Opossum vs Possum – Got a Problem?

Opossums are a complicated nuisance animal. They are dangerous and should not be allowed around the home, and yet they do provide certain services when left to their own devices in wilder areas.

Opossum vs Possum

Which is correct, and does it matter? The correct term for the North American animal is opossum and it matters somewhat, because possum refers to around 70 species of marsupials found in Australia and New Guinea.

Now, if you call us up and need help figuring out how to get rid of an opossum, we’ll know what you’re talking about if you say, “possum” instead. It’s good to know, but the animals opossums share most of their name with aren’t really found in North America outside of zoos.

Do Opossums Carry Rabies?

Any mammal can get rabies, but it’s nearly impossible for opossums to contract or spread the disease. This is due to their low body temperature, which hovers between 94 an 97 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s too hostile an environment for the rabies virus to effectively spread in the body, making opossum highly resistant to rabies.

Opossums also eat ticks, meaning they can eliminate the risk of tick-borne diseases in certain areas. Opossums do, however, carry fleas. Fleas carry their own diseases and are very effective in spreading them. In addition to this, opossums can become dangerous and cause damage – especially to children and pets – if they feel cornered or they feel their own young are threatened. They are not an animal to be trifled with. If an opossum is playing dead, leave them be and call a Problem Animal Control service near you like Ransford. The comatose state opossums put themselves in are defensive, but don’t leave the animal totally unresponsive.

How to Get Rid of an Opossum?

Opossums are best handled with experience and strategy. Trapping the animal requires inspection of a property so that we can best identify its habits and baiting a trap in the most ideal location. Calling a Problem Animal Control service such as Ransford allows us to handle the problem for you with a minimum of risk both to yourself and the animal.

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