Are Opossums Dangerous?

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Opossums are often thought of as pests, but are Opossums dangerous? This article will explore whether or not opossums are dangerous to humans, pets, and property. Opossums are usually shy and non-aggressive, but they can carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans and pets. They can also be a nuisance if they raid garbage cans or invade attics. While they may not be dangerous animals, it is important to take precautions if you encounter one.

What are possums or opossums?

Opossums have a prehensile tail.

Opossums, also known as possums, are the only marsupials in North America. They are native to the eastern and southern United States and parts of Mexico.

Opossums are a unique species because they have a prehensile tail, which is used to help them climb trees. They are also the only North American mammal that can play dead when they feel threatened.

Opossums, more commonly known as possums, are North American marsupials. They are the only living species in the family Didelphidae. Possums have dull gray fur, white and black markings, a long snout, and pink paws. They generally weigh between 4 and 12 pounds.

Opossums are a fairly common sight in North America. These marsupials have a rat-like tail and 50 teeth that they use for defense. If you catch an opossum off guard, you’ll probably hear it hiss, growl, or click as a warning to stay back.

Where in your homes are you likely to find an opossum?

Opossums are found in many different habitats, including urban and suburban areas, alongside humans. They are very versatile animals and can live in a variety of environments. This makes them one of the most common wild animals in North America.

Opossums are very adaptable creatures and can thrive in, more or less, any type of habitat. They are commonly found in residential areas, where they look for food and shelter. In fact, to answer the question, opossums will, most often, take up residence in garages, sheds, and attics.

These versatile creatures are opportunistic animals that search for a place to mainly live and raise their young.

Since they don’t build their own dens, they often take up residence in your attic, crawlspace, or garage, as I’ve mentioned. Sometimes, they can also be found living under sheds, decks, and porches.

Are opossums dangerous?

Are opossums dangerous?

Opossums are attracted to people’s houses and yards for food and water. They can sometimes get into trash cans or gardens, where they may eat plants or fruits.

Now, are possums dangerous? If an opossum feels threatened, it may hiss, growl, or bare its teeth. However, opossums are not typically dangerous and will usually flee when confronted.

In addition, opossums are not typically vocal animals. Rather, they can be amazingly quiet when necessary. This makes them difficult to spot and even more dangerous if you’re unaware of their presence.

Opossums, though they have almost no natural enemies, will still try to flee when faced with danger. If cornered or attacked, they may hiss and growl as a warning, but more often than not, they will simply play dead.

That said, opossums can still be dangerous creatures to have around your home or living areas. The reason is that opossums can carry a wide variety of harmful germs that can cause diseases in both humans and pets.

These diseases include tuberculosis, leptospirosis, spotted fever, coccidiosis, tularemia, toxoplasmosis, and others.

Further, opossums are considered nuisance wildlife in many urban areas as they often invade homes and yards in search of food. While they may seem tame and harmless, the main threat they can pose is that of diseases and germs.

Along with that, opossums also have the ability to severely injure other animals or humans by using their teeth and nails. However, this is extremely rare and not something you would need to worry about unless you harass the animal.

In conclusion, opossums can be dangerous and should not be handled without professional help. If you are experiencing difficulties with an opossum on your property, it is best to contact a wildlife removal company.

Are opossums dangerous animals toward dogs and cats?

Opossums are not generally considered to be dangerous animals, but they can pose a threat to cats. They have sharp claws and teeth and can deliver a powerful bite. Additionally, opossums often carry diseases that can be harmful to pets.

Opossums are opportunistic omnivores that will search for food anywhere they can find it. This often means raiding trash cans, breaking into pet food storage areas, and taking over gardens and flower beds.

As a result, opossums tend to come into contact with domesticated animals more frequently than other wild creatures. While opossums typically won’t attack dogs or cats unprovoked, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened.

Do opossums carry diseases, and, if they do, which diseases do they carry?

Opossums can be dangerous animals because they are known to carry a variety of diseases.

These diseases can be transmitted to both pets and people, so it is important to take precautions when around opossums and seek immediate treatment and medical attention in case you’ve been bitten by a possum.

There are some misconceptions about the kind of diseases they carry. For example, they have a high immunity against disease, and as such, it is rare for them to contract rabies.

In fact, less than one percent of opossums carry the rabies virus at any given time. This makes them an ideal animal for those who are looking for an exotic pet that is low-maintenance and disease-free.

Apart from that, these creatures are known carriers of a variety of diseases, many of which can be harmful to humans.

Tuberculosis, leptospirosis, tularemia, spotted fever, Chagas disease, and coccidiosis are among the most well-known. It is important to be cautious when around opossums and always practice safe handling techniques.

What are the most common problems that opossums cause?

Opossums are an urban nuisance.

Opossums are not destructive in nature, but they can be opportunistic and resourceful. This means that they will take advantage of any opportunity they can to get what they want, including finding food or shelter.

They are also known to cause property damage by getting into trash cans, gardens, and other areas where they should not be.

Opossums are interesting creatures, and they can be beneficial in some ways, but they also cause a lot of problems for homeowners.

