The Opossum…Friend Or Foe?

Some people think that opossums are interesting creatures, some think they are frightening horrible looking rat-like creatures.  Most people do classify opossums as pests regardless if they are walking through their backyard or inhabiting their attic.

Opossums are the only marsupials that are native to the United States.  They are transient creatures that usually only stay in one area for a period of 2 to 3 days, unless a mother has a litter of babies to take care of.  They are commonly found in agricultural areas, woodlands, and neighborhoods with suitable living environments and food sources.  They are usually attracted to neighborhoods by pet food that is left outdoors, over-ripe fruit that has dropped from trees, and dense shrubbery that they can hide under.

Like other rodents, opossums carry a variety of different vector pests which are dangerous to humans.  Fleas, which transmit Typhus and ticks, which transmit Lyme disease should be of particular concern to homeowners as these diseases can cause lifelong illnesses.

Having opossums around outdoors is not always a bad thing as they are scavengers that feed off of a variety of things.  Being scavengers, their natural diet includes eating plant matter, rotting fruit, insects, snails, slugs, and rodents and other small vertebrate animals, as well as dead animals.  They will not hesitate to invade trash cans and pet food bowls for a tasty meal.

Opossums are very adaptable to the environment surrounding them.  When looking for a suitable nesting site, it is not uncommon for a resourceful opossum to climb a tree or bush that is touching a roof to gain access to a home’s attic space.  Attics provide ample space and shelter from the elements for opossums.  Not being good house guests, these creatures will use the attic as their own personal toilet causing extensive damage to insulation and wood sources.

Stern Environmental Group will be able to humanely remove any opossum that has taken up residence in your NY or NJ home.  Call us today to learn about our opossum removal and exclusion services.