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Professional advice and resources for nuisance opossum problems.

Opossum Control & Removal

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Opossum Info: Opossums are unique for several reasons. They are the only North American marsupials. This means that females have a pouch on the belly where the young, up to 13, are carried and nourished for a time after their birth. Opossums also have a prehensile tail, from which they can occasionally hang. They are also well known for "playing possum", or feigning death, a defense tactic. Adult possums are typically about two feet long and about ten pounds. They are omnivorous, and will eat almost anything, including carrion and garbage.
Opossums are slow, but excellent climbers, and will live in attics. They will also live under sheds or decks. They have a very strong immune system, but seldom live more than three years. They are nocturnal.

Nuisance concerns: The opossum complaints received are usually due to one of three reasons:
1) They have taken up residence under a porch or shed.
2) They are stealing garbage, pet food, or harassing pets.
3) They have taken up residence in an attic, or gotten inside the home.

I frequently deal with possums in attics, a fact which surprises many people. Opossums in attics can leave quite a mess with their large droppings. Opossums can also carry various parasites and diseases. They are not the cleanest of animals, and carry a strong odor.

After you read the below information, in the event that you wish to hire a possum removal company, you may want to see how much does opossum removal cost?

How to Get Rid of Possums: While other wild animals allow a number of different control techniques, when it comes to opossums, the only real way to get rid of them is via trapping and removal. Opossums are very easy to catch. Just set a large cage trap, at least 10x12x32, or a raccoon sized trap in the area where the opossum frequents. Then you can bait it with pretty much anything. Opossums are opportunistic feeders and scavengers. However, there are a number of baits that far outperform others, and which can help prevent the catch of non-target animals. Many considerations go into trapping, far beyond just the proper equipment, bait, and trap placement. Wildlife trapping is not the simple matter many people think it is, just like plumbing or electrical work is not simple. There are also legal concerns - it's probably illegal for you to trap and remove or relocate possums in your state. It's also possible to capture an oppossum by hand, especially if it's confined to a small area, such as in a wall or inside the house living space.



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Are Opossums Dangerous? They look somewhat fierce, like a giant rat, and they have 50 sharp teeth in their mouth, and sharp claws. They are not particularly aggressive, but like any animal, if cornered, they will defend themselves. They do sometimes play possum, but I've also seen them aggressively attack. Here is a photo and story of an aggressive opossum. Best to not let your pet after one of them. They can also spread parasites and diseases via their droppings, but overall, I would not classify them as a particularly dangerous animal.

What about opossum prevention? Yes, prevention is always a good approach. You can keep your yard clean, keep your house sealed shut so that there are no entry holes that encourage the possums from entering your attic, and you can keep pet food indoors, because these animals are notorious scavengers. Read more of my tips on how to keep away opossums here. Sometimes you can avoid trapping possums entirely. However, in my experience preventative techniques often fail with this animal, because it usually has several reasons to use your property as its home.

Wondering how else to get rid of opossums? Unfortunately there is no magic spray or device that you can use to make them go away. Some people try to sell predator urine, such as coyote or fox urine to get rid of possums, but that doesn't work. They also try to sell ultrasonic sound emitters. These devices are worthless at eliminating opossums. Some old wives' tales recommend the use of mothballs or ammonia-soaked rags to make them leave, but I've been to countless homes where these techniques failed - biologists know that these attempts won't work. The ONE AND ONLY WAY to take care of your problem is with trapping and removal of the animals. If you need to find a professional trapper in your hometown, just click our comprehensive list of hundreds of wildlife removal professionals, and you can have your problem quickly taken care of!
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