Why are Opossums Pest?

Why are Opossums Pest?

If you live in the South, you’ve seen your fair share of opossums. Even in suburban locations, opossum populations stay quite healthy in this area. High populations lead to opossums pushing closer and closer to human concentrations to better survive.

Opossums 101

With their silver-grey fur and exposed tails, they can sometimes look like overgrown rats. They tend to live between 2-4 years in the wild, making them some of those shortest-lived mammals of their size. Opossums are omnivorous and will eat nearly anything (which is why they love your garbage). You will most often see opossums busy at night because they are nocturnal.

Why They’re Pests

Opossums are ultimately pests because they use human-provided resources to survive when people would normally prefer they not. Opossums eat nearly everything, so scavenging for garbage or stealing your pet’s food that’s left outside are particularly easy ways for them to sustain themselves. In addition to trying to locate food, opossums often find shelter and warmth in colder months, leading them to find their ways into attics, under decks and into sheds. This can cause a scary and undesirable encounter for you, your kids or your pets.

Are They Dangerous?

Broadly , opossums aren’t very dangerous. That being said, opossums are wild animals with very sharp claws and teeth, and they will attack you or your pets whenever they feel particularly threatened. Never corner an opossum or any other wild animal as their only way away from you is through you. Do not ship your pets following opossums either; the opossum may not win that fight, but be assured that they will fight and your pet will suffer for that. If you come across an opossum in or near your home, please, don’t attempt to remove yourself; call an expert wildlife removal team.

Can They Carry Disease?

Opossums have excellent immune systems, but they can take a variety of parasites and diseases-after all, they can and do eat garbage and carrion. Internal parasites can usually be passed through contact with opossum droppings, and external parasites (specifically, fleas) can be passed through intimate proximity. Opossums rarely carry rabies, with only 1 in 800 animals statistically infected, but you still don’t want that 1 in 800 opossum to bite you, your kids or your pets.


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