Opossums are common outdoor sights in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area. Whether you spot them in your backyard or on the side of the road, here is the lowdown on opossums and how to keep them away from your home.
What are Opossums?
Opossums have been in this area of the country since the early 1900s, when people kept them as pets. Once they began to escape into the wild, they flourished due to few predators and not being hunted for food. They are technically marsupials and are the only known marsupials living in all of North America! They are nocturnal animals that can eat just about anything, like raccoons. They are very flexible in terms of where they will live and just need a small hole that is dry and sheltered to settle down and breed. They have frequent litters of 5-10 pups, so two opossums in your home can quickly turn into more.
How to Deter Opossums
Just like most outdoor animals looking to get in, preventing opossums from settling down in your home means preventing them from getting inside in the first place. Here are some simple tips for deterring opossums from your property:
- Never feed opossums or leave food outside for other animals if you have an opossum problem (including bird food, pet food, etc.)
- Always tightly secure the lids to your garbage cans so that opossums cannot lift it off and access the food inside
- Feed your dogs, cats, and other pets inside so that remnants of their food don’t get left behind to lure opossums
- This might sound extreme, but block off pet doors in your home during the night so that hungry opossums can’t slip through
- Seal up any holes or potential sites for dens on your property. Many times, once an opossum family establishes inside of a small area of your property, they’ll be all over before you know it!
Have an Animal Outside of Your Home That Shouldn’t Be There? Give Us a Call!
Shumaker’s Animal Control has over 25 years of experience in the animal and pest control field. Whatever your problem, we can help remedy the situation and restore your home (or yard) back to normal. Give us a call at (443) 854-8072 or contact us online today to see how we can help you! For more information on household and neighborhood pests and how to protect your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.