Are Opossums Dangerous?


The possum, which is also known as the opossum, is a wild animal that can be perceived as a nuisance by many. In this article, we are going to discuss some facts about opossums like; are opossums dangerous? Do they attack humans? What about your pets?

If you notice an opossum ransacking your trash cans, the first question that will come to mind is if this creature can cause harm to your family or pets. What if it carries diseases? Or what will happen if it bites? All these questions may concern a lot of people, so today we are going to discuss if possums can cause any damage or harm to humans and their pets.

Are Opossums Dangerous To Humans?

Opossums are usually found in North America. If you reside in the Hamilton or Burlington area, then it is very likely that you may have noticed a opossum or two in your neighborhood. If we study the nature of opossums, then we will see that opossums are nocturnal animals. It means that it will usually avoid interactions with humans.

But, to scare off predators, the opossum may use all its biological defenses to protect himself. So, some notions about possums could be validated, but others are brought upon by misinformation.

Opossums and Adults


As a homeowner, you may see opossums as unwanted pests, but they can also be helpful at the same time. They are beneficial because they are known to eat harmful pests and insects such as rats, cockroaches, and snakes. Many people are afraid that the opossum may cause rabies as they look like big rats, but according to Wildlife Rescue League, they do not typically harbor rabies.

Opossums and Children

Parents are always conscious about the safety of their children. When it comes to possums, you are always worried about the health and safety of your kids. As we discussed earlier, they are not interactive, and they may not be a threat to children.

Still, they may carry diseases like leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomonas's and Chagas disease. Since children are not very immune to disease, it is advised to keep them away from these wild animals.

To learn more about Opossum Diseases click here.

Opossums and Pets

Opossums are passive by nature, and they usually avoid confrontation. They mostly play dead when confronted by a predator or by another animal. Your pets are primarily safe from opossums as they do not attack your pets. Some people might think of keeping an opossum as a pet, but you must remember that opossums are wild animals, and they should be kept in their natural habitat.


Opossums are naturally peaceful creatures, and they won't bite or scratch you unless they are directly attacked. So the chances that a opossum will attack you are almost none. They also provide some benefits like eating harmful insects and ridding pests from your neighborhood. But when a opossum bares his teeth and hisses at you, then you should be alert because he may be afraid of you or think of you as a predator. There is also the chance that he may attack you in self-defense.

So, overall, opossums are not harmful animals, but you should take the necessary precautions for yourself, your children, and your pets.