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Opossum Control

Athens-Clarke County Regional Office of Rid-A-Critter

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

To be kind, opossums are interesting-looking animals. Some would even say that they're downright funny-looking. In fact, 'possums have been described as looking like they were put together from "God's spare parts."

Opossums are medium-sized mammals with thick fur that can make them look bigger than they are, with jaws resembling those of a dog, prehensile tails that looks like those of rats, and human-like "hands" and rear feet with opposable thumbs. They're usually white in color (in fact, the word "opossum" is derived from an Algonquian word meaning "white dog," although some are more gray or tan.

Most uniquely among North American mammals, opossums are marsupials, which means that their females have pouches in which they rear their young immediately after birth. The pouch is called a marsupium, and opossums are the only mammals native to North America that come equipped with one.

Behavior-wise, if we had to sum up the opossum's nature in one word, it would be "adaptable." That's one of the secrets of their success. They don't have very good vision, they age very rapidly, they're not fleet of foot, and they're not especially well-equipped to fight. But they are adaptable enough to make the best of a wide variety of situations and to live comfortably in all kinds of settings.

For example, opossums are tree-dwellers by nature, but they're also happy living in the ground. Occasionally they'll even move into burrows abandoned by other animals. They'll also happily move into crawl spaces, sheds, garages, attics, soffits, and even old cars. We've even found them living in wall and ceiling voids. They're very easy to please that way. They'll move into any available space without complaint as long as it's rent-free.

The opossum's diet is also flexible, which is to say that they'll eat pretty much anything. In nature they're omnivores, and they've adapted well to living around humans. They'll eat human garbage, table scraps from picnic areas, pet food, and pretty much anything else they can find that's edible.

Opossums also have very high resistance to most diseases, which is something that scientists have been studying for many years. They very rarely get sick. Nonetheless, they do age very quickly and have very short life spans -- usually two years at most in the wild.

Playing Dead

Probably the most famous fact about possums is their academy award-worthy skill at "playing dead" when they are attacked or threatened. This doesn't seem to be entirely voluntary on the possum's part. It seems to be something more along the lines of fainting and not quite within their control. But it serves an important survival purpose for them.

What happens is that once the possum has tried the usual animal methods of resisting an attack -- snarling, baring their teeth, snapping, and so forth -- they'll fall into a state that makes them look and smell dead. They stop moving and lay there, motionless, mouths frozen in a snarl; and they start secreting a foul-smelling odor that makes them smell like a rotting, dead animal. Because most predators are smart enough not to eat rotting food, the predator animal usually walks away, thinking that the possum is dead.

Opossums as Nuisance Animals

The most common reason why people dislike opossums is because they find them scary-looking. But like any wild animal, they can also make a serious mess and cause a health hazard if they get inside your home. They carry parasites like fleas, ticks, and so forth, and their urine and droppings can cause odors that travel through your home, especially if you have forced-air heating and cooling. They're also destructive and will often tear away at insulation, HVAC ducts, and store possessions.

Outside the house, opossums can be beneficial because they do consume their share of rodents. But because they've adapted to living on human garbage, they may not hunt as much (or at all) if human leftovers or pet food are available to them. They can also be a nuisance on farms and in gardens because they sometimes eat the crops.

The biggest health threat posed by opossums is actually to horses. Possums have been confirmed to be part of the transmission cycle of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM), a serious, degenerative neurological disease affecting horses and other equines. So you most certainly don't want opossums anywhere near a stable.

It's also suspected that because of their extremely strong immune systems, opossums may be able to carry the rabies virus for a long time without being affected by it, but transmit it to humans or other animals nonetheless.

Opossum Removal and Control

Not every opossum-removal job we perform requires exclusion. More so than most other wild animals, opossums often simply walk into garages, basements, and other parts of homes through open doors. When this is the case, all we have to do is remove them for you and release them elsewhere.

Sometimes, however, opossums make their way into your home through structural gaps, holes, or other flaws that require exclusion work -- basically, making your home possum-proof. This also will seal out other animals like raccoons and rats, so it's a good investment in keeping your home animal-free.

Please contact us if you have a problem with opossums or any other nuisance animals. We hope to hear from you soon.

Opossum Control Gallery

Here are a few pictures of possum removal work we've done. Hopefully we'll have more soon.

 

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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
by Amber A.
Jul 23, 2021 06:29:58 pm.

Hope everyone stayed dry from the rain but if you got flooded with animals we can get them out!
by Amber A.
Jun 21, 2021 06:32:40 pm.

We can remove animals from the structure, as well as seal up your home, but if those pesky critters left behind any excrement, we offer cleanup as well as insulation replacement! Call for a quote!
by Amber A.
Jun 18, 2021 06:34:50 pm.

