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Opossum Control

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

Family of opossums we removed together from a home

Family of opossums we removed together from a home

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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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.

Spending the day in Athens Ga and Lake Oconee with clients. Go Dawgs!
by Jason Arruda
Apr 03, 2019 01:58:31 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.

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.

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.

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. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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