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Opossum Control and "Possum-Proofing"

Greater Birmingham, Alabama

An opossum facing the camera in a wooded area near Mountain Brook, Alabama

Opossums, like this one in Mountain Brook, are interesting-looking animals.

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!

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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In Columbus Ga today meeting new clients.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 14, 2019 12:45:31 pm.

Visiting clients in Albany Ga. on this Presidents Day. Be safe!
by Jason Arruda
Feb 18, 2019 11:52:47 am.

Had a good day yesterday!!! Quoted several houses in the Birmingham area with gray squirrels. Got a couple squirrel quotes in Birmingham today. Then off to Pell City to quote a customer with bats in their game room, attic, and walls.
by Chris Scott
Feb 12, 2019 08:08:55 am.

Wow, this warm weather has these bat calls on the rise. Bats are gonna be out early with this warm weather and early spring.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 06, 2019 11:57:56 am.

Well it was a good Monday seeing clients in Carrollton, Dallas, Rockmart and Bremen Ga. today. Time to head home. Be safe everyone.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 28, 2019 04:25:42 pm.

Heading to Birmingham to quote a house with squirrels in the attic. Then off to pick up some rats in Homewood. Couple more squirrel quotes in Birmingham.
by Chris Scott
Jan 24, 2019 08:47:16 am.

As always it’s nice to visit with our clients in the Albany Ga area. Thanks to all companies and people who refer us to your friends and family for wildlife needs.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 21, 2019 02:47:07 pm.

News Flash: Our new company blog is live!
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2019 05:52:35 pm.

Had a good day visiting some of my clients in the Gainesville Ga. area today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 17, 2019 02:38:57 pm.

Squirrels, squirrels, and rats. Just left a house in Vestavia Hills. We are sealing that one today for squirrels and rats. On my way to pehlam for gray squirrels. Then back up to Birmingham for more gray squirrels. Then to Irondale.
by Chris Scott
Jan 17, 2019 11:14:15 am.

Safety training in Jasper Georgia today. Couldn’t ask for a better view.
by Dean Scott
Jan 11, 2019 10:33:18 am.

It’s was a great day in Birmingham Alabama today. I got to see a lot of friendly faces again. Our relationship with the pest control industry has been and is amazing. Thanks to all the Pest Control companies that refer us for wildlife.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 10, 2019 03:08:08 pm.

Good morning team. I’m headed to Albany Ga. today to see some clients. Hope you all have a great day.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 09, 2019 08:05:26 am.

Its finally a beautiful day in the south! The sun is shining and the temperatures are nice. Our techs are out in the filed removing attic critters and excluding them from homes. If you have rats, mice or other varmints in your home call us.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 05, 2019 12:02:27 pm.

New Google+ Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2018 11:26:02 am.

Seeing clients in and around Griffin Ga today.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 28, 2018 01:07:45 pm.

New Google+ Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2018 10:43:21 am.

Spent the day with clients in South Georgia from Albany to Valdosta. Time to head back to Pike county.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 17, 2018 05:06:48 pm.

Good luck 🍀 to all students taking their midterm exams this week.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 17, 2018 04:25:14 pm.

Video of Carl Correcting Another Animal-Removal Company's Work
by Webmaster
Dec 11, 2018 09:55:45 am.

Wow, it’s been a lot of wet and cold weather here in Ga. and has the phones ringing. Make sure your home is secured against all the wildlife looking for warmth and shelter.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 10, 2018 04:42:47 pm.

In McDonough Ga seeing some of our clients that referred us last month to say Thank You!!
by Jason Arruda
Dec 07, 2018 11:40:58 am.

This Video Shows How Poor Home Upkeep can Lead to Animal Problems
by Webmaster
Nov 23, 2018 05:19:58 am.

New Google+ Post: Happy Thanksgiving!
by Webmaster
Nov 21, 2018 11:11:26 am.

Video of Humane Opossum Removal and Release to the Wild
by Webmaster
Nov 20, 2018 10:26:05 am.

Our Heartfelt Thanks to All Our Veterans and Service Members, Past and Present
by Webmaster
Nov 09, 2018 06:10:15 am.

Picture of Tim Removing a Dead Animal from a Chimney
by Webmaster
Oct 31, 2018 12:39:47 pm.

Tim Found a Surprise in the Attic of the Kramden Home
by Webmaster
Oct 05, 2018 10:34:32 am.

Fortunately, Rid-A-Critter Can Handle Big or Small Animal-Control Jobs
by Webmaster
Sep 25, 2018 10:23:53 am.

Video of a Young Opossum Removed from a Home
by Webmaster
Sep 17, 2018 10:42:55 am.

Chris Sent a Picture of a Black and Yellow Garden Spider
by Webmaster
Sep 04, 2018 10:53:34 am.

New Google+ Post: Happy Labor Day!
by Webmaster
Aug 31, 2018 09:45:47 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, and their surrounding areas.

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