An opossum living under the porch of a house in Athens, Georgia has been trapped, removed, and relocated to the forest. Now we're animal-proofing the exterior of the house to prevent future problems with wildlife getting into or under the house.
by Webmaster
Jun 18, 2021 10:17:28 am.

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive week! And if animals are keeping you up at night, give us a call!
by Amber A.
Jun 14, 2021 05:59:26 pm.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
by Amber A.
Jun 12, 2021 07:23:35 pm.

It’s a competition between bats and raccoons getting up in the attics the last few days! If it’s in your attic, we can get it!
by Amber A.
Jun 11, 2021 06:04:09 pm.

The rain seems to be driving the animals in! We can get them out!
by Amber A.
Jun 10, 2021 06:04:42 pm.

The rain doesn’t scare the animals away! If you’ve noticed one taking shelter in your home, give us a call!
by Amber A.
Jun 07, 2021 07:24:17 pm.

Out and about in LaGrange Ga on snake calls. Give us a call for a free quote today.
by Jason Arruda
May 25, 2021 02:16:41 pm.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
by Amber A.
May 21, 2021 06:06:17 pm.

Happy Friday!! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
by Amber A.
May 14, 2021 06:04:38 pm.

I think there was more animal activity outside then inside today! If they get in, we can get them out!
by Amber A.
May 13, 2021 06:10:20 pm.

Cooler weather coming in means the animals coming in! We can help! :)
by Amber A.
May 11, 2021 06:58:32 pm.

Here's What Happens When a Trainee Drops His Cell Phone Inside a Wall
by Webmaster
May 04, 2021 10:23:55 am.

What a Monday! Hope everyone stays safe out there!
by Amber A.
May 03, 2021 06:03:57 pm.

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!
by Amber A.
Apr 30, 2021 06:13:44 pm.

Hope everyone stays safe from the storms. Listen out for animals, they might be taking shelter too!
by Amber A.
Mar 17, 2021 05:45:47 pm.

Today is a wonderful day to call Ridacritter for all of your nuisance animal exclusion needs! We cover rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and more!
by Jake A.
Mar 12, 2021 02:54:13 pm.

We're just about finished bat-proofing a house in Bogart, Georgia. The bats are all gone and have been sealed out of the attic. Now we have to vacuum up and dispose of the guano and replace the attic insulation.
by Webmaster
Mar 12, 2021 10:02:59 am.

Warm weather brought out calls for several animals today! From Snakes, to squirrels, mice and bees!!
by Amber A.
Mar 10, 2021 07:41:48 pm.

Rats, mice and squirrels today. Wildlife repairs with trapping. Animal exclusion needed call us for a free quote.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 25, 2021 10:58:52 am.

Rainy all over Georgia it seems like. Hard for us to keep dry when we’re determined to evict the animals and seal to keep them out. In Albany Ga now for a couple quotes and then to Zebulon Ga for another quote for squirrels removal. Be safe
by Jason Arruda
Feb 18, 2021 11:10:35 am.

Headed over to Albany Georgia for a quote to exclude squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 02, 2021 11:44:36 am.

Give Ridacritter a call for any of your nuisance animal needs. From Bats, to Bees, Squirrels, to Rats, Ridacritter solves all of your problems. Call for an exclusion today!
by Jake A.
Jan 30, 2021 10:25:50 am.

Very busy right now. Lots of squirrels and rats in the Birmingham and surrounding areas. Looks like bats are flying already as I’ve got several bat jobs to look at this week. Had a customer yesterday with squirrels and bats.
by Chris Scott
Jan 26, 2021 08:07:01 am.

In Auburn Alabama quoting exclusions for gray squirrels today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 07, 2021 11:01:30 am.

Lots of squirrel and rat calls today. From Birmingham to Anniston.
by Chris Scott
Jan 07, 2021 09:46:52 am.

In Alpharetta, Ga this morning providing a clearance letter to a customer so their buyers can rest assured they’re purchasing a Critter Free home. Did I mention our Warranty is 100% transferable??
by Tim McDavid
Jan 05, 2021 09:29:57 am.

Lots of squirrel calls today. It appears gray and flying squirrels are attempting to take over every attic in the Birmingham and surrounding areas.
by Chris Scott
Jan 04, 2021 05:58:27 pm.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2020 10:41:11 am.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2020 11:23:46 am.

The Athens, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides opossum removal and exclusion in Athens-Clarke, Greene, and parts of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, Banks, Jackson, and Oconee Counties in Georgia, including Athens, Auburn, Bogart, Commerce, Good Hope, Greensboro, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Watkinsville, and Winder. We are fully licensed and insured. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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