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Opossum FAQ

Q. Why did the Creator of Heaven and Earth make opossums, anyway?

Q. Why did the opossums pick my house?

Q. Why do opossums want to live in my attic, walls or crawlspace?

Q. Why do I need to get rid of opossums?

Q. When are opossums a problem?

Q. When do opossums come into houses?

Q. When is the best time to get rid of opossums?

Q. Where do opossums live?

Q. Where do opossums usually enter a building?

Q. How do I know if I have opossums in my attic?
 
Q. Where can I get help with my opossum problem?

Health & Safety

Q. What are the health risks of having opossums in my residential or commercial building?

Q. Will the opossums attack me?

Q. Who is responsible for this opossum problem?

Animal Control Products and Methods

Q. What are the most common opossum complaints you receive?

Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill opossums?

Q. Which opossum repellents are the best?

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate opossums?

Q. Who should I call for help?

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of opossums?

Property Damage

Q. What damage can opossums cause?

Q. What is this going to do to my property value?

Q. What will a wildlife removal technician do about the opossums in my building?

Q. How do opossums get in my building?

Q. How can I get the opossums out?

Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of the opossums?

Costs

Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site opossum inspection?

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone opossum control consultation?

Q. Who pays for my opossum problem?

Q. What FREE opossum control services does your company offer to the public?

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the opossums?

General Opossum Questions

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Q. Why did the Creator of Heaven and Earth make opossums, anyway?

A. Opossums are pretty cool animals, actually.  They are the only marsupial (pouched mammal) native to North America.  They have been around since the days of the dinosaurs, strong evidence of how adaptable they are. Opossums are not rodents, but they are known to eat rodents along with just about anything else from cockroaches to rats and slugs to snakes, cat food to spiders. This world would be a much dirtier place without opossums to clean up after us and everyone else.

Q. Why did the opossums pick my house?

A. Opossums love manmade living spaces for the many advantages they offer.  What the opossum is looking for is a place that is safe from predators, a comfortable climate and close to a steady food source.  This describes a number of places that humans provide.  Parked RVs, decks, patios, crawlspaces, play houses, attics, and basements are all good.  Opossums will search both high and low, and once they find the right spot, they will gladly set up housekeeping. 

Q. Why do opossums want to live in my attic, walls or crawlspace?

A. Opossums are like most wild animals.  They need a place that has the characteristics of their native or natural environment with the advantages that living close to humans provides.  Garbage cans provide food.  Pet bowls and bird baths provide water.  An attic, wall or crawl space is as comfy as a hollow tree.
           
Q. Why do I need to get rid of opossums?

A. Opossums are scavengers that steal pet food and make a mess of garbage.  Cats, dogs or other pets are distressed by their presence and can be seriously injured by a bite using their 50 very sharp teeth. 

Opossums will move into your home or other building and turn it into a food storage unit and personal toilet—the food rots and the poop stinks and contaminates the entire structure. 

Beyond that many people want to get rid of possums because they look creepy, which is reason enough.  It is your property, after all.

Q. When are opossums a problem?

A. Opossums are a problem when the take up residence in your basement, crawl space, attic, garage, shed or other building.  If you have horses at all, you should consider immediate opossum removal as the animals are known carriers of a parasite called Sarcocystis neurona, which causes a serious equine disease called Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM).

Basically anytime there is conflict between humans and wild animals it is a problem and humane removal and exclusion is best for the animals and the people.

Q. When do opossums come into houses?

A. Opossums most commonly come into houses when a female is in search of a den site prior to giving birth.  Once a den site is established it is often used over and over as a home base as the animals raises young and feeds and cares for them.  

Q. When is the best time to get rid of opossums?

A. For a long time there was a old wives tale going around that there was no need get rid of opossums because they were nomadic and would leave on their own.  That is not true.  Opossums have established and overlapping ranges.  While they may have multiple den sites within a range, they will stick to the range and to those sites known to be safe and welcoming.  Once an animal has found a place with food, water and comfortable shelter you can bet they are there to stay.   Because of this, it is best to get rid of the animals as soon as possible, before they reproduce, start to share the den site or make an even bigger mess.

