smell of a possum’s poop can pose a serious health risk.

Inhaling the fumes from possum fecal matter can let the fungal spores they contain get into a person’s lungs and cardiovascular system and cause diseases like Toxoplasmosis, Leptospirosis, Coccidiosis, etc.

While the Toxoplasma gondii parasite passes on the infection Toxoplasmosis; people can also get it when eating undercooked meat that’s contaminated or from animal feces.

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The symptoms can be similar to flu, including headache, fever, flu, body ache, etc.

On the other hand, in the case of coccidiosis, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and make the person ill simply from them coming in direct contact with the contaminated scat.

It can affect infants the most, and the symptoms include fever, weight loss, abdominal cramps, headaches, constipation, etc.

Leptospirosis can be fatal to humans; it can lead to liver and kidney failure and meningitis.

Does Opossum Scat Mean an Infestation?

The good news is that spotting a pile of possum poop doesn’t mean you’re facing an imminent possum invasion.

Chances are, you’re seeing the adult possum poop from a single critter.

Because of the dangers in coming into contact with possum poop, you have to be extra careful with the removal of opossums.

Eliminate any pet food or other potential food sources and listen at night for any unusual rustling. If you hear any, try to sneak a picture out of a darkened window so you can see if it’s a lone possum or a family.

If the latter, any immature possums will be riding on their mother’s back. This is a good excuse to call in a professional and show them the photo.

See Also: Why You Really DON’T Need That Opossum Trap

How To Clean Up Possum Droppings

gloves for cleaning

You have to be extremely careful while dealing with possum scat. Their feces can be potentially fatal to both people and pets.

Merely eradicating the critter is not enough. You also have to remove any traces of feces.

Always wear thick rubber gloves and a face mask when removing the scat and be careful not to let it break or particles may escape into the air. Pick it up carefully and place it in a doubled up bag.

Once the waste has been carried out and safely disposed of, the area needs to be cleaned with a strong disinfectant or an enzyme cleaner.

Dealing With Opossums Professionally

how to get rid of possums

If you are reading this right now, it means that you’ve noticed certain signs of possums on your property.

Now, if it is an occasional appearance, then the above-mentioned solutions should be just enough to keep them away. However, it is always better to hire a professional who could deal with this more adeptly in case of too many sightings.

Contrary to popular belief, any decent exterminator will provide affordable prices that includes tips and followup visits.

Want to Let the Pros Handle It?
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Final Words

There are many problems humans face while cohabiting with other animals.

But getting rid of animals just to make our own life liveable is not always an option. They have an equal right to live and thrive just like us.

The only remedy is to keep them at bay and poop identification of these animals is one way of figuring out which one has recently visited your yard or home.

That’s why this article is a must-read if you are frequently revisited by possums.

If you have any more questions, reach out to us in the comments below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!


1 thought on “What Does Possum Poop Look Like? (Identify Opossum Scat)”

  1. Over several weeks, I have been seeing red-brown stains on my garage doors. Initially, I saw 2 oval 8 x 4′ “splashes” on a lower panel of my garage door that I thought were mud.
    Later, I saw what looked like a long deposit of liquid flaky red-brown material running down the garage door trim.
    Next I saw a thin 1/2″ red line that looked like it had been drawn by a fat crayon on a midway up garage door panel.
    The latest deposits looked more like reddish dog poop. One batch had been scratched and smeared above the garage doors on the white wood trim with some solid material. A second deposit was directly above the door on the flashing. Some reddish solid material was there too.
    One small area looked like a paw scratch deposit.
    I scrubbed the early stains off (they required a lot of elbow grease to get off)
    I left some of the later stains to help me identify what was smearing on my garage doors and the wood trim across the top and down the side.

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