Wildlife Tips: Dealing with Opossums

Most people may not know much about opossums, the only marsupial mammal in North America. While they tend to have a pretty poor public image, they’re quite fascinating wildlife.

Primarily active at night, these nocturnal critters have a surprisingly short gestation period of only 13 days. When the 13th day is reached, up to 14 joeys (young opossums) crawl into their mother’s pouch and attach to a nipple for two months. 

As nocturnal creatures, opossums are most active in the night.

Like many wildlife mammals, opossums can be quite intimidating when one feeling in danger or cornered. They can hiss, growl and possibly even bite if agitated enough. Don’t let their defensiveness fool you though, most often they’re putting on a show and don’t want trouble.

In fact, did you know that when these creatures “play possum,” they’re actually involuntarily passing out from fright?

When reaching a level of fright, a physiological switch flips and their bodies just shut down. Fortunately for them, this usually confuses any adversaries into leaving. When the opossum wakes up from their pass-out, and see that the danger has subsided, they wander off to safety.

“Don’t let their defensiveness fool you though, most often they’re putting on a show and don’t want trouble. “

Opossums usually become a nuisance when they hole up in an attic or crawl space. Being scavengers and professional trashcan raiders, they can tend to stink up the place, and scare the homeowners themselves.

Best practices

The best practices when finding opossums taking up a residence in your home, is to:

  1. Give them space – as mentioned, these little firecrackers can stand their ground when feeling threatened but aren’t frightened enough to play possum. You don’t want to get bit by one of these guys; not only can it be painful, but the opossume can unknowingly carry a number of diseases.

  2. Isolate them – If you find an opossum in a certain part of your house, whether it be the attic, crawl space or elsewhere, make sure to dissuade them from wandering through your home by blocking off that space until you can have professionals come and get them.

  3. Call a professional, such as AWL Wildlife Removal and have one of our experts come to your residence as quickly as possible. Our staff are trained to make sure that these guys are removed from your home safely without hurting or endangering the opossums. Wildlife is also life after all, and these creatures, while sometimes a nuisance, are simply looking for a safe place to be just like all of us.

If you want to learn more about opossums, check out this page from National Geographic, and find out just how interesting these creatures are!

If you have any specific questions about opossums in Georgia, or think you may have an opossum problem in your home, click the button below to send us a message:

Wildlife Tips: The Right Way to Get Squirrels Out of Your Attic

There’s always the debate around this topic, “do I use traps? or one-way doors?” Let’s just get it out there: the right way to get squirrels out of your attic is to use a humane trap.

Why Traps and Not One-Way Doors?

Wildlife removal experts in Georgia can use either of these two basic methods, getting squirrels out of your attic or crawl space.  Here’s why it may seem like a good idea when a wildlife removal company uses a one-way door to remove squirrels from your home:

  1. They can pinpoint where the squirrel is initially entering your home.
  2. Once that entry way is established, they can make it so the animal can leave but (allegedly) can’t get back in.

The one-way door is a good idea in theory, because it lets the squirrel out. It’s not too far a stretch then to think it would be a good idea to just seal off the entry.  

But then you learn the hard way, that doing so is a REALLY bad idea.  Squirrels are determined creatures, and will find a way to chew a new hole somewhere around your house. In the process of sealing things off, Squirrels can even get stuck in your home and die! They simply don’t want to leave once they’ve found a new safe home.

They may look cute and fluffy, but squirrels can be aggressive, especially when locked out of that space they consider home.  If a squirrel has damaged your roof or siding when it created its original way in, it is likely to create more damage if it finds itself locked out!

This especially true if the squirrel that was locked out is a mother with a clutch of young still in your house.  A mother squirrel who cannot get to her babies will either find a way back into your home or die trying.

squirrels can be aggressive, especially when locked out of that space they consider home.

So what has to be done to keep these squirrels out of your home?

Catch and Release

The best way to get squirrels out of your attic is to attach a trap to the area the squirrels use to enter and exit your home.  When the squirrel comes out, it is trapped and a wildlife expert such as AWL will retrieve the squirrel and release it somewhere 2.5 miles or more from your home.

Why 2.5 miles?  That’s the limit of a squirrel’s ability to navigate back to a location.  If the squirrel is more than 2.5 miles from your house, it is very unlikely it will find it’s way back.

Pay a Flat Fee or Per Visit?

If your wildlife removal company is using squirrel traps, they will need to come back and check the traps regularly.  So they might charge a per visit fee or a flat fee.  At AWL Wildlife Removal, we prefer to charge a single flat fee and offer a warranty. You can be rest assured that your payment is just as protected as the lives of the squirrels we intend to get outta there safely.

If you have any specific questions about opossums in Georgia, or think you may have an opossum problem in your home, click the button below to send us a message: