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Opossum Control and "Possum-Proofing"

Greater Birmingham, Alabama

A mother opossum and her babies in a trap after being removed from a house.

Opossums are interesting-looking creatures. A lot of people call them "funny-looking." Others consider that to be too kind a description. Truth be told, they look like an animal designed by a committee.

'Possums have long, rat-like, prehensile tails; round ears like a mouse; a snout like a dog, long jaws with a very full set of teeth (more, in fact, than any other North American mammal); hind feet with an opposable toe; and front paws whose prints look almost as if they were made by a tiny human. They also have very narrow heads and small brains for their size, and a lower body temperature than most mammals.

Opossums are also the only marsupial native to the United States. Like other marsupials, female opossums carry and nurse their young in a pouch called the marsupium. The young are extremely immature when they are born, and they would not be likely to survive outside the marsupium. They spend at least two months there after birth.

Opossum Behavior

A lot of people are afraid of opossums because they do look right threatening when they snarl at you. They don't usually attack humans, even in self-defense; but they're rather neurotic and unpredictable animals with a lot of teeth, so you're probably best off not tempting them.

That being said, opossums are more likely to "play possum," which actually is an involuntary state similar to a coma, when they feel threatened. In this state, the actually manage to convince larger prey animals that the opossum is dead, partially by emitting a foul-smelling odor. This apparently is a turn-off to animals who like feeding on live food.

Opossums are nocturnal animals whose nightly routine consists of foraging for food. They'll eat pretty much anything, including pet food, scraps and leftovers in garbage cans, barbecue drippings, insects, slugs, amphibians, earthworms, the occasional snake or bird, plants, seeds, nuts, and fruits. They're primarily carrion eaters, however, who prowl the roads for road kill -- often becoming road kill themselves in the process.

In nature, opossums rarely live more than two years. They age very quickly, and even in captivity where they are protected from predators, they rarely live to more than three or four years of age.

Opossums as Nuisance Wildlife

Like many nuisance animals, opossums are basically harmless and only become an annoyance when they get into homes, garages, or other buildings. Most often, when they enter buildings, they're following the scent of food (very often pet food), so not feeding your pets or storing pet food in places like garages or sheds is one way to reduce 'possum problems.

Possum being held by the tail by an animal control technician in Birmingham

Once they do get inside, they make a mess. They're very messy eaters and very messy animals in general. They're also easily started, very unpredictable, and very ungrateful, not hesitating to bite the hand that feeds them when approached by well-meaning humans. They also annoy pet dogs and cats, and sometimes get into confrontations with them.

Opossums are also very filthy animals with extremely poor hygiene habits. Although transmission of diseases from opossums to human is rare, that's mainly because contact between opossums and humans is rare. Opossums can also be carriers of some diseases that don't affect them seriously (possibly because of their low body temperatures), but which can make humans and other species of animals sick.

'Possums can also make themselves unwelcome when they help themselves to garden crops. They're especially fond of fruits and squash, but will eat almost anything. They also will tear up your garbage looking for food, but this can be prevented by using animal-resistant garbage cans.

Opossum Control

'Possum control consists of habitat modification (mainly removing the things that are attracting the opossums to your home, especially food), trapping and removal, and exclusion ("'possum-proofing").

When opossums decide to move in to a human home, they usually choose the crawl space or that nice cozy spot under the porch or steps; but opossums are superb climbers, and can get into a home anywhere from top to bottom if they set their little minds to it. Opossum exclusion is therefore similar to raccoon exclusion in that the entire house needs to be looked at, and any potential entry points sealed.

Opossum Control Gallery

Here are a few pictures of opossums we've met in and around the Birmingham area. More are on the way!

