They are perhaps best known for "playing dead," a defense mechanism used to appear less appealing to predators. Opossums are nocturnal and omnivorous, taking advantage of any food source they come across. Their diet consists of insects, small rodents, amphibians, fruits, berries, garbage, and even untended pet food.
Opossum Control in Athens
What Do Opossums Look Like?
The nation's only marsupial, opossums (commonly known as "possums") usually grow to around a foot and a half long (41 cm, or 16 inches) and can weigh between 6–12 lbs (6 kg). Opossum tails are long and hairless, bringing their full length to around three feet.
Their fur is shades of gray, white and brown. Their long tails help them climb. Opossum feet look like small hands with five fingers each. Their back feet contain opposable thumb digits that also help with climbing.
Where Do Opossums Live?
Opossums are able to thrive in several environments, like forests, urban areas, and fields. However, they can't survive in extremely cold temperatures. The marsupials prefer wooded areas near sources of water like streams, wetlands, swamps, and thickets. Highly adaptable, opossums survive easily in urban environments.
Do Opossums Get Into Homes?
Opossums can indeed find their way into homes, though it is usually by accident. The animal may enter through pet doors in search of food or shelter. More commonly, though, they will take up residence under porches, sheds, decks, and brush piles. When searching for food, they target garbage cans, gardens, pet foods, and compost piles.
As is the case with most wild animals, opossums become aggressive when they are cornered. They will bite, scratch, bare their teeth, and hiss in order to escape. Pets and people alike may be harmed in the presence of aggressive opossums and are then susceptible to the diseases they carry, such as tuberculosis, tularemia, and Chagas disease. Additionally, the marsupials can be infested with parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.
Are Opossums Dangerous?
In order to keep opossums out of yards and homes, habitat modification efforts can be employed. Remove overgrown shrubs and grasses to limit hiding places. Bring pet food in from the outdoors and secure trash can lids to limit food sources. Finally, building fences around gardens can restrict the pest's access to easy meals.
Trapping and Removal
As opossums carry various diseases and have sharp teeth and claws, individuals should never try to trap the animal without professional assistance. Critter Control wildlife removal specialists have the proper training, knowledge, and tools to capture and remove pest opossums from homes and businesses. Contacting trained professionals keeps families and pets safe and disease-free.
Contact Critter Control of Athens today for help with opossum control.Request a Quote