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