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Why Is There A Dead Possum In My Yard

Discovering a dead possum in your yard can be a puzzling experience, leaving you with questions about how and why it ended up there. Wildlife, like possums, roam in yards and neighborhoods, sometimes coming into contact with human habitation and activities.

North America’s native mammal can be attracted to yards due to the presence of food sources, like garbage cans, pet food, or fruit trees, which may draw scavengers like raccoons, rodents, and possums. Possums are opportunistic animals, and they may consume a wide variety of items, including pet food, insects, fruits, and small animals such as mice and rats.

A dead possum in your yard could be because of natural causes, like disease, old age, or predation, as possums can fall victim to other animals or face health issues. Alternatively, it could result from human activities, like accidental harm, pet attacks, or animal cruelty.

Possum on top of a fence

It’s important to remember that wildlife, including possums, is crucial in local ecosystems and should be treated with respect and care. In case you come across a dead possum or any wildlife in your yard, it is advisable to contact a local wildlife rehabilitator or follow local rules and regulations for proper disposal.

In our guide, you can find out more, is a possum in backyard good or bad? By the end, you’ll better understand the dead possum in yard meaning and what you’ll need to do with a dead opossum in yard. (Read Can An Evergreen Recover From Bagworms)

Why Are Possums In My Yard?

Possums are unlikely to leave their natural environments. They always hover at night, even when they are outside of their region. Opossum sightings in the daytime are thus uncommon. When observed in broad daylight, they either deal with extreme food scarcity or “Playing Dead for self-defense.”

The opossums pretend to be dead when they are not, which is what we mean when we say they are “acting dead.” They act this way for self-defense and out of concern for being attacked by other wild animals. These creatures may appear dead when threatened, but they are rarely not, and it may often be incredibly challenging to tell if one is or is not.

Other than that, a female opossum may venture outside to look for food, particularly during the winter. And if the opossums aren’t acting dead or seeking food, they may have been attacked by a scavenger or a pet dog while out for a nighttime stroll. It might have died from starvation.

Why Is There Dead Possums In My Yard?

Finding a dead possum in your yard can be alarming, but it’s not uncommon. Possums roam around residential areas in search of food or shelter.

Possible Causes Of Death

Here are some probable causes of a dead possum around your house:

Possums can die because of natural causes, like old age or illness. Other animals, like dogs, foxes, or raccoons, can also kill them. Sometimes, they may have been hit by a car or accidentally poisoned by eating something toxic. They could also be trapped and killed by a pest control company or a house owner. (Read Polka Dot Plant Life Span)

How To Tell If The Opossum Is Dead?

If you find a possum lying motionless in your yard, it may be challenging to tell if it’s dead or just playing possum (a defense mechanism where they pretend to be dead to avoid predators). One way to check if it’s alive is to wear gloves and gently poke it with a stick.

If it doesn’t move, it’s likely dead. Another way is to check for signs of breathing by placing your hand on its chest and feeling for movement.

Do Possums Breathe When Playing Dead?

Yes, possums breathe when playing dead. They slow their breathing and heart rate to conserve energy but are still alive. It’s important to note that possums only play dead as a last resort when threatened. If you encounter a possum playing dead, it’s best to leave it alone and give it time to recover.

How Do You Know If A Possum Has Rabies?

Possum inside a yard

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals, including possums, and will kill them. If you come across a possum acting strangely, like stumbling or drooling, it may show rabies. Other symptoms include aggression, confusion, and paralysis. If you suspect a possum has rabies, do not approach it, and contact your local wildlife rehabilitator or animal control agency.

Handling dead possums carefully is essential, as they can carry diseases and parasites like fleas and ticks. Use gloves and a plastic bag to dispose of the carcass in a trash can. Do not leave it in your yard; it can attract scavengers and create a smell. If you’re unsure how to handle a dead cat or possum, contact your wildlife rehabilitator or animal control agency for guidance.

if you have a puppy, keep this away as they won’t know to avoid the dead animal.

Possum Problems

If you have a possum problem, you should know a few things. Possums are scavengers who eat about anything, including garbage, pet food, and fruit. They are also known to dig holes in your yard and can cause damage to your property.

Here are some common possum problems and how to deal with them:

Possums And Garbage Cans

Possums are notorious for getting into garbage cans and making a mess. To prevent this, ensure your garbage cans are securely closed and stored in a location that is not quickly accessible to possums. You can also use a bungee cord or other locking mechanism to keep the lid closed. (Learn How To Make Snake Plant Grow Tall)

Dead Possums On Your Lawn And Property

If you find a dead possum on your lawn or property, it is essential to handle it with care. Wear gloves and use a plastic bag to dispose of the body. Dead bodies of possums can attract other scavengers and be a source of disease, so removing them as soon as possible is essential.

Dead Possums In The Walls

The smell can be overwhelming if you suspect a dead possum in your walls. It is essential to locate and remove the body as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home and to avoid any health hazards.

If you cannot locate the body, contacting a professional wildlife removal service is best.

