While opossums can carry several diseases, they are not commonly associated with carrying rabies. They have a very low body temperature, which makes carrying the virus nearly impossible. However, they are well known for being carriers of leptospirosis, which can cause kidney damage, and is transferred through their waste. Their waste is also known to hold salmonella bacteria. Opossums are also known carriers of toxoplasmosis, which can be transferred to your pets as well. While these diseases are all curable, it is still important to practice extreme caution when handling opossums or their waste.
Since opossums are commonly found living in the wild, they can also bring fleas and ticks into your home. While many believe that a flea infestation isn’t as bad in a home without pets, this is completely false. Pets or no pets, flea infestations are not fun.
The damage that can be done by opossums in your attic is significantly less than many other animals. They will not chew on wiring or beams, however they can do a number on your insulation.