Opossums are the United States' only marsupial (pouched animal). People underestimate their importance in the eco-system, but they serve a vital role in the environment. Opossums can eat up to 5,000 ticks in one season, lowering the risk of a person’s exposure to Lyme disease. According to the Wildlife Rescue League, “Opossums are excellent at rodent and insect control, being carrion eaters, they help keep roadways and neighborhoods clean. If you spot opossums in your yard, don't attempt to remove them yourself—call the pros at 216.342.2316 or request more information here.
- Opossums live in urban settings, woodlands, and open fields. Opossums can be found all over the U.S., though it is not common to find opossums in desert areas, mountain regions and or in areas of high-altitude.
- Opossums take advantage of any food source they come across, including vegetables and small animals.
- Their diet consists of garbage, small rodents, insects, amphibians, berries, fruits and pet food.
- The feet of an opossum look like small hands. They even have five fingers each! Their back feet have opposable thumbs that help them with climbing.
- Opossums can survive easily in urban area places like downtown Cleveland, or rural areas. Opossums are highly adaptable creatures.
- The opossum's most famous trick is “playing dead”. They do this to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Although they can appear harmless, opossums can carry deadly diseases and they can act aggressively, if they feel threatened. Some of the diseases they carry include tuberculosis, tularemia and chagas disease, which if left untreated can cause heart failure.
Common Opossum Issues
- Opossums can indeed find their way into homes, though they mostly do this by accident.
- When this happens, they are usually seeking food or shelter and can get in through pet doors.
- It is more common to find opossums living under porches, brush piles, sheds and decks. They can give a person quite a surprise when first spotted!
- The favorite place for an opossum to find a meal is in garbage cans. They also eat out of gardens, pet food containers, and compost piles. They certainly aren’t picky eaters.
- Pets and people may be harmed in the presence of aggressive opossums and are then susceptible to the diseases they carry
How to Keep Opossums Out
In order to keep opossums out of yards and homes, it is important to do the following:
- Make sure to remove overgrown shrubs and grasses, limiting the places an opossum can hide.
- Bring pet food in from outdoors and secure trash can lids to limit their food sources.
- Finally, building a fence around gardens can restrict an opossum’s access to easy meals.
Since opossums carry various diseases and have sharp teeth and claws, people should never try to trap the animal without professional assistance. Critter Control of Cleveland's wildlife removal specialists have the proper training, experience, knowledge, and tools to capture and remove pest opossums from homes and businesses.
Have opossum problems? Cleveland Critter Control can help! Call us at 216.342.2316.Request a Quote