General Information

  • Opossums are the only marsupial in the US.
  • Females carry up to 12 babies in her pouch and eventually carry them on her back once they are ready.
  • They are nocturnal, slow-moving animals with poor vision.
  • Opossums are generally gentle and shy animals who frighten easily.
  • They will use a number of tools to deal with fear. They start by freezing, followed by drooling, baring their teeth, and hissing.
  • If none of their tricks work, they may fall into an involuntary shock-like state. Making it appear as though they are dead.
  • Opossums are omnivores. They eat insects, rodents, snails, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses, leaves, carrion, and even snakes.
  • They do not have sharp nails to dig up your plants and are so good at hunting rodents it is actually a good thing to have one in your garden.
  • They are comfortable in trees but use their tail for balance and gathering nesting material, not for hanging.
  • Opossums only live for 2-4 years and fall prey to humans, cars, dogs, and wild predators.

 

Ways to Discourage

  • Remove all outdoor pet food.
  • Keep trash cans securely covered.
  • If you hear an opossum under your house during the day, it is looking for a safe place to sleep. Look for any gaps or openings that it is using to get in, wait for it to leave to forage at night, check for babies, and if there are none, close all openings securely (hardware cloth can be very helpful).
  • Motion sensitive lights and sprinklers will discourage them from hanging around your yard. they are a shy animal and will avoid noise and disturbance.
  • Opossums are solitary and nomadic (they do not stay in one place very long). It is better to keep your yard free of potential food and let them move on naturally.