How To Keep Opossums Out Of Your Louisiana Home

Serving Families Throughout Hattiesburg
an opossum walking on a stone driveway

There are pests that you expect to find inside your Louisiana home, and then there are those that catch you off guard. Opossums are the type that you don’t expect. These strange-looking marsupials are frightening to observe and regular troublemakers around area properties. If you have noticed these pests around your yard or are looking for a reliable way to keep them away, here are some things you should know.

Are Opossums Dangerous?

Despite their scary appearance and odd behaviors, opossums are not aggressive creatures. Even their open-mouthed defensive hissing is no more than a ruse to scare off potential predators. If their hissing doesn't scare offenders away, these furry creatures will fall over and act like they are dead. This is where the saying "playing possum" comes from. In all honesty, if they weren't such a problem around properties, they would be a pleasant sight to see around neighborhoods.

Although opossums will not attack you, they may be carrying diseases and disease-carrying pests like fleas and ticks onto properties. (These small blood-feeding bugs are known to carry and spread diseases.) Some common diseases you might contract from having opossums on your property are leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, tularemia, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and murine typhus.

Do Opossums Help At All?

Something most people do not know about opossums is that they feed on ticks by the bucketful. It is not uncommon for a single opossum to consume 5,000 ticks in a single season. This almost makes them beneficial creatures. Unfortunately, their tick eating is overshadowed by the threat they pose and the other problems they cause.

Some Problems Opossums Cause

Opossums are not just dangerous, they are also destructive. When these pests seek shelter inside homes during the fall and winter months, they cause damage by chewing through wood and drywall and gnawing on things like electrical wires and pipes. These pests may also rip up insulation, fabrics, and books to build their nests. If your home is inaccessible to opossums, they may choose to find shelter in your outbuildings, where they will cause similar problems.

Strategies To Keep Opossums Off Your Property

There are many strategies that help in deterring opossums from settling on your property. Here are some of the best tips and tricks we recommend you use.

  • Address gaps and cracks in your home's exterior foundation by sealing them off using a caulking gun.
  • Make sure your outbuildings like sheds and garages are properly secured.
  • Invest in tight-fitting lids for outdoor trash cans.
  • Avoid feeding your pets outdoors or clean out their bowls after every meal.
  • Pick up vegetables, fruits, and other food sources that drop into your yard.
  • Install a fence around your yard and garden.
  • Remove brush piles, sticks, and leaves from your property.
  • Store building materials and other clutter away from your home's exterior.
  • Make sure to close windows and doors at night and secure pet doors.

When To Get A Professional Involved

One good thing about opossums is that they don't stay in one area for very long. That said, it is not uncommon for these pests to frequent a home multiple times in a season. If you regularly see these pests around your yard or suspect that they have invaded your home or one of your outbuildings, you need professional help. At Havard Pest Control, we offer quick and effective wildlife control services to remove opossums from properties and keep these pests away in the future.

Contact us today if you have any questions about these pests, and find a time to have your Louisiana home serviced.