Scratch, scratch, scratch. Something in the attic is attempting to catch your attention. Now that your curiosity has been piqued, you want to know who the uninvited visitor is. As you enter cautiously, what do you see? A mess, chewed-up items, and perhaps even nasty droppings from the burglar!
The main suspects are usually the two kinds of possum—the common brushtail possum, which is as big as a cat and has a bushy tail, and the common ringtail possum, which is smaller and has a naked, curled tail. They are both adorable little creatures, but don’t let their huge, innocent eyes mislead you! They can lead to numerous issues in a home. Since you saw their poop as evidence, how do you ensure it’s from them?
Even though the terms “possum” and “opossum” are frequently used interchangeably, they have different meanings. The term “opossum” only applies to American opossums, while possums, along with kangaroos and koalas, are uniquely Australian. Additionally, their poop is very different from each other. In this article, we will take a look at some possum poop images and explore what possum droppings look like and other interesting facts.
What Do Possum Droppings Look Like?
The answer varies with the species of possum and what they’re eating at the time. Most common of all scat are those of the brushtail possum.
The South-East Queensland region is home to the common brushtail possum. Koala poop and brushtail possum poop are almost identical, but the size is what differentiates them. The brushtail possum scat is only slightly smaller—about 15 millimeters (0.6 inches). Depending on what the possum is eating, the feces range in color from greenish-brown to dark brown to black.
The excrement of the brushtail possum is cylindrical and varies in size. Brushtail possums’ feces seem like discrete pellets, clumps, or strings, and they prefer to leave their stools in a tidy pile of one to two meters. The scat will protrude from the break with a stringy appearance and a rough texture.
About 10 mm long, the ringtail possum’s poop is a little shorter than the brushtail possum’s poop. It has a color ranging from dark brown to black and is best described as an irregular pellet that resembles an olive pit. The pellets often come in groups of three to six, have a granulated surface and rounded ends. Additionally, their waste is frequently dispersed beneath feeding trees, making it simple to find if the tree hangs over an open space. The fecal pellets of the common ringtail possum are also consumed – the ringtail possum digests twice to get more nutrients from the excrement.
Does Possum Poop Smell?
Again, the answer would depend on the species of possum.
The main distinction between ringtail possum and other possum species is that ringtail possum feces is made mostly of chewed peppermint leaves and has no unpleasant smell. Whereas brushtail possum poop, when fresh, smells horrible, and their poop, when mixed with urine, produces a foul odor.
Do Possums Fart to Defend Themselves?
It might look like that, but no. Possums are territorial and will mark their territory by urinating in it and rubbing oil from their glands on their chest, chin, and anus. They frequently lock eyes with erect ears to defend their territory. They are typically timid and non-aggressive.
If handled, ringtail possums release a pungent substance from their anal glands. The scent gland that the common brushtail possum uses to mark its territory frequently leaves a reddish-brown stain on its breast fur.
Is Possum Poop Dangerous?
Because it spreads infections through urine and feces, possum poop is dangerous. These animals are carriers of the bacterial disease leptospirosis, which manifests symptoms similar to the flu.
Humans can die from leptospirosis. If your immune system is weak, it may cause complications for you. If left untreated, meningitis, liver failure, renal damage, and respiratory failure can all result. You risk contracting this when you touch possum poop with bare hands. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic illness that can only be contracted from possum feces through cuts or open wounds.
Coccidiosis, which develops when you step on poo, can also affect humans. Your body will become ill due to the coccidiosis bacteria entering your bloodstream. The Buruli bacteria, spread by possum feces, is the most harmful illness. If you touch the possum stool, there is a high chance of contracting it. Humans that have this develop skin ulcers.
Possums in New Zealand are affected by bovine tuberculosis, but there is no proof that possums in Australia are carriers of the illness. In fact, TB is nonexistent in Australia. Possums, however, can have a wide range of mites, ticks, parasites, and bacterial diseases, some of which can be spread to humans and/or other animals. If you come in contact with animal waste, you should wash your hands immediately for proper hygiene.
What Do Possums Eat?
Possums have evolved to prefer an omnivorous diet that includes insects, eggs, and other plant matter, some of which are toxic to other animals. They will also scavenge food that other animals and people have left over if given a chance. They are best described as opportunistic because the precise nutritional composition fluctuates depending on the food supply in each place.
Several possum species have an expanded cecum (a pouch in the intestines) to ferment and digest their diet of food high in fiber. Sharp points on the molar teeth enable them to efficiently chew through tough plant material.
Possums also enjoy other food that we may grow for ourselves, such as fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, grapes, and bananas. They also consume native plants including numerous varieties of wattle and acacia trees, as well as numerous eucalyptus trees.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.