The only marsupial species native to North America, opossums (also known as possums) weigh about 6 to 12 pounds and have gray, hair-like fur, long snouts, and hairless tails. Like raccoons, they are nocturnal creatures and hunt for food at night.
In addition to fruits, grubs, and other small pests, opossums have an appetite for a more unusual delicacy: your garbage. And when they’re not spilling the contents of your trash can, they may be setting their sights on your attic for their new home. Before opossums move in, learn how opossum infestations happen and ways you can prevent them with McCall Service.
How did I get opossums?
The more developed your Florida neighborhood is, the more likely opossums are to rely on your garbage as a food source. As vegetation and other natural resources become scarcer in urban and suburban communities, opossums often develop a dependence on humans for food.
The discarded pizza crusts, half-eaten chicken wings, and other leftover food items in your trash can are like a buffet for opossums. To make your trash less appealing (and accessible), thoroughly rinse out food containers, and use a trash receptacle made of metal or with a heavy lid.
Opossums also need a dark, warm place to raise their young, and your attic provides the ideal environment. If you have damaged roofing tiles, gaps in your eaves, or poorly sealed vents and windows, opossums can easily climb into your attic. Once they’re inside, you can expect them to rip your insulation apart to build their nests.
Are opossums dangerous?
Opossums are known for “playing dead” as a self-defense mechanism. However, if opossums feel threatened, they may bite to protect themselves or their young. In addition to painful injuries, opossums can transmit a wide variety of diseases through their waste or saliva, including:
To make matters worse, if these unwanted marsupials make themselves at home in your attic, they could be helping other pests infest your property. Opossums often carry ticks and fleas, which can easily hop off and spread like wildfire around your home.
How do I get rid of an opossum problem?
You may be tempted to try getting rid of opossums on your own, but resist the urge. Without proper training and equipment, tackling an opossum infestation on your own will only create more problems. Additionally, cleaning up the damaged insulation and opossum waste can leave you at risk of developing several health-related issues.
For opossum control, removal, and prevention, contact McCall Service. From humanely trapping these home invaders to repairing your attic after an infestation, we can give you the peace of mind you deserve. Contact our wildlife professionals today!