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What are opossums?

The opossum is the only marsupial species native to North America. Marsupials are mammals that have young that are born underdeveloped and finish developing in an external pouch found on their mother’s abdomen.

an opossum family

Physical characteristics of opossums:

  • The size of a small cat

  • Pointed face

  • Pink nose

  • Pointed hairless ears

  • A long prehensile hairless tail

  • Opposable thumbs on their hind feet

  • Small sharp teeth

  • A lighter-colored white face and darker gray body

Are opossums dangerous?

Opossums are known to “play dead,” so steering clear of these animals is important whether they are up and active or just lying on the ground. Like other wild animals, opossums are unpredictable and will protect themselves when they feel threatened by biting or scratching.

Opossums have the ability to transmit many diseases, like leptospirosis and tularemia, to people through contact with their urine and feces or saliva.

In addition to causing health risks, opossums are damaging pests. They will damage lawns and gardens while foraging for food. If they move inside to burrow in attics or crawl spaces, they damage things like wires, cables, ductwork, and insulation.

Why do I have an opossum problem?

As our properties have taken up more and more of an opossum’s natural habitat, they have adjusted to living near people and have learned that some or all of their basic needs can be met in our yards and homes.

One of an opossum’s favorite foods is grubs. Lawn grubs often attract opossums to yards; as they dig for these tasty treats, they tear apart lawns and gardens. Other foraging sites found in most yards that opossums won’t hesitate to take advantage of include trash cans, gardens, pet food bowls, and compost.

Where will I find opossums?

Opossums like to set up their habitat near water access. If you have a pond, stream, or drainage ditch on or near your property, you’re likely to see opossums. Field and wooded areas are also places these pests call home.

When opossums live in our yards, they burrow under things like decks, sheds, woodpiles, and brush piles. Since opossums like to use existing shelters to burrow within, our homes, sheds, and garages are places they frequent.

How do I get rid of opossums?

To get rid of opossums from your Massachusetts or New Hampshire property, trust the local professionals at Freedom Pest Control. We are dedicated to our customers and providing innovative, effective, and eco-friendly pest management.

To eliminate opossums, our knowledgeable professionals will trap and humanely remove opossums from your property. After the animals are removed, we will close up the openings they were using to gain access to your home, ensuring they won’t be able to enter inside in the future.

To learn detailed information about our wildlife control services in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, reach out to Freedom Pest Control today and discover all that we have to offer!

How can I prevent opossums in the future?

Keeping pests like opossums away from your New England property is an ongoing task. The best way to accomplish your goal is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips:

  • Ensure there is no food or pet food outdoors to avoid attracting opossums and other wild animals to your property.

  • Keep opossums out of your trash cans and compost bins by placing locking lids on them.

  • Maintain your lawn and gardens and remove debris to limit hiding spots and foraging areas for opossums. 

  • Cut tree branches back away from your home’s roof.

  • Repair roof damage.

  • Keep shed and garage doors closed whenever possible. 

  • Inspect the exterior of your home, look for access points, and repair and close any openings discovered.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions.

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How Dangerous Are Opossums In Merrimac?

 

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