Q. Where do opossums live?

A.  Opossums can be found through much of the United States except the Rocky Mountains and far northern Midwest. They usually make dens in tree cavities, brush piles, abandoned burrows of other species or anyplace else that provides shelter near food and water. While they are often solitary animals they will share dens with other opossums or even other species, such as skunks. 

It is their very adaptability that makes opossums so successful and so comfortable around humans and the habitat they provide. 

Q. Where do opossums usually enter a building?

A. Remember how adaptable and versatile opossums are and you will understand that opossums can enter a building in a variety of ways.  They can come in through holes created by other animals.  They can come in through loose vents, siding, or screens.  They can climb to access an attic.  They can come down through chimneys. If there is a hole or space available, the opossum can use it.

Q.  How do I know if I have opossums in my attic?

A. At first it can sometimes it can be hard to tell that you are sharing your home with opossums.  They are only active at night, so you may never see them.  Barking dogs and empty pet food bowls may be early clues.  You may find strange looking or unexpected animal droppings that may resemble a cat or dog in leafy or protected areas.  It is hard to clearly define the appearance of opossum droppings because they vary by the diet of the animal.  These animals are messy eaters and can leave remnants of meals behind.  In addition, you may notice a strong smell, almost like a skunk, but not quite.  This is oil that they excrete from a gland when they are startled or frightened.  They do not spray.  The oil is associated with the “playing possum” behavior that causes the animals to sometimes appear dead, and smell dead, too.

Q. Where can I get help with my opossum problem?

A. Allstate Opossum Control can help you.  No government agency exists for opossum removal and control.  These animals may appear slow and clumsy, but are intelligent and prepared to defend themselves. Exterminators that do a great job on roaches are frequently unprepared for opossums.  We are a  professional wild pest animal removal company. 1-888-488-7720.

Health & Safety

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Q. What are the health risks of having opossums in my residential or commercial building?

A. Rabies is a common fear, but the chance of rabies in an opossum is RARE. This may be due to the opossum’s low body temperature (94-97º F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in the animal’s body. Opossums do, however carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. They also carry a variety of parasitic creatures such as fleas, ticks, mites, and lice which they can transmit to people or cats and dogs.

Q. Will the opossums attack me?

A. Opossums are not generally aggressive animals, but any animal will defend itself when cornered and, like all wild animals, they can be unpredictable.  Opossums look fierce, with 50 sharp teeth in their mouth and sharp claws on their feet.  When threatened they show their teeth, salivate and release a strongly offensive fluid from their anal glands. These are all defensive strategies.  When pushed to extremes, the animals will “play possum” which can lead one to believe it is dead.  Leave the animals alone.  You should not attempt to feed or touch this or any other wild animal.

Q. Who is responsible for this opossum problem?

A.  A mother opossum’s instinct to take care of her 13 babies is responsible for the problem, but we can help you solve it.  Call Allstate Opossum Control and we will get rid of the animals in a safe, humane way, according to applicable laws and regulations.

Animal Control Products and Methods

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Q. What are the most common opossum complaints you receive?

A. We are usually contacted by customers who are concerned because there is an opossum living somewhere on their property—under a porch or shed or in their crawl space or directly inside the home in the attic or other location. Next most common is that the animal is stealing pet food and harassing the pets. 

In addition people call when they have discovered the mess left by the opossums and want to have the droppings and urine cleaned up and measures taken to make sure the animals don’t return. Finally, people will call because there is a dead opossum in their home or attic.  As annoying as a live opossum can be, dead ones are much worse.

Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill opossums?

A. There are no registered poisons for opossums.  Do not attempt to use poison baits intended for rodents on opossums, or any other animal.  The animal, if affected by the poison, will likely die in your home, causing much worse problems that you started with.  Also, secondary poisoning is a common, extremely sad, result and sick children or dead pets are all too frequent.

