Being the only marsupial living in the United States, opossums are a unique mammal. After giving birth to undeveloped young, opossums and other marsupials carry their babies in an external pouch until they have fully developed.

Adult opossums weigh between 4 and 14 pounds. Whitish-gray fur covers their body with long, guard hairs sprinkled throughout. They have a long narrow face that is lighter in color than their body. Both their ears and tail are hairless. Their tail is prehensile, which means it grips things allowing these creatures to hang upside down from the branches of trees.

opossum on tree branch

Are opossums dangerous?

Opossums are destructive and dangerous pests. Some of the problems associated with opossums include:

  • While foraging for food (grubs, other insects, fruits, vegetables), they will dig through dirt, causing damage to lawns and gardens.

  • If they move inside to burrow in attics or crawl spaces, they will dig through drywall and tear up wires, ductwork, and insulation.

  • Opossums carry and transmit a variety of diseases, including leptospirosis and tularemia.

  • When they feel threatened or cornered, they will bare their teeth, growl, and hiss.

What are opossums doing in and around my home?

Opossums take up residence in or around your home for the simple fact that it provides them with areas of shelter located near food sources. Opossums often choose to burrow close to homes under decks, sheds, and woodpiles. They may also move inside to garages, attics, or crawl spaces. Sources of food that attract opossums include leftover pet food, gardens, open trash cans, and compost.

How can I keep opossums away?

If you're experiencing wildlife in and around your house or you're worried about a wildlife problem, it's best to contact an experienced professional. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep these pests away.

Firstly, reduce their access to food and shelter. Limit their access to foods that may attract them to your home by fencing in garden areas and keeping tight-fitting lids on compost bins and trash cans. It is also important to pick up leftover pet food each evening.

In your yard, remove possible shelter areas by placing fencing around the bottoms of decks or sheds. Keep woodpiles up off of the ground and away from the exterior of your home. Remove any excess piles of wood or fallen trees from your property.

To stop opossums from getting inside your home, place caps on chimneys, repair holes along the roofline, and place mesh covers over vents. Prevent avenues for them to travel to your home by cutting back tree branches that allow access to your roof.

How do I get rid of opossums?

Opossums can be tricky pests. As a homeowner, the best thing you can do to solve your opossum problem is to partner with a pest control company. Our professionals at DANCAN have the proper experience and equipment to safely and effectively deal with wildlife and other pests. At DANCAN, we use only the highest quality tools when excluding or removing pests from your property. Our pest technicians are highly trained and experienced in handling even the trickiest opossum infestation. Contact us today to discuss your options for wildlife maintenance. 


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