  • A young opossum outdoors in a technicians gloved hand after being removed from under a dishwasher in a house
    Baby opossum was removed from under a dishwasher
  • An opossum in a trap after being removed from a crawl space of a house in Homewood, AL
    Opossum removed from a crawl in Homewood
  • An opossum in a trap after being removed from under a porch in Hoover, Alabama
    Possum removed from under a porch in Hoover
  • A young, unafraid opossum being gently held in the gloved hands of an animal trapper
    Tim with a young opossum removed from a home
  • Three young opossums in a cage after being trapped and removed from a home
    Three young opossums awaiting relocation
  • Three baby opossums on the ground
    Baby opossums found at a possum-removal job
  • Front view of a young opossum in a live trap after being removed from a home
    Young opossum removed from a home
  • An opoossum in Mountain Brook, Alabama walking and facing the camera
    Handsome opossum in Mountain Brook
  • Someone stuffed a towel in an opening in a brick wall of a house to try to keep opossums out
    Do-it-yourself opossum-proofing fail
  • An opossum in a trap awaiting humane relocation
    Opossum waiting to be humanely relocated
  • An opossum in a cage trap after being removed from under a house in Oxford, Alabama
    Possum removed from under a house in Oxford
  • Animal trapper holding an opossum by the tail in Birmingham, Alabama
    Old-school opossum removal in Birmingham
  • An opossum on a tree limb behind a house in Bessemer, Alabama
    A chubby opossum in Bessemer
  • Young possum in a humane trap after being removed from a home in Hoover, Alabama
    Young possum trapped and removed in Hoover
  • Young possum in a cage, trapped in a garage in Moody, Alabama
    An opossum removed from a garage in Moody
  • A baby opossum on the hood of a Rid a Critter service vehicle
    Baby opossum on the hood of Chris's truck
  • Opossum trapper with baby opossum in a cage in Birmingham, Alabama
    Birmingham, Alabama opossum removal call
  • Close up of the face of an opossum in a cage trap after being removed from a house in Birmingham Alabama
    Possum removed from a house in Birmingham

Rid-A-Critter provides complete possum removal services, as well as possum exclusion and general animal-proofing, in Birmingham and throughout our Alabama service area. For more information any of our quality services, please call us today.

 

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The snow didn’t stop me nor the animals, was in Hiawasse, Duluth, Snellville, and then Marietta
by Chris Collender
Jan 18, 2022 04:41:40 pm.

Will be a cold and windy day today. Guys will be out working hard to seal homes, preventing all kinds of pest animals from getting in. Animals like rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons and opossums want out of the cold too. Pest animals beware.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 17, 2022 06:39:14 am.

Pretty good day in the office yesterday. We accepted new pest animal removal jobs in Grayson, Athens, Duluth, Fayetteville, Chamblee, Marietta, Monroe & Canton to name a few. For the best pest animal control service call Ridacritter today!
by Richard Adcock
Jan 14, 2022 07:43:04 am.

Currently in Monroe ga, squirrel job, headed to Atlanta now for rats in the crawl space
by Chris Collender
Jan 13, 2022 10:01:40 am.

Quoted a house in flowery branch with rats, then Gainesville for flyers now off to Cummings for squirrels
by Chris Collender
Jan 10, 2022 09:29:58 am.

Baby it’s cold outside, lilburn, lawrenceville, and McDonough, all 3 calls where squirrels chewing threw the ceiling into the house
by Chris Collender
Jan 04, 2022 12:01:10 pm.

Beginning of another great year in the pest critter control, removal and prevention business. Call Ridacritter for a quote so you can be critter free. We service metro areas of Atlanta, Macon, Albany, Valdosta, Birmingham and many more.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 03, 2022 06:52:37 am.

We have new pest animal removal jobs in Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Hoover, Alpharetta, Marietta, Stonecrest and Smyrna to name a few. Crews will be providing free quotes for removal & prevention of critters in homes and attics.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 28, 2021 08:47:39 am.

Busy day after the Holidays, in Austell for snakes in the basement, then to Duluth and Stonecrest for squirrels, now on my way to Alpharetta for another quote
by Chris Collender
Dec 27, 2021 01:06:28 pm.

You don't have to share your home with pest animals like mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, opossum or bats. Call Ridacritter for a free quote on pest animal removal and prevention. Over 20 years Ridacritter has been assisting home owners.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 23, 2021 10:43:26 am.

In Valdosta taking care of customers with rats and another with squirrels in the attic. Scratching noises prompted them to call us.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 22, 2021 12:37:31 pm.

Had a squirrel job this morning in McDonough, then had bats in the house in Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Dec 22, 2021 12:26:54 pm.

Its Christmas week and the Ridacritter techs are out there helping remove and prevent nuisance pest animals like rats, mice, squirrels, bats and raccoons. You dont have to share your attic or home with pest wildlife, call Ridacritter today.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 20, 2021 09:39:16 am.

Pest rodents like rats, mice & squirrels often move into homes in cold wet weather. Call Ridacritter for a free quote on removal and prevention of pest animals. Servicing metro Birmingham AL, Macon Ga, Athens Ga, Atlanta Ga, Albany Ga areas
by Richard Adcock
Dec 17, 2021 09:24:17 am.

