District Wildlife Solutions provides opossum trapping and removal. We know everything about the opossums of Maryland, and specialize in the safe, humane, and effective removal and prevention of opossums from home and property. Opossums require special trapping considerations, and we have the correct traps, tools, and experience to properly address the unique characteristics of opossums. Call us now at 202-997-3410 for Washington DC area opossum removal.
Virginia opossum – The opossum, known to many people as the possum, is a marsupial of nomadic tendencies. It has an indiscriminate palate and will scavenge food from just about anywhere. The animals will remain in an area as long as there is food and water, reasons why they can become potential nuisance animals. When frightened, the possum is famous for its ability to “play dead”. This defense mechanism occurs when the marsupial faints or goes unresponsive, while a foul odor is created by two glands within the rectum. This smell is akin to that of death, and most predators will pass the possum by, thinking it to be dead and decomposing. This is not a conscious act; the possum cannot control it. Despite common depictions of the possum hanging by its tail in a tree, this cannot happen in adults and is very rarely seen in the young. The tail of the possum acts like an additional hand, gripping branches and providing support for climbing. The possum is still hunted as a game animal in many parts of The United States; its meat is commonly replaced in recipes for chicken. A home remedy for chest congestion involves possum oil which contains high volumes of fatty acids.
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How to Keep Opossums Away From Your Property
Opossums are great to have around your property. Why? Asides from clearing out garbage, they also feed on harmful insects. And also, there’s no denying that they’re surprisingly kind of cute. Visit howtokeepopossumsaway.com to learn more about opossum control.
Not buying any of that? You’re not alone!
For all their supposed good in the ecosystem, opossums can quickly become a nuisance in the property. They will toss away trash cans to find food, and eat plants in the garden before you get a chance to do so. And while they are mostly docile, they can attack pets and children if they feel threatened. And not to forget the risk of diseases they pose to you and your family.
To avoid all of these problems, your best bet is to keep them away from your property. District Wildlife Solutions offers opossum removal and prevention for residential and commercial properties. And in this post, we explore some of the most effective tactics for keeping these nuisance species at bay.
- Get rid of extra food.
Opossums are omnivores able to feed on various food sources, including fish, birds, vegetables, rodents, fruits, insects, and more. As opportunistic feeders, they will also feed on leftovers in the trash can, pet food, and seed crumbs from the bird feeder. That’s why you need to eliminate food sources.
Here are some tips to bear in mind:
- Ensure that your trash cans are well-secured with a lid.
- Do not leave your pet food outside, especially at night.
- Sweep away seed crumbs from underneath your birdfeeder.
- Pick fruits up off the ground as soon as they fall.
- If you can afford it, install a fence around your garden to deny them access.
- Never add animal products to your compost.
- Get rid of shelter.
Opossums are attracted to yards primarily to find food. But if they are also able to find shelter, do not be surprised if they remain.
In the wild, opossums mainly den in hollow trees or burrows abandoned by other animals. But human settlements often provide them with added levels of warmth, comfort, and safety. That’s why an opossum will not hesitate to reside in the attic or under the house if given the chance.
Of course, the solution is to ensure that there’s no place for them to stay in your yard. Here are some things to bear in mind:
- Trim tall shrubs in your yard.
- Cut off tree branches overhanging your roof as they provide access to your attic.
- Seal off potential entry holes in your house.
- Apply repellents
Even as opossums are attracted to many smells you find offensive, thankfully, there are still some nasty smells that they detest. Why not take advantage of that? Examples of such include ammonia, mothballs, blood meal, and predator urine.
The main thing to remember about repellents is that they need to be constantly re-applied as they tend to wear off with time.
- Use deterrents
Deterrents are things (or strategies) that discourage opossums from coming to your yard. Some common examples include:
- Motion-activated water sprinkler: This sprays water on the opossum as it steps in your yard, forcing it to retreat.
- Motion-activated light: Since opossums are nocturnal creatures, having a light come on once they step into your property will scare the living daylight out of them, forcing them to leave.
- Big Dog: As much as possible, opossums try to avoid conflict with bigger animals. A big dog in your yard will make them think twice before they approach.
- Fence your property
Fencing is one of the most effective means of keeping opossums at bay. You can use mesh hardware cloth for fencing. The fence should be at least 48-inches tall. Bend the top 12 inches of the fence outward, to make it impossible for opossums to climb over. Also, the fence should be at least 6 inches deep to prevent them from digging under.
- Call a professional
The easiest and most effective way to keep opossums away from your property is to call a professional wildlife control company. At District Wildlife Solutions, our technicians are highly experienced when it comes to opossum control. We can help you trap and relocate nuisance opossums from your yard. But more importantly, we will put preventive measures in place to ensure the problem doesn’t reoccur.
What Diseases Do Opossums Carry?
While opossums are known to be nuisance animals that eat up fruits and berries in your garden, attack your garbage can in search of leftovers, and leave smelly feces on your lawn. They can do much more harm than just being a nuisance. Since opossums are animals living in the wild, they act as hosts of certain parasites and harbor microorganisms that can cause diseases in both humans and animals.
Opossums carry diseases such as tularemia, leptospirosis, relapsing fever, spotted fever, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, toxoplasmosis, and Chagas disease.
An opossum in your yard is bad news because they can be a very serious health risk to an entire household. Here are some of the diseases that opossums carry and transmit to humans and animals.
This is a bacterial disease that can be spread through the urine or feces of infected animals, including opossums. Humans can get this disease when they come in contact with food, water or soil that has been contaminated with the urine or feces of an infected animal. Symptoms of Leptospirosis include headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes, vomiting and high fever. If left untreated, Leptospirosis can become more severe, leading to kidney or liver damage and eventually death.
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis
EPM is a disease that is transmitted through the feces of opossums, it doesn’t affect humans, but you should be very wary of it if you keep horses. EPM is a very serious disease that affects horses and can be transmitted through soil, hay or water that has been contaminated by the feces of opossums.
Rabbit fever or Tularemia is a highly-contagious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is often gotten by direct contact with an infected opossum and symptoms include high fever, mouth ulcers, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, difficulty breathing, cough, etc. Pneumonic tularemia is a more severe version of the disease. This infection can affect the lungs by spreading through the bloodstream, and it can be fatal.
This is a bacterial infection which affects the intestinal tract. The bacterium Salmonella is responsible for this disease, and it’s spread through urine and feces of animals like rodents, including opossums. Salmonellosis is a fairly common bacteria infection with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, headache, etc.
Chagas disease is caused by a protozoan parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. Opossums and armadillos are known to carry the protozoan that causes Chagas disease. Other animals that carry the disease include raccoons, rodents, rabbits, cats and dogs. Symptoms of chagas disease include abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, body ache, headache, and skin rash. In very severe cases or if left untreated, it may lead to congestive heart failure.
Cat and dog fleas
Opossums can act as host to cat and dog fleas, and will cause flea infestation when they camp on your property. Opossums also act as hosts to some other parasites like ticks, mites, and lice, and with these animals on your property, the parasites they carry may spread to your pets. With a flea infestation in your yard, your pets will be exposed to flea-borne typhus, plus your entire household will be exposed to diseases caused by fleas, ticks, mites and lice.
Are you dealing with opossums? Let our expert team at Mighty Men Wildlife Trapping handle it. The best way to keep your family safe from the disease that possums carry is by making sure that possums do not live anywhere on your property, be it under the deck, in the attic or on the lawn. Getting rid of opossum immediately they show up will ensure that it doesn’t have the time to spread any disease. Never mess with wildlife of any kind, safeguard the health of your family and leave animal removal to professionals.