Some notions about the opossum can be validated, while others have been brought on by misinformation. In the below photo, we see a possum attacking a raccoon, but that's because it felt it had no other choice! However the idea is not wise. While just about any wildlife animal has the potential to carry diseases, opossums do not typically harbor rabies, according to the Wildlife Rescue League. For instance, possums likely possess zoetic diseases which can be transferred to you if you happen to step on possum’s poop although chances are still remote. Possum Poop. And if that doesn’t work they play dead when really scared! Yes, you may have to share ripe fruit with them, as they have a major sweet tooth. Be sure that the stuff from your attic is clear of possum feces. The Common Brushtail Possum may also eat grass, fungi, bird's eggs and baby birds. However, if your dog continues to provoke a possum then it’ll probably play dead in the first place but if it doesn’t then the chances are that possum might bite your cat or a dog. Opossums typically aren't dangerous, and they rarely attack humans, although the nocturnal animals sometimes show their teeth and harass pets. But even if it seems improbable, bees are that important, and they are a valuable species in many different ecosystems. Possums are thought to play dead whenever they see any predator nearby. Somehow, the giant rat-like creature can threaten everything from barn animals to fish to pets like dogs and cats. In general, possums don't have many, outside of the very people who help them thrive. Leave the opossum alone and enjoy watching wildlife in your own backyard. Opossums typically do not attack your pets even if they are provoked. (Opossum Problems and Solutions) Problem: There is an opossum in my yard. How could one insect smaller than a quarter contribute so much to life on earth? Your pets are most likely safe from an opossum attacking them. While this can be a nuisance during a relaxing evening out on the porch, light can also be used to trap and kill these annoying pests. Possums and humans. But as you did not specify I will state that Raccoons are large and outweigh possums by approximately 20 plus pounds. Chikor said: I think raccoons are cute and I'm always happy to see one, but yeah, they can be assholes, they can bite (from what I know possums almost never bite humans) and they are a major rabies vector in the US. And while these pests are often grouped together, they have distinct differences when their diet, behavior, and habitats are compared. It depends on their mood or situation. They probably have parasites in the flesh, just like kangaroos. Are possums dangerous? A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the field work followed earlier efforts to investigate links between possums and mosquitoes in … Opossums are typically placid creatures, though, and generally will bite only if the opossum feels threatened, especially if cornered, or if it thinks that its young are in danger. Roundworms survive in the human intestines for two years and cause abdominal disorders, diarrhea, breathing diseases and, in more severe cases they can block the intestinal passages. Pests like to enter homes and cause chaos for the unsuspecting homeowners. All rights reserved. Not only does the foul smell floods the area with the disgusting odor, it sends an invitation to nearby scavengers—rendering your pets redundant. Possums can be dangerous or not. They are passive in manner, shy away from confrontation and often “play dead” when confronted by a predator or another animal. And especially when it comes to the latter, seeing one usually means there are others around. If that is so, then possums are certainly dangerous to your pets. If your dog or cat attempts to provoke a possum or teases it somehow, the possum may not attack your dog straightaway because it’s a docile creature. As a homeowner, you may see opossums as unwanted pests, but they can also be helpful critters. Is a Possum Nocturnal. The site is probably the only site that covers the comprehensive and in-depth analysis of possums around the world. Also, the possum’s diseases are most likely to be transmitted to the horses only if they step on possum’s poop. Are possums mean? The possum’s attack is probably their last line of defense against predators. Possums feed on many animals that we consider to be pests, such as rodents, insects, snails, slugs and even some types of birds. Have you ever happened upon a small snake slithering through the grass? Are you seeing strange tracks in the mud, snow or fine soil around your property? In fact, the Opossum Society of the United States suggests that it is more likely that a dog will injure or kill an opossum rather than the opposite. a single opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, Terminix® can help you remove unwanted opossums from your home, Learn more about the types of cookies we use. These scavengers are notorious for going through garbage, hunting everything from snakes to mice, and lurking near road kill. Terminix® can help you remove unwanted opossums from your home and keep them from coming back. For instance, possums likely possess zoetic diseases which can be transferred to you if you happen to step on possum’s poop