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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 by a wildlife removal company.

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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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.

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.

Rain, rain go away, Chris C wants to do Some quotes today, Morganton(flyers), Carrollton(rats), College Park(raccoons), Brookhaven(squirrels)
by Chris Collender
Apr 05, 2022 02:15:46 pm.

Macon, Warner Robins, Perry and Forsyth Ga today bidding jobs and warranty services. Got crews all over south Ga as well sealing homes against bats and squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Apr 04, 2022 02:12:52 pm.

Customer in Macon Ga.called in having issues with snakes entering her basement. Going out there now.
by Jason Arruda
Apr 01, 2022 10:28:59 am.

Mouse droppings in the pantry? Bats in the gables? Rats overtaking your living area? Squirrels nesting in your attic? Noises in the walls? Scratching noises coming from you attic? Snakes in your crawl space? We handle them all.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 31, 2022 04:29:56 pm.

Got critters? Squirrels, bats,rats, raccoons, birds etc. Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee give a call for a free consultation.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 31, 2022 12:34:04 pm.

Newnan this morning for raccoons, then off to sharpsburg for mice and down to Atlanta for rats.
by Chris Collender
Mar 29, 2022 02:15:53 pm.

Crazy week so far, bats and carpenter bees are in full swing, from Athens to Suwannee, over to Duluth then to Alpharetta and Atlanta. Now this morning, I am in conyers with rats and squirrels
by Chris Collender
Mar 23, 2022 10:48:04 am.

Busy day today. Leaving a Tifton Ga bat quote that we’re going to seal next week. Headed to Coolidge Ga for another bat quote. Droppings on the driveway got the customers attention and squeaky sounds coming from the attic. Give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 21, 2022 12:24:07 pm.

Yesterday was another busy day, Ellijay had some flyers, then to norcross for rats, Athens with grey squirrels and woodstock with bats and rats
by Chris Collender
Mar 16, 2022 08:03:54 am.

Rats in temple ga, squirrels are running crazy in Dallas, ga
by Chris Collender
Mar 14, 2022 09:16:15 am.

Bats and squirrels today in Macon, Warner Robins and Perry Ga. Going out to give free quotes today to help protect their homes and businesses.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 10, 2022 06:55:24 am.

Bats are flying, went from lula ga, to bogart, down to newnan and McDonough.
by Chris Collender
Mar 09, 2022 01:59:40 pm.

Busy day, did 2 quotes for rats, Locus grove and then Atlanta, then headed to Marietta, squirrels and more squirrels
by Chris Collender
Feb 28, 2022 07:30:00 pm.

The foundation vent cover had completely fallen out of the brick wall, which allowed opossums into a house in Winder, Georgia. Wildlife-removal professionals from our Athens office are trapping, removing, and relocating the possums; as well as replacing and securing the vent cover to keep nuisance animals out of the house.
by Webmaster
Feb 17, 2022 09:43:51 am.

Went to blue ridge, flyers in the metal roof, headed to Atlanta with rats in the basement
by Chris Collender
Feb 14, 2022 11:15:00 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. We are fully licensed and insured. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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