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What are opossums?

Opossums are the only species of marsupial that is native to the United States. The term “playing possum” is associated with this species because of their ability to fall into an involuntary shock-like state when frightened. This state of being makes these critters appear dead. They are a common nuisance wildlife problem for homeowners as they forage for food, water and shelter in homes and around properties.

What do they look like?

Opossums are about the size of a typical house cat. They weigh between 4 and 15 pounds, and are 15-20 inches in length, not including their tail. Their fur is gray to black in color and they have a distinctive pink nose.

Do opossums bite?

Opossums are more likely to growl, hiss and show their 50 sharp teeth than to bite. They are a relatively placid animal and like to avoid confrontation at all costs. However, if cornered they do have the ability to bite.

Are opossums dangerous?

Yes, opossums are considered to be dangerous because of the large variety of diseases that they carry and can transmit. Diseases they can carry include: tularemia, leptospirosis, murine typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and while rare, they can carry rabies.

What are the signs of an opossum infestation?

Opossums are slow and sluggish pests. Homeowners will probably first notice a problem with opossums when they see them digging through their trash, pet food, gardens or compost piles. Homeowners may also notice their dogs barking at night as they hear the opossums searching for food. Opossums can also dig up lawns as they search for grubs and other insects.

Why do I have an opossum problem?

Opossums are drawn to properties that offer easy access to food and water sources. They will also look for easy places to create shelters in. These places of refuge may include: underneath porches, in attics and outbuildings, such as storage sheds and even wood sheds.

How do I get rid of opossums?

If you have opossums on your property do not try to remove them on your own, they are carriers of many dangerous diseases. A trained wildlife removal expert should be contacted to humanely remove them from your property. Click here to learn more about wildlife control offered by Big Bug Solutions!

Opossum Prevention tips from Big Blue Bug Solutions include:

  • Make sure that outdoor trash cans have tight fitting lids on them and that they are stored away from the exterior of your home.

  • Place fences around garden and compost areas.

  • Fencing can also be placed underneath decks, shed and other areas to stop opossums from going underneath and denning in those areas.

  • Do not leave uneaten pet food outside and be sure to pick up uneaten pet food on a daily basis.

 

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