Do Opossums Eat Rats [Unknown Facts]

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Opossums provide natural pest control in areas where they have a larger population. Opossums eat a lot of other small animals, which helps keep their population under control. This way, a specific population does not dominate an area. Among other animals, do Opossums eat rats?

Yes, they do. Opossums eat many other animals besides rats, for instance, cockroaches, mice, slugs, garden pests, and snails. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, opossums are among the best natural pest repellents for land. 

As opossums are predators of rats, they help maintain the balance of nature. They keep the population of cockroaches and rats at bay by feeding on them. Usually, an opossum targets a place where its food is in abundant supply. 

Will An Opossum Keep Rats Away?

An opossum is not an effective method of rat control. Opossums and rats are both nocturnal animals. Thus they frequently coexist in the same environments and eat similar foods. As opportunistic omnivores, opossums will eat just about everything given a chance, including plant matter, insects, and even small animals.

Rats may get uneasy in the company of an opossum, but opossums don’t actively patrol or defend their territories, so they won’t chase the rats away. Therefore, opossums are not an efficient natural pest management method for rats.

Do opossums like Rats?

It is hard to say whether opossums like a rat the most. They are willing to have pretty much any animal offered to them. This includes Mice, nuts, garbage, birds, rats, eggs, and even garbage!

You should beware if opossums are residing in your garden to feed the ripe tomatoes. However, there are certain advantages to having opossums in your gardening area. They feed on plant-eating insects, pests, and slugs, all known for destroying vegetation. 

Thus, opossums act as natural pesticides and can play an active role in keeping your garden young, lush, and healthy only as long as they don’t start feeding on the grown vegetation. 

Are Opossums Big Rats?

Opossums resemble rodents in appearance. They have a big rat-like tail. They also have long faces that make them look like a rat. However, opossums are not rodents. 

It may be surprising for you to know that opossums belong to the mammalian classification of marsupials. That’s right! They belong to the same group as koalas and kangaroos. Just like the rest of the marsupials, the opossum’s development is incomplete at the time of birth.

They are carried and suckled in their mother’s abdominal cavity or a pouch attached to the belly. This is where their developmental stages are completed, and they mature. 

Do Opossums Eat Dead Rats?

It is commonly believed that an opossum likes to hunt for its food and attack it before eating it. However, opossums are equally comfortable filling their stomachs with a dead rat. 

According to IDNR, opossums can also feed on dead birds, small mammals, worms, frogs, and snails. They also consume the carrion, and other roadkill remains. Although they prefer to hunt down their food, they will also feed on anything that comes their way quickly. 

Opossums They are not picky eaters and will eat everything they can find, including dead rats. According to their scavenging lifestyle. Since they clean up the environment by eating dead things, they play an important ecological role in keeping ecosystems in check.

Still, opossums only eat dead rats if they find them while looking for other food. They don’t go looking for them as a main source of food. Opossums do consume dead rats, but this is not a consistent or predictable enough behavior to have a major impact on rat populations.

Do Opossums Keep Mice Away?


Yes, opossums feed on both rats and mice. Hence, they are more likely to be found near a population with more mice. 

Opossums attack these mice very smartly and feed on them one by one. Opossums also invite other opossums to an area with a lot of food supply or an abundance of mice population. 

As opossums are predators of mice, mice begin to die out once the population exceeds a certain threshold. Most of the mice prefer running away and finding another home for themselves.

Hence, it can be stated that opossums play an integral role in keeping mice away in an area where the opossums have settled.

What Do Opossums Eat?

Opossums have a lot of variety to choose from. For instance, opossums can: 

  1. Eat insects 
  2. Consume Grains and Fruits
  3. Feed on piles of compost
  4. Search for food in garbage cans 
  5. Prey on Birds 
  6. Chase other small mammals

Opossums are omnivores and will eat anything they find in their vicinity. However, they feed on rats as it is their prey and a predator-prey relationship is hard to cut off. 

Do Opossums Hunt Rats?

Opossums are generally considered to be a nuisance by people. Having possums in your vicinity is not always a bad idea. Opossums eat cockroaches, mice as well as rats. 

Opossums hunt down rats from gardens and residential areas. They like sneaking up on them and attacking them. The availability and variety of food in their environment affect how often and what they eat. Opossums can eat rats, although they scavenge rather than actively seek their food.

Will An Opossum Attack A Rat?

An opossum loves to eat rats and will attack any rat that comes into sight. Moreover, an opossum is always on the lookout for rats and will search for it till it finds one. 

Even though opossums aren’t known for being aggressive. They may attack a rat if they feel threatened. In most cases, opossums are reclusive animals that would rather not interact with other animals. An opossum might defend itself even from a rat if it feels cornered or threatened. 

Also, if a rat came into an opossum’s area or tried to steal its food, the opossum might get angry. Despite this chance, it’s important to remember that these interactions are more the exception than the rule. In most cases, opossums and rats can cohabit in the same ecosystems thanks to their respective specializations.

Do Opossums Eat Rat Blocks?


Opossums are opportunistic omnivores that will eat almost anything. Thus, if rat bricks are lying around, they may end up in their stomachs. The aromas and flavors in these bait blocks are meant to entice rodents. This causes severe internal bleeding in opossums. Loss of excessive blood leads to their death.

Low chances of survival are there. Opossums are also likely to ingest slug bait. After a lot of suffering, opossums die. There is no treatment available that can save an Opossum after it has consumed baits.

