Is it Normal to See Opossums in the Day?
While most of their foraging happens at night, opossums can occasionally be seen in the daylight. If food is scarce, they will spend as much time as necessary to locate it, scavenging at all hours. This is especially true during harsh winters.
Opossums will also come out of their dens or shelters during the day if chased or startled by other animals like dogs and cats. The pests have many predators and will seek safety at the first sign of a threat. They often climb trees or fences and wait throughout the day until they feel comfortable returning home.
Should People Be Concerned?
Many residents worry about seeing opossums in the day because they assume it's a sign of rabies. This anxiety is compounded by the fact that the pests are usually out during this time due to fear and will hiss, drool, and bare their teeth to scare others away.
During the day, opossums are easily surprised and may also appear confused or sluggish. They "play possum" when they sense danger by falling over, salivating excessively, and appearing dead. These mimic rabies symptoms, but the pests are unlikely to carry the disease due to a low body temperature and high resistance.
How to Respond
People should be careful when encountering these pests at any hour. Opossums should never be cornered, as this increases the chance of aggressive behavior.
Since opossums found in the day are likely to be frightened, they are more prone to dangerous and disturbing behavior. It is always best to play it safe and contact the trained professionals at Critter Control to deal with daytime opossum problems.