Catch of the Week: Opossum

Catch of the Week: Opossum

Preferred Pest's latest catch: Opossum

Our Catch of the Week typically reveals an interesting encounter that we've had lately in the Des Moines area. This week, however, we're featuring a fan's photo that shows a mother opossum snatching food from their backyard. Although Preferred Pest Control wasn't on the scene, we can tell you more about opossums and how we would typically handle situations like this one.

Opossum Behavior and Unique Traits

These critters usually have black to gray fur, a long, hairless tail and are about the size of a cat, although they are usually mistaken for a very big rat. Opossums are scavengers that will hunt mice, birds, insects, worms and other little mammals. Besides consuming small prey, they'll typically eat grass, nuts, fruit and will raid garbage cans, dumpsters and other containers they can get into as well. For this reason, Preferred Pest recommends keeping all trash and other storage units around your house closed so critters don't claim them as their home.

Opossums are the only marsupials found in the United States. This means they have a pouch that carries their young after birth, just like the mother opossum featured in this week's photo! Female opossums can give birth to as many as 20 tiny babies that immediately crawl into her pouch and stay there until further development. As they get older, the baby opossums will go in and out of the mother's pouch and will sometimes ride on her back as she searches for food.

Where to Find Opossums Around Your Home

Opossums will typically nest within an established structure that's easy for them to claim as their own. Common spots include logs, garages, trash cans, abandoned nests, trees, sheds, etc. It's important to take away any potential food source to keep them away. Don't leave pet food out in the open, and if you have fruit trees, pick up fallen fruits regularly. By keeping your yard clean and free of debris or food that these creatures could find, you can prevent a opossum problem.

Preferred Pest Opossum Removal

When Preferred Pest Control gets a call for opossum removal, we handle the situation in a safe and harmless manner. We typically set traps with foods and scents that will attract the opossum. Once the critter is captured, our certified technicians will humanely relocate the entire opossum family to a wildlife preserve. After removal, Preferred Pest will seal up any holes or potential entries to the exterior of a house.

Pest Control for the Des Moines Area

If the issue this Des Moines area homeowner experienced sounds familiar, Preferred Pest can take care of it. Our pest technicians offer quality service that will safely take care of any home invasion. To learn more about opossum control or other pest removal services, call Preferred Pest today at (515) 276-7277 or schedule an appointment online!

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