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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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Busy day, was in Rome for squirrels, then powder springs and Atlanta for rats
by Chris Collender
Jan 26, 2022 06:14:43 pm.

The snow didn’t stop me nor the animals, was in Hiawasse, Duluth, Snellville, and then Marietta
by Chris Collender
Jan 18, 2022 04:41:40 pm.

Will be a cold and windy day today. Guys will be out working hard to seal homes, preventing all kinds of pest animals from getting in. Animals like rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons and opossums want out of the cold too. Pest animals beware.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 17, 2022 06:39:14 am.

Pretty good day in the office yesterday. We accepted new pest animal removal jobs in Grayson, Athens, Duluth, Fayetteville, Chamblee, Marietta, Monroe & Canton to name a few. For the best pest animal control service call Ridacritter today!
by Richard Adcock
Jan 14, 2022 07:43:04 am.

Currently in Monroe ga, squirrel job, headed to Atlanta now for rats in the crawl space
by Chris Collender
Jan 13, 2022 10:01:40 am.

Quoted a house in flowery branch with rats, then Gainesville for flyers now off to Cummings for squirrels
by Chris Collender
Jan 10, 2022 09:29:58 am.

Baby it’s cold outside, lilburn, lawrenceville, and McDonough, all 3 calls where squirrels chewing threw the ceiling into the house
by Chris Collender
Jan 04, 2022 12:01:10 pm.

Beginning of another great year in the pest critter control, removal and prevention business. Call Ridacritter for a quote so you can be critter free. We service metro areas of Atlanta, Macon, Albany, Valdosta, Birmingham and many more.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 03, 2022 06:52:37 am.

We have new pest animal removal jobs in Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Hoover, Alpharetta, Marietta, Stonecrest and Smyrna to name a few. Crews will be providing free quotes for removal & prevention of critters in homes and attics.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 28, 2021 08:47:39 am.

Busy day after the Holidays, in Austell for snakes in the basement, then to Duluth and Stonecrest for squirrels, now on my way to Alpharetta for another quote
by Chris Collender
Dec 27, 2021 01:06:28 pm.

You don't have to share your home with pest animals like mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, opossum or bats. Call Ridacritter for a free quote on pest animal removal and prevention. Over 20 years Ridacritter has been assisting home owners.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 23, 2021 10:43:26 am.

In Valdosta taking care of customers with rats and another with squirrels in the attic. Scratching noises prompted them to call us.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 22, 2021 12:37:31 pm.

Had a squirrel job this morning in McDonough, then had bats in the house in Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Dec 22, 2021 12:26:54 pm.

Its Christmas week and the Ridacritter techs are out there helping remove and prevent nuisance pest animals like rats, mice, squirrels, bats and raccoons. You dont have to share your attic or home with pest wildlife, call Ridacritter today.
by Richard Adcock
Dec 20, 2021 09:39:16 am.

Pest rodents like rats, mice & squirrels often move into homes in cold wet weather. Call Ridacritter for a free quote on removal and prevention of pest animals. Servicing metro Birmingham AL, Macon Ga, Athens Ga, Atlanta Ga, Albany Ga areas
by Richard Adcock
Dec 17, 2021 09:24:17 am.

Hearing noises in your home? That’s not Santa in your attic, that’s nuisance wildlife making their home home in your home! Give us call to schedule an estimate. We’ll have them out in no time!
by Amber A.
Dec 14, 2021 05:00:46 pm.

Quoted squirrels in conyers, now off to McDonough, more squirrels
by Chris Collender
Dec 13, 2021 10:15:26 am.

Busy day, quoted rats in Buford, squirrels in Atlanta and stonecrest, then finished the day in Marietta, bats. Lots to wildlife quotes
by Chris Collender
Dec 10, 2021 08:24:24 pm.

We can’t control the weather, but we do offer some great services for rat control, and for other nuisance wildlife. Give us a call today for a quote. We offer humane removal and excellent exclusion work!
by Amber A.
Dec 10, 2021 10:15:12 am.

Had a busy day yesterday. Lots of squirrel calls. In and around Hoover and Mountain Brook. Headed to Alabaster for wildlife activity in a person’s attic. He thinks he saw a chipmunk but my guess is flying squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 09, 2021 08:12:47 am.

Good morning! Pretty busy with wildlife exclusions today. I’m headed to Jacksonville to quote a house with squirrels. My bama crew are sealing houses in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for raccoons and squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 06, 2021 08:35:39 am.

Middle to South Georgia squirrels in the attic? Protecting homes since 2001 against wildlife. Everyone have a fun and safe weekend.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 03, 2021 03:50:03 pm.

Just finished up on a free quote in Albany Ga. Afterwards I was able to let the customer know that the noises they’ve been hearing are squirrels. Now headed to another in Macon Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 01, 2021 11:07:54 am.

Good morning! Headed to Birmingham to quote a client with a multitude of rodent issues squirrels in the attic and rats in the crawl space. Then off to vestavia for squirrels and raccoons. Then to mccalla for more squirrels.
by Chris Scott
Dec 01, 2021 09:20:33 am.

The wildlife might be out of your house but they probably left something behind - like urine and feces, YUCK! Call us for quote to remove contaminated insulation and blow new back in! We can help!
by Amber A.
Nov 29, 2021 06:21:45 pm.

Outside wildlife is beautiful, but not so much if it’s in your home! We can help you keep the animals out! Give us a call for humane removal, and exclusion!
by Amber A.
Nov 19, 2021 09:33:12 am.

Busy day. In Tuscaloosa we have a customer with a bad wildlife problem. They have raccoons, rats, and squirrels. Got my crew in Birmingham for an exclusion for rats.
by Chris Scott
Nov 18, 2021 10:51:23 am.

Good morning everyone! Headed off to Birmingham lots of wildlife activity. My guys are sealing some houses today with raccoons and rats. Call Ridacritter (205) 490-6200 for any wildlife issues you have.
by Chris Scott
Nov 16, 2021 07:45:16 am.

Did you know mice don’t like the cold? If they choose your home to get warm in, give us a call. We can help!!
by Amber A.
Nov 15, 2021 06:59:47 pm.

Headed out to Alabaster and then Tuscaloosa. Got some quotes for customers with squirrel issues. Couple crews out sealing houses in the Birmingham area for some squirrel and mouse issues.
by Chris Scott
Nov 10, 2021 09:24:24 am.

It’s ok to get your Christmas decorations out of the attic a little early, but it’s not ok if you see some furry friends up there hiding in the boxes! If you have some extra visitors, give us a call!
by Amber A.
Nov 09, 2021 08:23:47 am.

The squirrels are in the lead for most calls this week! Lots of squirrel activity with this chilly weather! Give us a call for an estimate to animal proof your home.
by Amber A.
Nov 05, 2021 08:33:53 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.

#opossum #removal #athens #georgia

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