The Trick To Keeping Opossums Away From Your Houston Yard
December 15, 2022
When formulating your Houston pest control plan, you probably think about rats, roaches, termites, and all the other more conventional pests that homeowners typically worry about. While it’s definitely a good idea to keep these troublesome pests in mind, no pest control plan is complete without considering wildlife. Opossums, in particular, are a nuisance wildlife species that can cause major headaches for home and business owners in our area.
What Are Opossums?
Opossums are marsupials, meaning they are related to famous Australian species like kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. In fact, opossums are the United States’ only marsupials. Don't let that fool you into thinking they look like cuddly koalas, however. Opossums actually look more like giant, wooly rats. They are typically white or light gray and have an outer coating of wiry hair covering their bodies with a fluffier undercoat underneath. Similarly to rats, opossums have bare, scaly tails.
Opossums In Your Yard Can Be Very Dangerous
Despite their long, sharp teeth, you're not likely to be bitten by an opossum. They're not aggressive and prefer to bluff or play dead rather than attacking threats. And, contrary to popular belief, opossums rarely, if ever, transmit rabies. However, this doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.
Opossums can spread a wide variety of diseases, many of which are also carried by small animals. Dangerous illnesses like leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, and toxoplasmosis can all ride onto your property on opossums, as can ticks which spread illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The introduction of external parasites like fleas and ticks is the main danger opossums pose. When opossums come onto your property, they can introduce fleas and ticks into your yard and landscaping, and those parasitic pests can then infect your untreated pets. This is not a threat to be taken lightly, as these external parasites are known vectors for illnesses that can cause lasting health issues. This is the number one reason why opossum control (and wildlife control in general) is so important.
Factors That Attract Opossums To Your Property
Opossums are omnivores and opportunistic eaters, just like raccoons and rats. This means they aren’t picky at all and will eat just about anything. Not only will any uncovered garbage attract them, but they may also come sniffing around if you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your yard. Some opossums might even be interested in other pest intrusions on your property. Basically, if it's edible in any sense of the word, it can attract opossums. This is why DIY opossum control methods sometimes fail. It can be very difficult to get rid of everything they could theoretically eat.
The Safe And Effective Way To Get Rid Of Opossums In Your Yard
If you wind up with opossums living on your property, it's best to let professional wildlife removal experts handle it. Our wildlife control services are designed to remove opossums from your property without risking disease contraction or harming these unique and intelligent animals. If you have a wildlife emergency, don't try to handle it yourself. Instead, call 911 Wildlife. We can help eliminate the wildlife problems on your property, including opossums.
If you don't have an opossum problem yet, you can take these steps to help prevent one:
- Keep your trash cans covered with wildlife-proof lids.
- Feed your pets and put their bowls and uneaten food away immediately afterward.
- Store food items inside structures or at least in wildlife-proof containers.
- Get rid of ground-level water sources.
- Use wire mesh to cover potential entryways into your home, like ventilation openings and crawlspace entries.
And remember, if you do wind up with wildlife issues in Houston, don't hesitate. Give us a call at 911 Wildlife!
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