Opossum poop is large, smooth, one inch in length, and typically dark brown. Yellow and white mold may also germinate if the droppings are old.
Let’s take a closer look at what opossum poop looks like, how to identify it, and what you can do if you find it on your property.
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What Does Opossum Poop Look Like?
Opossum fecal matter is tubular, smooth, and usually measures about 1–2″ inches in length and about 3/4 inches in diameter. The color of the droppings varies depending on the animal’s diet, but it’s typically dark brown.
The poop’s ends also curl inwards, which is another distinguishing factor between opossum and rat or raccoon droppings. There’s a lack of ridges in opossum poop, which further separates it from other types of feces.
What Is the Difference Between Opossum Poop and Rat Poop?
Rat droppings are usually smaller than opossum droppings, measuring only 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Rat poop also tends to have sharp, pointed ends, whereas opossum feces have blunter ends. Rat poop also looks more pellet-sized than possum poop.
In terms of color, rat poop is usually dark brown or black. Rats have shinier poop than possums, which can help you tell the difference between the two. On the flip side, possum poop maintains a brown coloration regardless of the animal’s diet.
What Is the Difference Between Opossum Poop and Raccoon Poop?
Raccoon poop and opossum scat are both tubular, fairly large, and brown in color.There are a few noteworthy differences between opossum vs. raccoon poop.
Raccoon poop has a segmented appearance and is full of seeds, berries, and other bits of undigested food. On the other hand, possum poop is smooth and typically doesn’t contain any undigested food. Possum poop also has tapered ends, whereas raccoon poop has blunter ends.
Finally, another good indicator is the amount of animal feces present in the area. Raccoons typically defecate in one area (known as a latrine), whereas possums will employ more rat-like behavior, defecating all over the place.
Can You Get Sick From Possum Poop?
While not as disease-ridden as rat poop, possum poop can still transmit certain diseases and parasites to humans. Here are some of the common diseases associated with possum poop:
This bacterial disease is common, found in 9% of brushtail possums. It can actually be transmitted to humans through contact. This can cause fever, muscle pain, and vomiting.
This bacteria can be found in the intestines of opossums and other animals. It’s usually transmitted to humans through contaminated food, but contact with infected feces can also cause infection. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.
This bacterial disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis and is spread through contact with infected animals, including opossums. Symptoms often do include coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
This is a parasitic infection that affects the intestinal tract. Symptoms include fatigue, cough, and fever.
EPM, or Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, is a neurological disease is caused by a parasite that attacks the nervous system of opossums. It can be transmitted to humans, causing neurological problems.
If you come into contact with possum poop, it’s essential to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face. If you develop any symptoms after contact, be sure to see a doctor right away.
What to Do if You Identify Opossum Poop?
Given the potentially dangerous pathogens present in opossum poop, it’s important to take immediate action to avoid any unnecessary health risks to you and your family.
Here’s what you should do when you find possum poop on your property:
- Put on gloves and a HEPA respirator mask before dealing with the poop.
- Scoop up the poop with a shovel and place it in plastic or trash bags.
- Tightly seal the bag and immediately dispose of it in the trash.
- Thoroughly clean up the area where the poop was found.
- Disinfect the tools that have come into direct contact with the poo.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
How do I prevent Opossum Poop?
Ensuring that possums don’t have access to your property in the first place. This is the best way to avoid dealing with their poop and any associated risks.
Be sure to seal any cracks or holes in your foundation, and keep your garbage cans securely lidded. You might also consider using repellents and installing a possum-proof fence like an electric fence around your property.
If you’d rather not deal with the possum infestation yourself, you can always hire a professional wildlife removal company to handle it for you. They’ll have the experience and equipment necessary to initiate a possum removal and remove possum scat in your area.