Tag Archives: opossum removal

Get Rid of Opossum

opossum remival

Being a techie at a stadium is one of the best jobs a person could ever do, but it should never include getting rid of an opossum.

Opossum hanging by his tail.
An opossum that spooked a theater by hiding in it’s orchestra pit.

I’m part of the stage crew at a large theater downtown.  Every day is a little different, depending on the show or concert that will be playing here.  Some days are spent lighting and re-lighting for a show that’s coming through our city, spiking the stage (putting tape marks all over the stage so we know where a set piece is supposed to go in the middle of a show), testing the sound system, or making sure the green rooms and dressing rooms are prepared.  Some of our guest celebrities are very particular about how they want their dressing rooms arranged and stocked.  Some days are spent with maintenance, such as keeping the house in good repair, making sure the seats are clean and comfortable, or repairing curtains.  Other days are spent striking sets and loading them up in trucks for the show’s next city appearance.  It’s exhausting, physical work, and there aren’t a lot of women who do what I do professionally, but it’s my passion and joy.  And, I’m lucky enough that my husband works here, too.

One day when we wer

e doing maintenance on the house, I made a horrible discovery.  There was an opossum under the orchestra pit.  No one had ever trained me how to get rid of an opossum.  But, there it was, backed up against the other side of the pit, its eyes gleaming in the darkness, its lips pulled back in a hissing and toothy grimace.  Not only do I have to get rid of an opossum, I have to get rid of a live opossum.  I’m no nervous nelly, but that’s really not in my job description.

I backed out of the space under the orchestra pit.  That area is technically lower than the river, so I shouldn’t be surprised to find animals down in there.  Maybe that’s why the opossum was down there, to feast on mice or rats or whatever made its way down there.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this explains a lot.  Lately, some of the actors and musicians from our latest musical production had been complaining of weird smells around the stage.  Some of the crew had been “spooked” by odd noises when they were working alone in the area.  We joked that it was our resident ghost.  Really, what theater doesn’t have a resident ghost?

But, this explained everything.  It was just an animal.

I made my way up to the office, where my husband was working.  “Hon, we gotta get rid of an opossum,” I said.

He had to see it for himself, of course, and I think he came out of the orchestra pit faster than I did.  Before long, we called Allstate Animal Control to get rid of the opossum.  Fortunately, their guy got it out before we set up for the show that night.  Of course, we still let the actors and musicians believe it was a ghost.

Opossum Removal

I’m a fair-minded landlord, so I wasn’t too harsh on the animals when I had to conduct opossum removal.  I remodeled the large vacant home I bought into four separate apartments, and had no problem renting them out once the remodeling work was complete and all the permits and licenses came through.  The place is a good location, not far from a mass transit station and within walking distance to a shopping center.  But, I managed to keep the private, inviting feel of an old home.  It was easy to get tenants quickly.

I live in the upper-most apartment, so no other tenants were aware of the scrabbling, rustling noises coming from the empty attic just above my head.  I assumed it was an animal or bird that had gotten lost in there and would find its way back out the next morning, but the noise persisted over the next couple of days.  Finally, I felt I had to do something.  I crawled up there one morning and poked around, my nose wrinkling at the nastiest smelling animal droppings I’d ever had the displeasure of seeing or smelling.  Then, over in the far corner, I spotted the two animals, and knew the time had come for opossum removal.

I called a professional opossum removal service, and they quickly came out.  But, I was adamant.  I didn’t want them to take the opossums away.  I wanted to relocate them under the pergola in the yard.  I thought they were sweet and cute, even as they bared teeth at the opossum trapper.  He looked at me kind of funny, but obliged.

I didn’t tell the guy who did the opossum removal that I had a problem with voles on the property.  It may have been what attracted the opossums in the first place. My tenants didn’t spend any time in the yard, since there was a nice park nearby, so they weren’t aware of the vole holes and tunnels in the yard.  I’d tried to trap the voles myself, but it felt like there were three or four more for every one I caught.

So, I thought, if I had to have opossums removed out of the attic, I might relocate them into a safe place in the yard.  That way, they could hunt down and feast on the troublesome voles as long as they stayed out of the attic and didn’t keep me awake at night.

It kind of worked for a time.  There were several times, though, that I had to go out early and pick up the garbage cans they’d knocked over and rooted through.  Then, there was the night that I heard hissing and growling.  It’s possible they had a run-in with one of the local cats.  But, the vole population started to decline, so I thought I was brilliant for removing opossums out of the attic and relocating them under the pergola.  One night, however, one of my tenants had decided the pergola was a perfect, romantic place to take his girlfriend.  His girlfriend screamed nice and loud when they startled the two opossums, and soon everyone was aware of our backyard vole-eaters.  This time, I had to have opossum removal done for good.  They were taken off the property, never to be seen again.  I had the same service get rid of the voles, too, while I was at it.

Opossum Removal

opossum remival
Jamie was so pissed . . . some animal had crapped on his bedroom floor again, and he was so sick of it that he got his roommates in there for some opossum removal.  He had no idea where the animal was, why it had chosen his room, how it had gotten into the house.  He really didn’t care about any of that. 

            “Dudes, seriously, we gotta find it and get rid of it.  I’m sick of living in a freaking animal toilet.”

            His two roommates and his girlfriend went on a possum hunt right there in his bedroom.  They looked up in the ceiling tiles, they looked under the bed, they looked everywhere until finally there was only one place it could possibly be. 

            “We searched everywhere else, it has to be in the closet,” Jamie said.

            “What if it comes out?” David asked.

            “I’m gonna kick it!” said Matt.

            The three of them walked towards the half-open closet, hunched over, ready to attack anything that would come out at them.

            “There!” Jamie said

            “What?  Where?” David said, jumping back.

            “There’s my shoes, I’ve been looking for them.” 

            “Seriously, dude, you didn’t know your shoes were in your closet?”

            “Shhh, shhh, you’ll scare the thing!”

            “All right, all right.”  And the three of them prepared to slide the closet door all the way open.  Jamie reached for the door.  Matt started jumping from foot to foot.  He wasn’t sure if he was right for a fight or flight, but he was ready for something to come out of that closet.

            Finally, Jamie gathered up his courage for this final stage of opossum removal, and slid the closet door all the way open.  Matt saw it first and danced backwards.  “Aaaaaa.”

            Then, Jamie saw it and full-on screamed like a little girl.  David and Jamie’s girlfriend hadn’t seen it yet, but the screaming had already started and everyone joined in, freaked out.  When the screaming died down, everyone could see the opossum was terrified, cornered, and baring its teeth with a low growl.  It had found a little nest at the back of Jamie’s closet . . . obviously it was an undisturbed nest until now.  Jamie didn’t get in his closet often, apparently.

            Once they found the animal that had been pooping all over Jamie’s bedroom, it quickly became clear they hadn’t thought of how they would go about actually removing the opossum.  They decided to call in a professional, shut the closet door as quickly as they could, and left the bedroom to find the phone, still laughing about how squeamish they’d all just been.