Opossums are making more frequent appearances in our urban neighborhoods. With their unique appearance and curious behaviors, it’s no wonder people have questions about how to handle these creatures. In this blog, we’ll explore what to do when opossums show up in your neighborhood and how local animal control comes into play for opossums control.
What Are Opossums?
Opossums are North American marsupials known for their unique appearance and behavior. They have hairless, prehensile tails, opposable thumbs on their hind feet, and a remarkable ability to play dead when threatened – a survival tactic that has earned them the nickname “playing possum.”
Opossums are generally solitary and nocturnal animals. They feed on insects, fruits, vegetables, and small mammals, making them opportunistic omnivores. While they may occasionally rummage through garbage cans, they are essential for controlling pest populations in urban areas by consuming insects like ticks.
Local Animal Control and Opossums
Local animal control companies typically handle issues involving wildlife that threaten humans or pets, transmit diseases, or exhibit aggressive behavior. While opossums are not generally considered dangerous, some situations may warrant their involvement:
Sick or injured opossums
Local animal control may be contacted to assess the situation if you encounter a visibly sick or injured opossum. In such cases, they might provide medical care or humanely euthanize the animal if necessary.
Opossums trapped inside homes
Occasionally, opossums may find their way into houses, garages, or sheds. Local animal control can help safely remove and release them back into the wild.
Aggressive or cornered opossums
Though opossums are known for their “playing dead” defense mechanism, they may become aggressive if they feel cornered or threatened. In such instances, animal control can intervene to ensure the safety of both humans and the opossum.
If opossums are repeatedly causing a nuisance by damaging property or making a mess in your yard, local animal control may advise on how to deter them or offer trapping services if necessary.
How Can You Effectively Control and Coexist with Opossums?
In many cases, you may not need to involve local animal control when encountering opossums. Here are some steps you can take:
Observe from a distance: Opossums are generally harmless and may pass through your property without causing any trouble. Enjoy watching them from a distance and avoid provoking them.
Secure garbage cans: To prevent opossums from rummaging through your trash, use secure lids on your garbage cans and consider bringing them inside overnight.
Remove food sources: Opossums are attracted to food, so remove fallen fruits, bird feeders, and other potential food sources from your yard.
Seal entry points: To prevent opossums from entering your home or outbuildings, ensure that all entry points are securely sealed.
Opossum encounters in your neighborhood are not uncommon, and while local animal control may step in for specific situations involving these marsupials, there are steps you can take to coexist with them peacefully. At The Pest Bros, we understand the delicate balance between wildlife and urban living. If you’re facing persistent issues with opossums or other nuisance wildlife, we’re here to help. Our experienced team specializes in humane wildlife control. We offer effective solutions to ensure your property remains pest-free while respecting the natural habitat of these unique creatures.