Tag Archives: opossums

Opossums Eating Rats? That’s Right!

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!

Opossums Like Your Garage Too

Have you ever walked out into your garage and found an unexpected obstacle course of debris that has been knocked down off of shelves?  No, it’s not likely a burglar rummaging through your boxed up Christmas ornaments, tools and sports equipment.  There is a good chance that you have another type of destructive visitor in your midst.

Opossums are nocturnal and as such they typically sleep all day long and forage for food all night long.  It is not uncommon for them to seek shelter in a garage or attic if given the chance.  With the weather abruptly changing to cold who can blame them really?  They have no trouble climbing to the top of your garage shelves and knocking down anything that is of interest to them or in the way of their waddling back end.  When not sleeping, they are always on the hunt for food.

It’s a good idea to keep your garage free of food products as they do invite all types of pests like squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rats and mice.  If you suspect that you have opossums in your garage, you could try to leave the door open in the evening and close it before bedtime.  Hopefully your visitor will leave on it’s own since it is a night time forager. Opossums are very resourceful though, so make sure that all areas of your garage are free of entry points.

Confronting a wild animal on your own is never a good idea.  They can become aggressive very easily and can carry dangerous diseases.  It is always a good idea to call a professional pest control expert instead who is trained in the humane removal of any wildlife.

Facts about Opossums

Opossums, also called “possums”, are the only marsupials that are native to North America, and they are close relatives of the koala and kangaroo. The shape of their bodies, their light gray fur, and long naked tails make them look like rats, but they are much larger in size, with adults measuring 33 inches long.

Opossums are nocturnal creatures, and they are rarely seen during daytime. They feed on all types of food, ranging from insects and small animals to fruits and vegetables. They are harmless animals that seldom attack human beings, but when they are provoked, they may use their sharp teeth to defend themselves. Opossums are known for their peculiar habit of playing dead when they are threatened, and they have prehensile tails that can be used to grab things.

Opossums are not destructive animals; they do not dig soil or cause damage to buildings, but they can be a nuisance when they decide to reside in homes or other buildings. Although they are rarely infected with rabies, they do carry fleas and ticks that can cause health problems.

If you are experiencing problems with opossums in your home, you can contact NY, NYC, and NJ pest control experts.