Are Possums Dangerous?

Are Possums Dangerous?

opossumThe opossum, otherwise known as possum, is a marsupial native to North and South America. Through colloquial knowledge, possums are known for their likelihood to be affected by and to transmit rabies. These medium-sized woodland dwellers are largely non-specialized, allowing them to easily move from habitat to habitat with great success.

Living Preferences

Opossums are primarily nocturnal animals, making their preferred environments dark and secure during daylight hours. Despite often being depicted as hanging by their tails from tree branches, this behavior is nearly impossible in mature possums, as the strength in their tails is not enough to support their weight. Because of the possum’s nomadic behavior and desire to live near food and water, many take up residence under porches and around man-made structures.


Famous for “playing possum,” a routine which involves playing dead to avoid dangers from perceived predators, possums are generally nonviolent creatures. This may be altered when confronted with aggression, as adult males will often hiss and emit screeching noises instead of playing dead. These warnings signs tend to signify a resignation and a purely defensive attitude, more gutsy possums may become violent if provoked.

Biggest Threats

Despite being mostly non-confrontational, it remains fact that one in eight hundred opossums are afflicted with the rabies virus, making their behavior uncharacteristically volatile and creating a much bigger threat to humans and outdoor pets alike. Aside from the threat of being infected with rabies, when a possum plays dead, it will emit a foul odor, flooding the surrounding area with a powerful stench. Although not directly attributed to negative health, the scent of well-mimicked rotting flesh can attract scavengers to the area in which the acting possum lies.

Keeping Possums Out of the Area

Because possums are active at night, it can be challenging to assure that your opossum repellent strategy is effective. Maintaining a well-lit outdoor environment can help to deter possums. It is also vital to assure that there is no food left out for any invited outdoor animals on the property. Similar to treatment for racoons, avoid leaving any garbage outside overnight, this will reduce the potential food for scavenging possums.

All Natural Repellent

Due to their nomadic behavior, even with proper temptation-diminishing extra steps, possums are likely to find their way into the yards of rural homes. To best combat an opossum problem, All Natural Shake-Away Small Animal Repellent will get the job done. An appropriate dose of repellent will be sure to keep the property opossum free!

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