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A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 4, 04 at 12:36

I trapped a possum last night, it was living under my lower decks. Sooo what is wrong with letting a cute little possum live under your deck, we asked ourselves that a summer or two ago. Now we have a FAMILY of possums living there. We trapped a very large one a couple of weeks ago and I thought that would scare it off, dumb me. Since then we have caught two half grown ones and have taken them out in the country near water and woods. Another has been hit by a car in front of our house. That makes 3 younger ones, now how many to go....4, 5 or 6 ??????

Next spring I will secure the area below the decks. I hope to have them all caught by then.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

My dog caught one on New Year's night and dumped on the porch step. Next morning, he ran out to see his prize - but it was gone. The look on his face was priceless! He traced it all the way to the fence, which he can't get through. The dog is getting old and the possum outsmarted him - first one ever to do that.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

newjerseytea, aren't animals a hoot!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

If you leave wild animals alone on your property, in areas with no predators, you will wind up with a population explosion. A few years ago my neighbors and I had 13 woodchucks on less than an acre--a mama had two litters, two years in a row, and there was so much food around she didn't make any of them leave. We had to hire someone to trap them--the only legal method around here. This is an old, built-up suburb with almost no open space left.

The answer is predators--foxes and coyotes and hawks and owls. The way to get them is to provide cover--hedgerows and railroad rights-of-way and tall grass--in our overgroomed suburbs.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I live in a city of 300,000 people, but on the last residential street. It's an area full of houses and fences. Large preditors don't come this close to the city. I don't have food out for them, no pet dishes outside, but I do have two very low decks that makes good shelter for them. I don't know where they are getting their food.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

They eat rats and other vermin.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

John that is a good reason for keeping them, but there are just to many of them.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I have had possums visiting my yard for a number of years, but I haven't had a population explosion of possums. But then I don't have any place in my yard for them to make a nest or a den. Last night I had a critter eating birdseed on my deck. I expected to see a possum or racoon when I turned on the porchlight, but instead I saw a gray fox eating sunflower seed.

Richard


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

We had a racoon on our upper deck one night and he was a big rascal. First I have seen here and first I have seen up close. I put a photo of my lower decks both 12 X 20 so large enough for lots of possums. If I block the area's the possums dig to get in and out, they just dig a new hole.

Here is a link that might be useful: Possum's Home


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums! There have been possums going across the fence of our yard, not a big deal, but one evening I let the dog out (mostly black lab) thinking it was a cat and would run. Dog killed possum. :( We thought he killed one last fall but it was faking it or crawled off to die and we never found it.
The problem now is - I have bird feeders and one was knocked on the ground!!! Can possums do that, climb poles?? I have a very small yard, living in Silicon Valley but close to the hills.
Thanks...
Kathy


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 11, 04 at 14:47

They climb a 6ft board fence to get in our yard


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by John_D USDA 8b WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 12, 04 at 21:26

I had a little one last night I hadn't seen before: quite small, almost black, and very feisty (he eased a couple of skunks off the deck).


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I have one living under my porch right now. He eats the scattered bird seed from the ground and I throw a banana under the porch from time to time. Everything I've read says they are solitary animals and prefer to live alone, unless it's a mother with her baby. But the baby doesn't stick around long, unless it's the second baby and for some reason the second baby stays around longer with the mom. I've seen them walk on fences and cables, but nevera any destruction. I'm rahter fond of them.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Opossums are wonderful and fascinating animals. I never understand people who feel the need to trap them and remove them from their property. (And I do not mean to offend or pass judgement on the first poster of this thread, who perhaps had an unusual situation. Although I would submit that by their nature, opossums are solitary except when raising their young, so the babies do go their separate ways when they are old enough.)

Opossums are very docile and shy animals who try to avoid an encounter of the human kind. They are highly intelligent (ranked higher than dogs, from what I've read), and due to their low body temperature, are very resistant to diseases like rabies. They eat what most people regard as garden pests: mice, snails, cockroaches. They don't cause digging or gnawing damage like burrowing animals do. And most amazing of all, they are our only native North American marsupial (pouched) animal, and one of our most ancient creatures. They've been proven to have lived here as far back as the dinosaur age, 70 million years ago.

I can't help but have great respect for an animal with such survival skills, and with the ability to live so close to humans and to even expand its range, given what havoc humans have caused to the natural environment. They're welcome in my yard, along with the plentiful raccoons, skunks and squirrels that we have here!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Just my sentiments!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 14, 04 at 11:44

Acorn, don't worry I like discussions and sharing information, I don't get offended by someone who has a different opinion. We have had possums here for 25 years, but 5 + the very large one that I released back into my yard, before I realised how many there were, that's way to many. They were all adults. They don't seem very shy here, unless you call coming out only at night..shy. Several years ago my neighbor saw one crossing our street with 8 or 9 babies clinging to her. My husband and I found them fascinating and took several pictures when we first starting seeing them. Before this, the most we have seen was an adult and a young one. something chewed up my wooden squirrel feeder because he didn't know how to get into it. For a squirrel to do this kind of damage he would have to have a hammer and a chisel.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Well, we decided to bring the bird feeders in every night for awhile, perhaps discourage the possums.

