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All About Opossums

If you find a fuzzy critter in your home you may be wondering, “what do I do?” or “how do I keep myself safe?”. In terms of safety, you really have nothing to worry about. Opossums are not animals who tend to hurt others. Even though they have a bad reputation from most people being known as pests and killing farm animals, most times they leave without harming a soul. When people complain about opossums it’s more so about them being there rather than what they are doing. When opossums feel threatened, they do open their mouth to show their pointy teeth and let out a hissing sound. While this may make them look dangerous, they are just protecting themselves! Many people mistake the open-mouth hissing and drooling behaviors of opossums to be rabies. It is extremely rare for opossums to carry rabies. This may be because of their body temperature, opossums typically have a lower body temperature than most of their warm-blooded friends.  

Opossums On Your Property 

When you find an opossum in your yard, it will tend to migrate before causing any destruction. To make sure you don’t attract opossums on your property you should make sure to have tight-fitting lids on your trash cans as well as keep your pet food inside overnight. Opossums are also drawn to fruit, if you have any fruit trees make sure to pick up any goodies they may drop. Opossums also have a tendency to make themselves comfortable under patios and decks, to prevent this from happening you need to make sure any holes leading to the patio or deck are filled.  It is possible to have a family of opossums living on your property. Here is what you should do if you suspect there is a mom opossum with babies invading your space: 

  • Wait until she leaves her den, typically two hours after dark 
  • Close the entrance they have made with a fibrous material, straw, or netting 
  • Always check for opossum babies before closing the space 

If you see there has been no movement for two or three nights, you are more than likely safe to completely close to the entrance without trapping any animals inside. Once you close the opening with the materials listed above, this will ensure any animal that may be trapped inside is able to clear its own path to get back outside. Opossum mother also take their little ones with them wherever they go, so the chance of anyone being left behind is not likely. Any animals who are outside trying to get in will not be able to do so due to the steps you took to block the entrance off. When wanting to permanently deter any critters, you can use what is called an “L footer”.  

Sometimes opossums may find their way into your home through a pet door. When this happens here is what you should do, close the doors to any open rooms and open the door that leads outside. Due to opossums being nonaggressive, you can help the opossum in the right direction by nudging them with a broom. Here at WNY wildlife, we have over a decade of professional experience guiding opossums back to their natural habitats. WNY wildlife is a fully-insured company that has our NY State trappers license. We are here to help you with any questions and concerns you may have about any new animals who may have found their way into your home. We are animal lovers who relocate animals humanely, give us a call whenever you need us at, (716) 203-1166

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