Opossums are known for causing big problems for San Diego County property owners. From invading attics and crawl spaces to looting garden beds, these critters are often seen more as a nuisance than anything else. As it turns out, they are very interesting animals, and there are several fun pieces of information that you may not know about them. Wildlife Removal Services is your go-to source for opossum control in San Diego and the surrounding area, and today, we’ll review seven little-known facts about these creatures. Let’s get started!
Interesting Facts About Opossums
Fact #1: They Are the Only Marsupial in Canada and the U.S.
Opossums are classified as marsupials because they nurse and carry their babies in pouches and they are the only marsupials north of Mexico. That’s right — there are no other marsupials in Canada or the United States. Newborn opossums, called joeys, are as small as honeybees and they spend the first months of their life tucked safely away inside their mother’s pouches.
Fact #2: Opossums and Possums Are Different Animals
Many people mistakenly think that opossums and possums are interchangeable names that describe the same animal. In truth, the difference is more than just semantics or spelling. They are two different animals and the distinction comes from where you live. In Australia, the brushtail possum looks more like an overgrown squirrel. This critter is very different from the Virginia opossum that Americans are used to seeing.
Fact #3: They Can’t Help Playing Dead
“Playing opossum” is a colloquialism that is used to describe the comatose state that some animals enter into when they are under stress. While they are in this state, they appear to be dead even though they are very much alive. Some may remain in this state for hours with blank stares and their tongues hanging out. Opossums have no control when they go into this trance-like state; it is triggered by stress and is completely involuntary.
Fact #4: Opossums Have Great Memories
Opossums are incredibly smart critters and they have very sharp memories. This is especially true when it comes to remembering various sources of food. In fact, researchers believe that opossums have better memories than other “smart” animals like dogs, cats, and rats. That means they are likely to remember if they found a tasty treat on your property lately, increasing the odds of their return with a few of their closest friends.
Fact #5: They Are Virtually Immune to Rabies and Snake Venom
Nasty snake bites and attacks from rabies-infected animals are no match for these tough marsupials. This is because opossums are immune to almost all types of local snake venom and their low body temperatures provide an unsuitable environment for the rabies virus. Snakes are delicious snacks for opossums and finding an opossum with rabies is highly unlikely.
Fact #6: Opossums Provide Natural Pest Control
While they are known for causing destructive property damage around San Diego County, opossums are actually quite beneficial when it comes to natural pest control. They frequently eat snails, slugs, beetles, and other pests that disrupt home gardens, and they help keep rodent and cockroach populations in check by competing with the pests for food. Because of this, some homeowners actually welcome the presence of opossums on their property.
Fact #7: They Have A Lot of Teeth
If you have ever confronted an opossum before, it is likely that you caught a glimpse of their impressive smile. These animals have 50 teeth in their mouth, allowing them to make quick work of the food they scavenge for. Opossums are generally not considered to be aggressive and attacks on humans are rare, but that doesn’t make their mouths any less intimidating. If you see an opossum on your property, you should begin calling opossum removal companies right away.
Need Opossum Control in San Diego County?
Are you worried that you have opossums living in your attic or crawlspace? You should know that not all opossum removal companies in San Diego County are the same. Here at Wildlife Removal Services, we provide humane animal control services including opossum trapping and eviction, exclusion, restoration and cleanup services. We’d love to speak with you about your wildlife control concerns and provide you with industry-leading wildlife control. Contact us at 619-354-7144 today or request a free quote online now!