Opossums – Signs and Carcass Removal

Typically, opossums are about the size of a small dog. They have narrow snouts, small eyes, and a long, hairless tail, which may act as a “fifth limb” when climbing trees. These small creatures do not care where they live or where they go to gather food, so long as the place is available, they do not mind giving it a try. Thus, your home easily becomes a target (in as far as search for food is concerned).

three dead opossums

An Opossum’s Habitat

Opossums generally live in the forest, but their omnivorous behavior has recently led them to find shelter in more suburban areas. This has given them access to unoccupied attics and basements, allowing them to gain entry into houses without alerting current residents. Opossums usually lead solitary lives, except when raising babies___, and this is one of the reasons you may end up sheltering a possum in your house.

Signs of an Opossum in Your House

There are several telltale signs that can help you determine the presence of an opossum in your house. Some of these are easy to identify, while others are not. These signs include:

  • Droppings. Any animal droppings you come across in your house are evidence that some type of wildlife is living with you.
  • Food remains and leaves. These items may be from another animal, but it is likely that they come from an opossum in your house.
  • Urine. If you happen to find traces of urine in the attic or basement alongside droppings, then you need to take appropriate measures towards opossum control.
  • Scratching along the attic floor. Sometimes you may hear scratching along the attic floor at certain times during the day or night. This should be more evidence that you are sharing your house with an opossum.

Finding the Dead Opossum

This should be easy once you have identified the patterns of the animal in your house. Just follow the trail of droppings, food, leaves, urine, etc. to the animal. If the opossum has been dead for long, all you have to do is follow the resulting stench directly to the dead possum.

dead animal in a wall

Removing the Dead Opossum

Removing a dead animal is not easy, especially if decomposition has already started. Make sure to wear protective clothing in order to avoid contamination from the bacteria on the animal. Once the extraction process is over, disinfect the area immediately to avoid the spread of bacteria and disease. 


After finding and removing the opossum from your house, you should take steps to ensure the incident does not happen again. This can be done by making sure every entry point in the house is well sealed. You may also want to use repellents in your house to scare away animals from coming in. 

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