Virginia Opossum

Basic information

The Virginia opossum lives in a wide-variety of habitats including deciduous forests, open woods, farmland, marshes, swamps , streams , woodpiles , rock piles ,under buildings, in attics, and in abandoned underground burrows dug by other animals. North America's only marsupial (marsupial is an animal with a pouch, like a kangaroo). The opossum has been around for at least 70 million years and is one of Earth's oldest surviving mammals! They are nocturnal animals with very poor eyesight.

Diet: Omnivores; plants , rodents, insects , frogs, spiders, ticks, snakes

Opossums are a benefit to a healthy environment beyond eradicating ticks. They will catch and eat cockroaches, rats, mice and snakes – in addition to consuming dead animals of all types Opossums are not aggressive their open mouth hissing is a bluff and they just pretend to be vicious. They also like to pretend to be dead when scared ,ever heard the term playing possum?

Mating Season: December through October

A single opossum can have up to 3 litters per year with a litter size up to 8 babies but can have litters sizes as high as up to 25 babies.
If you find an injured and/ or baby wildlife do not handle the animal. Contact your local Animal Control or Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Three Fun Facts About Opossums

  • Opossums are the only marsupials found in North America.
  • Playing 'possum? The comatose-like state is an involuntary reaction triggered by stress. 
  • A single possum can consume up to 5000 ticks per season. 

Encountered an Opossum?

If there is an opossum in the yard, don't worry. They aren’t a threat, and more than likely they will be moving on in a short while. The best way to keep them from visiting is to have tight-fitting lids on garbage cans, not to leave any pet food outside overnight and to remember to pick up any fruit that has fallen from trees.

How to keep opossums out

The best way to keep opossums from forming a den under a deck or patio is to make sure they cannot get there in the first place by keeping any holes filled. If you suspect a mother opossum has already moved in, wait until she leaves her den (two hours after dark is generally a safe time). Then, loosely close the opening with netting, straw or other fibrous material. This will ensure that an animal trapped inside can clear the path to escape, but one outside will not disturb the blockage to get back in. Opossum moms take their kids wherever they go, so there is not much chance that any babies will be left behind. But always check for youngsters before closing the opening. If the hole has not been disturbed for two or three nights, it’s safe to assume that no one is inside and the hole can be properly filled. For permanent exclusion we recommend putting in an "L" footer. If you find a Opossum and it looks healthy just let it be and do not disturb.