Hearing noises in your home? That’s not Santa in your attic, that’s nuisance wildlife making their home home in your home! Give us call to schedule an estimate. We’ll have them out in no time!
by Amber A.
Dec 14, 2021 05:00:46 pm.

Quoted squirrels in conyers, now off to McDonough, more squirrels
by Chris Collender
Dec 13, 2021 10:15:26 am.

Busy day, quoted rats in Buford, squirrels in Atlanta and stonecrest, then finished the day in Marietta, bats. Lots to wildlife quotes
by Chris Collender
Dec 10, 2021 08:24:24 pm.

We can’t control the weather, but we do offer some great services for rat control, and for other nuisance wildlife. Give us a call today for a quote. We offer humane removal and excellent exclusion work!
by Amber A.
Dec 10, 2021 10:15:12 am.

Had a busy day yesterday. Lots of squirrel calls. In and around Hoover and Mountain Brook. Headed to Alabaster for wildlife activity in a person’s attic. He thinks he saw a chipmunk but my guess is flying squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 09, 2021 08:12:47 am.

Good morning! Pretty busy with wildlife exclusions today. I’m headed to Jacksonville to quote a house with squirrels. My bama crew are sealing houses in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for raccoons and squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 06, 2021 08:35:39 am.

Middle to South Georgia squirrels in the attic? Protecting homes since 2001 against wildlife. Everyone have a fun and safe weekend.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 03, 2021 03:50:03 pm.

Just finished up on a free quote in Albany Ga. Afterwards I was able to let the customer know that the noises they’ve been hearing are squirrels. Now headed to another in Macon Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 01, 2021 11:07:54 am.

Good morning! Headed to Birmingham to quote a client with a multitude of rodent issues squirrels in the attic and rats in the crawl space. Then off to vestavia for squirrels and raccoons. Then to mccalla for more squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 01, 2021 09:20:33 am.

The wildlife might be out of your house but they probably left something behind - like urine and feces, YUCK! Call us for quote to remove contaminated insulation and blow new back in! We can help!
by Amber A.
Nov 29, 2021 06:21:45 pm.

Outside wildlife is beautiful, but not so much if it’s in your home! We can help you keep the animals out! Give us a call for humane removal, and exclusion!
by Amber A.
Nov 19, 2021 09:33:12 am.

Busy day. In Tuscaloosa we have a customer with a bad wildlife problem. They have raccoons, rats, and squirrels. Got my crew in Birmingham for an exclusion for rats.
by Chris Scott
Nov 18, 2021 10:51:23 am.

Good morning everyone! Headed off to Birmingham lots of wildlife activity. My guys are sealing some houses today with raccoons and rats. Call Ridacritter (205) 490-6200 for any wildlife issues you have.
by Chris Scott
Nov 16, 2021 07:45:16 am.

Did you know mice don’t like the cold? If they choose your home to get warm in, give us a call. We can help!!
by Amber A.
Nov 15, 2021 06:59:47 pm.

Headed out to Alabaster and then Tuscaloosa. Got some quotes for customers with squirrel issues. Couple crews out sealing houses in the Birmingham area for some squirrel and mouse issues.
by Chris Scott
Nov 10, 2021 09:24:24 am.

It’s ok to get your Christmas decorations out of the attic a little early, but it’s not ok if you see some furry friends up there hiding in the boxes! If you have some extra visitors, give us a call!
by Amber A.
Nov 09, 2021 08:23:47 am.

Good morning! Happy Friday! Headed to Birmingham for some squirrels estimates this morning.
by Chris Scott
Nov 05, 2021 08:34:21 am.

The squirrels are in the lead for most calls this week! Lots of squirrel activity with this chilly weather! Give us a call for an estimate to animal proof your home.
by Amber A.
Nov 05, 2021 08:33:53 am.

The Birmingham, Alabama office of Rid-A-Critter provides opossum trapping and control in Birmingham, Alabama and the the entire Metro Birmingham area including Anniston, Bessemer, Brighton, Chelsea, Fairfield, Heflin, Homewood, Hoover, Hueytown, Irondale, Jasper, Leeds, Midfield, Moody, Mountain Brook, Oxford, Pell City, Trussville, Valdosta, Vestavia, Warrior, and their surrounding areas. We are fully licensed and insured.

#opossum #removal #birmingham #alabama

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