Opossums are scavengers, often visiting homes to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. Common in Hernando County, we receive many calls on how to remove these animals from homes. Opossums are omnivorous hunting mice, insects, snakes, birds, worms, and even chickens. They also tear up yards by eating grass, nuts, and fruit.
The only marsupial indigenous to the United States, opossums are mostly seen in areas that are urban and densely populated. They are nocturnal and will “play dead” as a defensive tactic when feeling endangered. They can grow to the size of a house cat and can become aggressive if cornered or threatened.
Signs of Opossum Infestation
Although opossums do not typically approach humans, they will travel on to properties in search of food. Check for the following signs when suspecting you may have an opossum infestation:
- Rummaged through garbage cans, bird and pet feeders, flower pots, or compost bins
- Vocalizations such as hissing, shrieking, clicking, or lip smacking
- Loud noises such as scratching, ripping, and scuttling as opossums are nesting
- Unpleasant smells from frequent, large droppings
One of the easiest ways to prevent opossums from entering your house or invading your property is to remove any food sources. Bring in any outdoor pet food dishes, keep garbage can lids tightly sealed, and keep the ground under fruit trees clean.
If you notice you may have an opossum problem, it is important to seek professional assistance. Opossums carry diseases such as tuberculosis and parasites such as fleas and lice. If you try to grab and trap them, they have very sharp teeth and claws that they will most likely use to try and defend themselves. Southern Wildlife has the experience and expertise to help you with all of your animal control issues. Call us at 727-277-8108 or contact us to get a free estimate today.