Opossums are classified as one of the largest nuisance rodent species in Michigan and the surrounding areas. Because of their size, opossums are capable of doing damage on a much larger scale, compared to other types of nuisance rodents, like mice and rats. Not only can opossums cause an extreme amount of damage to a property, they also pose several health and safety risks.
If you suspect that you have a nocturnal critter wreaking havoc on your property, it very well could be an opossum. Continue reading to learn how to identify opossum activity, including how to get them to go away for good.
Property Damage and Health Risks
You do not want opossums hanging around on your property and getting too comfortable. Outside, possums can destroy lawns and gardens in search of anything edible. They will dig up sod, rip apart lawns, tear out plants, and pillage gardens. They will also cause structural damages to fences, roofing, siding, and more. They are excellent climbers, so they can access and damage roofs, and ultimately attics. Indoors, opossums can cause even more damage. Their droppings will soil everything it comes into contact with, and they will rip down insulation for nesting.
In terms of health and safety, opossums can carry and spread diseases (coccidiosis, tuberculosis, lice, etc.) and parasites, which can be transmitted to both people and pets. They can also bite and scratch, which can cause injuries and infections. In the case of an infestation, their urine and droppings can pose several hygienic complications, and even cause lingering odors and stains in the living quarters of your home. Basically, you do not want opossums accessing your home, inside or out.
Where to Find Them
Opossums are nocturnal, so they will do their dirty work behind your back, but right under your nose. The places they will likely target on your property are places where they can hide, such as log piles, compost heaps, playgrounds, tree houses, sheds, garages, open wall voids, basement spaces, and more. They are usually alone, or accompanied by one other opossum; but even in these small groups, they can cause massive amounts of destruction.
Top 5 indication that you have opossums nearby:
➀ Exterior Siding or Roof Damage – Opossums will climb anything they can, leaving behind scratched siding, torn roofing, missing roof shingles, and similar types of exterior structural damages.
➁ Missing Pet Food – Opossums love dog and cat food. If you have outdoor pet dishes, and notice that the food continues to disappear night after night, it could be a thieving opossum.
➂ Noisy Nights – Opossums make a lot of noise as they use vocalizations to communicate. They make shrieking and hissing sounds, and even make licking or lip smacking sounds to summon their babies.
➃ Scratching Sounds – Opossums also make scratching noises when they are making their nests. As they scurry around ripping apart nesting materials, you will hear scratching and more.
➄ Lingering Odors – Opossums, as mentioned, cover everything with droppings. If you have an opossum infestation, you will likely experience foul, lingering odors in the living areas of your home.
How to Get Rid of Opossums
Opossums are not naturally scared of or intimidated by humans, which makes them more of a challenge to abate. For this reason, and for reasons of safety, it is vital that you contact a licensed and insured Michigan wildlife removal and control company for safe and humane assistance. They use non-lethal methods and best practices for opossum removal, and adhere to all state and federal laws that govern wildlife abatement. Trust them to get rid of opossums, repair the damages they left behind, and implement environmental modifications to prevent their return.