What Do Possums Eat and Possum Poop: Identifying Factors

What do Possums eat and Possum Poop? Having an understanding is crucial in managing their presence around your property.

By delving into their feeding behaviour and preferences, you can not only identify signs of their activity but also gain valuable insights into the natural diet of a possum, all from an understanding of what do possums eat.

From recognising possum poop to investigating potential damage, we'll delve into how the common brushtail possum and the common ringtail possum contribute uniquely to the ecosystem and how their feeding habits can be both beneficial and, at times, challenging for homeowners.

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Table Of Contents:

Identifying Activity Through Possums Diet

What does possum eat is a common question among those interested in understanding the dietary habits of possums. Possums are omnivores, consuming both plant and animal matter. Possums indulge in a diet comprising of fruits, vegetables, bugs and even small animals, this diverse diet makes them true food connoisseurs.

If you have possums in your garden or property, you may notice signs of their activity.

Look out for half-eaten apples or other fruits that have been disturbed. Leaves and new shoots stripped off your favourite shrubs or even prize roses. Possums will also consume carrion.

If you observe an increase in the consumption or disturbance of these types of foods on your property, it could indicate the presence of possums nearby.


Recognising Possum Poop

Possum faeces also know as possum scat are often cylindrical in shape and may be found in roof cavities, in the garden or along their regular pathways along fences and powerlines.

The presence of ringtail possum poo and brushtail possum poo indicates a route of travel, as these species are known to leave droppings in their habitat

The presence of undigested plant material like seeds or leaves is another tell-tale sign. So, if your garden seems less green and more 'brown', you might have a resident possum.

What do possum droppings look like are shown in the image below as well as showing possum droppings vs rat droppings. Rat identification and signs of rodent activity will help you know what type of animal you are dealing with.

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    Investigating Possum Damage

    In addition to eating food from your garden, possums can cause damage to plants and trees by stripping bark or digging up roots and bulbs. Look for signs of this type of damage when trying to identify possum activity in your garden.

    But how does one differentiate between possum damage and other animal-caused havoc? One clue lies in the damage pattern.

    Adult possums and young possums have a knack for climbing, so they'll often strip tree barks from top down. This behaviour isn't common among many pests.

    To protect your beloved green space, understanding their destructive habits is essential. With that knowledge, you can fight back effectively against these furry invaders.

    Understanding Possum's Diet

    The possum diet varies depending on the species of possums.Possum species are fascinating creatures with diverse diets.

    Common Brushtail Possums typically eat plant matter, occasionally adding bird eggs, fledglings, and some insects.

    Their diet predominantly consists of eucalyptus leaves, along with select shrubs (particularly wattles), herbs, blossoms, and fruit.

    They scavenge for food in the forest canopy, lower levels, and on the ground. In urban environments, they adapt to a more diverse diet, including fruits and bread.

    To maintain a healthy balance, Brushtail Possums must avoid an excess of toxins found in eucalypt leaves, necessitating a varied menu.

    They prefer eucalyptus leaves with elevated nutrient levels, displaying an impressive ability to discern between high and low-quality foliage, even when intertwined with other plants.

    The primary sustenance for the Common Ringtail Possum consists of eucalyptus leaves. However, they incorporate other elements into their diet and eat leaves from various native trees, fruit trees, and flowers.

    Additionally, in suburban areas, they have been observed consuming rose buds. Common Ringtail Possums will eat its own faeces to get the maximum nutrients available from the eucalyptus leaves.

    Possum joeys or baby possums eat milk from sucking on the teat within the female possums pouch. Like all mammal babies, who need milk to grow strong and healthy. This initial nourishment helps prepare them for their eventual switch to solid foods.

    Captive Possums and their Suggested Diet

    If you are a carer rehabilitating or supplementing the diets of Brushtail or Ringtail Possums, the below diet suggestions have been made by Taronga Zoo.

    Use in small amounts;

    • Native plants and flowers.
    • Small amounts of vegetables with seeds removed (including squash, capsicum, eggplant, pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, turnips).

    Do not use - HARMFUL

    • High-sugar fruit (including orange, apple, pear, figs, banana, grapes and kiwi) and starchy vegetables (including sweet potato, corn, peas, parsnip, carrot, and beetroot).
    • Wildlife "bait" balls (wildlife bait balls are typically mixes of peanut butter, oats and honey used to attract animals and should never be used to feed native wildlife).


    • Mainly folivores (leaf eating).
    • Place in fork of tree after sunset.
    • Do not encourage them to the ground to feed as they are vulnerable to predation.

    Possum Feeding Habits and Behavior

    Like many of us, possums love a good meal. Possums prefer certain foods, though they will eat almost anything. Possums are primarily nocturnal creatures and tend to forage for a food source at night.

    This wide-ranging palate helps them adapt to different environments. But it's also why you might find them lurking around your property if there's an easy meal available.

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    Possums as Pest Control

    When dealing with pesky garden pests, consider welcoming possums instead of implementing possum control. A possum infestation can be a good thing as possums have a natural appetite for snails, slugs, and beetles, making them effective pest controllers.

    Contrary to what is commonly assumed, these creatures are not always seen as a nuisance by gardeners. In fact, they can help keep a balance in your ecosystem by controlling populations of unwanted pests.

    However, it's important not to rely solely on possums for pest control. Professional services should still be considered if there's an infestation problem at hand .

    What Do Possums Eat Frequently Asked Questions

    What do Australian possums eat?

    Possums have a diverse diet, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and small insects. Their adaptable nature is evident in their preference for a variety of food sources, showcasing their scavenging skills and resourcefulness in foraging for sustenance in their environment.

    What is a possums favourite food?

    The possums favourite food includes fruits, vegetables, and small insects, showing their love for a diverse diet.

    What fruit do possums eat?

    Australian possums are big fans of apples, pears, and grapes; they have also been known to devour citrus, including lemons.

    Do Australian possums eat rats?

    No, although they're omnivores, Australian Possums typically don't eat rats, they do eat small animals like skinks or baby birds.

    Do possums eat meat?

    Absolutely. Besides plant-based foods like leaves and fruits, they also consume small animals or carrion when available.


    Possum food starts in the garden. Possums the nocturnal garden nibblers consume a range of foods from fresh fruits and veggies to insects and birds eggs.

    The key takeaway? The possums diet is diverse and consists of both plant-based and animal matter. It's this very variety that helps identify their presence in our gardens through disrupted vegetation or distinct possum droppings.

    You now know how Brushtail Possum diets differ from Ringtail Possum ones, plus baby possum feeding habits.

    More than just foragers, we explored the potential damage these marsupials can cause by stripping bark or digging up roots.

    Remember, knowledge is power! Understanding what do a possum eat helps you spot them, and then you can decide if you need to take action or enjoy having a native friend in the garden.

    If you are still uncertain, it is advisable to consult a professional possum removal service for accurate and trustworthy guidance.

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