picture containing opossums


In this article, we will discuss Are Opossums Dangerous. Opossums, well-known for their striking look and peculiar behavior, are frequent throughout North America. However, whether these animals are hazardous to people and pets is frequently up for discussion. Opossums are viewed differently by different people. Some think they are dangerous animals that spread disease, while others believe they are friendly animals vital to the ecosystem. We will investigate whether opossums are dangerous in this article and offer details to enable you to make an educated choice regarding how to deal with them.

Behavior of Opossums:

  1. Nocturnal animals:

Since opossums are nocturnal creatures, they sleep the day and are active at night. They are rarely observed during the day unless they are startled by their hiding position.

  1. Solitary animals:

Opossums are solitary creatures that don’t frequently establish social groupings. They may share a den to conserve body heat throughout the cold, even though they are commonly spotted alone.

  1. Play dead behavior:

Opossums may “play dead” by lying still with their eyes closed and tongues out when they feel threatened. Although this behavior is a defense measure, it may only sometimes work to keep predators away.

  1. Diet:

Opossums consume both plant and animal materials because they are omnivores. Fruits, insects, tiny animals, eggs, and carrion are all part of their diet. Because they are opportunistic feeders, they will consume any food offered to them.

picture containing opossums sitting

Opossums and Disease:

Opossums are not naturally harmful to people, but their urine, waste products, and bites pose a risk for disease transmission. This risk is exacerbated if opossums have gotten into locations where people live or where food is kept.

Salmonella, TB, leptospirosis, and other illnesses are among the parasites that opossums are known to carry. It’s critical to take the appropriate steps to avoid contracting these infections.

Avoid close contact with opossums and their excrement to lower the chance of disease transmission. Furthermore, it’s crucial to maintain living quarters and food storage locations that are spotless and clear of potential opossum access points. To safely and humanely remove opossums from an area where they are not wanted, it is essential to contact a professional wildlife removal agency.

Are Opossums Dangerous?

Opossums are typically not seen as dangerous to people because they are not hostile and usually strive to avoid conflict. However, they can be hazardous, particularly if they feel cornered or threatened. Opossums can bite when threatened and have strong fangs. They may also contain parasites and diseases that are dangerous to people and animals.

a opossum sitting on fence

Maintaining your composure and avoiding scaring or pushing an opossum if you come across one is crucial. Avoid approaching or attempting to handle the opossum because doing so could harm you and the animal. Give the opossum some room instead, and let it leave alone.

It’s crucial to take the necessary steps to prevent the opossum from returning if it has moved in or is causing damage to your property. Secure garbage cans and pet food, block off any entrances or hiding places and use deterrents like sprinklers or lights that turn on when motion is detected. It is best to call a reputable wildlife removal service for help if you need clarification on how to manage an opossum problem safely and adequately.

How long do opossums typically live?

Opossums, sometimes called possums, live in the wild for two to four years on average. They can survive up to seven years in captivity. Numerous things, including their tiny size, slow movements, and frequent attack by other animals, contribute to their short lifetime.

Opossums go through various stages of growth during their brief lives. They are regarded as “embryonic” when born after a gestation period of only 12–13 days. The following two months are spent growing and nursing inside their mother’s pouch. Following this time, they leave their pocket and investigate their environment.

Opossums and Property Damage:

Opossums frequently build their nests in garages, attics, and other protected spaces. Damage to property, such as chewed electrical lines and torn insulation, may result from this behavior. Opossums may also break into trash cans, compost piles, and gardens, resulting in more property damage. Homeowners can prevent property damage by securing trash cans, pruning tree branches, and plugging any openings that opossums could use to enter the property. Additionally, it’s critical to eliminate any food sources that could draw opossums. If opossums have already damaged a home, homeowners should take immediate action to stop further damage.

Do opossums have any benefits to the ecosystem?

Opossums are capable of enhancing the ecosystem in several ways. They can aid in the population control of many pests because they are natural predators of insects and rodents. Opossums are crucial in reducing tick populations, which may contain dangerous infections. Additionally, by carrying dust on their fur, they can aid in dispersing seeds and fertilizing plants. Many other animals, especially predators like wolves and bobcats, also eat opossums. Opossums contribute significantly to the overall health and balance of the environment.


Are Opossums Dangerous”-Opossums are nocturnal, solitary animals distinguished by their play-dead behavior. Although they usually are not violent, they can spread disease and harm property. When dealing with opossums, caution is crucial to reduce any possible risks.

Opossums can be frightening to some people, although they are typically harmless and can even help reduce rodent and pest populations. However, it’s crucial to approach opossum encounters cautiously, take the appropriate precautions, and seek professional assistance when necessary. Overall, by taking the proper measures, living in harmony with these fascinating animals and recognizing their value to the ecosystem is possible. This is all about “Are Opossums Dangerous”.

Related: Are Skunks Nocturnal?

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