Opossums Living in Your Backyard? - Facts about the Opossum

Opossums are the only marsupials that inhabit North America. They range from all of the East Coast west through the Plains States south to Mexico and along the Pacific Coast. Their size ranges as small as 11oz for the females to as large as 11lbs for males. Typically the coats of opossums range from a dull gray/brown to white. The most distinctive characters of opossums are their pointed faces, hairless ears and hairless tails. Not only are their tails hairless, but they are also prehensile meaning the tails have the ability to hold on to things such as branches and small objects. Being marsupials, opossums have pouches in which they carry the young. Once the young outgrow the pouches they ride on the female’s back until old enough to move on their own. Opossums can have 1-3 litters per year and average 9 young per litter.
Though opossums are nocturnal it is not uncommon to see one during the day time, especially around dawn and dusk. Opossums are excellent swimmers and climbers. They do not dig their own dens so they rely on others to make their homes. Often opossums will nest under decks, sheds and wood piles. Though they make look scary when baring their teeth, opossums are pretty docile animals. In most cases when confronted opossums will actually play dead until the threat leaves. Opossums are scavengers and will eat many types of food, including small rodents, reptiles, insects, etc. They also eat fruits and berries that have dropped to the ground. It is not a good idea to leave pet food out at night, as that will also attract opossums, along with other critters. 
If you are seeing an opossum in your yard regularly, look to see if something you are doing could be attracting the animal, such as leaving pet food outside, or feeding other wild animals such as birds or squirrels.  If an opossum has decided take up residence on your property, the specialists at Critter Control are equipped to come out and set live traps to capture and remove the problem critter. Call our office at 800-CRITTER!