catch of the week: opossum

Catch of the Week: Opossum in Des Moines

November 17, 2017

Opossums are still running loose in the Des Moines metro area. If you plan to keep an eye out for these critters, you should know a little more information about them. Preferred Pest Control has the insights you need to spot these one-of-a-kind creatures.

The poor opossum has one of the worst reputations. They're always getting accused of being a huge rat, but they are actually very unique since they are the only marsupial in America. Others say these critters are dirty and stupid creatures since they eat garbage, but they are actually smarter than you think. Read on to disprove common misconceptions and learn some fun facts about the opossum that might surprise you.

"Playing Opossum"

When a opossum is in danger, it will "play opossum", appearing to be dead to avoid facing off with its opponent. Opossums involuntarily roll over and become very stiff, their eyes will either be closed or stare into space and they will bare their teeth as saliva foams around their mouth. This, along with a pungent smell that is released in the process, has proved to be a traditionally successful defense mechanism, and predators will usually leave them alone since they believe the opossum is already dead. Often times this faint-like behavior can last up to four hours.

Opossum Tails Never Fails

Opossums have prehensile tails, which means they are capable of grasping small objects, such as tree branches. Contrary to popular belief, these critters cannot hang from their tails for extended periods of time and do not sleep hanging upside down form a tree limb. However, they do use their impressive tails to hold grass or other small objects, making their tail almost a fifth appendage.

Thumbs Up for Opossums

The opossum has a unique feature similar to an opposable "thumb". Its special "thumb" is located on its feet instead of its hands, but is still a useful feature when it comes to climbing. Primates and opossums are the only mammals with opposable first toes.

What Makes Opossums Most Unique?

As previously mentioned, opossums are the only marsupials in America. This means after females give birth they carry their babies in a pouch. As they get older, the growing opossums will go in and out of the pouch and sometimes ride on their mother's back when she hunts. Baby opossums are called joeys, just like baby kangaroos who also grow in a pouch. Grown male opossums are known as jacks and females are jills.

Best Pest Control in the Des Moines Metro

Have you spotted a opossum in the area? Our pest technicians offer quality service that will safely take care of any critter invasion. To learn more about opossum control or other pest removal services, schedule an appointment online or call Preferred Pest today at (515) 415-5550!

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