Q. Which opossum repellents are the best?

A. There are no repellents on the market that are effective against opossums.  This includes predator urine, ultrasonic sound emitters, mothballs, ammonia, or any other home remedy that I am aware of.  Trapping and removal is the only sure way to get rid of opossums.

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate opossums?

A. When extermination is necessary, we use humane trapping in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Q. Who should I call for help?    

A. Call Allstate Animal Control 1-888-488-7720.  We have helped many people get rid of the opossums inside and outside of buildings.  We are effective and have the experience and expertise you need.

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of opossums?
           
A. Professionals like those you will find at Allstate Opossum Control can help you with the entire process and recommend repairs and modifications necessary to prevent them returning return. Don’t just get rid of one opossum, get rid of all of them and make sure they don’t come back.  Hire a professional.

Property Damage

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Q. What damage can opossums cause?

A. Opossums can cause extensive damage to a home.  They are omnivorous and messy and will bring in all the leftovers to rot.  They defecate and urinate, attracting parasites and creating breeding grounds for bacteria.  They will predate on fowl and gardens and fruits, such as grapes.

Q. What is this going to do to my property value?

A. Any wild animal infestation must be disclosed to potential buyers and usually must be corrected prior to sale.  Value is usually reduced 5-10% and salability is reduced further.

Q. What will a wildlife removal technician do about the opossums in my building?  

A. A technician will evaluate the extent of your infestation and create a custom trapping and removal plan.  Our technicians are particularly mindful of the importance of getting ALL the animals out and are extremely careful not to leave behind any young.  The technician will also recommend any repairs or maintenance necessary to insure the animals will not access your building again.
 
Q. How do opossums get in my building?

A. Opossums adapt to human environments easily due to the abundance of food and shelter. Bird feeders, trash cans, and pet food bowls are a never ending opossum buffet alone with nuts, fruit and garden produce.  Once a steady food source is located, it will look for a den site that is close to the food. The opossums will get into your building through loose foundation vents, drain pipes or they may take advantage of low decks or porches as den locations.

Q. How can I get the opossums out?

A. Opossums are fairly intelligent, extremely adaptable animals.  Get help and make sure the job is done right by hiring a wildlife solution expert like us.  We can perform on-site removal, or try our over-the-phone opossum removal coaching services.

Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of the opossums?

A. The technicians you find here at Allstate Opossum Control have a proven procedure that will get rid of the opossums on your property. First, we perform a complete inspection to determine the type of animal or animals involved, their location and their numbers.  We develop a custom trapping plan to make sure all animals are removed from the structure, including litters of young.  Next we perform or recommend any necessary repairs to make sure the animals can’t return.  Finally, we decontaminate and deodorize the structure as necessary.

We are committed to humane animal removal and the satisfaction of our customers. 

Costs

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Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site opossum inspection?

A. Inspections start at $150-250, depending on your location.  For specific information, see our Opossum Removal Pricing.

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone opossum control consultation?

A. FREE!  Send 5-10 pictures via e-mail and we will review them and call you to recommend a solution and provide an estimate.  The pictures should show possible opossum entrances, damage caused by the opossums, and any related item you think might be important.

Q. Who pays for my opossum problem?           

A. Opossum infestations are the responsibility of the property owner. Typically opossum removal starts with an inspection and evaluation which costs $150-250, depending on your location.  You may want to contact your property insurance carrier; your policy may include coverage for removal and clean up of pest animals. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.

Q. What FREE opossum control services does your company offer to the public?

A. If you find a suspected opossum problem on your property, take 5-10 digital pictures and e-mail them to us (use the Contact Us page).  We will call you on the phone and discuss your situation for a few minutes and suggest a plan of action, as time allows.

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the opossums?

A. Prices vary depending on your location, number of animals and severity of the problem. I can give you a FREE estimate over the phone using digital pictures you e-mail me. For additional information, see our Opossum Pricing Page.

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