Texas Opossums

Biology and Habits

The Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginia, is an extremely unique mammal with many distinguishing physical and behavioral attributes. The opossum is the only marsupial (with pouch) located in North America. Distribution is from the east to west coast and their northern range is limited only by severe weather.

This animal is quite shy and inoffensive, but will often hiss and bear its teeth when threatened. The opossum has 50 teeth, which is more than any other mammal in North America. One extraordinary display is "playing possum", which is a defensive strategy against a threat or predator (it plays dead). This act is achieved by rolling over, shutting its eyes, opening its mouth, and going limp; the animal may even hang out its tongue and drool. The definite mechanism behind this is still unknown, but it seems to be a temporary paralysis brought on by shock that can last from a few minutes up to several hours.  

Opossums are opportunistic omnivores. Their diet consists primarily of carrion, insects, amphibians, earthworms, small mammals, vegetables, fruits and berries, while apples and corn are favorites. Rattlesnakes are also a part of their diet, as opossums have an immunity to the deadly snake venom.  

Their diet correlates with their lifestyle and behavior. The opossum is an adaptable, nocturnal, solitary animal that wanders in woody and open areas along rural and suburban habitats. They are dependent on others for their homes and cover. The opossum uses abandoned dens or man-made structures, such as woodpiles and decks. Frequently, they are found under decks, crawl spaces, and sheds. They are expert swimmers and climbers, aided by their naked, prehensile tail. 

The reproduction of this mammal is unique as well. They have 2-3 litters per year, with an average of seven Range of the Opossum in North America young per litter. The young are about the size of a navy bean when they are born, and will nurse in the mother's pouch for up to 60 days. Opossum populations have a high mortality rate. Influences of the high mortalities are from eating carrion off the highways, and they themselves becoming road-killed.  
 

Damage and Concerns

Opossums are often considered nuisance animals. They are found near homes getting into compost piles, garbage, bird feeders and pet food, along with destroying bird nests. Opossums dig around foundations and backyard areas, and may chew or gnaw on woody structures as well. Since the opossum does not build its own den it may become an inhabitant in or under man-made structures.

There are few health concerns with opossums. They are occasional carriers of rabies and fleas, and the ticks they harbor can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Opossums pose little, if any, significant threat to humans. 
 

Control

A few methods are implemented by Critter Control to control opossums. One technique is prevention of opossum entry by opossum proofing or opossum exclusion. Removing feeding sites such as bird feeder droppings, placing trash in sealed containers, and not leaving pet food outside will have unwanted opossums moving on to other areas.  

Another effective technique for oppossum control or oppossum removal is humanely live-trapping them. A cage trap for opossums is baited with fruits, vegetables or canned cat food.
 

Management

To successfully manage an opossum population you must have an integrated pest management plan. Critter Control uses more than one approach to eradicate and exclude these nuisance animals from your home and surrounding areas.
 