For one, opossums are attracted to food sources and will raid homes for food or shelter. They’re also known to carry diseases that can be harmful to both people and pets.

In addition, opossums can cause a lot of damage by raiding chicken coops, tearing ductwork or insulation, overturning trash cans, ransacking birdfeeders, and more.

What do opossums generally eat?

Opossums are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. Plus, they are also opportunistic feeders, which means that they will take advantage of any food source that is readily available to them.

This often includes scavenging for food on the ground or raiding garbage cans. Opossums typically prefer to set up camp near readily available food sources, such as dumpsters, trash cans, gardens, and bird feeders.

In addition, opossums are omnivorous animals that enjoy a varied diet. They also eat fruits, grasses, insects, small mammals, birds, fish, and even carrion (dead animal flesh).

Do possums eat ticks?

Opossums are beneficial to humans because they eat ticks- an estimated 5,000 per tick season! In addition to their ability to consume ticks, opossums also offer a number of other benefits.

For instance, they are one of the few animals that can eat both venomous and non-venomous snakes. These animals are a powerful ally in the fight against tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever specifically.

Do opossums bite?

Opossums are not always docile creatures. In fact, when threatened, they sometimes fight back. This means that they can and do bite people on occasion. However, opossums are not typically considered dangerous animals.

Interestingly, if you try to catch a possum by the tail or pick up a seemingly “dead” possum by the tail and carry it away, you will find that it suddenly comes to life. Possums curl up or climb quickly up their own tails when they feel threatened and often bite the hand that holds them.

Opossums are mostly timid creatures that would rather flee than fight. However, if they feel threatened or cornered, they will growl and attack aggressively with a formidable bite.

Are opossums blind animals?

Opossums are not actually blind animals. They just have terrible eyesight during the day, which is why they are more active at night.

This means that they can see you if you approach them, and they may attack if they feel threatened.

In general, their pupils are always dilated due to their nocturnal lifestyle. This means that their eyesight improves drastically at night when they are most active.

What are the usual signs of an opossum infestation?

Opossums are one of the most common pests in the United States. They are slow and sluggish, making them an easy target for predators.

However, now you know that they can also carry a number of diseases, which is why it is important to know how to identify an opossum infestation and what to do if you encounter one.

Opossums are also known to invade yards and gardens in search of food. They may be seen digging up lawns as they search for grubs and other insects.

Alternatively, if you hear the dogs in your neighborhood barking every night, you might want to get together with the other homeowners and hore a wildlife rescue professional; to look for the possum and get rid of it from the neighborhood.

How can you get rid of opossums?

Opossum infestations must be dealt with immediately.

There are a few ways to deter possums from your property, but none of these ways are absolutely fail-safe.

Install a tall fence around your property.

You could try installing a tall fence around the perimeter of your property or your garden. If you don’t want to do it for your entire perimeter, you could even do one just for your compost pit areas.

Use trash cans that are securely closed.

Further, you should always use trash cans that have lids that fit and shut properly. Otherwise, opossums secure easy access to your trash. If they find easy access to your trash, they are bound to be unwanted repetitive guests at your house!

Don’t leave pet food outside the house.

You should also keep pet food inside the house, along with bird feeders. Opossums, being opportunistic omnivores, will eat anything and everything, including pet food.

Can opossums make for good pets?

Opossums are generally considered to be non-aggressive animals and make good pets. However, it can be difficult to find the right balance in their diet as they are omnivores. They also require a lot of attention and care, so they may not be the best pet for everyone.

Can you or should you feed an opossum?

Opossums are not suitable for people to feed, and the practice in itself can cause metabolic bone disease. Opossums have very specific dietary needs, and the last thing you want is to have these wild animals rely entirely on you for food.

And mark my words, they will do just that if you offer them food. They also carry a variety of diseases that can be harmful to both humans and pets, so it is important to keep your distance and not try to interact with them if you see one near your home.

Can opossum poop or droppings be dangerous?

Yes, opossum poop or droppings can be dangerous. Opossums can carry and transmit a variety of diseases, including leptospirosis, through their droppings, which can be dangerous to both us and our pets if contact is made.

If any are found on your property, it is best to use bleach to clean it up as they may contain parasites that can be harmful to humans. Furthermore, opossums have a strong musk odor that can linger for a while, so you’ll want to clean up after an opossum anyway.

Do opossums provide any benefits?

While opossums may seem like a nuisance, they actually provide a lot of benefits to their environment. For one, they are natural tick predators, which helps keep the population of ticks down and reduces the spread of Lyme disease.

They also help to control rodent populations, which can be harmful to crops and gardens. In addition to helping control pests, opossums are also great at eating dead animals.

This helps keep the local ecosystem in balance by removing decaying matter that could create a breeding ground for disease.


In conclusion, opossums are dangerous, but not for the reason that first pops into your head. While they can be violent, they generally aren’t. The danger that you need to be aware of is that of diseases and germs that these animals carry. That said, maintaining a safe distance at all times is a fairly safe game plan to follow when you’re dealing with opossums.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.