How To Identify Possum Tracks Or Footprints?

How To Identify Possum Tracks Or Footprints?

Possums are one of the most fascinating marsupials found in Australia. Known for their nocturnal activities, unique appearance, and their occasional habit of playing dead, these creatures leave distinct tracks that can tell us a lot about their behaviour. As we move into the warmer months, noticing various animal tracks becomes more common.

Among these, possum tracks are particularly interesting and can provide valuable insights into the habits of these nocturnal wanderers. Understanding how to identify possum tracks or footprints can help homeowners and nature enthusiasts alike to better understand the presence and movement of these creatures around their homes or in the wild.

Characteristics of Possum Footprints

Possum tracks can be quite distinct once you know what to look for. Possum footprints are unique and can be distinguished from those of other animals by several key characteristics. Possums have five toes on each foot, with the hind feet showing an opposable thumb, much like a human hand.

This opposable thumb doesn’t leave a claw mark, which is a significant identifier. The tracks often appear in a pattern where the front and hind feet align closely, giving the appearance of small, paired sets of prints.

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Possum Habitats and Track Locations

Possums are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, from urban areas to dense forests. They tend to favour areas with plenty of cover and food sources. You’re likely to spot possum tracks near:

  • Gardens and backyards: Possums often forage for fruits, vegetables, and insects.
  • Water sources: They need water, so check near ponds, streams, and other water bodies.
  • Sheltered areas: Possums look for safe, enclosed spaces to rest during the day, such as attics, garages, or dense foliage.

Comparing Possum Tracks with Other Animals

It’s important to differentiate possum tracks from those of other common animals. Here’s how you can distinguish them:

  • Cats and Dogs: Unlike possums, cats and dogs have four toes on each foot with distinct claw marks.
  • Rats: Rat tracks are much smaller and often show a dragging tail mark.
  • Raccoons: Raccoon tracks also resemble small handprints but are larger and lack the opposable thumb feature of possum tracks.

Understanding Behavioural Insights from Tracks

Possums are primarily nocturnal, so finding fresh tracks in the morning is a good indicator of their nighttime activities. Their tracks can also tell you about their interactions with other wildlife, as possums are known to be curious and might follow or investigate other animal trails. Possum tracks can reveal a lot about their behaviour. By studying the track patterns, you can determine:

  • Feeding habits: Look for tracks around garden beds or fruit trees, indicating foraging behaviour.
  • Movement patterns: Tracks can show whether a possum is a regular visitor or just passing through.
  • Sheltering spots: Repeated track patterns leading to a specific location might indicate a nesting site.

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Steps to Take When You Identify Possum Tracks

Discovering possum tracks can be fascinating, but it also indicates their presence around your property, which might require action. Here are steps you can take:

  • Confirm Identification: Ensure the tracks are indeed from a possum by comparing them to known examples.
  • Monitor Activity: Use a camera to observe the possum’s movements and habits.
  • Secure Food Sources: Store garbage securely and pick up fallen fruits to deter possums from foraging.
  • Block Entry Points: Seal any potential entry points to your home, such as gaps in the roof or basement.
  • Consult Professionals: If possum activity becomes problematic, contact pest control services to manage the situation humanely and effectively.


Understanding and identifying possum tracks can be an engaging and informative activity for anyone interested in wildlife. By following the tips and insights provided, you can gain a better understanding of these nocturnal creatures and take appropriate actions to manage their presence around your home. For top-notch possum pest control solutions, you can always rely on the expertise of Instant Possum Removal to ensure a safe and pest-free environment.

DisclaimerThe information presented in this blog post has been diligently fact-checked and written by Nicholas Willmore, an esteemed Australian expert in the pest control industry

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