Opossums; The good, The Bad and The Ugly

Opossums or Possums? First, let’s clear up probably the most confusing part of this animal; the name. So, Opossums and Possums are actually two different animals! This oughta finally end the feud you’ve had with many people trying to prove why you think it’s spelled one way or the other. Therefore, Opossums actually is the name used for more than 100 different species of marsupials in North, Central and South America. Technically, Opossums are members of the Didelphidae and Caenolestidae family. Next, what are Possums then? Possums are a varied group of about 67 species of marsupials found in Australia and its nearby Islands (Papua New Guinea and Indonesia). So, Possums are part of the suborder Phalangeriformes across 6 different families. Debate settled!

Opossums
Opossum from North, Central and South America
Opossums
Possum from Australia and surrounding islands

Opossums; The Good

Fear not, these guys are not as scary as they look! Also, Opossums do not dig holes, so don’t blame them for the holes in your yard. Rather, they will seek shelter in holes dug by other animals. In fact, they are quite beneficial and play an essential role in the ecosystem. More known as “Natures Clean Up Crew”.

  • Opossums catch and eat cockroaches, rats, mice, snails and slugs
  • They clean decaying matter as well. Such as, dead animals of all types, cleaning up over ripe fruit and berries, nuts, and grass
  • Also, probably one of the coolest things is they eat even venomous snakes! Yes, crazy! Opossums are immune to bee stings, scorpions, botulism toxin, and snake venom
  • Resistant to Rabies
  • Lastly, most commonly known as being powerful tick eaters. They can eat up to 4,000 ticks in a week!

The Bad And The Ugly?

While there really aren’t many bad things about Opossums, there could be a couple thing to look out for. 

  • In addition to the above, Opossums will eat left out garbage. We weren’t joking about Opossums being natures clean up crew
  • They can carry different diseases such as, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, spotted fever, and leptospirosis. Just keep in mind, wildlife is wildlife.. Meaning most wildlife do not want to be your friend, do not touch wildlife no matter how cute they may be.
  • They do carry lice, ticks and fleas, including cat and dog fleas
  • Yes, if you are one of those people who leave food out for the stray cats or try to feed wildlife in your backyard, you will most definitely be feeding other scavengers too. Of course Opossums, raccoons and many more. So, be aware when leaving free food out and expect all types of guests.
  • In addition to the above, Opossums will eat garbage if it is left out. We weren’t joking about Opossums being natures clean up crew
  • They can carry different diseases such as, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, spotted fever, and leptospirosis. Just keep in mind, wildlife is wildlife.. Meaning most wildlife do not want to be your friend, do not touch wildlife no matter how cute they may be.

Conclusion

Let RH Miller Pest Services take it from here, so you can be worry-free. For over a quarter of a century, RH Miller has been immersed in areas like Central Florida. Specifically, in cities like Longwood. Our experts are committed to getting results for your home or business. As with all of our services, our process starts with a free estimate. Call our offices @ 407-339-7119 to schedule your free, no obligation inspection, today!

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