Possums are usually solitary and nomadic, staying in one area as long as food and water are easily available.
An Opossum (more commonly called Possum) is very similar to a raccoon. They leave damage to exterior entry points, and their droppings are of a similar size. Possums can be a big problem around the house, especially for the family pets. Dog and cat food left outdoors can make for a battle zone between your pet and the opossum. Central Florida possums carry a variety of ectoparasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, and lice that may also bite humans. Fleas are very common on opossums. Flea eggs and larva are shed in areas frequented by opossums. Other diseases opossums may carry include tularemia, salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and coccidiosis. Infected animals may transmit Leptospirosis to humans and other animals through their urine and feces. Rabies is rare in opossums. Pets, horses, and other wildlife are also at risk for disease infection associated with opossums.
Possum Removal Services
ACM offers comprehensive services to remove nuisance possums from the attic or interior of home and businesses. In addition, we offer humane possum trapping services for customers experiencing problems with possums on their property.
Possum Exclusion Services
Perhaps the most important service we provide is our ability to prevent possums from returning to your home or business. We accomplish this by making structural repairs or additions to remove the opportunity for animals to enter a building. In cases where animals have already taken up residence, our biological clean-up process will eliminate the scent markings animals use to communicate, thus removing any attraction for future animals to find ways to enter a contaminated space.
Can I do the opossum trapping myself?
A landowner may lawfully live-trap nuisance opossums using sardines or cat food as effective bait. Live-captured nuisance opossums must be released or euthanized within 24 hours of capture or trap inspection. In addition, nuisance opossums may be transported and released at an off-site location that is within the county of capture and a minimum of 40 contiguous acres if the releaser has written permission from the owner of the release site; and the transportation of the wildlife does not violate any rabies alert or area quarantine issued by a county health department or county animal service. Relocating wildlife is seldom biologically sound, the animal often does not survive. It is not advisable to catch a possum by hand because they have fleas or mites that can transmit disease to you.
Are Possums Dangerous?
Possums look like fearsome warriors, with a large mouth and a tail like a giant rat. Possums have 50 teeth, more than any North American mammal, and sharp claws. They are not particularly aggressive, but like any animal, if cornered, they will defend themselves. They do sometimes play possum, but have been known to act aggressively. Never take a chance, always call a professional. They can also spread parasites and diseases through their droppings and saliva.
What about opossum prevention?
Yes, prevention is always a good approach. You can keep your yard clean, keep your house sealed shut so that there are no entry points that encourage the possums from entering your attic, and you can keep pet food indoors, because these animals are notorious scavengers.
Opossums 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 can occasionally hang. They are also well known for “playing possum”, or feigning death, a defense tactic. Adult possums are typically about two feet long and about ten pounds. They are omnivorous, and will eat almost anything, including carrion and garbage. Opossums are slow, but excellent climbers, and will live in attics. They will also live under sheds or decks. They have a very strong immune system, but seldom live more than three years. They are nocturnal.
Nuisance opossum concerns
The opossum removal complaints received are usually due to one of four reasons:
- They have taken up residence under a porch, shed or garage.
- They are stealing pet food, or harassing pets.
- They have taken up residence in an attic or crawlspace, or have gotten inside the home.
- They are getting into the garbage cans.
We frequently deal with possums in attics, a fact which surprises many people. Opossums in attics can leave quite a mess with their large droppings. Opossums can also carry various parasites and diseases. They are not the cleanest of animals, and carry a strong odor. If you are experiencing problems with opossum infestation, we can help you. The staff of Florida ACM will remove the opossum, biologically treat your attic for fecal and urine matter, and repair the entry points so that the problem will not reoccur.