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Opossum Facts

Opossums are opportunistic omnivores with a very broad range of diet. They cause damage by digging up the roots of plants and getting into garbage cans.

They interact with humans when they select brush piles and under decks to make their dens.

 
Other Photos:
Snarling Opossum
Baby Opossum
Opossum in Tree
Opossum on Fence
Opossum Showing Its Teeth
Facts
How to Get Rid Of
How to Trap
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Baits

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.

 

Opossum Reproduction

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.

 

Opossum Habitat

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.

 

Opossum Diet

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.

 

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