This guide is going to provide you with some knowledge about identifying opossum tracks. In the wilderness, animal tracks can tell you a lot about what types of creatures are around your area. If you happen to live near a wooded region there’s probably a pretty good chance that you’ll come across some opossum tracks at some point in your life.
Opossum tracks have five digits and are 2-3 inches in length and width. The back feet are a little larger and have been compared to a small child’s feet. Opossums have opposable thumbs that help them climb tree branches and navigate swiftly through the wilderness. Opossums sometimes leave a tail mark along with their footprints.
One of the main reasons people wish to identify opossum tracks is to get rid of them. They can cause property damage and can be considered a pest. Eliminating an opossum infestation on your property can be challenging. The process has to start by identifying their tracks and then closing in on the source of the infestation.
You might find the opossums nesting nearby if you follow their tracks, but it isn’t always the best idea to do this. There are other ways to solve this problem, but the most important thing is to effectively be able to identify opossum tracks. The best way to track an animal is by their physical tracks and other signs they leave behind, such as poop.
See our article for Opossum Poop here.
Locations Where You Might Find Opossum Tracks
There are several common locations where you might find opossum tracks. We’ll start with locations that may be located around your property before expanding the possibilities into the wilderness.
The first place where you might find opossum tracks is near your outdoor trash bins or dumpsters. Opossums are always looking for their next source of food and you might easily be able to identify their tracks leading to your trash bin.
If you do notice opossum tracks near your outdoor trash containers, there’s a really good chance that opossums have been looking through your bins to find leftover food that they can eat. This could also explain why your trash bins are knocked over or rearranged in the morning when you wake up.
Another location where you might find opossum footprints is near a tree on your property. Opossums can climb and even live inside of trees, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll find their tracks nearby.
If you are noticing small animal tracks near a tree, then it may indicate that there’s a group of nearby opossums that are either climbing your tree or living inside to protect their babies.
General Size of Opossum Footprints
Let’s elaborate on the general size of opossum footprints to help you identify them a little bit more accurately. The footprints from an opossum will commonly be between two and three inches in full diameter. In some cases, their rear tracks may be larger than their front tracks or vice versa.
An easier way to identify opossum footprints is to compare their shape to that of a human hand. Opossum footprints can look very similar to human handprints, except opossum footprints will be significantly smaller. Source.
While their tracks may only be a few inches in total size, they can still easily be found and identified on your property or even in the wilderness. Opossums come out during the night because they are nocturnal, but their tracks can still be around the next day when the sun comes out.
See our article for Nocturnal Opossums here.
If you’re trying to find the location of your opossum’s shelter, the tracks may lead you to an opossum den that leads underground, or even possibly into a damaged tree. The worst-case scenario is when a set of opossum tracks could lead underneath your house, which means opossums could be breeding and living under your property. This is another case of them becoming a pest or nuisance.
Opossum Tracks Vs Racoon Tracks
You’re probably wondering how common it is to mix up opossum tracks with other small wild animal tracks. The truth is that it can be pretty common, especially since many small animals live in forest regions with similarly-sized footprints.
Squirrels, raccoons, and rats can all have similar-looking tracks, but there are usually a few ways to identify differences. Squirrels have feet that are commonly shaped differently than opossums, but raccoons have tracks that look very similar. Raccoon tracks are similar in size and digits. However, raccoons have more slender fingers and longer thinner claws.
A common tactic to identify tracks is to either follow them or set up outdoor cameras pointing towards the direction of the tracks. Your unwelcome visitor will likely return and you can capture them on your motion-capture camera. You’ll need to have night vision on your camera since nocturnal animals mostly come out during the night.
Possum Tracks in Snow
Since possums live in forest regions, these areas can overlap with places that have snow and even some mountainous regions. Tracking a possum in the snow can be tricky. If there is only a small amount of snow, that is packed down, then you may be able to make out their five small toes and feet.
If the snow is heavy, it will be much more difficult to identify their tracks. Their feet will punch small holes into heavy snow, instead of treading lighting with tracks. Possums spend most of their winters in their dens and nests, so it is unlikely that you would see a possum in the winter.
Opossum vs Possum find out the difference here.
How large are opossum tracks?
Opossum tracks generally will have footprints that reveal all five of their toes and can expand up to two or even three inches in total size. They are larger than mouse tracks and similar to tracks from other small animals like squirrels and raccoons.
Where are opossum tracks commonly found?
Opossum tracks can be found just about anywhere. It’s common to find them near trees, trash cans, and in general forest regions where there are lots of food resources and supplies for them to survive.