Habitat modification and sanitation are the best methods for Opossum control. Food sources attractive to opossums should be made inaccessible whenever possible. Pet food dishes should be brought indoors at night. Trash cans and bins containing food garbage should be secured. Fallen fruit should be cleared away from beneath fruit trees located near dwellings.
Our humane opossum control services will safely and effectively remove all opossum from your home or business.
Trapping is the preferred method of removal of opossums. They are most commonly caught by using live-catch wire cage traps. These traps are baited with a variety of scents opossums find irresistible.
Visit our Opossum Trapping page to learn more.
The most permanent way of correcting opossum problems resulting from their living under homes, buildings, decks, porches and sheds is to exclude their access. This can be done by the installation of a buried wire exclusion fence. Proper installation starts by trenching around the area to be excluded. Once trenching is completed, bent 1/2” x 1/2” galvanized hardware cloth in placed. It is fastened as a skirting around decks and porches, above and below ground, this will prevent re-entry by persistent opossums.
Learn more about our Exclusion Services.
History & Risks
The opossum is the only marsupial native to this country. Opossums often become pests in and around buildings. Where numerous, they may den beneath dwellings or porches or take up residence in attics or outbuildings. They frequently raid uncovered garbage cans and tear open plastic garbage bags set out for disposal. Their nighttime prowling often arouses kenneled or tied dogs, causing them to bark. In rural areas, poultry or eggs are sometimes preyed upon.
Opossums have been involved in the transmission of tularemia to humans, and should not be handled without protective gloves. Additionally, they have been reported to be infected with, and may be carriers of, a number of other diseases including leptospirosis, relapsing fever, murine typhus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Fortunately, very few cases of rabies have been reported in opossums, and laboratory evidence suggests that adult opossums are quite resistant to rabies infections, although the young are more susceptible. Opossums often are heavily infested with ectoparasites such as cat fleas.
Common Name: Opossum
Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana
- Adult body length (without tail): 15 to 20 inches
- Adult body weight: 4 to 15 pounds
- Gestation period: 12 to 13 days
- Litters per year: 1
- Litter size: 5 to 25 young (average 7)
- Breeding season: February through March
- Birthing season: March through April
- Age at which young are weaned: 12 to 15 weeks
- Activity period: Night
- Range: 10 to 50 acres