08.20.2003 - Wow, this was a messy attic. Opossums had been living in this attic for a few months. The homeowner procrastinated doing anything until the noise
and the smell got to be too much to handle any longer. I came to the home and found several sections of a flimsy soffit screen torn open, and the opossums could easily
climb up adjacent trees and downspouts and into the attic. Opossums are messy animals, and they poop wherever they want. They poo a lot, and their terds are the
size of a dog's turds. This attic was filled, from end to end, with possum droppings. It smelled pretty bad.
I set cage traps on the roof, and within a week, I caught two opossums. I left paper towels over the holes, and when the paper towels were left undisturbed and no more noises were heard inside the house by the homeowner, we knew all the opossums were out. I sealed the holes with heavy-duty steel.
Next, it was time to clean the attic. I removed all of the opossum crap by hand (with gloves, of course), and bagged it. I also bagged the very soiled insulation. I then fogged the whole attic with a special cleaner that destroys and breaks down any organic matter, such as poo and urine and grease and such. This left the attic smelling nice and fresh, and killed off the parasites and pathogens that lived in the attic due to the dirty possums.
It's a good idea to have animals in attics trapped sooner, rather than later, because if you wait, your attic will become a regular toilet, just like in the above photo!
Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
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A surefire sign that you have an opossum living in your attic is by discovering its droppings. It's unsettling knowing a wild animal is living above you, not knowing what it's destroying, what it's eating, or if it's mating.
What does Opossum Poop Look Like?
Opossum poop looks like medium-sized dog poop, in essence. Opossums are pretty large animals, about the size of a large housecat, so it has droppings to match. Their droppings aren't broken up into tiny pieces or pellets, it comes out as two or three large droppings instead.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Opossum Poop and Something Else's?
The easiest difference is between opossum poop and rats or mice. Rats and mice make tiny droppings that scatter around, where opossum droppings are more similar in size to a dog's. The harder comparison is between an opossum and a raccoon. However, the easiest way is to look for seeds. Opossum droppings won't have any seeds in it, so if you see some then it's probably from a raccoon.
Opossum droppings are also piled up on top of itself appearing train-like, instead of single large droppings that scatter around.
Where Do Opossums Poop?
Opossums might be considered polite with their bathroom use location because they always use the same spot. Although it might not be so pleasant to step into a huge pile of opossum droppings, at least it isn't spread throughout your attic.
What Does Opossum Poop Smell Like?
Terrible. Opossum poop is one of the foulest smelling droppings from any animal. It's mixed with urine and almost always releases an incredibly strong odor. If the smell doesn't get to you, then you are either one of the luckiest people to encounter an opossum in the attic or there's something wrong with your nasal passages.
Once you identify the culprit as opossums creating the droppings in your attic, you can more easily remove them or contact a specialist to do so.