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Opossum Control

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

Baby opossums found at a possum-removal job

Baby opossums found at a possum-removal job

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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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.

Finishing up on a exclusion in Cordele Ga and headed to Valdosta Ga for some trap checking. Good times. Happy Monday.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 07, 2020 10:46:24 am.

Headed down south today to Albany Ga to give a quote for a bat exclusion. Animals in the attic scratching and bats are keeping the customers up at night. Time for us to step in.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 10, 2020 09:42:30 am.

One of our technicians is on his way to remove and relocated an opossum that we trapped and caught overnight at a house in Athens, Georgia.
by Webmaster
Aug 28, 2020 09:54:45 am.

We just sent a technician to remove a trapped opossum from a house in Athens, Georgia and relocate it to the forest.
by Webmaster
Aug 19, 2020 09:13:39 am.

Young Opossum Trapped and Removed from a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 10, 2020 10:30:56 am.

Jason and Justin Deodorizing an Attic After Animal Removal
by Webmaster
Jun 24, 2020 10:10:29 am.

News: CDC Warns that COVID-19 Lockdowns are Making Rats and Mice More Desperate
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:43:37 am.

Video of Justin Sealing Rats and Mice Out of a Loading Dock
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:02:16 am.

Noises in your attic? We can help in certain case we can seal and remove animals from your home with no personal contact.
by Dean Scott
Apr 02, 2020 11:16:28 am.

From our family to yours we wish you good health and safety. During this uncertain time related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to assure you as a approved business for essential Services. Rid-A-Critter remains open. Thanks
by Jason Arruda
Mar 27, 2020 03:07:31 pm.

Here's Dan Humanely Removing Animals from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:05:57 am.

This Video Shows How to Humanely Remove an Animal from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 09:57:33 am.

Just enjoying this Georgia weather this weekend. At my parents house fishing and noticed the wildlife out here where they belong. They can become a nuisance though when they find their way inside your home. In that case give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 01, 2020 12:24:17 pm.

Well it’s North Ga today. Seeing clients in Buford, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 27, 2020 11:30:35 am.

Rainy days mean animals like to stay in. If you are hearing noises in your attic on this rainy day it could be more than rain.
by Dean Scott
Feb 13, 2020 09:27:56 am.

Going to Bainbridge Ga today for quotes for exclusions. Bats, rats and gray squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 23, 2020 11:05:03 am.

Excited to be at the Athens pest control conference this week. Let’s talk about wildlife and what services we provide to help.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 06, 2020 11:57:03 am.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2019 11:39:15 am.

Want to put a stop to those pesky critters getting in your home for good? We can do that!!
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:14:14 pm.

Heard it all. Squirrels in my attic, scratching noises in my attic, attic noises, animals partying in my attic, then there’s the crawlspace. Rats in my crawlspace, opossum in my crawlspace and there’s something dead in my crawlspace/attic.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:07:59 pm.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2019 11:07:00 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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