although chances are still remote. When these wildlife animals enter your residence, they do pose the possible threat of damaging its structural integrity. Possums can be extremely dangerous. No other North American land mammal possesses that many numbers of teeth. It’s Time to Shed the Falsehoods. The opossum, also known as the possum, is a wildlife animal that can be perceived very differently by different parties, including adults, kids and pets. While it is not a danger to humans unless provoked, it can do sizable damage to pets too. Though pests like some species of cockroaches, such as smoky-brown cockroaches, are highly attracted to light, most flying insects will surround a light source. According to the National Pest Management Association, Termites cause over 5 billion dollars in damage per year in the United States. When in groups, possums actively defend themselves against dogs or cats. On the other hand though, is keeping an opossum around necessary for your home when they are meant to be in the wild? If they look to have 5 toes and a strange pattern, they may be opossum tracks. They’ll fight your dog or cat over food, and they also can transmit bacteria, parasites, and other diseases to you or your pets directly or indirectly. We’re here to fill you in on the misunderstood marsupial and how this wildlife creature may or may not fit in to your home life. Researchers … Generally how dangerous an animal is depends on the situation. Although possums aren’t really threatening to humans in a way that they don’t bite like snakes do, they do however cause reasonable problems if they are found in your backyard gardens. Keep reading to learn why. Are possums dangerous? Therefore, if your pet attempts to reach for the possum then it will probably react strongly although possums prefer to get away with any confrontation. Possums are known to produce foul smell which is probably one of many adaptations they employ as a defense. A picture of a possum playing dead doesn’t … Opossums are omnivores and survive by eating a variety of foods. On one hand, having opossums around can be beneficial because they are known to eat harmful insects and annoying pests such as cockroaches, rats and snakes. Nov 10, 2020. Possums aren’t dangerous by nature, but they will defend themselves when threatened. In fact, a single opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year, as found by the Environmental Institute of Houston. – Opossum Hibernation, What Does a Possum Poop Look Like? As mentioned, opossums don’t carry rabies, however, they can potentially carry leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomonas’s and Chagas disease, according to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Opossum is the mediator of murine typhus transmission to humans. Are Garter Snakes Poisonous? Therefore, if you feel like there are several possums inhabiting your garden, better stay away from them and also keep your children inside before you step on the poop bare feet. In fact, a single opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year, as found by the Environmental Institute of Houston. Are possums mean? Learn more about the types of cookies we use by reviewing our updated Privacy Policy. The opossum is North America’s only marsupial and often carries common misconceptions. The best way to prevent pests inside is to have a strong treatment plan and a spotless home. How to Help Keep Critters Out of the Attic. Opossums become dangerous with their ability to transmit diseases to pets and people. The venom of rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other dangerous slithery snakes that might be hiding in your yard has no effect on possums. That is to say that sometimes possum had to play dead even though it didn’t want to. The many beneficial qualities of opossums include: Keeping neighborhoods clear of unwanted pests like cockroaches, rats, and mice. Read More They can be the hard hitters that can be a real danger for the places like the sheds, pet houses, garages, etc. Bees are small after all, most around half an inch in size. Their invasive and destructive behaviors are why it’s important to know how to recognize both the ants themselves and where they reside. If you are having problems with pests ruining your outdoor play or making a mess of your garden, a possum could be a safe and natural way to eliminate such pests. Unlike adult dogs, possums aren’t really scared of puppies. Additionally, they can leave behind droppings and once they die, could cause foul odors that are unfavorable in a home environment. The fleas carry them in their fur. Through this blog, my goal is to provide information about how these species fit into the web of life. In this AnimalWised article, we will explore if possums are dangerous to humans or pets. The opossum, also known as the possum, is a wildlife animal that can be perceived very differently by different parties, including adults, kids and pets. You have entered an incorrect email address! They can find a way into your most loved placed and can be a tough thing to deal with. #83. Fire ants are more than just annoying insects that may leave itchy stings—they can also be destructive. But opossums, commonly called possums, do cause a chill for some when first seen — likely because of their long, naked tail and many-toothed jaws. This disease can be highly dangerous to domestic pets and livestock, as well as humans. Opossums are resistant to rabies and rarely carry the disease. But they don't really get rabies, (read about opossum rabies) and they aren't really predators, more of scavengers, unless the situation is dire. AN OFFENSIVE ODOR SELLS THE PERFORMANCE. Our pest management professionals are certified and experienced, which allows them to safely trap opossums and at the same time follow the proper legalities involved with relocating them to a home outdoors. On one hand, having opossums around can be beneficial because they are known to eat harmful insects and annoying pests such as cockroaches, rats and snakes. Despite the harmless nature, it is important to keep an eye on all of their activities and protect from these as much as possible. There’s also a concern for spreading diseases. is written by me, David. By trying to make your home their home, they may use various parts of the house to build a place to nest. Although they do not usually bite, possums can actually bite you if they feel like they are cornered or provoked. Human food can be dangerous to possums and cause serious dietary imbalance. Let’s find out more about this. But you might not know why it’s a detriment that our bee population is in danger—or why bees are so important in the first place. Known to carry leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases, the pesky creatures pose serious health threats when they invade urban environments. Do possums attack humans? There are more than 50 species of snakes living in the United States, and while a number of dangerous snakes can be found sneaking around homes, many snakes found in backyards belong to the garter snake species, which don’t pose a threat. To avoid becoming a reluctant landlord to ruckus-causing animal tenants, take these simple steps: By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies to analyze website traffic and improve your experience on our website. From a consideration of their evolution, diets and physiology, to assessing their population response to habitat structure and […] Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A possum has only two lines of defense– either it will attack or play dead. Yes, possums carry some diseases which can be passed to humans through skin-to-fur contact or contact with their faeces. While you may even consider keeping an opossum as a pet, it’s important to remember that these are wildlife animals and they should be kept in their natural habitat. In fact, many are sold and kept as pets. In most states of Australia, possums are protected therefore possum control for possum problems needs to be carried out by a professional. The opossum has a mouth full of teeth and can bite humans or other animals painfully if provoked. Their habit of eating disease-carrying ticks and dead stuff … If a mother possum feels that she is in danger or that the baby possums are in danger, the mother possum can attack humans. On the surface, ticks and bed bugs might seem similar: They are both pests that like to bite and feed on blood. But the possums see a human as a potential predator, another animal to be feared. Though raccoons and opossums (possum) are thought to be primarily rural animals, these two types of wildlife can become pests in homes, whether located in the country or the city. You never want to see a tick on your body or a bed bug in your home. Possums are more likely to feel vulnerable when they are alone as compared to in groups. Possums are not very dangerous in general. Very few people know that possums’ poops carry zoetic diseases which can be easily transferred to the one who steps on it. Our mission is to provide a substantial insight into the lives of Australian possums and American opossums. Thus they become aggressive against puppies and they also produce loud noise to scare its opponent. Do Opossums Help To Get Rid Of Ticks? Possums generally go into the attic to have their babies. The red-imported fire ant, often referred to as RIFA, is an invasive species and has been known to prey on other native insect species as well as plants, with some fire ants even preying on small mammals many times their own size. Although possums aren’t really threatening to humans in a way that they don’t bite like snakes do, they do however cause reasonable problems if they are found in your backyard gardens. How to Positively Identify Opossum Tracks. What do I do? Yes, opossums are considered to be dangerous because of the large variety of diseases that they carry and can transmit. Be it flies, moths and some beetles, a large number of pests are drawn toward lights. Possums emit rotten smell that likely lasts 45 minutes. Garter snakes are one of the most common snakes found in North America and they appear throughout most regions of the United States and Canada. But in fact, there’s more than one difference between these two creatures, Cleaning Tips to Help Prevent Pests in Your Home. We're available 24/7. The bottom line is that this is a peaceful animal, and it's not involved in many altercations, either as predator or prey. The relation between Australian possums and North American opossums fascinates