Opossums are one of the most common nuisance wildlife calls that we get in the Portland area. They can be easily spotted with their long, white snout and mouth full of menacing looking teeth. Opossums are roughly about the size of a large cat and are opportunistic feeders, scavenging for food at night.
Opossums have a robust immune system, short reproductive cycle and a varied diet, allowing them to survive and thrive in the Portland and Vancouver area. Although they are nomadic in nature, they will create nests in areas that provide an adequate food source. Generally, our customers call us when opossums get access to a crawl space. Once inside, they can do severe amounts of damage and leave a lot of contamination in their wake.
Reproduction happens quickly with opossums with only a 12 to 14 day gestation period. Although capable of large litters,the young must find their way into the marsupial pouch and attach to a teat in order to survive. Many do not survive, but the ones that do are weaned after approximately 125 days.
Whether you see an opossum dead or alive, you should never approach it. They have the unique ability to “play opossum”, which is their involuntary response when frightened (similar to feinting). The animal goes unconscious and will not wake up even with prodding for as long as 40 minutes to 4 hours!
What You Can Do:
Opossums are opportunistic feeders and will generally try and scavenge food out of garbage cans or pet food dishes. Be sure to keep potential food sources covered and inaccessible. Also, take a walk around your home and search for open vent screens in your foundation. If you find something open, there is a possibility that you have given access to an opossum or another nuisance wildlife.
What We Can Do:
We are trained and licensed Wildlife Trappers that have the expertise to safely and humanely remove nuisance wildlife from homes. We are also trained in entry point exclusion, wildlife prevention and crawl space restoration.
If you are experiencing problems with opossums or any other nuisance wildlife issues, please call us to schedule a free inspection.
Photo credit: vastateparksstaff / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)