Although it’s tempting to associate opossums with other small mammals and rodents, the truth is that these unique creatures are in a category of their own. Opossums have the distinction of being North America’s only marsupial (pouched mammal), and they are found all over New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Opossums will eat almost anything, including human food waste, and will nest in cozy homes or businesses that are accessible from the outside.
To protect your home or business from opossums you need to learn about the behavior of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options should an infestation occur.
What are Opossums?
Opossums, which are often called possums, are grey-furred marsupials with a white face, long pink snout, and strong prehensile tail which they use to help them climb. Opossums can grow to the size of a large house cat. Opossums are omnivores and will eat almost anything they can find, including rats, cockroaches, and other pests- alive or dead. Despite their eating habits, they are remarkably resistant to rabies.
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How Do I Identify Opossums?
Wildlife exterminators state opossums may look like a raccoon or cat from afar but can be positively identified by their long white face and tail. When threatened, opossums exhibit a unique physiological response. Opossums go into a faint and mimic the appearance of a dead or sick animal. Opossums secrete a smelly fluid from their glands, bare their teeth, and lie completely stiff and still. This is why it’s a good idea to always call a pest control expert for opossum removal- they may not be as dead as you think.
How Do I Get Opossums?
Opossums are considered opportunistic feeders, and can often be seen near homes and businesses, where they will try and get into garbage cans, bird feeders, or compost patches. To nest near food, opossums may find their way into a deserted attic, or under a porch, if they can get in. Fortunately, they are generally nocturnal and have no interest in being aggressive to human beings.
What Are the Effects of Opossums in and around My Home or Business?
If you have an opossum nesting in and around your New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware home or business, it can be extremely frustrating. While they’re there, opossums can cause extensive damage to your property and may get into garbage cans or compost, spreading it around for other scavengers. They don’t spread rabies, but they can leave fleas and their smelly droppings behind.
How Long Do Opossums Live?
Opossums live between one and two years. Female opossums give birth to their young when they’re extremely small, and these tiny creatures shelter and nurse in their mother’s pouch for several months, until they can move around independently.
How Do I Prevent Opossums?
Opossum prevention is the key to meaningful opossum control. Once they’re in your home or business, you will need a professional wildlife control expert to remove them. Opossums tend to use trees near your home or business in NJ, PA, MD, or DE to enter through cracks in your attic or roof. To prevent opossums before they enter your home or business, seal up cracks or gaps in your exterior where they can get in. Place secure lids on your garbage and compost, so opossums cannot get inside.