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Safely Removing Opossums from your Home or Business

Opossums are common, prevalent scavengers that live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. They become a nuisance to humans when they wander around scavenging for food. Opossums easily get trapped inside unsecured homes or garages as they do not possess the intelligence to find the exit again. Like raccoons, opossums will get into trash cans and dumpsters. Opossums are also known to kill young domestic pets when provoked with their extremely sharp teeth. Never come in direct contact with an opossum. Call Creature Control for safe removal.

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Opossum Risks and Removal

Opossums sometimes like the comforts of your attic or garage to build their den, and in doing so, they can destroy your ductwork and make a mess of your installation. They will raid a well-tended garden and can wreak havoc in a chicken house. They will occasionally harass household pets by showing their teeth, hissing and growling. Sometimes, fights break out and the opossum can inflict serious injury with their sharp teeth. Usually, however, opossums protect themselves by “playing possum” in which they emit a foul, rotten smell from their anus while playing dead, often for as long as 45 minutes. An onlooker may think that the opossum is suffering from rabies due to their drawn back lips, exposed teeth, and saliva foaming around their mouth; rather this act is an opossum’s natural defense mechanism.

Although the lifestyle habits of opossums make them seem like prime hosts for rabies, they rarely contract the disease and are even less likely to transmit it. However, opossums can carry a slew of other diseases, such as fever, tularemia, leptospirosis, and tuberculosis to name a few. Their feces carry the eggs of parasites that are known to cause illness in horses and other pets by contaminating food and water resources. A single opossum commonly carries fleas, ticks, mites, and lice within their fur and because opossums eat fruit and can climb trees, they frequently contaminate apple harvests.

If you have an opossum in your home or business the most effective way to remove it is to live trap and relocate the animal or manually remove it. In some cases, the environment can be modified to deter opossum activity. If an opossum is causing problems in your area or has entered your home or business Creature Control offers 24-hour emergency animal removal service.

Opossum Removal with Creature Control Possum Removal with Creature Control How to Get Rid of Possums with Creature Control

Facts About Opossums

  • Opossums (commonly misspelled as “possums”) are carnivorous mammals, but omnivores by diet, belonging to the marsupial family. Possums are a similar looking marsupial found in Australia, New Zealand and China.
  • They primarily scavenge and feed on carrion and also eat: insects, frogs, fruit, earthworms, garbage, and even the waste of other animals.
  • The nocturnal opossum is most commonly found in areas with low-lying cover and is well adapted to living among human dwellings in cities.
  • They are naturally timid and try to avoid interaction with people and domestic animals, often “playing possum” - feigning death when in danger.
  • Opossums do climb trees, but contrary to the popular myth they cannot hang from their tails.
  • Opossums can reproduce 1 to 3 times per year depending on climate and environment. Gestation is brief, only 11 to14 days; the young are extremely small, so tiny that 20 can fit into a teaspoon. Once the tiny young are born, they find their way into the mother’s pouch, where they will remain for the following two and a half months to continue their maturation. Like other marsupials, the young spend their first several weeks of life in their mother’s pouch. After this time period, young opossums will leave their mothers in search of their own home.
  • The opossum’s normal life span is only 2 to 4 years, making it one of the shortest-lived mammals.
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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

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