The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America, where they thrive in wooded and suburban areas east of the Rocky Mountains. Opossums pose very little danger to people. In fact, opossums can provide several benefits.
These nocturnal marsupials opportunistic ominovres. They eat almost anything including garbage, roadkill, rotten fruit, grass, insects, ticks, rodents, and snakes. Opossums become a nuisance when they enter homes or damage gardens.
Opossums habor parasites like ticks and fleas and host the microorganism that causes Equine Protozoan Myeloencephalities. Opossums have a lower body temperature that other mammals so they do not carry rabies. Opossums can host diseases like leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease.
Signs of Opossum Problem
The Critter Control wildlife technician will thoroughly check all potential areas for an opossum den. Opossums’ natural den sites include tree cavities, brush piles, or rock crevices. They will also use other animals’ burrows or abandoned squirrel nests. On your property, an opossum will den under a shed or porch, in an attic or crawlspace, or inside your garage. Opossums are not strong enough to create their own entrances like raccoons.
You might not always see an opossum because they are nocturnal. Typical signs of an opossum include opossum tracks and droppings. You might hear or smell an opossum before you see one.
Opossums can make sounds like clicking, growling, and hissing. Opossums also secrete a fluid that smells mildly like a skunk.
Opossums are not especially fast or strong. They are caught in a cage trap. Securing areas under sheds and porches with galvanized steel hardware cloth will keep opossums from denning sites. One-way doors can also get rid of opossums from your home.
There are no effective opossum repellents or frightening devices. The most effective opossum control is to remove resources for food, shelter and water. Habitat modifications such as securing garbage cans, clearing brush piles, removing woodpiles, bringing pet food inside, securing birdfeeds, and cleaning up any fruit or vegetables from gardens.
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