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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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Heading to Lincoln to look at a bat problem for a customer. Then off to talladega for squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Sep 05, 2019 09:22:36 am.

Squirrel calls are coming in. Is your home protected? Call us for a free quote today.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 04, 2019 12:40:03 pm.

Out seeing clients today in Birmingham, Anniston, Leeds and Center Point Alabama. Having issues with Nuisance animals in your home or business call us for a free quote.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 29, 2019 12:14:08 pm.

Headed south to Vidalia,Ga for a bat exclusion quote. Nice day today with cooler temps. Going to be a busy fall.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 26, 2019 11:29:27 am.

Getting a little squirrelly in Georgia. We’ve seen babies already.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 01, 2019 09:54:09 am.

In Warner Robins this morning and sold a exclusion. Gonna be another happy customer. Now headed to Valdosta to see some clients.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 25, 2019 01:42:30 pm.

Down here on Lake Blackshear quoting a home with what was thought to be bats. After evaluating the home it turns out to be Chimney Swifts which can’t be relocated due to being a migratory bird. We’ll be back to cap flue when they’re gone.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 22, 2019 01:37:32 pm.

Love it when a really good song comes on the radio in between stops. Gets me a little squirrelly. Lol Have a Good Friday everyone.
by Jason Arruda
May 31, 2019 11:48:33 am.

Out seeing our wonderful clients in the pest control industry that refers us for wildlife (rats, bats, snakes, squirrels , bees, etc. Thank you from all of us!!
by Jason Arruda
May 30, 2019 01:45:40 pm.

Great day in Valdosta. I helped one of my clients customer with a honey bee problem and set them up for our technicians to quote extraction.
by Jason Arruda
May 07, 2019 03:13:38 pm.

Squirrels in my attic, rats in my crawl, bats flying in my house to snakes in my yard. Yes we can handle it all from Hiawassee to Valdosta .
by Jason Arruda
Apr 30, 2019 12:37:58 pm.

Awesome day in Macon Ga. visiting clients. South Ga. pest control companies are referring us more and more bat jobs. I explained that now is the season. Thank you for referring us
by Jason Arruda
Apr 04, 2019 02:36:39 pm.

Well it was a great day in Alabama seeing my Pest Control clients that refer us. If you don’t know by now majority of Pest Control companies refer us for squirrels, raccoons, rats, bats, bees and more. Now it time to head back to Georgia.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 28, 2019 03:24:50 pm.

Excluding animals is a continuous task. That’s why our Warranty Division is always hard at work keeping those reoccurring, persistent, and pesky Critters out of your home. Have you let your Warranty coverage lapse?? Get caught up today !!
by Tim McDavid
Mar 28, 2019 09:29:04 am.

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.

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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