We actually had a bobcat in our yard about 3 years ago! Dog woke us up about 4 a.m. (inside) barking his head off.

It just amazes me the wildlife that finds our tiny back yard.

I didn't see anywhere that possums eat sunflower seeds. Maybe they were finding something else (rats?) that were eating the seeds????

I've set my son to the task of cleaning up better under the feeders.

Kathy


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Jonesy - I'd bet raccoons were your culprits, not possums. The raccoons around here can bend metal shepherd's crooks to the ground to get at feeders! You'd think I had bears from the damage the ringtailed buggers do.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Yup. Those 'coons are pretty smart. Pretty soon they're going to learn how to drive.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

opossums eat rats??
I tend to think of rats as being a bit faster than a possum, but I guess anything goes.
Animals can have such fascinating diets, like squirrels eating nestlings, DEER eating nestlings, and that weird freak-o in Germany a few months ago...oh nevermind that.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums are the scavengers of the animal world and pretty handy to have around to clean up the "leftovers". They are not hunters but will not turn down a nest of baby birds if they come across them. They have been around so long because they are very adaptable in their diets and den sites. I have found they do almost no damage and would also bet money on raccoons. I love them too but their hands can do anything a human's can. And they are very smart little critters. Possums seem to be constantly on the move and don't necessarily have a permanent den site. If you block off any access to the area under your deck (chicken wire works well, is cheap and can be removed when they move on) and keep food away from them for a while, I would be almost certain they will find another yard to inhabit. Please don't use lethal means. They can be live trapped and relocated easily since they do adapt so well to new surroundings.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums definitely eat sunflower seed, at least the ones that visit my yard do.

Richard


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 20, 04 at 10:03

I don't think racoons are my problem, I have only seen one in my back yard in the 20 years I have lived here. But the young squirrels will chew up their own feeder because some of them can't figure out how to lift the lid.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

We saw a hugh one in our yard yesterday and were going to set out our live trap to relocate it, but with what we see here it looks like we'll just welcome it to the neighborhood.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

njbell, good for you!! Bet you will hardly ever see it or realize it is around. They are pretty darn good neighbors (especially compared to some human ones) and quietly sleep during the daytime. Just come out at night to peacefully search for some food and water, don't dig holes like a dog or even a squirrel might and have co-existed in many areas where folks don't even know they are living.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

My kitty brought me a present last night - left on the back deck. Her first present to me (at 14 years of age)!! A young possum that was about the size of your open hand. She was so proud (as I was). I let her in for a treat, but I couldn't show my concern for the critter in front of her - it was so cute and not really hurt - just playing possum! While she was eating, I saw it leave the deck. She looked for it again this morning, smelling along the deck until it dropped off. She lost the scent, but her pride did not waver. I looked for it, but could not find it. I've never thought possums were a nuisance (like other critters).


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 22, 04 at 16:12

They really aren't when you have only one. We have watched them in our yard for years....but 5 is a bit to much for a yard as small as mine. It's one of the smallest home lots I have seen.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

You might want to reconsider trapping and relocating your opossums. Relocation of wildlife is for all practical purposes a death sentence. Raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, chipmunks, and even woodchucks are territorial. Most will starve to death when relocated even with an ample food supply because the "locals" will generally have no part in allowing a new comer to invade their territory.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Assoc of State Public Health Veterinarians and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists oppose relocation of mammals because of the risks of disease transmission among wild mammals (especially raccoons, skunks, foxes, and deer).

Trapping and relocating really isnt a great idea unless of course it is one's intent to kill it. A lot of stress is placed on the animal while it is being handled and transported. We are dealing with wild animals not our personal cats being placed in a carrier for a visit to their vets. All relocated animals have difficulty adapting to new locations which is the fundamental reason survival rates are considerably lower than what one would think. Most of the studies out there indicate the small percentage of relocated animals that do survive very rarely stay at the release location.


Here is a link that might be useful: Decent link addressing some issues of relocation


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 23, 04 at 12:59

I am aware of that, but I am not going to have 5 opossums living under my decks. I now have access to the deck blocked, so no more problem.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I rehab opossums. Possums are one of the few mammals that adapt well to re-location. They are nomads, seldom staying long in one place. Of course, if they have a good source of food, they will stay around longer. But possums do adapt well to being re-located. Raccoons do not adapt well to it at all.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Awww..... Marilyn! Beautiful photo. I love opossums no matter how much damage they do. What a beautiful baby with such a well rounded tummy! You must be taking good care of that little guy.

