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The Opossum: (Didelphis virginiana). Opossums
can be seen sneaking around the neighborhood at
night usually travelling alone. They are wonderful
scavengers and will exploit just about any food
source on the block from raiding garbage cans, pet
food, rotten fruit fallen from fruit trees--to eating
insects, frogs, and worms. They will eat carrion and
when scavenging for a roadside meal can be in
great danger of becoming roadkill themselves.
Opossums are not necessarily the most industrious
nuisance wildlife we come across. They will
normally occupy holes abandoned by armadillos,
occupy attics after raccoons have moved out, or can
be perfectly happy sleeping under your shed. They
don't cause much trouble trying to break in, but can
be pretty tough to persuade to leave once they
consider your place home.
• Opossums are omnivores and have 50 teeth, more than any other mammal in
• Life span in the wild is rarely more than two years, with a maximum in
captivity of only about 4 years.
• Opossums have a prehensile tail, are marsupials, and possess opposable
thumbs on their hind feet.
• Mother opossums can give birth to up to 25 offspring. Fewer than half will
• Baby opossums are weened by about day 70 to 125 and will leave the pouch
and travel on Mom's back.
Noise: The sounds that opossums make will sound much like a raccoon, only
slower. They tend to make sounds that seem to indicate shuffling, rather than brisk
Structural Damage: As mentioned above, opossums are not known for
great intelligence or brute strength, but will be perfectly happy to move
into an old den site made by other animals.
Droppings: The concerns related to the opossums droppings are no
different than raccoons, rats, squirrels, etc. It is important to clean up
the mess left behind by the animals as there are serious health
concerns related to the pressence of droppings.
Recurrence: Properly sealing the structure against re-entry is the key to
solving the issue permanently.
Exlusion: Repairing the entry point and ensuring that the home is
properly excluded is the key to solving the issue permanently. Opossum
repairs should be made using only industry accepted materials and
procedures as the strength and intelligence of the animal will ultimately
undo any effort that is not completed 100% to standard.