General Opossum Facts
Opossums are a small to medium-sized marsupial, about the size of a large house cat (2-3' long and 4-15 lbs). Most members of the opossum family have long snouts and narrow braincases. They can be traced back to the time of the dinosaur.
When threatened or harmed, they will “play possum”, mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. The lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. This physiological response is completely involuntary, rather than a conscious act.
Their stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away. Many injured opossums have been killed by well-meaning people who find a catatonic animal and assume the worst.
The best thing to do upon finding an injured or apparently dead opossum is to leave it in a quiet place with a clear exit path. In minutes or hours, the opossum will regain consciousness and escape quietly on its own.
Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive strategy make them successful colonizers and survivors even when their habitat is disrupted. Because they are so resilient, Opossum control is essential to protect your yard.
The opossum has a 12 day gestational period and give birth to anywhere from 5 to 25 young. These tiny baby oppusums are about the size of a bee and crawl the 2 inches from the birth canal to the mother's pouch.
The opossum's range has been expanding steadily northward, thanks in part to more plentiful, man-made sources of fresh water, increased shelter from urban encroachment, and milder winters. Its range has extended into Ontario, Canada.
Opossums like to create dens in hollow trees or vacated burrows of other animals.
Opossums are opportunistic omnivores with a very broad range of diet.
Opossums like to dine on roots, vegetables, fruit, corn, snails, beetles, ants, eggs, grasshoppers and garbage.
Havahart® has the safe opossum control options you need, including traps and electric fence kits. We also offer advice on how to secure your garbage cans, another effective method of opossum control.