Project Wildlife Animals: Opossums
What to do if you find:

Adult Opossum

  • Put a box or laundry basket over opossum and weight down the box with a book, brick or whatever you have available. 
  • Cover the opossum and/or container with a towel to reduce stress.

Baby Opossum

  • Put the animal in a box and keep it warm. If placed on a heating pad, place 1/2 of the container on the heat source the other 1/2 off, babies can overheat and die, give them something to hide under such as a t-shirt. 
  • Place it in a quiet dark room
  • Do not feed
  • Do not give it cow's milk
Food & Water

Do not feed opossums.  They need special diets and their conditions can worsen when fed improperly.

About Opossums:

Opossums are among the most primitive mammals. Fossil ancestry goes back 70 Million years. They have survived by adapting to human habitat and being able to eat just about anything. They are beneficial in that they help to keep the balance of nature.
Opossums are often mistaken for rats. They are not rodents, they are marsupials. They are not aggressive toward humans or pets but they will attempt to defend themselves if cornered. They are relatively disease free. They do not carry Parvo virus, distemper or rabies. They are actually an excellent animal to have around your property because they eat rats, mice, snails, slugs and insects. They also eat over ripe fruit that has fallen to the ground. They are called "omnivores" because they meat as well as vegetables and fruit.
Opossums are nest builders. They are also nocturnal. They spend much of the day in their dens. At night, they forage for food. They are excellent climbers using all their hands, feet and tail to grasp.

Co-existing with Opossums:
  • Secure trash can lids so that opossums cannot get into them; secure trash cans in a shed or garage.
  • Eliminate access to food in your yard—place pet food inside, secure pet doors at night, pick up fallen fruit around the garden, restrict the use of birdseed.
  • Block holes in fences with wire or wood.
  • Trim branches that provide access to your house.
  • Bright lights, loud sounds, and ammonia-soaked rags may act as deterrents.
  • If you suspect that an opossum is in your attic, under your porch, etc., sprinkle baking flour around the area. This will allow you to identify the entrance to the area that the opossum is using. Once you have identified the entrance to the den, sprinkle flour around it again. You must wake up early in the morning before the opossum can return. If there are footprints indicating that it has left, seal the entrance temporarily using wire mesh. If there are no further signs of an opossum in the area, permanently seal the hole.
Nuisance Opossums:

If opossums are causing havoc to your home by building their dens in your attic or under a building, we can help! Using the animal’s natural behaviors to our advantage, we can humanely evict the mother with her young in tow and install barriers to keep them from coming back. Visit our Wildlife Extraction Page to learn more.

 



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