Opossums are actually pretty nifty creatures – if you aren’t dealing with them inside your home or around your trash cans. The only marsupial native to North America, these critters eat thousands of ticks each year – possibly reducing the spread of Lyme disease. Not only that, but they’re nearly immune to rabies due to their biological quirks – meaning the hissing, angry-looking possum in your yard isn’t likely rabid, just angry at being disturbed, which in and of itself poses a problem.
Need Opossum Help?
Are you having opossum problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart, or
(260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your opossum removal.
About the same size as a small dog or cat, opossums have gray to white salt-and-pepper fur and a long, hairless tail that helps them climb. Sharp claws and hind feet equipped with opposable thumbs also aid in their efforts. With small, beady eyes and narrow snouts, they look more fierce than they are, especially when they bare their teeth in a hiss.
You can usually find opossums raiding your garbage at night or relaxing in undisturbed areas such as your attic, garage, shed or beneath your porch. These nocturnal forest and wetland dwellers adapt readily to urban and suburban environments, recognizing the benefit of cohabitating amongst humans.
Opossums used to living around humans are bold — sometimes bold enough to walk right into your home through a dog or cat door. Other times, they’ll take up residence in your shed, attic or garage to construct nests of scrap fabric, grass and branches. Since they’re nocturnal, you might hear scurrying or skittering at night, interrupting your peaceful slumber. Not only that, but many a homeowner has met frustration in trying to keep possums out of their garbage cans and garden and that’s where they cause the biggest problems – the devastation of garbage, compost bins and gardens is frustrating at best and economically costly at worst. Occasionally opossums will go so far as to terrorize chicken coops and kill birds and destroy nests and eggs in the quest for food.
Though they cause chaos, opossums generally aren’t dangerous to humans. They don’t attack, preferring to play dead to discourage predators. Occasionally a scared or cornered opossum will bite, which can be quite painful. While they’re almost immune to rabies, possums do act as carriers for tuberculosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, toxoplasmosis and Chagas disease. They can also introduce fleas, ticks, mites and lice into your home, which come with their own set of dangers and challenges.
Dealing with an Opossum Problem
The best way to deal with an opossum problem is to make sure one never starts. Making your home and yard unattractive to these critters is key. Seal up cracks and holes in your home’s exterior, including areas around doors, windows and vents. Eliminate any possible point of entry to keep opossums out of your home, including getting rid of your dog or cat door or installing a controlled entry or secured door. Keeping your landscaping well-tended and trimming branches and overgrown trees and shrubbery can also keep opossums from reaching nooks and crannies in your roof and attic. And of course, ensure your garbage is totally inaccessible to them.
Removal of opossums requires a trained professional, such as a Critter Control specialist. Not only do Critter Care specialists have the knowledge, resources and tools to handle these misunderstood marsupials, but they also have the qualifications to safely and humanely remove them from your home or yard.