Are The Opossums In Mississippi Something To Worry About?

Serving Families Throughout Hattiesburg
opossum in a yard

Wildlife pests are not something most urban or suburban Mississippians think about the way they think about other pests like roaches and rodents. You might run across an opossum or raccoon in your trash and think nothing of it once you chase it off. However, wildlife pests are not something you should take lightly. Far from just making a mess of your garbage, wildlife can expose you to disease and introduce secondary infestations to your property. That’s why wildlife, including opossums, should be a part of your Mississippi pest control plan. 

What To Do If There Is An Opossum Outside My House

Opossums are the only marsupial in North America. That means these mammals carry their babies in a pouch on their bellies. Opossums in the United States are about the size of a cat. They’re generally light to dark gray with white faces and long, hairless tails. If you see one, you might mistake it for a rat at first. However, opossums are larger and slower than rats, and they’re also much fluffier. 

If you find an opossum outside your house, don’t panic. Seeing one opossum sniffing around doesn’t mean you have an infestation. These scavengers can travel up to a couple of miles away from their dens to find food. So you might have just forgotten to close your trash can and attracted an opossum that lives far away. But, if you start seeing opossums all the time, you could have one living nearby. That’s when you might need to contact wildlife management services. 

Opossums Love To Eat! 

We mentioned already that opossums are scavengers, and they’re omnivores as well. That means they’ll eat just about anything, from fruit to grains to insects and even meat. Virtually anything edible in your garbage can attract opossums. They also love to take advantage of outdoor foods like dog food bowls and livestock grain stores. All this means if you have any kind of food outside at all (or in an easily accessible indoor area like an open shed or barn), you’re going to attract opossums. 

Opossums Can Be Dangerous

Opossums are dangerous for several reasons. First off, they do have the potential to expose you to disease. They don’t carry rabies because their internal body temperature is too low to allow this virus to take hold. Still, they can transmit similar illnesses as rats and mice, such as tularemia, tuberculosis, and leptospirosis. 

They can also indirectly spread other illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever by introducing fleas and ticks to your property. An opossum infestation can easily lead to a breeding population of these parasites on your property. So if you’re starting to see signs of opossums living on your property, you’ll need to contact wildlife control services.

Total Nuisance Wildlife Control In Mississippi

There are measures you can take on your own to deal with opossums before you wind up with an infestation. These measures include: 

  • Covering all trash cans on your property with animal-proof lids. 
  • Keeping outdoor food stores like pet and livestock foods in locked metal containers. 
  • Sealing off all potential entry points to attics, crawlspaces, garages, and the like. 
  • Eliminating every potential opossum water source you can (think birdbaths and kiddie pools). 

If even your most stringent pest control measures don’t seem to be working, you’ll likely need the wildlife experts here at Havard Pest Control. We’re the premier service for wildlife removal in Mississippi, and our experts can handle anything your opossum infestation can throw at them. So give us a call or visit our contact page to request your wildlife inspection today!