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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 by a wildlife removal company.

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!

  • 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 opoossum in Mountain Brook, Alabama walking and facing the camera
    Handsome opossum in Mountain Brook
  • An opossum in a trap awaiting humane relocation
    Opossum waiting to be humanely relocated
  • Opossum trapper with baby opossum in a cage in Birmingham, Alabama
    Birmingham, Alabama opossum removal call
  • A young, unafraid opossum being gently held in the gloved hands of an animal trapper
    Tim with a young opossum removed from a home
  • Young possum in a humane trap after being removed from a home in Hoover, Alabama
    Young possum trapped and removed in Hoover
  • Three young opossums in a cage after being trapped and removed from a home
    Three young opossums awaiting relocation
  • 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
  • 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
  • An opossum in a trap after being removed from under a porch in Hoover, Alabama
    Possum removed from under a porch in Hoover
  • An opossum on a tree limb behind a house in Bessemer, Alabama
    A chubby opossum in Bessemer
  • 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
  • Young possum in a cage, trapped in a garage in Moody, Alabama
    An opossum removed from a garage in Moody
  • Front view of a young opossum in a live trap after being removed from a home
    Young opossum removed from a home
  • 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
  • The Tuscaloosa Alabama house is built over a crawl space about six inches high and an opossum simply walked under the house and into the crawl space.
    How the opossum got into this Tuscaloosa home
  • A baby opossum on the hood of a Rid a Critter service vehicle
    Baby opossum on the hood of Chris's truck
  • Three baby opossums on the ground
    Baby opossums found at a possum-removal job

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 management, staff, and logo animals of Rid-A-Critter wish all of our customers, suppliers, and Web site visitors a Happy and Save Thanksgiving holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from Rid-A-Critter
by Webmaster
Nov 23, 2022 10:05:14 am.

Cold day yesterday, started in Cedartown ga, squirrels in the soffits, had them last year, he tried to fix it himself last year, didn’t work. Headed to Mableton ga, squirrels again, then 2 stops in Marietta ga
by Chris Collender
Nov 22, 2022 08:21:48 am.

Rainy day, started off in Cleveland ga, bats in the ridge vents, then headed down to Atlanta ga, rats in the basement, then off to Douglasville ga, squirrels chewing holes threw customers shingles
by Chris Collender
Nov 15, 2022 03:36:15 pm.

It’s a cold Monday, was out in Monroe ga this morning, customer has had a constant issue with squirrels, then out 3 jobs in Atlanta ga, rats rats rats.
by Chris Collender
Nov 14, 2022 11:51:04 am.

Busy day yesterday, started off in Hoschton ga, rats, then out to a rental property in Atlanta, rats, then to Jonesboro ga, rats, then up to Athens ga, squirrels, good times.
by Chris Collender
Nov 10, 2022 10:19:13 am.

Was out in ellijay ga today, rats in crawl space, then headed to Hiawasse ga, flyers in attic, in Athens ga now, raccoons in a house
by Chris Collender
Nov 08, 2022 11:38:20 am.

Did a quote yesterday in Watkinsville, ga bats, and a quote for snakes, different houses, then off the Athens, ga snakes in a crawl space, has mice too. Then over to Covington, squirrels in the attic
by Chris Collender
Nov 03, 2022 09:32:16 am.

Was in Sharpsburg ga, squirrels are chewing threw the shingles to get into the attic, then off to Fayetteville ga, bats in the attic. Headed to Duluth ga, squirrels chewing threw the roof junctions and now in Atlanta ga, for rats
by Chris Collender
Oct 31, 2022 01:43:13 pm.

Went to Rome ga, squirrels for years, then off to Stone Mountain ga, previous customer new house, squirrels again. Headed to Bishop ga, guess for what, squirrels. Seems like theme
by Chris Collender
Oct 26, 2022 01:29:38 pm.

Back at in, was in McDonough ga for squirrels and presences of bats, off the Athens ga for squirrels in a metal roof, over to Gainesville ga, previous customer, we sealed his other house, has flyers in his new house, now headed to Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Oct 24, 2022 01:35:08 pm.

Another busy day, Conyers ga for birds, then to peachtree city ga, bats/rats , headed to Atlanta ga and then to Decatur. Good times
by Chris Collender
Oct 21, 2022 03:14:28 pm.

