Opossums are not nature’s most beautiful creation, and stumbling upon a hissing marsupial in the dark can be quite jarring. Many homeowners believe they’re a nuisance that should be effectively removed. Although many people confuse the two, possums and opossums are two different animals with unique physical characteristics.
In North America, the opossum is a native species that reacts to predators by “playing possum” or freezing. On the other hand, possums are native to Australia, New Zealand, and China, and these marsupials are quite friendly to predators and humans alike.
Opossums can be a nuisance on your property, so it is important to spot signs of one as soon as possible. That way, you can take action to have it removed quickly. Let’s look at how to get rid of opossums safely.
Signs of an Opossum
The need for food and shelter drives opossums, and many homeowners accidentally provide these without even knowing it. These sneaky marsupials prefer spots that are dry to build a den. These dry areas can be under a deck, in holes along the bottom of your garage or shed, and through holes in window screens. They will also scavenge for food of all kinds, including in your garbage, your pet’s food dish, and your compost bin.
You often won’t see an opossum, but you may notice scat, or excrement, on your property. You may also hear hissing and shrieking sounds.
If you notice signs of an opossum on your property, it is important to call the experts. Our team at EcoCare Pest Control knows how to get rid of opossums safely.
Measures You Can Take to Prevent These Pests
Prevention is key and is far easier than removing an opossum family that has already built a den under your deck. Best of all, these tips will keep other pests like raccoons and rodents away from your property. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to keep opossums from making your home their home, too.
- Remove food sources: Includes bringing in pet food dishes, locking garbage cans, enclosing your compost bin, and picking up fruit and berries that have fallen from trees.
- Remove potential shelters: Clean up debris from the yard and block off areas where they can build a den under your home. Trim branches away from the roof, and close off access points like broken vents, holes in the siding, and window screens.
- Use repellents: Consider using chemical or electronic repellents to deter opossums from your property. Some are not pet-safe, and their effectiveness is debatable.
- Consider natural methods: There are several natural methods, like using pet hair, ammonia, and spices to keep opossums away, but professionals say these do not prove effective.
Image Source: Craig Hosterman / Shutterstock
Opossum Safety Considerations
Opossums carry many different diseases that can be harmful to humans. They include:
- Relapsing Fever
- Spotted Fever
- Chagas Disease
On a brighter note, they’re typically resistant to rabies. Opossums also carry pests like ticks, mites, fleas, and lice.
You should never try to trap or kill an opossum on your own. These creatures can be dangerous — especially if they feel threatened — and a professional knows the best way to remove opossums from your property that will keep your entire family safe.
Our Opossum Removal and Control Process
At EcoCare Pest Control, our experts know how to get rid of opossums safely. We use a proven method to remove opossums from your home: Inspect. Exclude. Exterminate.
First, our team will inspect your home’s interior and exterior to note any access points and evidence that opossums have been present. Then, we’ll create an individualized plan to make your home or structure opossum-free. We’ll begin by sealing off each entry point, so pests can’t make their way back inside. Once your structure is effectively sealed, we’ll utilize professional traps and safe capture techniques to collect the opossums and remove them from your property safely and effectively.
EcoCare Pest Control: Effectively Tackling Pest Issues at the Root Cause
Opossums are sneaky pests that bring health risks to your family and structural risks to your home. If you believe you have an opossum problem, don’t try to eliminate them yourself. Our professional team will be happy to inspect your property to determine the best course of action for safe removal. To get a free inspection and quote, contact EcoCare Pest Control today.
Featured Image Credit: IrinaK / Shutterstock