Humane Opossum Removal & Exclusion
Opossums are scavengers that can be found in cities, suburbs, and rural areas of Michigan. When they go scavenging for food, they become a nuisance to humans. Opossums are easily trapped inside unlocked homes or garages because they lack the intelligence to find their way out. Opossums, like raccoons, will enter trash cans and dumpsters. When provoked, opossums have been known to kill young domestic pets with their razor-sharp teeth. Never come into contact with an opossum directly. For safe possum removal, contact Best Way Animal Removal at (616) 836-4255.
Identification Of Opossums
The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the most closely related mammal in North America to kangaroos. It’s the only member of the ancient group of animals known as marsupials or pouched animals.
The official name for this wild animal is the opossum. Early colonists recorded both opossum and “possum” as approximate translations of the Virginia Algonquian word “apousoum,” which meant “white animal.”
Virginia opossums are around the size of housecats, with a white face and mostly grey fur. They have a rat-like tail, a pointed nose, and short legs.
These creatures have an oddly slow, hobbling gait. They are, however, capable climbers. Their flexible tails are often used for balance, holding nesting material while climbing, and young cling to their mothers’ backs with their tails.
Habitat Of Opossums
Virginia opossums are typically found in moist forests, but this species is adaptable and has recently established itself in new areas across Northern America. The majority of North American opossums now live in more open areas, away from streams, swamps, and other water sources. Others have taken up residence in people’s houses, barns, and sheds.
Signs Of Opossums In The Home
If you’re worried about an opossum infestation in your home or business, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Look for torn shingles or ripped soffits, as well as damaged siding, eaves, and gutters, on the exterior of the building.
- Opossums leave large droppings all over the area where they live due to their size. Their urine and feces stain wooden surfaces and soak into attic insulation, leaving an odor. It’s also possible that the opossum will become trapped and die, in which case you’ll need to hire a professional to remove the decomposing body and clean the area thoroughly.
- As they construct their nest, opossums make ripping, scratching, and scuttling noises. The sounds aren’t limited to a single location, so you’ll most likely hear them when they’re moving around.
- Opossums enjoy a quick meal and will steal the pet food you leave it outside. When opossums are most active at night, feed your pets inside or bring the dishes inside overnight.
- If you hear hissing, shrieking, clicking, or lip-smacking, you may have multiple opossums in your home. It’s usually a mother opossum speaking to her babies.
Why Are Opossums Near Your Home?
Opossums are low on the animal food chain and are attracted to a human home for two things: food and shelter. They seek out safe havens where they can be shielded and protected. Piles of wood or gaps under the foundation of a shed/home provide amble protection for this nuisance species. If a food source is within close proximity, opossums will remain in these hiding spots for extended periods of time.
Easy meals such as unsecured trash cans or abandoned pet food are perfect for opportunistic opossums. Gardens and fruit trees are also ideal food sources for this animal. If left unprotected, these animals will raid an entire garden.
Opossum Damage To The Home
Opossums can cause significant damage under the house and in the attic, with the deposition of their waste materials being the most visible. The animals will defecate everywhere, and the feces they leave behind can be quite large. Opossum waste is notorious for a nose curling odor and the spread of diseases.
Opossums, as wild animals, will require nesting materials when hiding in the attic and under the house, and some of these nesting materials are scavenged from attics. Opossums will tear up air ducts in the attic, especially if the animal is trapped. Most opossums will tear and break air ducts and anything else in their path using their claws and sharp teeth.
Because opossums are experienced climbers and grow large quickly, they should not be kept in attics for long periods. Opossums have been known to damage electric wires and insulation in the attic, in addition to air ducts. When insulators or wire cables are cut, there is a greater risk of fires, which can result in the entire building being burned down.
Diseases Carried By Opossums
This species is known as disease-carrying vectors that spread disease to both people and pets. Common diseases carried by possums include:
- Relapsing Fever
- Spotted Fever
- Chagas Disease
Opossum Control & Prevention
In order to keep an opossum from taking up residence in your home, trash should be stored in sealed receptacles with animal-proof lids, preferably in a locked shed or outhouse. Bringing pet food dishes inside at night to avoid attracting opossums and other nuisance wildlife is a good idea. Other obvious sources of food and shelter, such as fallen berries and fruits, as well as woodpiles and logs, should be removed from the property. Inspect the home’s exterior for holes and access points, such as broken vent covers, on a nice day. Because opossums are skilled climbers and leapers, tree branches hanging near roofing should be trimmed to limit opossum access to a home’s attic.
Opossum Removal Process
You must get rid of opossums if you have them in your attic. Opossums in your yard may not be a significant issue, but you have a problem that must be addressed if you see them outside regularly. Best Way Animal Removal can have your opossum infestation removed in just a few simple sets.
- The first step in any quality wildlife control process is a thorough inspection. An inspection will provide wildlife removal professionals with the information needed to form an opossum control and prevention plan.
- Once we determine how and why the animals are in your home, we can begin setting humane traps. Opossums are the easiest animals to catch out of all the animals we deal with, but relocating them afterward is something homeowners would have trouble with. Michigan’s state laws are strict on removing animals and should always be followed to ensure the animals’ safety.
- The next step in the process is critter eviction and food source control. Opossums are migratory animals by nature, and if they stay for more than a few days, there is a more serious issue that needs to be addressed. Best Way’s wildlife removal technicians will identify the food source attracting these animals and search for other pests that have followed the opossum inside (often rats/mice).
- Finally, the attic and insulation are restored to complete the process. Like all other attic invaders, opossums cause insulation damage by walking through it and pooping on it. They also frequently die in the attic, burying themselves in the insulation. All of this activity degrades your insulation and emits odors that you don’t want in your attic. Our attic restoration service will restore your attic space to its original condition, if not better.
Rid Your Property Of Opossums Today
When wildlife causes property damage or threatens human health and safety or the safety of your pets, our highly trained professional technicians are here to solve any wildlife problem, including opossums. If you have an opossum in your attic or lingering around your home, contact us right away to rid your property of these disease-carrying critters.
Areas Serviced For Opossum Trapping & Prevention
Allegan County, MI
Allegan, Douglas, Fennville, Holland, Hopkins, Martin, Otsego, Plainwell, Saugatuck, South Haven, Wayland
Kent County, MI
Byron Center, Caledonia, Casnovia, Cedar Springs, Comstock Park, Cutlerville, East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kent City, Kentwood, Lowell, Northview, Rockford, Sand Lake, Sparta, Walker, Wyoming
Muskegon County, MI
Casnovia, Fruitport, Lakewood Club, Montague, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon, Norton Shores, Ravenna, Roosevelt Park, Twin Lake, Whitehall, Wolf Lake
Ottawa County, MI
Allendale, Beechwood, Coopersville, Ferrysburg, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Spring Lake, Zeeland