A Pesky Problem with an Easy Solution: When to Seek Opossum Removal

Opossums are one of America’s most common nighttime creatures. They can be found in most areas of the US, as well as in Central and South America. While the animals are fairly short-lived, they can have from one to three litters of up to 20 babies each. Unless you are a night owl, you may not yet have witnessed these pesky critters frequent your yard. However, every homeowner should be aware of possum control and possum removal solutions.

While opossums, commonly called possums, are rarely aggressive, they can certainly be annoying. Even if you don’t see the creatures, you might still see their evidence, such as footprints, nests, or droppings. If you see the signs of a possum around your home, then it is time to take action before the small inconvenience becomes a big problem.

Where do Possums Live and Hide?

Like any animal, possums are always looking for a snack and a place to call home for the night. Since the creatures are nocturnal, they can be hard to spot. Your persistence in doing a thorough inspection of these common hiding spots will be worth the trouble:

  • Home Bases: Basements, crawlspaces, garages, and outbuildings make perfect places for possums to set up home. Once the animals are inside these spaces, they can cause trouble by eating whatever food they can find, excreting the food as waste, and destroying wiring, insulation, and other framing fixtures. Be aware that pet doors are the perfect avenues for any kind of animal to enter your home, even those without invitations.

  • Cozy Spaces: Possums rarely spend many nights in one space, so you’ll want to do a thorough check on other spots in your yard that could hide the creatures, like woodpiles, brush piles, gardens, and trash or compost bins.

  • Overlooked Places: Possums are notorious climbers and can hang for hours by their prehensile tails. When inspecting your yard, be sure to look up.

If you suspect these spaces on your property to be frequented by possums, you should seek possum control or possum removal solutions.

How Does a Possum Problem Occur?

Look around any neighborhood and it is easy to see what entices animals into human communities: trash cans filled with yummy treats, bird feeders, outside pets with food dishes, and woodpiles that can serve as shelter for many types of creatures.

Possums are the vacuum cleaner of your outside space and will eat whatever they can find.

Some of their favorite foods include:

1. Human Food 

Trash and recycle bins are frequented feasting spaces for possums. When choosing a trash can, make sure to pick one with a close-fitting lid. In your recycle bin, rinse out or wash all containers. Compost bins are another snack bar and should also be fitted with lids.

Gardens and fruit trees are also potentially problematic. Pick and harvest fruits and vegetables as soon as they are ripe. Food left to rot in garden rows or on the ground is an open invitation to many creatures, especially possums.

2. Lawns and Yards

Overgrown bushes, shrubs, and trees also need to be on your list for home maintenance. While the animals likely won’t eat these things, these spaces do contain hiding spots for some other favorite snacks of possums: birds and their nests. Possums also like to eat frogs and lizards, as well as fish, so be sure to monitor any outside water features, like koi ponds.

3. Carrion 

Possums are master scavengers, omnivores that eat anything they come across. Possums may benefit your community by eating beetles and snails that might destroy your plants and garden crops, and by eating roadkill and dead animal carcasses. However, the presence of these food sources may keep the possums around longer than desired.

Are Possums a Problem for You?

Possums also carry different diseases that can be transmitted to adults, children, and household pets including spotted fever, tuberculosis, and leptospirosis. Possums also carry lice, fleas, and ticks that can be easily passed on to dogs or cats in backyard grasses.

Possums like to be left alone. If you encounter the animal, it will likely pretend to drop dead as survival technique. The animal will lie on its side, motionless, with its tongue hanging out for several minutes, or several hours. Often, the frightened creature also gives off a musky odor of a sick or dying animal. This leaves some homeowners in a quandary when seeing a prone possum—is it dead, sick, or just playing around?

The answer is important. For dead possums, you’ll want removal. If the possum is sick, you’ll want to call in help. Even if the creature is just playing dead, it can still create problems for homeowners.

How Can You Get Rid of Your Possum Problem?

Many homeowners decide to tackle the problems themselves with repellants or by using traps. Unfortunately, each of these solutions come with their own set of issues. Repellants rarely work in the long run and can be toxic to small children and pets.

While trapping a possum might seem like an easy solution, it’s best to remember you’re dealing with a wild animal. While possums do play dead, they can also become quite aggressive when backed into a corner. Also, many states require that homeowners contact licensed wildlife experts for relocation.

The safest and easiest route to possum control is to call in the professionals. A professional pest removal company has the experience and tools to solve your possum problem immediately.

CritterStop is here to help. Contact us today for Opossum removal services.

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I called Critter Stop after hearing what sounded like attic party animals dragging bodies across my ceiling. Critter Stop was very responsive, evaluated my problems and lined out the plan to rid my attic of these pets and prevent them from re-establishing themselves. They were prompt on appointments, very professional and listened to my concerns everytime they came out. Their work is top notch and having a warranty on it worth every penny. I highly recommend them.

Sonja Jordan