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Wildlife Removal Advice - Do possums hibernate?

Do possums hibernate?

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Like most animals, possums don’t really like the cold weather that much. You can easily sleep outside in the great outdoors when the temperatures are warm and it’s dry outside, but what about when the winter comes and all you're left with is snow, rain, ice and plummeting temperatures?



Many animals will hibernate throughout the winter months, but the possum is not one of them. What it does instead, is change its habits so that it is easier to live through the winter without moving to warmer climates (migration), or finding somewhere nice and cozy to curl up in (hibernation).

Raccoons will often invade human homes and commercial buildings when the weather turns colder, and this is to find somewhere warm and safe to sleep the cold months away. These are generally nocturnal creatures, but during the winter they will wake up throughout the day to hunt for food. It’s simply to dangerous, too cold, and not profitable enough to go out hunting at night. They would waste more energy than they would find in food, and with the plummeting temperatures, they’ll also run the risk of becoming seriously sick, or even die, from hyperthermia.

The temperatures are higher during the day when the winter hits, and that’s why many animals will adapt their habits somewhat. Rather than waking up at night to go out and hunt, possums will go out during the day. They’ll have better luck finding food, and they’ll also have better luck not dying too. Sadly, going out in the cold weather does come with its fair share of cons, even when you’re doing it during the day. Frostbite is a common problem with possums out in the winter, and even more so on their tails. There is no fur here as it is used to cool the animal down when things get too hot.

Human homes do not just offer shelter from the harsh elements, there is also plenty of food … because you live there. These animals are scavengers and they will find food in the weirdest of places. There are plenty of species who will go trawling through your garbage can. The food that you deem not suitable for human consumption is probably the best thing some of these animals are going to get their paws on for a long time. Cat and dog food is often left out too. You're basically setting these creatures up with their own five star meal in your back yard. Bird feeders are also animal attractions, particularly with possums and raccoons, and the same can be said for anything you might have growing in a green house. For the record, raccoons can open door latches. They won’t shut the door behind them either …

Possums do not hibernate during the winter, but they do sleep a lot more, and during the nighttime too, rather than their regular nocturnal routine. It will be during these colder months that possums, and a whole bunch of other wild animals, will try to break into your home. This is not to cause you malice, of course, but just to get away from the cold, and hopefully to find food and water 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.

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