However, possums are just one of the many non-target animals that rat poison can be fatal. Opossums may have significant health issues or even death if they consume hazardous chemicals due to secondary poisoning.

Do Opossums Attract Rats?

As for whether opossums attract rats, there’s no proof that this happens often. Although opossums and rats often coexist in the same environments and graze on similar foods. Rats are not necessarily attracted to opossums.

Both animals are active at night and feed on whatever is available. Food and shelter availability may draw them to the same regions. Rats are generally scared of opossums as they are afraid of dying.

An opossum hunts down rats and eats them one by one. Moreover, an opossum will not hesitate to eat a dead rat. An opossum tried to lessen the rat population in an area.

Still, it is more likely that they are drawn to each other by their shared environment. If you see both possums and rats in your yard, it’s probably not because the possums are attracting the rats there but rather because your yard provides an ideal environment for both species.

Are Opossums Attracted To Ratsak?

Ratsak, a rodenticide brand, can attract opossums because of its tempting aroma and food-like look. Ratsak is made to attract rodents with an attractive scent and taste. However, because this bait is not species-specific, other animals, such as opossums, may eat it if they come across it.

Opossums die an excruciating death if they get trapped in a rat-sk. This kind of death is agonizing for them as they cannot find an escape for themselves.

Thus, it can be stated that opossums kill rats and eliminate them from the population. However, a rat sak, when used as bait, will kill both the opossums and the rats.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that deadly rodenticides like Ratsak can kill or severely injure non-target species like opossums. Additionally, they can cause secondary poisoning in animals that eat poisoned rodent prey. To lessen the risk to non-target wildlife, it is essential to use such items carefully and in accordance with all usage guidelines.

Do Opossums Deter Rats?

Yes, the presence of opossums deters rats. Rats are afraid of opossums as opossums hunt them down for the sole purpose of killing them.

That is why rats prefer to hide from opossums or stay away from an area where the population of opossums is higher. However, if opossums find the hideout of rats, they will hunt them down and eliminate them all.

Do Rats And Opossums Fight?


Yes, rats and opossums fight with one another, which is a common sight. Both of the animals make noises while fighting, like squealing. The rat’s squeal is usually at a higher pitch than the opossum’s. The male opossums issue a warning call to the other males in the vicinity. They do this to warn the other opossums regarding the presence of a rat. 

Opossums and rats mainly fight over food as they compete against one another. It is common for an opossum to kill rats if it finds them near its food source. Opossums are generally more robust and beat rats in the fight. 

Do Possums Eat Live Mice and Rats?

Although possums can and will consume live mice and rats, this is not their usual diet. Possums, being opportunistic omnivores, eat a wide variety of foods, including insects, fruits, small mammals, and even carrion. In reality, they rely more on scavenging than on hunting for food. The key is in how they live and how they are built. Possums are good climbers, but they aren’t as agile or quick on the ground as predators that are built for active hunts.

Possums’ slower metabolism and lower energy levels allow them to survive on less nutrient-dense diets, making them better adapted to foraging and scavenging. Although a possum can eat a live mouse or rat if given the chance, this is not common for possums and does not reflect their regular diet. Possums often only eat dead rodents rather than actively hunting and killing their own food.

Cleaning up waste and reducing the number of pests like ticks and cockroaches are just two of the many important roles they perform in their respective habitats. Their eating habits also help seeds spread, which helps many plant types grow. Thus, they affect more than only the food webs in their regions, helping to maintain ecological harmony.

Are Opossums Resistant To Rat Poison?

Yes, usually, opossums are resistant to rat poison, especially the first-generation anticoagulants. However, that is not true for all. Opossums are susceptible to the rat poison – Brodifacoum. It is the only known poison in the market that effectively targets rats and opossums. One can easily purchase it from the market or online stores.

Opossums usually survive rat poisons but cannot escape cyanide’s effect on their bodies. Cyanide pellets and paste are easily available in pest control shops and can be used as a toxic substance for killing opossums in no time. Opossums can be killed easily by using the Tomcat Mole Killer Worm Bait and Sweeney’s & Gopher Poison peanuts.

Opossums Were Once Used To Control The Rodent Population, Is it True?

Yes, opossums were once used to control the population of rodents in Brooklyn. The city council used this approach. Opossums are predators of rats. They often compete with one another over food and shelter. During this competition, opossums usually kill the rats and finish them off.

In Brooklyn, the authorities captured 0possums from the wild and set them free in different parks and locations. This way, the opossums were on the lookout for the rodents, and eventually, with time rodents’ population started reducing. The introduction of opossums in the rat population proved to be effective in chasing the rats away.

Should You Worry About Opossum Presence In Your Yard?

No, you should not be worried if an opossum is present in your yard. The opossums are not a threat to you or your yard. Generally, they come around to look for food. If they find a good food source, they may stay around for longer. However, they pose no threat.

Nevertheless, leaving food around in your yard can be a continuous invitation for the opossums to come and prowl. That is why care should be taken, and waste should be thrown away timely. Otherwise, the horde of opossums will often start coming to your yard to grab a bite or two. 


Opossums like hunting and feeding on rats. However, they eat all kinds of other small mammals too. As opossums are nocturnal, they prefer hunting at night. 

Opossums are one of the best natural pests in an ecosystem. They feed on insects and animals that harm plants. Moreover, they help keep the balance of nature by not allowing one population to prevail for an extended period. 

Opossums have other food sources too. They can also live on dead meat and feed on injured animals. As opossums are carriers of disease, one must not hesitate in getting rid of them.