Opossum Diseases - Health Risks arising from Opossums in your Attic

While opossums can carry many transferrable diseases, they are not very well known for carrying the rabies virus. This could be due to the fact that opossums have a very low body temperature. While you may not be highly at risk for rabies having an opossum around, there are some hazards that can arise from an opossum living in your attic.

Possum Poop
Feces left behind by possums should be removed ASAP!

Opossums are known for carrying several diseases, one of the most common diseases they are known to carry is leptospirosis. This infection is transmitted through their urine or feces, and can result in kidney damage. They are also well-known for being carriers of salmonella. While both of these diseases can be treated in a hospital with no problem, you still want to use extreme caution when dealing with opossums. Opossums have also been linked to carrying the tuberculosis disease as well as toxoplasmosis – a parasite found in the feces of both cats and opossums. While, you may know to use gloves when in contact with opossum feces, your house cat is definitely not, and even if they don’t have the toxoplasmosis parasite, they could easily get it from coming in contact with opossum feces.

Possums are clever, but no match for a smart trapper!

Since opossums are wild animals, they can also bring fleas and ticks into your home. While it may seem like this only becomes an issue if you have pets, flea infestations aren’t fun for anyone, pets or no pets.

Unlike many other wild animals that find their way into attics, opossums are not known for gnawing or chewing on things. They will tear your insulation, but you fortunately don’t have to worry too much about them going to town on electrical wiring or the beams of your roof. Typically, damage done by opossums in attics is much less severe than of rodents or larger wildlife animals.