Should You Be Wary Of Possums?

Should you be wary of Possums? People who see possums for the first time often regard them as cute, adorable creatures, that’s not always the case. In Australia, you will often come across two kinds of species — the Common Brushtail and Common Ringtail possum — in the park, roads, the lawn, and nearly everywhere. It can indeed be fun to watch them in their natural environment. However, you will start whistling a different tune when these animals start living in your roof or begin to cause damage in your beautiful garden.

But aside from being annoying and being the cause of various kinds of physical damage inside and outside your home, possums are carriers of different diseases as well. It is also worth knowing that these diseases can affect both humans and other animals.

Possums have been known to carry various types of diseases which can be transmitted to humans. These viruses and illnesses are usually transmitted through their urine and droppings which can be found in and around their nests. Some of these diseases include:

  • Leptospirosis, an illness that can cause kidney damage and meningitis and even death, in certain cases.
  • Salmonella, a medical condition that is usually associated with food poisoning but can also be transmitted by possums. It typically causes only diarrhoea for most people but the elderly and young children may find themselves at risk of more severe symptoms.
  • Mycobacteriosis, a disease that can cause abscesses, headaches, fistulas, vomiting, and renal failure.

The faeces of possums also carry the gut parasite cryptosporidium and the buruli bacteria – microorganisms that can cause skin ulcers in humans. In addition, their urine can cause breathing problems for asthmatics.

When possums are living in your roof, it is important to have them removed immediately and to get rid of their nests and their droppings. You need to clean and sanitise the area as quickly as possible to avoid contracting any of the possible diseases the possums and their leavings carry.

To safely get rid of possum faeces, the best approach is to be very careful and to try and minimise any disturbance of the droppings which can release spores and bacteria. Wear a breathing mask, goggles, long-sleeved clothes and gloves to avoid any skin contact with the droppings if you are going into a confined space, such as an attic. To dispose the substance properly, place them in a sealed bag or container. Remove any other contaminated materials as well.

If you’re not up to the task of evicting possums from your home and cleaning up the mess they left behind, consider getting help from pest control experts and the appropriate service providers so that they can handle the job properly and safely.

Ringtail Possums

Brushtail Possums












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