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How Bad Is It To Have Opossums Around My Fort Myers House?

November 27, 2022

When most people think about Florida and animals, the first animal that comes to mind is the alligator. However, alligators are not the only animal species roaming our hot, palm-tree-covered state. We have black bears, coyotes, badgers, beavers, geckos, scorpions, and more. While you may not encounter a black bear, you are likely to have a visit from opossums in Fort Myers. Having these rat-like creatures in your yard can be a jarring experience. If you have tried to scare the opossum away, it may have frightened you as it started to hiss and growl. In addition to their appearance, these rodents stink! 

If you have opossums invading your property, you need the Fort Myers pest control team from Stat Pest Control. When you call, we arrive to solve your pest problems. We are the fastest-growing pest control company in Southwest Florida because we treat our customers like family.  

What Are Opossums?

Did you know that opossums are related to kangaroos? Opossums are marsupials, like kangaroos, and are the only marsupial in North America. What is a marsupial? The word "marsupial" is from the Latin word for "pouch" and refers to the pouch females have on the stomach where they carry the young. When an opossum is born, the mother transfers it to the pocket where it continues to develop. Incidentally, there is a difference between an opossum and a possum. Possums live in Australia, where they climb trees, whereas opossums do not live in Australia. 

Although opossums may have black, white, or brown course fur, most opossums have grey fur. Opossums are not rodents but are animals with long-slender muzzles ending in a pink nose; they have black eyes, furless bluish-black ears, short legs with pink to white toes, and a long tail. An adult opossum may be up to three feet in total length (tail to head), weighing four to 15 pounds. 

Opossums in Fort Myers are solitary, nocturnal wildlife that requires nuisance wildlife removal. They do not work or live with other opossums and forage for food at night. Opossums are excellent swimmers. Unlike most wild animals, opossums have opposable rear thumbs, which along with their long tails, enable them to climb trees.  

Are Opossums Dangerous?

Opossum control is necessary because opossums can carry disease and transmit infections to humans and other animals. One way opossums spread disease-causing pathogens is by contaminating surfaces via urine and feces. Opossums spread leptospirosis, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis. Other diseases, like coccidiosis and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), affect people and animals. 

Like other furry creatures, opossums carry fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Ticks spread Lyme disease, babesiosis, Powassan virus, tularemia, Heartland virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas carry bubonic plague, murine typhus, tungiasis, bartonellosis, and tapeworm. Opossum control in Fort Myers is necessary because opossums transport dog and cat fleas.

When an opossum feels threatened, it instinctively and involuntarily plays dead. Before it falls over as if dead, the opossum will hiss and growl, then fall over as if dead with foam coming out of its mouth. This combination of hiss, growling, and foam causes many to think opossums carry rabies. However, the rabies virus cannot survive with the opossum's cool body temperature; thus, rabies is rare with opossums. 

What Attracts Opossums To My Yard?

Opossums are omnivorous, which means they will eat just about anything! Because of their non-selective eating habits, the following attracts them to your Fort Myers yard:

  • Open garbage cans
  • Exposed compost piles
  • Accessible bird feeders
  • Exposed pet food dishes
  • Rotting fruit from fruit trees
  • Piles of yard debris like leaves, wood, and brush
  • Unprotected gardens
  • Overgrown hedges
  • Dead trees

Opossums invade Fort Myer's properties for food and shelter. Maintaining a clean and sanitary lawn will help with opossum control. 

What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of Opossums Around My Home?

To help keep opossums away, here are a few pest control methods:

  • Remove pet food and water bowls from the yard at night
  • Locate bird feeders on skinny high poles to make them inaccessible
  • Trim shrubs
  • Remove dead tree stumps, leaves, and wood piles
  • Close and latch outdoor garbage cans
  • Close and latch compost piles
  • Pick up rotting fruit off the ground daily

The best way to get rid of opossums in Fort Myers is to use our technicians from Stat Pest Control. Our trained technicians will identify attracts, hot spots, and entry points when we inspect your property. We will develop a strategic plan utilizing various traps and bait boxes. Not only will we remove the opossums, but we will use exclusion techniques to close entry points to prevent a future invasion. Contact us today, and we will be at your location stat!