Opossums
Opossums under your house, deck, or in your crawl space? Those scents and sounds may well be an opossum. They are often considered nuisance animals. We trap and remove opossums. Call your local Critter Control office today at 800 CRITTER for effective opossum removal and exclusion services.

Description

Opossums are the only marsupial found in North America, where they live in urban settings, woodlands, and open fields. 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.

Appearance

Quite large, opossums grow around 16 inches (41 cm) long and weigh anywhere from 6 pounds (3 kg) to 12 pounds (6 kg). Including their tails, opossums can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) long. They are identifiable by their gray fur, white, pointed faces, and the long tails they use to 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. Opossums have a short life span, about 1.5 to 2 years. Adults may die during the cold season. Females tend to live longer than male opossums. Appearance of these marsupials may vary based on where they populate. More northern populations tend to have lighter guard hairs and thicker underfur, whereas southern opossums do not require a thicker underfur.

  • Gray-black fur
  • Black eyes and ears
  • Pink feet
  • Pink pointed nose
  • Long scaly rat like tail
  • Size of a cat (4-15 lbs)

Habitat

Though they are found throughout the country, opossums cannot survive in areas of extreme cold, like the Rocky Mountains. The marsupials prefer wooded areas near sources of water like streams, wetlands, swamps, and thickets. Highly adaptable, opossums survive easily in urban environments. They may seal any openings on a property, especially around decks and outbuildings like sheds and garages. These marsupials may become a pest in gardens and near homes when they feed on berries, grapes, tree fruits and nuts.

Problems

Entry

Are opossums known to enter homes or yards?
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.

Damage

Do opossums harm people or property?
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.

Control

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.

Damage Repair and Prevention

As opossums can enter homes and live under porches, not only are they a nuisance, but they can spread diseases to house pets and damage insulation. Opossums should be removed immediately when found, but this should only be done by a professional, as they are agressive animals and may bite with sharp teeth. Critter Control professionals will safely capture the creature and repair any damage for future prevention. 

Winston-Salem: 336.895.1993

Greensboro: 336.306.8944

We can help you get rid of opossum problems.  If you are not in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area, call today to find a location near you: 1.800.274.8837.

Critter Control of The Triad Service Area

Advance, Belews Creek, Bermuda Run, Bethania, Burlington, Clemmons, Cooleemee, Elon, Gibsonville, Graham, Greensboro, Haw River, High Point, Jamestown, Kernersville, Lewisville, Mcleansville, Mebane, Mocksville, Oak Ridge Pfafftown, Pleasant Garden, Rural Hall, Salem, Sedalia, Stokesdale, Summerfield, Tobaccoville, Walkertown, Whitsett, Winston, Winston Salem

Alamance County & Guilford County

This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Four L Services, Inc., dba Critter Control of The Triad