What should you do if you have an opossum problem?
What’s that big “rat” you saw in the headlights last night on the way home from the LSU Game? It could well be an opossum if you live in south Louisiana.
Opossums are found throughout most of America, except the western plains states, and usually resemble big gray rats. They are mammals usually about the size of a house cat. They can and often are a nuisance animal in human areas. They have prominent canine teeth, which are just plain fangs.
Opossums can live in a variety of habitat, from wooded areas to open fields. They like to be near water. They take shelter in the burrows of other animals, tree cavities, brush piles and under other cover. They can become a nuisance near humans.
When you have an opossum problem
The biggest problem for humans is an opossum takes shelter in attics or garages. When they do so, they cause a horrible mess. Near humans, they’ll get into garbage, bird feeders, and pet food. They’ll destroy poultry, game birds and their nests.
And never try to corner or trap on opossum on your own as they can and will bite with their very sharp teeth!
How to prevent and control damage
The best method to control damage from armadillos is to try and keep them away when possible. Step one is to remove the source of food, or contain it in a method that makes it difficult or impossible to get to for the animal. That may mean you have to store garbage cans with tight fitting lids that will defeat the animal’s efforts to get in.
Step two is to make it difficult for them to find shelter. A common hiding place in Louisiana homes is near a wood pile for firewood or underneath raised structures like decks or patios. It’s also a good idea to use tightly covered doors and windows on buildings when you want to keep them out. They are good climbers and are capable of bypassing many fences.
If possible, sometimes you can hot wire a fence with an electric charger and that increases the fence’s effectiveness.
Trap and remove
The good news is that opossums are not especially trap wary, and are relatively easy to trap and remove. You can avoid using kill-traps and you can also use bait that will appeal to opossums and not to cats or dogs, for example.
However, even if you catch one in a trap, releasing them is not easy as opossums can be dangerous when cornered as mentioned earlier. That is why we always recommend letting the professionals to set and remove traps for this large of an animal.
If exclusion efforts fail and if you can’t encourage them just to go someplace else, call Dial One Franklynn Pest Control. Dial One Franklynn uses trap and remove nuisance wildlife control methods, and we are also a state approved wildlife removal company.