Our local Texas offices offer Opossums services in the following cities: Abbott, Addison, Alamo Heights, Alamo Heights, Aledo, Allen, Alma, Alvarado, Alvin, Amarillo, Angleton, Angus, Anna, Annetta, Annetta North, Annetta South, Aquilla, Arcola, Argyle, Arlington, Aubrey, Austin, Azle, Balch Springs, Balcones Heights, Bardwell, Barry, Bartlett, Bartonville, Bayou Vista, Baytown, Beasley, Bedford, Bee Cave, Bellaire, Bellmead, Bells, Belton, Benbrook, Beverly Hills, Blooming Grove, Blue Mound, Blue Ridge, Blum, Boerne, Bonney, Bovina, Brazoria, Brazos Bend, Bremond, Briarcliff, Briaroaks, Brookside Village, Bruceville-eddy, Bryan, Buckholts, Bulverde, Bunker Hill Village, Burleson, Bynum, Caddo Mills, Callisburg, Calvert, Cameron, Campbell, Canyon Lake, Carrollton, Castle Hills, Cedar Hill, Cedar Park, Celeste, Celina, Channelview, China Grove, Clear Lake Shores, Cleburne, Clute, Cockrell Hill, College Station, Colleyville, Collinsville, Combine, Commerce, Conroe, Converse, Cool, Coolidge, Coppell, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Corral City, Corsicana, Cottonwood, Covington, Crandall, Crawford, Creedmoor, Cresson, Cross Roads, Cross Timber, Crowley, Cut And Shoot, Cypress, Dallas, Dalworthington Gardens, Damon, Danbury, Davilla, Dawson, Decatur, Decordova, Deer Park, Del Valle, Denison, Denton, Denton, Desoto, Dickinson, Dish, Dominion, Dorchester, Double Oak, Duncanville, East Tawakoni, Eddy, Edgecliff Village, El Lago, Elmendorf, Emhouse, Emory, Ennis, Euless, Eureka, Everman, Fair Oaks Ranch, Fairchilds, Fairview, Farmers Branch, Farmersville, Farwell, Fate, Ferris, Fischer, Florence, Flower Mound, Forest Hill, Forney, Fort Worth, Franklin, Freeport, Friendswood, Friona, Frisco, Frost, Fulshear, Gainesville, Galena Park, Galveston, Garden Ridge, Garland, Garrett, Gause, Georgetown, Gholson, Glen Rose, Glenn Heights, Godley, Golinda, Granbury, Grand Prairie, Grandview, Granger, Grapevine, Grays Prairie, Greenville, Grey Forest, Groesbeck, Gunter, Hackberry, Hallsburg, Haltom City, Harker Heights, Haslet, Hawk Cove, Hearne, Heath, Hebron, Hedwig Village, Helotes, Hewitt, Hickory Creek, High Island, Highland Park, Highland Village, Hill Country Village, Hillcrest, Hillsboro, Hilshire Village, Hitchcock, Holiday Lakes, Holland, Hollywood Park, Houston, Howe, Hubbard, Hudson Oaks, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Hurst, Hutchins, Hutto, Iowa Colony, Irene, Irving, Italy, Itasca, Jacinto City, Jamaica Beach, Jarrell, Jersey Village, Jones Creek, Jonestown, Josephine, Joshua, Justin, Katy, Kaufman, Keene, Keller, Kemah, Kemp, Kendleton, Kennedale, Kerens, Killeen, Kirby, Knollwood, Kosse, Krugerville, Krum, Kurten, La Marque, La Porte, Lackland, Lacy-lakeview, Lago Vista, Lake Dallas, Lake Jackson, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Lakeway, Lakewood Village, Lancaster, Lavon, League City, Leander, Leander, Leon Valley, Leroy, Lewisville, Liberty Hill, Lincoln Park, Lindsay, Lipan, Little Elm, Little River-academy, Live Oak, Liverpool, Lone Oak, Lorena, Lott, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, Mabank, Macdona, Magnolia, Malone, Manor, Mansfield, Manvel, Marlin, Mart, Maypearl, Mcgregor, Mckinney, Mclendon-chisholm, Meadows Place, Melissa, Mertens, Mesquite, Mexia, Midlothian, Midlothian, Milano, Mildred, Milford, Millican, Millsap, Missourri City, Mobile City, Montgomery, Moody, Mount Calm, Muenster, Murphy, Mustang, Mustang Ridge, Nassau Bay, Navarro, Navasota, Needville, Nevada, New Braunfels, New Hope, Neylandville, Nolanville, North Loop, North Richland Hills, Northlake, Oak Grove, Oak Hill, Oak Leaf, Oak Point, Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge North, Oak Valley, Old Ocean, Olmos Park, Orchard, Otto, Ovilla, Oyster Creek, Palmer, Panorama Village, Pantego, Parker, Pasadena, Patton Village, Pearland, Pecan Hill, Pelican Bay, Pendleton, Penelope, Pflugerville, Pflugerville, Pilot Point, Piney Point Village, Plano, Pleak, Point, Point Venture, Ponder, Post Oak Bend City, Pottsboro, Powell, Princeton, Prosper, Quinlan, Quintana, Reagan, Red Oak, Reno, Retreat, Rice, Richardson, Richland, Richland Hills, Richmond, Richwood, Riesel, Rio Vista, River Oaks, Roanoke, Robinson, Rockdale, Rockwall, Rogers, Rollingwood, Roman Forest, Rosebud, Rosenberg, Rosharon, Ross, Rosser, Round Rock, Rowlett, Royse City, Sachse, Sadler, Saginaw, Saint Hedwig, Saint Paul, Salado, San Antonio, San Leanna, Sanctuary, Sanger, Sansom Park, Santa Fe, Schertz, Scurry, Seabrook, Seagoville, Selma, Shady Shores, Shavano Park, Shenandoah, Sherman, Shoreacres, Simonton, Somerset, South Houston, Southlake, Southmayd, Southside Place, Spice Wood, Splendora, Spring, Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Springtown, Stafford, Stagecoach, Sugarland, Sunnyvale, Sunset Valley, Surfside Beach, Sweeny, Talty, Taylor, Taylor Lake Village, Tehuacana, Temple, Terrell, Terrell Hills, Texas City, The Colony, The Hills, The Woodlands, Thompsons, Thorndale, Thornton, Thrall, Tiki Island, Timberwood Park, Tioga, Tolar, Tom Bean, Tomball, Trophy Club, Troy, Union Valley, Universal City, University Park, Valley View, Van Alstyne, Venus, Village Of The Hills, Volente, Von Ormy, Waco, Watauga, Waxahachie, Weatherford, Webberville, Webster, Weir, West, West Columbia, West Houston, West Lake Hills, West Tawakoni, West University Place, Westlake, Weston, Weston Lakes, Westover Hills, Wetmore, Wetmore, White Settlement, Whitesboro, Whitewright, Whitney, Willis, Willow Park, Wilmer, Windcrest, Wixon Valley, Wolfe City, Woodbranch, Woodloch, Woodway, Wylie

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