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Possums might look like quite intimidating creatures, but they’re usually quite docile animals, and good to have around also. Not in your home, of course, because they’re wild animals and carry / spread disease, but out there - in the wild - they are actually very good creatures for the environment. Their body temperature is much lower than most other mammals, and this makes it difficult for certain diseases to thrive. Rabies, for example, is a concern for most mammals, but possums have shown to rarely / never carry the virus, or pass it on to humans or other animals.
Possums are often blamed for digging holes in the garden, and although they are keen diggers, they are not the usual culprits when you come across lawn or garden holes. They might have a little dig for the insects they enjoy eating - slugs, snails, worms, beetles, cockroaches, etc., but these won’t be deep holes. If you do find deep holes, they are likely caused by an entirely different animal.
Possums DO NOT dig dens or burrows underground. They do live in them though. They wait for another animal to abandon their home before moving right on in. They actually prefer to live in the trees because it is safer up there. In more residential areas, they will set up home in attics because of the up-high, tree resemblance. They have also been known to nest in garages and other outbuildings, as well as chimneys and sheds. They can create quite a lot of destruction in a short space of time too, including defecating all over the place. This is not only smelly, unsightly, and quite frankly, disgusting, it can also spread disease. Some of these diseases can affect you, your family, and even your household pets.
We can answer: Do possums hiss?
Speaking of your household pets, although possums are quite docile creatures, well known for ‘playing dead’, they will attack if they are cornered or feel threatened, particularly if the playing dead action hasn’t worked. You could face expensive vet bills as a result of a pet-wild animal interaction, and that’s before you think about other types of destruction - culling of chickens and their eggs, ruining ductwork and insulation, pulling apart bird feeders and scaring off the birds you're trying to attract, knocking over your garbage can and making a mess of your front or back garden … In short, trying to live with these creatures can be a nightmare.
Find out How To Get Rid Of Opossums Without Killing Them
Despite probably not being the culprit behind the holes in your lawn, you still don’t want these critters to get too close. You should make sure that your home is wild animal proof, and also that you are not attracting unwanted attention by having a messy yard with food left lying around all over the place. It takes just a few modifications t ensure your home is well protected, and it will be worth it. Wild animal invaders are usually hard work to get rid of, and that’s before you think about the stress, cost of removal, and the cost of repair work too.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does opossum removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of opossums - my main opossum removal info guide.
Example opossum trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Opossum job blog - learn from great examples of opossum jobs I've done.