Opossums

 

We offer Opossum trapping, removal, control, and relocation services.

If your having issues with opossums around your house contact Eco Wildlife Solutions . We offer tried and true humane methods for opossum removal. We can offer you Opossum trapping to rid your property of unwanted offenders. If you have located an Opossum in your trashcan that is trapped and can not escape we hand catch and relocate them. If you are seeing them around your home after dark bear in mind that most Opossums love your pets food.

Serving Metro Atlanta, Bremen, Carrollton, College Park, Columbus, Fayetteville, Franklin, Grantville, Greenville, Griffin, Hogansville, Jonesboro, La Grange, Lovejoy, McDonough, Newnan, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Union City, West Point, and surrounding cities. Call (678)340-3269 to schedule an appointment.

Opossum Trapping | Opossum Removal | Opossum Relocation

An opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a
whitish or grayish mammal about the
size of a house cat.

 

 

 

Identification

An opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a whitish or grayish mammal about the size of a house cat (Fig. 1). Under fur is dense with sparse guard hairs. Its face is long and pointed its ears rounded and hairless. Maximum length is 40 inches (102 cm); the rat like tail is slightly less than half the total length. The tail may be unusually short in northern opossums due to loss by frostbite. Opossums may weigh as much as 14 pounds (6.3 kg); males average 6 to 7 pounds (2.7 to 3.2 kg) and females average 4 pounds (6.3 kg). The skull is usually 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) long  and contains 50 teeth — more than are found in any other North American mammal. Canine teeth (fangs) are prominent. Tracks of both front and hind feet look as if they were made by little hands with widely spread fingers (Fig. 2). They may be distinguished from raccoon tracks, in which hind prints appear to be made by little feet. The hind foot of an opossum looks like a distorted hand.

 

Range

Opossums are found in eastern, central, and west coast states. Since 1900 they have expanded their range northward in the eastern United States. They are absent from the Rockies, most western plains states, and parts of the northern United States (Fig. 3).

 

Habitat

Habitats are diverse, ranging from arid to moist, wooded to open fields. Opossums prefer environments near streams or swamps. They take shelter in burrows of other animals, tree cavities, brush piles, and other cover. They sometimes den in attics and garages where they may make a messy nest.

 

Food Habits

Foods preferred by opossums are animal matter, mainly insects or carrion. Opossums also eat considerable amounts of vegetable matter, especially fruits and grains. Opossums living near people may visit compost piles, garbage cans, or food dishes intended for dogs, cats, and other pets

 

General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior

Opossums usually live alone, having a home range of 10 to 50 acres (4 to 20 ha). Young appear to roam randomly until they find a suitable home range. Usually they are active only at night. The mating season is January to July in warmer parts of the range but may start a month later and end a month earlier in northern areas. Opossums may raise 2, rarely 3, litters per year. The opossum is the only marsupial in North America. Like other marsupials, the blind, helpless young develop in a pouch. They are born 13 days after mating. The young, only 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) long, find their way into the female’s pouch where they each attach to one of 13 teats. Averages of 7 young are born. They remain in the pouch for 7 to 8 weeks. The young remain with the mother another 6 to 7 weeks until weaned. Most young die during their first year. Those surviving until spring will breed in that first year. The maximum age in the wild is about 7 years. Although opossums have a top running speed of only 7 miles per hour (11.3 km/hr.), they are well equipped to escape enemies. They readily enter burrows and climb trees. When threatened, an opossum may bare its teeth, growl, hiss, bite, screech, and exude a smelly, greenish fluid from its anal glands. If these defenses are not successful, an opossum may play dead. When captured or surprised during daylight, opossums appear stupid and inhibited. They are surprisingly intelligent; however, they rank above dogs in some learning and discrimination tests.

 

Damage

Although opossums may be considered desirable as game animals, certain individuals may be a nuisance near homes where they may get into garbage, bird feeders, or pet food. They may also destroy poultry, game birds, and their nests.

Call (678)340-3269 to schedule an appointment.

Comments are closed.