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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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Started off in Rome ga, raccoons in the crawl space, then headed to Atlanta, ga, rats in the attic
by Chris Collender
Jan 05, 2023 11:48:37 am.

Happy New years, back at it, started off in Conyers ga, squirrels, then headed to Stone Mountain ga, rats in the attic, now In Gainesville ga, bats in the house
by Chris Collender
Jan 02, 2023 11:16:26 am.

Here's Wishing All of You a Merry Christmas from Rid-A-Critter!
by Webmaster
Dec 23, 2022 12:56:04 pm.

Rain rain go away, i need to quote some houses today, started off Snellville ga, squirrels have chewed several new holes, paid 2 companies to do patch work , never works long term, why she called us, we will give her a permanent solution
by Chris Collender
Dec 20, 2022 12:54:00 pm.

Beautiful day but Baby, it’s cold outside. Started the day in Athens ga, rats, then headed to Brasselton, ga, rats, then headed over to Oxford, ga, squirrels. Good times
by Chris Collender
Dec 19, 2022 12:42:44 pm.

Back in conyers, ga today, seems to be busy over here, flyers in the attic, headed to Ellenwood, ga, square
by Chris Collender
Dec 16, 2022 09:53:13 am.

Beautiful day, had 2 stops in Dacula, ga. Rats and squirrels, headed to conyers, ga. For another squirrel job.
by Chris Collender
Dec 15, 2022 12:15:22 pm.

Busy day in the rain, had two quotes in Alpharetta ga, flying squirrels in both homes, headed to Athens ga, squirrels in the attic.
by Chris Collender
Dec 14, 2022 12:45:29 pm.

A brick is missing from the wall -- no one knows exactly why -- and the gap allowed opossums into the crawl space of a house in Athens, Georgia. Our wildlife-removal crew will replace the brick to animal-proof the house as soon as the possums have been trapped and removed from the crawl space.
by Webmaster
Dec 14, 2022 08:37:46 am.

Quoted a rental property In Atlanta ga, rats, them headed to Athens, ga, mice, then off to Snellville ga, squirrels in the attic
by Chris Collender
Dec 13, 2022 12:33:01 pm.

Finally no more rain, headed to Decatur ga, rental property, rats, headed to Monroe, ga, squirrels in a house, then back to Atlanta ga, rats
by Chris Collender
Dec 12, 2022 03:51:16 pm.

Good day yesterday, other then the rain, started off in Dawsonville ga, rats, then headed to Lawrenceville ga, flyers, then headed to Atlanta ga, rats
by Chris Collender
Dec 07, 2022 10:01:04 am.

Rainy day, started out in Duluth, ga, snakes found in the house, then headed to doraville ga, squirrels again, then 2 stops in Atlantic ga, rats. Busy day
by Chris Collender
Dec 05, 2022 03:25:03 pm.

Glad the rain stopped yesterday, we stood in Atlanta, ga. rats and squirrels, then headed to Duluth ga, squirrels again, then to Marietta ga, rats. Another good day
by Chris Collender
Dec 01, 2022 07:20:51 am.

Happy thanksgiving to all, it’s back to work, was in Decatur ga, rats, to off to McDonough ga, rats again, the headed to Douglasville ga, for grey squirrels, then I just left Carrollton ga, bats in attic
by Chris Collender
Nov 28, 2022 12:25:45 pm.

The management, staff, and logo animals of Rid-A-Critter wish all of our customers, suppliers, and Web site visitors a Happy and Save Thanksgiving holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from Rid-A-Critter
by Webmaster
Nov 23, 2022 10:05:14 am.

You know why we're doing opossum removal in Hoschton, Georgia today? It's because a foundation vent completely fell out of a cinder block foundation wall and allowed the possums into the crawl space. Our animal-removal crew are trapping and relocating the opossums and replacing the foundation vent to keep wildlife of all persuasions out of the house.
by Webmaster
Nov 22, 2022 09:42:29 am.

Cold day yesterday, started in Cedartown ga, squirrels in the soffits, had them last year, he tried to fix it himself last year, didn’t work. Headed to Mableton ga, squirrels again, then 2 stops in Marietta ga
by Chris Collender
Nov 22, 2022 08:21:48 am.

An opossum tore a hardware cloth screen off a gap in the siding where some pipes passed through at ground level to get into a house in Watkinsville, Georgia. Our wildlife-exclusion specialists are setting traps to catch and remove the possum, and animal-proofing the house to prevent future critter and rodent pest problems.
by Webmaster
Nov 16, 2022 08:49:05 am.

Rainy day, started off in Cleveland ga, bats in the ridge vents, then headed down to Atlanta ga, rats in the basement, then off to Douglasville ga, squirrels chewing holes threw customers shingles
by Chris Collender
Nov 15, 2022 03:36:15 pm.

It’s a cold Monday, was out in Monroe ga this morning, customer has had a constant issue with squirrels, then out 3 jobs in Atlanta ga, rats rats rats.
by Chris Collender
Nov 14, 2022 11:51:04 am.

Busy day yesterday, started off in Hoschton ga, rats, then out to a rental property in Atlanta, rats, then to Jonesboro ga, rats, then up to Athens ga, squirrels, good times.
by Chris Collender
Nov 10, 2022 10:19:13 am.

Was out in ellijay ga today, rats in crawl space, then headed to Hiawasse ga, flyers in attic, in Athens ga now, raccoons in a house
by Chris Collender
Nov 08, 2022 11:38:20 am.

Did a quote yesterday in Watkinsville, ga bats, and a quote for snakes, different houses, then off the Athens, ga snakes in a crawl space, has mice too. Then over to Covington, squirrels in the attic
by Chris Collender
Nov 03, 2022 09:32:16 am.

Was in Sharpsburg ga, squirrels are chewing threw the shingles to get into the attic, then off to Fayetteville ga, bats in the attic. Headed to Duluth ga, squirrels chewing threw the roof junctions and now in Atlanta ga, for rats
by Chris Collender
Oct 31, 2022 01:43:13 pm.

Went to Rome ga, squirrels for years, then off to Stone Mountain ga, previous customer new house, squirrels again. Headed to Bishop ga, guess for what, squirrels. Seems like theme
by Chris Collender
Oct 26, 2022 01:29:38 pm.

Back at in, was in McDonough ga for squirrels and presences of bats, off the Athens ga for squirrels in a metal roof, over to Gainesville ga, previous customer, we sealed his other house, has flyers in his new house, now headed to Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Oct 24, 2022 01:35:08 pm.

Another busy day, Conyers ga for birds, then to peachtree city ga, bats/rats , headed to Atlanta ga and then to Decatur. Good times
by Chris Collender
Oct 21, 2022 03:14:28 pm.

Beautiful day today, was in Bremen ga for bats, then off to Fairburn ga for squirrels, up to Atlanta ga for rats, headed to Brookhaven ga for another quote, not sure the animal just yet
by Chris Collender
Oct 11, 2022 12:57:50 pm.

Busy day, quoted rats in doraville, then Cummings, rats and squirrels, then headed to Covington, he has had issues for some time, squirrels with several chewed wires
by Chris Collender
Oct 04, 2022 12:55:50 pm.

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.

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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