Beautiful day today, was in Bremen ga for bats, then off to Fairburn ga for squirrels, up to Atlanta ga for rats, headed to Brookhaven ga for another quote, not sure the animal just yet
by Chris Collender
Oct 11, 2022 12:57:50 pm.

Busy day, quoted rats in doraville, then Cummings, rats and squirrels, then headed to Covington, he has had issues for some time, squirrels with several chewed wires
by Chris Collender
Oct 04, 2022 12:55:50 pm.

A handyman tried to use insulating foam to seal a two-inch gap between the roof sheathing and fascia and keep squirrels out of the attic of a Birmingham, Alabama home. It didn't work, of course. It never does. We have a crew of squirrel-removal professionals properly animal-proofing the house, as well as trapping and relocating the existing squirrels.
by Webmaster
Sep 28, 2022 10:16:59 am.

I was in Big Canoe this morning, rats in the crawl space, then out to Douglasville for flyers in the attic, headed to Forest park for rats in a rental property
by Chris Collender
Sep 27, 2022 11:02:03 am.

Was in hiawassee for Bats, then Suches for rats, Suwannee for squirrels, and then Atlanta for rats again
by Chris Collender
Sep 22, 2022 12:56:25 pm.

Was in winterville this morning for mice, then to blairsvile for flyers, then Cummings ga for rats. Headed to Marietta for some bats, busy day
by Chris Collender
Sep 20, 2022 01:41:02 pm.

Atlanta job this morning, flyers in the attic, then headed to Decatur, rats in the crawl space
by Chris Collender
Sep 19, 2022 09:33:06 am.

Bats have been pretty busy this week, Atlanta to dunwoody, over to sandy springs, did a quote this morning for snakes in commerce ga, good times
by Chris Collender
Sep 15, 2022 10:09:54 am.

Was in Duluth this morning for bats, then off to watkinsville and Royston for u know, bats, now to Covington for rats
by Chris Collender
Aug 22, 2022 03:23:41 pm.

Yesterday, I was In peachtree city and then ellenwoood, for bats, then I drove lakemont and Cummings, snakes in the house.
by Chris Collender
Aug 16, 2022 07:43:26 am.

Snakes in the crawl space in carnesville ga, then off to Athens and conyers ga, bats are the attic. Now headed to villa rica for another wildlife quote
by Chris Collender
Aug 09, 2022 12:21:53 pm.

Busy day yesterday, was out in snellville for rats, then out to Bethlehem, Watkinsville and Athens all for bats
by Chris Collender
Aug 02, 2022 11:53:29 am.

Bats are flying high, was in Monroe twice for bats in the gables/house, then off to Kennesaw where the bats where in the freeze boards.
by Chris Collender
Jul 28, 2022 12:05:24 pm.

In Bishop ga, rats in a older home, next stop Athens ga, bats in the gables/ridge vents
by Chris Collender
Jul 19, 2022 09:31:22 am.

Busy day, bats in Hampton, then off to Greensboro ga, bats again, bats in loganville, and now off to squirrels in Buford
by Chris Collender
Jul 12, 2022 11:55:56 am.

Wildlife-control experts from our Birmingham office are removing an opossum from the crawl space of a Tuscaloosa, Alabama home. They'll also be animal-proofing the house to prevent future wildlife or rodent pest problems.
by Webmaster
Jun 29, 2022 10:20:25 am.

Heading to a snake call in Griffin Ga.
by Jason Arruda
May 09, 2022 02:31:20 pm.

Bats and carpenter bees are flying , Hampton to Ellen, off to demorest, snakes in Hoschton.
by Chris Collender
May 05, 2022 08:49:43 am.

Bats and carpenter bees are in full effect, From Rome, ga to Hampton, ga, then off to Atlanta. Busy times
by Chris Collender
Apr 28, 2022 11:15:13 am.

Busy critter day today, went to locus grove for some bats, Riverdale to get some squirrels, several Atlanta stops, of course rats, then ended in Marietta, rats again
by Chris Collender
Apr 11, 2022 07:25:46 pm.

Beautiful weather, bats are flying, and squirrels are breading, good times. Athens to snellville, over to Stone Mountain, then out to Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Apr 08, 2022 09:31:43 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, Tuscaloosa, Valdosta, Vestavia, Warrior, and their surrounding areas. We are fully licensed and insured.

#opossum #removal #birmingham #alabama

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