How To Find And Remove A Dead Opossum

Identifying The Location Of The Carcass

If you suspect a dead opossum in your yard, the first step is locating the carcass. Look for signs like a strong smell, scavengers like raccoons or skunks, or digging holes in your yard. Follow the trail of any droppings, food, or other signs of the opossum’s presence to locate the carcass.

Getting To A Carcass In A Challenging Position

If the opossum is in a challenging position, like under a deck or in a crawl space, you may need to use a long tool like a broom handle to move the carcass to a more accessible location.

Be careful not to damage the carcass or contact it directly.

Bagging The Dead Opossum

garbage bag

Once you have located the carcass, wear gloves and move the opossum into a thick plastic garbage bag. Be aware that fleas and ticks on the body may still be alive, so wear long-sleeved clothing and take precautions to avoid direct contact. Tie the bag closed and double bag it to ensure it is sealed.

Disposing Of The Carcass

After you have bagged the dead opossum carcass, check your local rules for proper disposal methods. You may be able to carry out opossum removal of the carcass in your regular trash can, or you may need to take it to a designated disposal site.

Avoid leaving the carcass open, as it may attract scavengers and other animals. Remember to take precautions when handling dead animals, as they can carry diseases and risk your health. If you are uncomfortable handling the carcass of a wild one, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for help. (Read Mushrooms Growing In Mulch)

Is It Wrong To Have A Possum In Your Yard?

If you’ve found a dead possum in your yard, you may wonder if you should have ever allowed possums in your yard in the first place. The answer is: it depends. Possums can be beneficial in your yard because they eat insects, including ticks and fleas, and rodents like rats.

They also help keep other scavengers away, like raccoons and skunks, which can cause more damage to your property. However, possums can also be a threat to your pets and property. The opossums eat your pet’s food or dig holes in your yard. They can also carry diseases like rabies, although this is extremely rare.

If you have possums in your yard, taking precautions to protect yourself and your pets is essential. Wear gloves when handling any dead possums or their dead bodies and keep your garbage cans tightly sealed to avoid attracting possums and other wildlife. It’s also important to follow local rules and regulations regarding wildlife. In some areas, trapping or removing possums without a permit may be illegal.

Contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for advice if you’re unsure what to do. Having possums in your yard can be good if you take precautions to protect yourself, your pets, and your property. If you find a dead animal in your yard, it’s essential to dispose of it properly to avoid potential health risks. Bag the animal carcasses and dispose of the animal carcasses in the trash or contact your local animal control department for help.

How To Get Rid Of Possums

Possum removal DIY alternatives are plenty on the internet for areas surrounding the home and yard. Possums react negatively to various stimuli, including sight and scent but sometimes touch. Some of these natural solutions can get rid of a few possums or opossums, they’re inexpensive, and the outcomes are reliable.

You’ll need to call a wildlife removal specialist to get rid of the possum colony because preserving these memorials to nature can eventually become a headache.

Using Natural Possum Removal Methods

Possums react poorly to foul smells. They detest the smell of naphthalene, ammonia, and garlic (a chemical found in mothballs). They detest being wet and dislike nighttime lights.

Possum Repellents

coffee grounds

According to a well-known internet how-to site, an extensive coffee grounds container with the top pierced and an old cloth used as a wick can be an excellent deterrent for possums from the porch. Possums can be scared away by mixing 1 part bleach with ten parts water to create a simple solution. Remember, you’ll undoubtedly smell it too, so this isn’t a long-term cure.

Mothballs under the deck or patio can discourage rodents from exploring such areas. Still, you’ll eventually need to replace them weekly to maintain this remedy effectively. When the wild animals get habituated to the strong smell of naphthalene, the number of moth balls needed will rise exponentially over time. Besides not being a long-term cure, this one could also be dangerous for domestic pets like dogs or cats who might try to consume one. Furthermore, potent in scent, garlic cloves can deter some domestic pests, like possums and opossums.

Home-Made Repellents

Many gardening blogs recommend homeopathic garden sprays to keep insects and other pests away from your plants and garden. These solutions can be diluted or evaporated by a heavy downpour, a scorching sun, or routine watering, returning you to the beginning. A wildlife expert should remove possums that consume pineapples and other low-lying crops to prevent their return and the return of others like them.

Hire A Specialist

The ideal solution to get rid of pesky wildlife is to hire a professional. These subjects are better understood by technicians with years of on-the-job training and experience. Experts first make suggestions and improvements to your yard to possum-proof the region. If the possums remain, they catch them and remove them from your property. (Read Can Chickens Eat Carrots)


What Smell Do Possums Hate?

Possums detest the smell of ammonia because it is so strong. But once more, you can use garlic to deter those possums from your yard and help them flee unpleasant odors.

What Animal Eats A Dead Possum?

Possums mimic death by escaping picky predators, including humans, foxes, coyotes, and dogs. But even dead possums won’t escape true raptors like turkey vultures.

Why Is There A Dead Possum In My Yard