One of the first signs of a possum making its home in your house is that you find possum poo in your garden or your house. However, it isn’t always easy to determine what possum is poo versus something else. Therefore, in this article, we will ask what possum poo looks like and how to get rid of an infestation if you do find possums in your home.
Legal Issues of Possums in the Home
Possums are a protected species in Australia. Therefore, if you do find that you have a possum in your house, you cannot forcibly move it. Instead, you need to find a way to get the possum to decide that your home is no longer a good place to live.
This can be very hard for you to do without some help. So you might need to contact a qualified and experienced pest controller.
Why Are Possums Hard to Move?
There are several reasons why possums are hard to move. They are protected legally because research has shown that possums that are forcibly removed from their home will often die. And because possums play an important part in the Australian ecosystem, this is very undesirable.
And possums can also be relatively stubborn.
What Does Possum Poo Look Like?
Possum poo can vary depending on the species that might inhabit your home. For example, in the South-East Queensland region, you are more likely to be invaded by the common brushtail possum. This species has poop that is very similar, almost identical to that of Koalas. The difference between the two species is the size.
The scat of the brushtail possum is slightly smaller, about 0.6 inches. And it can also depend on what the individual is eating on what the colour of the poop is. Colours can range from greenish-brown to dark brown and even black in some cases.
The shape of the poop from a brushtail possum is cylindrical. It can vary considerably in size. The faeces look more like discrete pellets, clumps, or strings. The species have a particular toileting spot that they like to return to. They also tend to leave their poop in piles in an area of about one to two metres.
The ringtail possum's poop is shorter than that of the brushtail possum’s poop. It also has a more uniform colour, it tends to be dark brown to black. It is also less regular in shape, resembling more of an olive pit. The pellets are often left in an area in groups, tending to be between three and six.
Their texture is granulated and they have rounded ends. Their waste is frequently dispersed beneath trees where they’ve had meals. Therefore, it is much easier to find the signs of the ring tailed possum than it is to find the brushtail possum. It is also easier to find pellets when you have trees that have wide-open spaces underneath them.
Does Possum Poo Smell?
Another way to tell whether or not you have a possum infestation at your property is to smell the suspected possum poop. It does depend on what species might have come to make their home in your home as to whether or not the poop smells.
The ringtail possum poop is often made of chewed peppermint leaves, and therefore there isn’t an unpleasant smell that you sometimes get with other animals. However, the brushtail possum poop can smell really bad. And therefore, the first sign that you have of a possum in the home is not seeing the poop, but rather you smell it.
Poop is also often mixed with urine, which produces one of the foulest odours.
Do Possums Fart to Defend Themselves?
Possums are territorial. That is one of the reasons why you can’t forcibly move a possum because you might accidentally release it into the territory of another possum which would result in the death of one of the possums.
Possums mark their territory by urinating around the area. This can be very foul smelling, and again can be a sign that a possum has made it into your home.
However, a possum, when encountered by a human will run away and be very timid. They are not aggressive. Though if you try to handle a ringtail possum, it will likely release a pungent substance from its scent gland that is near its anal gland.
Is Possum Poo Harmful to Humans?
Many rodents and other mammals have poop that can be harmful to humans. Rat and mouse droppings, for example, can carry lots of potential diseases. The same can be said for possum poop. It can spread infections and diseases through not just their poo, but also their urine.
Possums can carry numerous diseases including leptospirosis. This disease, when humans suffer from it, has symptoms that are very similar to the flu or covid. However, the danger is that humans can die from this disease. Those who are most at risk are those who have an immune system as they can get further complications.
If left untreated, leptospirosis can cause meningitis, liver failure, renal damage, and respiratory failure.
Those who touch possum poo can catch the disease, but only through cuts or open wounds on your hands. If you do come into contact with possum poo, you should wash your hands immediately.
Coccidiosis is another disease that possums can spread from possum poo. It is normally transmitted when a person steps on the poo. The human body becomes very ill because bacteria will enter the bloodstream. Skin ulcers are a common symptom of this.
In New Zealand, possums are also carriers of bovine tuberculosis. There is no proof that possums in Australia carry this illness.
In addition, possums are known to be carriers of numerous ticks, mites, and fleas. Some of these can spread a wide range of diseases. They can make humans very ill.
Final Word: What does Possum Poo Look Like?
Above is the information that you need to determine whether or not you have possum poo or another pest in your home. Possum poo can be very dangerous, so if you do find that you have an infestation, it is best to get your local pest controller to help you relocate your possum.
Other options include motion-activated device such as the Envirobug Garden Sentinel Motion-activated animal sprinkler. It uses an infrared sensor to detect the body heat of animals and birds. Once triggered, it deploys a startling burst of water combined with unexpected noise and motion creating a safe, highly effective deterrent against all kinds of pests.