Oppossum Capture



05.23.2007 - Oppossums can hang from their tails.  In fact, their tails are prehensile, which means that they can curl their tails and grip objects.  They primarily use this feature to aid in climbing and balancing in trees.  The truth is that they rarely actually hang from their tails.  There's really no need for it.  However, they can do it if they must, perhaps to catch themselves from a fall.  Thus, I am able to hold an oppossum by the tail with no harm to the animal.  This creature is fairly docile.  I've seen very few aggressive ones.  It's pretty safe to handle them this way.  However, I wouldn't want to hold one by any other part of the body, for fear of a defensive bite.  In a pinch, I am able to catch oppossums by the tail.  This usually only occurs when the animal is inside a house and accessible.

I'm aware that I've misspelled the name of the animal in this blog post, but there's so many common misspellings of this animal's name that I figured I'd give it a go this time.  Opossum, possum, oppossum, oposum, opposom, apossum, etc.

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The oppossum, (Didelphis virginiana) is a nocturnal animal that lives in North America. It is a marsupial, which means that the females give birth to tiny young, who grow in a pouch. These young eventually cling to the mother's back and drop off when they are large enough. Oppossums are unique for many reasons. They have opposable thumbs, prehensile tails, 50 teeth, and several other unusual features. They are omnivores who eat almost anything, they have excellent immune systems, and they rarely live more than 2-3 years in the wild. They are most commonly considered a nuisance species when they live in an attic or other structure, such as under a shed, or steal pet food or threaten animals.

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Opossums are docile animals until provoked, threatened, or cornered. They are natural scavengers that make a living by hunting for food and shelter. The very nature of this scavenger-like behavior can make opossums a nuisance to humans because they seek shelter and food in our homes. One way to get rid of opossums is to trap and capture them and eventually relocate them to a different environment.

Opossums are about the size of a large house cat and can range in size from about 4 - 30 pounds. They can grow up to 15 - 20 inches in length. Opossums have opposable thumbs which give them the ability for a precision grip and allows them to move objects like primates. Other notable features also include a grayish-brown fur coat, long pointy snouts, hairless ears, and round dark eyes, and they are also famously known for their pink noses. Opossums have a repulsive, smelly odor, and can cause a lot of destruction if they find their way inside of your home. They tend to frequent hard to crawl spaces, under decks, garages, attics, and other similar areas. Opossums will nurse in their mother's pouches similar to kangaroos for about 3 months before they are on their own.

How to Trap an Opossum
Trapping opossums can be simple when you follow the proper procedures. It is always recommended to hire a professional wildlife service control company to trap and capture opossums, but if you decide to do it yourself, be sure to exercise caution.

When trapping opossums, be sure to set your traps in multiple locations. Be strategic in placing the traps where the animal frequents or wherever you can visibly see the most physical damage. You can find a variety of traps at your local pest control store or at any popular online retailer. Opossum traps normally come with one door or two doors, either of these will be good enough for trapping a single opossum. Another important step in capturing an opossum is finding the right bait to use. Luckily opossums are not very picky eaters and will eat almost anything in sight. For this reason, you can use almost any edible food that you have. Fish and canned pet foods are good opossum baits to use. Avoid using meat sourced bait if possible as this can attract other animals that you don't want. To lure the opossum into the set trap, you can use a trail of bait that leads directly into the trap. After you have the above setup laid out, be sure to consistently check the trap every morning and evening to ensure the animal is secured and does not die of dehydration. When the trap is occupied by the animal, transport it to a safe location several miles into the woods and release the animal. It might be helpful to check in with your local wildlife department before trapping and releasing the animal in case there are any specific laws and regulations that prohibit you from carrying out any of the above practices.

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