FOR LIVING WITH…OPOSSUMS
|As the development of once rural areas
increases, the opossum continues to be pushed out of its natural habitat
and forced to live in a more urban environment. Opossums are extremely
adaptable and have successfully made the transition to accept people as
their neighbors. With a little tolerance and understanding you can do
the same for the opossum, and we can all happily co-exist.
|Considered rodents by many, this is a
common misconception. Opossums are marsupials, or pouched mammals, and
are related to the kangaroo and the koala. The opossum holds the
distinction of being North America’s only marsupial. We should not
consider them as pests, but beneficial to the environment, as they eat
all kinds of bugs and insects including cockroaches, beetles, cricket
and spiders. Snails and slugs are considered a delicacy. They also help
keep the rat and mouse population in check. Opossums have well earned
the title of “Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineers.”
|By nature opossums are non-aggressive,
non-destructive and do not pose a threat to humans. However, when
threatened they will attempt to defend themselves. Our best advice is to
enjoy watching the opossums, but leave them alone.
THE OPOSSUMS ALONE
Opossums should be allowed to live in their
natural habitat. They are opportunistic animals and will often move into
an area that has been damaged and then vacated by another animal.
Unfortunately, the opossum is usually blamed for the damage.
DO NOT TRAP
Opossums are transient animals, staying only
2-3 days in an area before moving on. Removal is neither necessary nor
desirable. Wildlife experts agree that if opossums were eliminated from
an area, the population of roof rats and other pests would proliferate.
If you find an opossum continues to return to
your area, try eliminating the things that are attracting it. Clear away
bushes, woodpiles and other hiding places, pick up fallen fruit from
trees, and do not leave pet food out over night. Try leaving an outdoor
light on at night.
OPOSSUM PROOF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
the area where you live less desirable. At night, keep doors and garages
closed, and close windows that are located next to tree limbs and
information, please contact:
Opossum Society of the United States
P.O. Box 16724
Irvine, CA 92623