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Opossum Identification | 911 Wildlife



a mother opossum with babies on her back

911 Wildlife provides humane opossum removal. Call today for a professional inspection from a wildlife specialist.

Need opossum removal services in Houston, we’ve got you covered!

Opossums are common in Houston’s residential neighborhoods. The only marsupial found in North America, “female opossums have a pouch in which they carry their young for the first 60-80 days of life. Weaned young are then carried on their mother’s back as they continue to grow towards independence. Opossums are extremely adaptable to different environments and conditions. Opossums are nocturnal animals who leave their daytime nests at night to seek food and water. They are known to eat insects, frogs, birds, snakes, small mammals, and earthworms. Some of their favorite foods are fruits, and they are known to eat apples and persimmons. Their broad diet allows them to take advantage of many sources of food provided by human habitation such as unsecured garbage and pet food, or any other edible item left outside, in a garage, shed, or patio. Opossums will make their nest wherever they feel safe during the day including garages, sheds, attics, or underneath decks, patios, and pier and beam foundations and other structures. We’ve got a team of expert wildlife removal specialists who offer top notch opossum removal services and will cater to all your needs.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our services in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX and surrounding areas!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are opossums?

The opossum is a marsupial, which means they have an external pouch to carry their developing young. Opossums are the only pouched mammals living in the United States. Adult opossums are about the size of an average house cat. Whitish-gray fur covers their body with long guard hairs sprinkled throughout. They have a long narrow face that is lighter in color than the rest of the body, and their ears and tails are hairless.

Besides their pouch, here are some other unique facts about opossums:

  • They have two big toes that act like opposable thumbs and help opossums climb trees.

  • Opossums have a prehensile tail that can grip things and allow these creatures to hang upside down from tree branches.

  • Opossums have the lowest brain to body mass of any mammal.

  • When threatened, opossums sometimes feign death or “play opossum.”

  • Fifty sharp teeth fill the mouth of an opossum.

  • They are nocturnal.

Are opossums dangerous?

Opossums rarely carry diseases like rabies or distemper that most people associate as “dangerous” to pets and people. If they feel threatened or cornered, then they can try to protect themselves by growling, hissing, biting, or scratching. However, they are not an innately aggressive animal. 

Opossums love to feed on grubs found in the dirt and may dig to get to their favorite food source, but, they are primarily opportunistic scavengers that travel across their territory looking for easy resources. Weaknesses under a building or porch may be an unintentional invitation as a convenient resting spot to a traveling opossum.

Why do I have an opossum problem?

Opossums are a common problem for Dallas area homeowners. Scavengers by nature, possums find their way onto our properties while searching for food and safe shelter away from predators. The smell of food in trash cans, pet food bowls, or garden areas is too much for opossums to ignore. Since opossums love to feed on lawn grubs, properties with heavy grub infestations are highly attractive to these pests.

Where will I find opossums?

When living outside in nature, opossums typically live near streams or in swampy areas; they also do well in wooded areas and fields. Yards that are near their natural habitats are most susceptible to problems with these pests.

Opossums like to burrow near homes under decks, sheds, woodpiles, and brush piles. If given the opportunity, they may move inside, taking up residence in attics and crawlspaces. Garages and sheds are other favorite sources of shelter for these animals.

How do I get rid of opossums?

If opossums have found a source of shelter on your property under a building or porch, reach out to 911 Wildlife. Our professionals will come to your property and put together a customized plan to remove them. After targeting your wildlife issue, we will perform professional exclusion work and wildlife proofing.

How can I prevent opossums in the future?

While you should always allow a professional to handle issues with opossums, there are things you can do around your property to make it less attractive to these unwanted visitors:

  • Keep opossums out of your trash cans by placing locking lids on them.

  • Maintain gardens areas by regularly harvesting fruits and vegetables.

  • Pick up leftover pet food each evening.

  • Cut tree branches back away from your roof and repair roof damage.

  • Keep shed and garage doors closed whenever possible.

  • Place covers on chimneys and vents leading into your home.

  • Remove brush piles, fallen trees, or woodpiles from your yard.

  • Keep attics and crawl spaces free of clutter and debris where opossums could hide.

Learn about our residential animal removal and commercial wildlife services.

There’s an opossum hissing and drooling at me – is the opossum rabid?

For unknown reasons, opossums are amazingly resistant to rabies. Hissing, drooling and swaying are part of the opossum’s bluff to scare YOU off.  Unlike other animals, opossums don’t always flee when they’re frightened.  Just leave the opossum alone and eventually the animal will wander off.

What should I do if I find a dead opossum on the road?

Wearing gloves, you can move the dead animal off the road.  If it’s spring or summer, check to see if the opossum is a female and if there are live babies still in her pouch or in the immediate area.  If found, Contact 911 Wildlife or a wildlife rehabilitator immediately.

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