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Is it Safe to Handle an Opossum with Bare Hands?

Opossums are not harmful animals, yet they might get defensive if they feel threatened. Even so, it is not safe to handle an opossum with bare hands. If you need to catch an opossum without using a special trap for it, you are highly recommended to wear thick gloves and keep it away from you.



How to Catch an Opossum without Traps
Whether you want to catch an opossum quickly and you don’t have any traps, or you just want to catch it without a trap because you feel courageous about doing it, you still need to know a few things before trying to catch it by hands. Although opossums aren’t aggressive animals, they might still try to defend themselves if they feel threatened – which they would very likely feel if you try to catch them. However, it is also possible that they would play possum – which is when they act dead – but you never know how they would react. So here is what you should do when you want to catch an opossum by hands:
  • Put on a pair of thick gloves, for your safety – it is totally not recommended to try to catch it with bare hands
  • Carefully approach the opossum you wish to catch
  • Wave one of your hands in front of the opossum’s face to distract it
  • With your other hand, grab the opossum’s tail
  • Lift the opossum and keep it as far away as possible from your body
  • Move it wherever you want, as far away as possible from your property, if you don’t want it to ever come back again
Reasons for Not Handling Opossums with Bare Hands
There are several reasons why it is not recommended to handle an opossum with your bare hands:
  • You don’t want to get hurt. Opossums are not aggressive, yet they might hurt you if they feel threatened
  • You don’t want to risk getting rabies. Although opossums are highly resistant to rabies, and they rarely carry rabies, you surely don’t want to risk getting any problems
  • Opossums are wildlife – and one of the first recommendations regarding wildlife is not to touch them with your bare hands, for several reasons, including hygiene concerns
Final Recommendation
It is definitely not recommended to handle opossums with bare hands. In case you want to catch them by hand, always wear a pair of gloves. However, even if you handle them with bare hands or with gloves, thoroughly wash your hands after you handle any opossum. If you need to catch an opossum, ensure your safety, or call a professional to help you handle the situation. Go back to the How to get rid of opossums home page.

If you need opossums help, click my Nationwide list of opossums removal experts for a pro near you.



© 2001-2018     Website content & photos by Trapper David     Feel free to email me with questions: david@wildlifeanimalcontrol.com