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Opossum Control & Removal

Opossum Info: Opossums are common in central Florida. They are unique for several reasons. They are the only North American marsupials. This means that females have a pouch on the belly where the young, up to 13, are carried and nourished for a time after their birth. Opossums also have a prehensile tail, from which they occasionally hang. They are also known for "playing possum", or feigning death, as a defense tactic. Adult opossums are typically about two feet long and about ten pounds. They are omnivorous, and will eat almost anything, including carrion and garbage. Opossums are excellent climbers, and have a very strong immune system. They are nocturnal, and if you keep an eye out at night, you might spot one crossing the road.

Nuisance concerns: The opossum complaints I receive are usually due to one of five reasons:

1) They have taken up residence under a porch or shed.
2) They are stealing garbage, pet food, or harassing pets.
3) They have taken up residence in an attic and had possum babies.
4) They have invaded a home, under the floorboards, or in the walls.
5) An opossum has died under the home or in an attic, causing odor.

I frequently deal with opossums in attics, a fact which surprises many people. Here are some photos showing the kind of damage that comes from opossums in attics, due to the large amount of droppings that they leave behind. Opossums can also carry various parasites and diseases, as well as fleas that can be transferred to your pet. They are not the cleanest of animals, and carry a strong odor. The worst odor, however, occurs when an opossum dies in an attic or when an opossum dies inside a wall of your home. You definitely want to have it removed, because the odor is unbearable.

It might help you in identifying if a possum has been in your yard, if you can identify opossum feces by looking at photographs.

Click the below photographs for examples of opossum control jobs that I've done:

I grabbed a female with young on her back

An opossum trapped in the attic in a cage trap

An aggressive opossum in a cage trap

Snaring an opossum that fell down a wall

As you can see in the above photos, I know of several strategies for solving opossum problems. Sometimes, like in the first picture, you can simple grab an opossum by the tail. Be sure you don't grab the wrong end, because as you can see in the third picture, possums have a lot of sharp teeth! In the second photo, I've trapped an opossum in a cage trap in an attic. Opossums are one of the few animals that will enter a cage trap in an attic. However, it's usually better to either use an exclusion door or set traps outside, where the catch rate is higher, and you can easily see the trap and remove the animal before it succumbs to heat stroke. In the fourth picture, I've cut a hole in a wall and am using a snare pole to grab an opossum that was living in a customer's wall! Despite the many possible methods of possum control, in most cases of existing possum problems, the best method is trapping and removal. Please read my How to Get Rid of Opossums page for various strategies of opossum control and removal.

What kinds of possum traps are there?
There are many different types of possum traps that you can buy, but they generally fall into three categories. There are kill traps, like connibear body grip traps that will quickly and (hopefully) painlessly kill the animal, just as the name suggests. There are leg holds that will grip the animal tightly in place until you can then go ahead and either kill or release the animal, taking it to the local wildlife experts, or releasing it where it is safe and legal to do so. Then there are cage traps, which work just as you would think they do – a door will shut behind the animal once it is safely confined within the cage, and you can go ahead to release it when you are ready to do so.  The best cage trap is a large size, at least 12x10x32, raccoon sized.

What kind of bait should I use?
When it comes to bait for possum traps, there are many things that you can use so there really aren’t right and wrong ways of doing it. Meat is a good thing to use, but you might want to avoid this when using kill traps at night to avoid catching animals that you don’t want to catch, so fruit might be a better idea, such as apples or kiwi fruits. Cat food is another bait that many people have had good luck with.  I prefer marshmallows, so I don't catch non-target animals like stray cats.

What should I do with the possum once I have caught it?
It is sometimes not wise to release your possum into the wild – firstly, in some states it is actually illegal to do so, and unless you release it far enough away, it will only end up coming back.  If you relocate the animal to an area with many other possums, it'll get out-competed and will suffer and die. You can encourage it to use a nest box in the bottom of your yard perhaps, but this isn’t a good idea if you have other household pets and kids. Your best bet is to take the possum that you have caught to the local wildlife guys, or give them a call to come and pick it up – problem solved, because they have the knowledge to deal with the animal in the correct manner.

   

Are opossums a threat? I don't consider them to be. Like any animal, they will defend themselves, but they are generally docile. Read more about Do Opossums Attack Pets. 24/7 Wildlife Removal operates in the Greater Orlando area of central Florida. This is a specialty wildlife removal business. Wild animal control is all I do - I do not spray poison for insect control. I provide opossum trapping and removal for possum control. I do not run an exterminating business or a pest control business, I run a nuisance wildlife business. I do not provide extermination of opossums, but humane trapping and relocation. If you want to get rid of your opossum problem once and for all, give me a call!

PHOTOS: For great pictures of opossum trapping and removal, click on my: Opossum Photographs gallery.



Other opossum informational articles:
Do opossums climb well?
What If You Are Bitten By a Possum
Opossum Feces
Do opossums climb well?
What should I do with an opossum after I catch it?
How to get rid of opossums in the attic
What attracts opossums?
Should I feed a baby opossum I found?
What should I do if I find a nest of baby opossums?
Is it safe to handle an opossum with bare hands?
What is the best bait to trap an opossum?
Will the city or county animal services help me with an opossum issue?
What kind of damage do opossums cause in an attic or under a house?
Is an opossum that is active during the daytime sick or rabid?
How to find and remove a dead opossum
What diseases do opossums carry?

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