The New York Post recently ran an article about the growing opossum population that has now joined the forces of other unwanted furry creatures in Brooklyn, New York. These marsupials are wandering the streets in high numbers, reportedly because the City Council decided to introduce them into the borough as a means of controlling the ever growing rat population.
The opossums were apparently set free at various parks and underneath the Coney Island boardwalk two years ago. It was assumed that once the rat population had diminished, the opossum populations would as well because of the lack of food that would be available. The problem is that these cleaver pointy nosed creatures have been able to thrive alongside other problem pests in Brooklyn with great ease.
Many area homeowners are crying foul as they wonder why the City Council would release another type of problem pest into the area. But, perhaps the opossums are not as problematic as you might think. According to The National Opossum Society, opossums are a beneficial animal for many different reasons.
Contrary to what some people believe, opossums do hunt, kill, and consume a large number of rats and mice. Being nature’s ultimate scavengers, they will consume all types of dead animals (carrion) that they encounter. They also eat many types of bothersome insects like crickets, beetles, snails, slugs, and cockroaches too. Fallen fruit in neighborhood yards is a particular treat to a roaming possum. Opossums do tend to carry fleas like other wild animals; but they seem to have a high immunity to most diseases, especially rabies!
Now if we could just train them to hunt and eat NYC bed bugs, perhaps they would be the perfect pet!
Opossums can be trouble when they rummage through trash cans and pet food left outdoors. Like any other wild animal, they will bite if they are grabbed too. If they happen to enter your home or attic though, you should never try to remove them yourself. Wildlife removal is best left to professional pest control experts like the ones you will find at Stern Environmental Group instead!