Opossums are nocturnal animals and they are North America’s only marsupial. Because of their good grooming habits they eat up to 5,000 ticks per day! Their low body temperature makes them immune to many diseases such as rabies. They can help your yard and garden by eating insects, snails, small rodents and snakes.
Opossums may hiss, growl or bite if cornered but they are actually very harmless. More than likely, they will faint in shock at the prospect of such a confrontation. Playing dead is an involuntary response on the part of the opossum. The stress of the confrontation causes him to go into shock inducing a comatose state that can last from 40 minutes to four hours. While “dead,” the opossum’s body is limp, it’s front feet form into balls and drool runs out of its mouth. It may even appear that rigor mortis has begun. The opossum’s guise of death goes so far as to produce a smell of decay. From his anal glands, the opossum’s body emits green mucus that will discourage most predators from feeding on him while he’s in his comatose state. They often take up residence under decks, sheds, porches and buildings or move into attics or inside homes. They may look frightening and may steal garbage or pet food or even harass pets but they provide a lot of good services too!
The stress of confrontation causes opossums to go into shock inducing a comatose (playing dead) state!
Opossums have coarse, greyish fur, whitish faces with long, pointed snouts, naked, round ears, and beady eyes. Their tails are rat-like and prehensile, meaning they can grasp items and aid in climbing.
Opossums may live in woodlands and escarpments, but their preferred habitat is deciduous forests associated with wet areas such as streams, swamps and marshes. In urban areas, they often take up residence under decks, sheds, porches and buildings or move into attics or inside homes.
Opossums breed between January to October with a gestation period of approximately 13 days.
They produce up to 2 litters per year with 4-8 joeys per litter. Their young crawl to the mother’s pouch and latch onto a nipple, where they stay and feed for about 2 months. They then stay on their mothers back. After about 100 days they leave their mother to find their own home. Opossum’s life expectancy in the wild is 1 to 2 years and up to 4 years in
Sadly, hundreds of them are killed each year on our roads and highways.
We always try to find the most humane and least stressful options in removing the nuisance animals. Sometimes different animals, pests or situations may require different solutions. We are always prepared for whatever wildlife or pest issue you have.