me. I don’t know why anyone would bother to ask such a question. Since young kids can potentially have a weaker immune system, it’s advised to keep them away from any wildlife animal that may potentially compromise their health. This release was unsuccessful and a second release 20 years later at the same Southland location was required for them to establish. Do not get too close to them particularly when they are threatened. If you have seen or heard of opossums in your neighborhood, backyard, and/or home, it's time you get to know them, too. When these wildlife a… They may respond with hissing, standing up on their rear legs (to increase their apparent size) and showing their teeth. Consider these additional possum benefits: Opossums hunt, kill, and eat mice, rats, and snakes (including poisonous ones). Some people are afraid of possums because they do have claws and sharp teeth. If you’re an organic gardener, you should love opossums. As an avid writer and naturalist, I've learned the significant role possums play in an ecosystem. Are Possums Dangerous To Humans? Your attic is a desirable home for wildlife looking for a warm and cozy respite from the elements. If you have kids in the house, safety is likely always top of mind. Opossums have 50 sharp teeth. Are Possums Nocturnal? © 2019 The Terminix International Company Limited Partnership. Studies suggest that this particular possum’s reaction isn’t really triggered deliberately. Possums are small to medium-sized marsupials with clawed, grasping hands and feet with five digits, a long, prehensile tail with a naked underside, and a slightly elongate muzzle, Do Possums Hibernate in Winter? Call now. Opossums are scavengers and clean up dead animal carcasses. A slight touch of the skin and the feces can be a real problem for the person coming in contact. In this article we are going to study how possums are dangerous to your pets or even humans. But usually they will not harm your pet. An opossum has 50 teeth, all of which are as sharp as you may think. An opossum may look tiny and cute, but they can be very dangerous to your pets. Possums eat the leaves, flowers and fruits of a wide variety of native and exotic trees and shrubs. Spread through urine, a possum problem could lead to a contaminated water supply. On the other hand though, is keeping an opossum around necessary for your home when they are meant to be in the wild? Opossums have a natural resistance to rabies and botulism, so they aren’t likely to spread these diseases. … I'm excited to share my passion for possums with you. While they may not be a threat to your kid’s safety and your own, they are still wild animals. How about your pets? They also carry mites, ticks and other parasites, and bacterial infections such as ulcers. Do Opossums Have Rabies or Other Diseases? While opossums are rarely dangerous, you might want to read about opossum predators. Possums are most likely to bite puppies or kittens. Generally, possums look threatening like giant rats. You may also be interested in: Bird Diseases Humans Can Catch The possum has a thick, bushy tail, thick body fur, a pointed snout and large, pointed ears. Opossum are not aggressive: their open-mouth, defensive hissing is merely a bluff to look vicious. Need help? Although they are less likely to carry rabies, possums have the ability to transmit diseases to your pets. Do possums attack humans? A messy home can cause stress, health issues and, worst of all, bugs. These diseases include tuberculosis, leptospirosis, tularemia, spotted fever, and coccidiosis. According to the CDC, opossums, while rare, do have the ability to carry some diseases. The common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. There are two colour forms of the species - grey and black, with many vari… In some rare cases, possums might attack humans or pets. What Do Possums Eat and Are They Dangerous? Solution: Nothing. Diet. As for cats, cats may potentially kill younger rat-sized opossums, but adult opossums and cats have been seen to exhibit a mutual respect for one another. One of the most common questions about this species is "are opossums marsupials?". Although people usually believe that it’s a myth however, researchers have actually witnessed possums playing dead particularly when they see human. If there is an opossum in the yard, don't worry. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Save the bees” in the last few years. The reaction is triggered automatically within the brain in order to paralyze the animal in danger. Aboriginals used to eat possums. If you think you're having an issue with possums in your attic you should contact a local professional possum removal company. They aren’t a threat, and more than likely they will be moving on in a short while. Opossums are omnivorous and are beneficial to humans because they cause very little damage and they consume undesirable insects, snails, and slugs. The primary sources of sustenance are small... Disease. If you’ve recently come across an opossum, more commonly known as a possum, rabies might be on your mind. When it comes to opossums, you can be at peace knowing that these animals are typically docile. As a homeowner, you may see opossums as unwanted pests, but they can also be helpful critters.