The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a marsupial (mammal that carries its young around in a "pouch," like the kangaroo), and the only marsupial native to our continent.
Opossum (also pl. "opossums") are able to live in a wide range of habitats, including open fields, and in woodlands, though they are more often found near streams and other wetland areas. In more developed urban areas they are often known to find shelter in attics, chimneys, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, and in any other structures that offer them harborage, including in your Cleveland, TX home. Opossum are more common in urbanized areas than we realize because they are nocturnal creatures, and much less active during the day.
They are also NOT picky eaters -- they will eat just about anything, including worms, insects, snakes, smaller rodents, birds, snails, and frogs. They also eat various kinds of fruits, vegetables, and berries, including from your garden. They are also known to devour your pets' food, as well as dig through your garbage for food.
Opossums can transmit any number of diseases, including rabies and murine typhus that they get from fleas. If you have opossum in the area where you live, it's a good idea to keep your pets and other animals diligently treated for fleas.
Are Opossum and Possums the Same Thing?
Not necessarily. In the United States, you'll commonly hear the two terms used interchangeably, but the North American opossum and the Australian Common Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) are different animals. Opossum are native to North America, while Brushtail possums reside in mainly in Australia, as well as in other countries. Both of these animals are marsupials, but Australian Brushtail possums are closer relatives of kangaroos.
How to Get Rid of Opossum in Your Cleveland, TX Home and Yard
There are several effective ways to get rid of opossum, including shooting them (in rural areas only) or trapping them (which is the most effective way to control them in more urbanized areas). Cage traps are available from feed or hardware stores to trap the likes of opossum, raccoons, and squirrels.
As for preventive methods to help control opossum:
- Keep trash covered tightly.
- Feed pets in the morning, and don't leave leftover food or water out in the open.
- Screen over attic, dryer, and other vents around the exterior of your home. If you can't screen an opening off effectively (e.g., pipe/utility entry points), stuff gaps with copper wool.
- Keep bird feeders OFF of trees, and station them on tall, metal poles.
Do you have opossum in your yard, and are not sure how to get rid of them? You can always try traps (there are currently no registered toxicants, repellents, or fumigants labeled to control them). Opossum, along with other kinds of rodent pests, can be difficult to remove once they get a foothold in your yard or home. But if you can keep your yard rodent-free, you can more easily keep your home rodent-free. Don't spend all your evenings and weekends chasing after rodent and other pest problems. Save yourself time, stress, and money by calling our Cleveland, TX pest control experts today at 832-898-0190 for a consultation. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you manage your rodent and other pest problems at home and in your yard, and then we can show you what you can do to help prevent future problems. Spend more of your free time with family and friends!