Opossums are plentiful in Texas. Originally from wooded areas, these shy, nocturnal creatures are now a common sight in Lubbock and across the Texas South Plains and High Plains.
While opossums are beneficial animals that help control populations of rodents, ticks, and insects, they themselves are pests. Opossums not only cause property damage for homeowners, but are a nuisance causing messes and even transmitting disease.
If you're concerned about the opossum's presence around your property, consider contacting a licensed wildlife removal professional like Bug Tech. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate advice or assistance.
There's An Opossum On My Property: Who Should I Contact?
If you have an opossum in your yard and it's not causing any significant problems or posing immediate risks, you may choose to leave it alone and let it go about its business.
However, if you're concerned about the opossum's presence or if it's causing damage or becoming a nuisance, you should seek professional help from a wildlife control company that specializes in removing wild animals from homes and places of business.
Bug Tech’s professional wildlife removal services are designed to safely and humanely remove unwanted wildlife like opossums from your property. Bug Tech has the necessary knowledge, tools, and techniques to safely and effectively remove the opossum from your property. Professionals can also ensure that the removal is done in accordance with local regulations.
- Live Trapping: This involves using baited live traps to catch opossums. Once successfully trapped, the opossum(s) will be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator or relocated as appropriate.
- Exclusion: After the opossum has been removed, it's important to identify and seal off any access points to prevent re-entry. A professional wildlife removal company will inspect your property for holes or gaps in structures such as attics, crawl spaces, or sheds, and use materials like wire mesh or hardware cloth to seal them off.
- Chemical Repellents: Chemical repellents can be used as a deterrent to discourage opossums from entering specific areas.
Some companies offer dead opossum removal as well. If dead opossum removal is a service you need, look for a company that provides it.
What to Look For in a Wildlife Control Company
To ensure excellent results and exceptional service, consider the following factors when choosing a wildlife control company.
- Experience: Opt for a company that has been in business for several years and has experience in removing opossums from properties.
- Licensing and Certification: Licensing and certification from state or local agencies assure you that the company operates legally and follows the correct procedures for Texas opossum removal.
- Humane Methods: There are restrictions in Texas on exterminating opossums. Additionally, opossums pose no significant harm to humans and are best left alone in their natural habitat. Ideally, choose a wildlife company that offers a humane opossum removal service, as this is effective and legally compliant.
Facts About Opossums
Are Possums the Same As Opossums?
Opossums, the big-eared, long-tailed, sharp-snouted creatures you might occasionally spot walking across a yard a night, are common across Texas. However, while their name is often shortened to "possums," their proper name is "Virginia opossum."
To some people, possums are pretty cute. To others, they're scary—especially when these creatures bare their teeth and make hissing noises, looking for all the world like enormous, angry rats.
In truth, possums are relatively harmless, at least when they're in their natural environment. And, despite their resemblance to rats, they're actually not rodents. Opossums are North America's only marsupial mammals.
Opossum: Habitat and Habits
North American opossums live in wooded areas like forests, shrubland and swamps. However, as urban development began encroaching on their natural habitats, opossums had to find new places to live. They have now adapted well to living in cities and suburbs, where there is food, shelter and no hunters.
North American opossums are nocturnal, foraging for food at night. They're also solitary and shy. If an opossum is scared, it will either bare its teeth and hiss or fall and play dead. Hence the term "playing possum."
What's more, they're nomadic — they only stay in one place for a few days before they go off again in search of more food and a new den.
Why Are Opossums Considered Pests? Reasons You Should Hire an Opossum Removal Service
Compared to other forms of wildlife, like squirrels that chew on furniture and raccoons that carry diseases and are aggressive when threatened, opossums are not as destructive. In fact, some view them as beneficial animals.
For instance, they eat ticks that can carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. They're also non-aggressive and unlikely to attack humans. Additionally, they eat snakes and rodents, which may help keep the population of these pests down.
However, opossums can also cause problems. While they're not as determined to get into people's homes as raccoons, once in a while, they find their way in through:
- Pet doors
- Open doors or windows
- Crawl spaces
- Under the deck or porch
Opossums might try to find shelter in your home, another building on your property and even in your vehicle's engine block if they're frightened or simply looking for a dry and cozy place with food nearby.
If opossums enter your property, they can:
Tip Over Garbage Cans
Opossums can be pretty determined when looking for food, and they're skilled at opening garbage cans. If they can't manage to take the lids off, they might tip the cans over and spread garbage all over your yard.
You can discourage opossums from exploring your trash bins by purchasing garbage cans with lids that clamp or lock securely shut. You can also put a heavy item, such as a brick, on top of the cover.
Cause Physical Property Damage
Opossums can damage gardens near homes, as they feed on tree fruits, berries and nuts. They can also defecate and urinate on garden paths, decks and patios, which can cause staining and unpleasant smells.
If opossums find their way to the attic, they may try to build a nest by ripping apart insulation. They may also gnaw and chew through wires and cables, not only creating electrical issues but also increasing the risk of house fires. For this reason, if you suspect the presence of these creatures in your home, it is crucial to contact an opossum removal company immediately.
Make a Lot of Noise
Opossums are usually quiet animals. However, they make clicking sounds when trying to attract mates and "choo-choo" sounds when calling to their young. They can also produce high-pitched screams and hissing noises when feeling threatened or when a predator is nearby.
If you have opossums in your attic, you'll likely hear thumps and bumps from them moving around at night. These noises could make it hard for you and your family to relax and sleep.
An opossum playing dead appears to stop breathing, sticks its tongue out and drools, but don't worry: It's probably not rabies. These creatures rarely have rabies. However, they can carry other diseases that harm humans and other animals. These include:
- Chagas disease
- Relapsing fever
- Spotted fever
As mentioned, opossums are docile and rarely attack unprovoked. However, if your pets get near enough to an opossum to feel threatened, it may bite or scratch in self-defense. While opossum bites and scratches might not do much physical damage, they may spread any diseases they carry to your pet.
Become Trapped and Die
Additionally, an opossum could get trapped in a crawlspace or vent and die. This could result in a strong, unpleasant stench that could be difficult to live with. What's more, the decaying opossum could attract more pests such as rats and roaches. You would need to call a company for dead opossum removal before this could happen.
Rely on Bug Tech for Professional Opossum Removal Services
Bug Tech is a trusted wildlife removal company that utilizes humane and effective methods to help clients deal with opossums. We are a proud National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) member. Our team is extensively trained in wildlife control methods and provides long-term solutions to your pest problems.