If something has been getting into your garbage, eating your pet’s food and creating strange, scratching noises in the attic, it may not be squirrels or raccoons that are invading your property. It may be opossums coming into your Baton Rouge home.
Opossums are especially skilled at identifying entry points that allow them to get into home to seek food and shelter. Although they prefer living by streams and swamps in the wild, burrowing in brush piles and tree cavities, they can fare quite well in the average south Louisiana home. Besides getting into the attic, opossums also live underneath sheds and decks, and they eat just about everything, from garbage to fruits to grains to pet food.
How to Identify an Opossum
Many people don’t know that there are more than 100 species of opossums, and that they are related to kangaroos! They are white or gray in color and feature a rat-like tail that lacks fur. Although these nuisance pests vary in size, they are generally the size of a household cat, with an average of 6 to 7 pounds for the males and 4 to 5 pounds for the females.
Other notable characterizations include their naked, rounded ears and monkey-looking hands. They leave behind little tracks that feature a bent thumb. Since opossums have a varied diet and flexible stature, they are able to move into attics and underneath structures, living off food scraps and pet food.
Why are Opossums Considered Nuisance Pests?
Fortunately, opossums are not generally dangerous to humans. In fact, if you were to approach one, it would most likely pretend that it was dead. Nevertheless, these Louisiana pests are bothersome in the home, and like any wild animal can be dangerous if cornered. They create mess by going through garbage, eating up pet food and being plain messy. They have large, smelly droppings, and they will harass your pets. Once they get into the home, they can shred insulation and wiring in an effort to create a comfortable spot to sleep during the day.
Opossums have strong odors and are hosts to a variety of parasites and diseases. Interestingly, they rarely attack people and do not carry rabies. Most people notice that they have an opossum problem when they hear scratching and scooting at night, notice that pet food and trash is getting ripped through and when they smell the awful odor of the feces. Generally, opossums don’t burrow in the ground, but they will still live in already-dug burrows. They also climb very well – in trees, on telephone wires and vines – so it’s important to look both high and low.
Opossums Have Gotten into the Home. What’s Next?
If you’ve identified that it’s opossums making all the noise in your home, it’s time to call in the professionals at Dugas Pest Control. We practice wildlife exclusion, which is the humane way to trap and relocate an animal into their natural habitat. Our ultimate goal is to remove the pests from the home without killing them, while sealing up all points of entry. We look for loose vents, tears in screens and holes in the siding.
Once we patch up these points, you won’t have to worry about pest problems in Baton Rouge anymore. If pests do come onto your property, they won’t stay long, as there won’t be any source of food or shelter to pursue.
In addition to sealing up your home’s entry points, we also encourage our clients to be smart about food sources around the home. Since opossums will eat just about anything, you should always keep trash cans tightly shut, remove pet food at night and perhaps even reconsider bird feeders. Opossums are nocturnal, so they will often come out and look for food when humans are sleeping. It’s never a good idea to tackle pest control in Louisiana on your own, so be sure to consult Dugas Pest Control as your first step. We have the necessary tools and trapping methods to safely remove pests from the home while protecting the health and safety of your family.