I know a study was conducted around here on raccoons and they found that only 1 in 20 was capable of surviving after relocation. Skunks and fox were right up there with raccoons but I don't know anything about deer. I was told opossums were no where near as problematic to relocate however only 1 in 3 or 4 of them was making it. Has this been your experience out in Texas where the winters are considerably milder than here in the midwest or is your survival rate after relocation higher. I suppose success of relocation depends a lot on the area into which they are released.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

i stumbled across your site and the subject of opossum caught my eye. being my favorite subject i couldnt pass up the chance to get in on this conversation. i am a wildlife rehabber in alabama dealing with "high risk" mammals; with the exclusion of the virginia opossum (not high risk); my specialty. i hope to leave you with a better understanding of this special creature. as mentioned, this is north americas only marsupial and is in no way related to the rodent; 1 of approx. 65 species of possums in australia, new zealand, etc and date back to the age of dinosaurs. being a gardening forum, i understand the concerns of wildlife/strays destroy lawn and gardens. i want to assure you that the opossum is not only a non-threatening creature, but most beneficial. without the opossum, we would be overrun by bugs, rodents, disease caused by many creatures that litter our roads. these little wonders have earned the name of "little sanitation workers". unlike skunk, raccoon, etc- they don't dig up your yard and garden. they dont raid your veggies like the cottontails. actually they prefer the rotten fruits/veggies that drop to the ground drawing the harmful insects you work hard to prevent. they eat and are immune to black widow, brown recluses, rattlesnakes, etc. they are non-aggressive; the nasty display you witness is mostly bluff and their only line of defense (along w/ playing possum). this is not to say that if you approached one and stuck your hand in his face that he wouldn't bite; he probably would, but i'm guessing you would too. these animals are not destructive to property, pets, etc. THEY HAVE FAR LESS disease than other wildlife (including birds), and or stray unvaccinated cats/dogs (both of which cause more injuries/illness).they do not contract distemper, parvo,and rabies is EXTREMELY rare. dispite popular belief; they are very clean, are not stupid (i myself have found them smarter than dogs in many areas). they are not social animals (like raccoons and squirrels- that drag the whole family along), actually they are solitary. after the young are grown and separate from the mother around 3 mths,they usually breed twice a year around feb/march again around july/aug and give birth after a 13 day gestation period. they spend the remainder of their short lives along; with the exception of breeding/raising young. their average life span is 1-1.5 yrs. a possum over 1 yr is extremely lucky. they are opportunistic eaters- will eat everything from veg/fruit/ carion/ insects and pet food that has been left out. as many of us are animal lovers we try to help them out by offering meals when possible. please know that a diet of cat/dog food is ok is SMALL quantities but is very unhealthy in large doses. for 1; it makes them fat. a fat opossum is a dead opossum. they need a nutritious variety of fruits/veg and far less meat than you might think. if you are having problems w/ possums hanging around, first consider if you are providing a nice snuggly bed for him or free meals. they generally dont stay in one place more than several days so if you remove these things, they will move on. possums love good, free food, and a snuggly place to sleep. if its dark and tight fitting it's perfect for possum. possum raise their young in a pouch (female) and can have up to 13 (avg 3-8 in my home). for this reason females hit by cars, etc can have living babies in her pouch. my house is full of survivors. please take the time to find help; they are worth it. any baby found alone under 7-10" w/o tail is too young to take care of itself. they are good climbers due to their prehensile tail and the opossable thumb on the back feet. contrary to popular belief- they DO NOT hang by their tails; an adult is too heavy to suport the weight. they however do use their tail as an additional hand for extra support. yes they can have an almost black coat, but that is the exception to the gray/white coloring.
i would look more at rats for climbing feeder poles. raccoons are also mischieveous enough to raid the feeders and their nimble hands make them little bandits. possums arent going to go to that much effort and will go for the easy food on the ground. a possum desperate enough to climb a pole for birdseed is probably too sick to get up there to begin with. as for cat owners that are proud of their cats for hunting the wildlife- cats kill more wildlife every year that i could possibly count. please be aware that anything (animal) caught by a cat must have antibiotics due to the harmful bacteria in its mouth. animals such as birds and cottontails, dont even have to have a bite on them- without treatment they will die. fine for mouse control, but i wouldnt be proud past that. a bell on the collar could save many a life, and reduce my calls greatly. i agree about the relocation of wildlife stated earlier- if it's not necessary- it shouldnt be done. many animals are territorial and wont survive being dumped into another area. as for the person with the chewed up wooden squirrel feeder- blame the squirrels; they are rodents and i've rehabbed them and well as watching the greedy guys in the yard, do exactly what you described. if they cant figure out how to open it- they chew it open; and if you dont keep up with the seed demand- alabama squirrels can be down right nasty if you dont keep the feeders full. i would also like to say i appreciate the ones that welcome the skunks, raccoon, and the wonderful possums to their yards. (the 3 being my largest call volume). you have a gift, enjoy them. thank you. possumsfirst in alabama


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

We have a possum come around most nights digging for grubs and earthworms in the leaf mulch.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums that appear around here are usuall adults but for the past three nights I have had a small little Possum coming by for snacks by the patio near my kitchen door. I put leafover Thanksgiving Turkey bones out there and the little guy has been having a feast. He/She waits until its really dark and if I make any noise by my backdoor it runs away behind the tall perrenials in the garden. Its a very timid one. It seems late to me to see such a little guy as winter is almost upon us and its alone with no mother or siblings. Cute little one though!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

we used to have a regular visitor in town. i believe this possum was a rarity. it was huge! i am not exagerating when i say it was the size of a medium to large racoon. i have not seen it now for 2-3 years, but when it came it came on schedule. you could set your clock by it.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Rita: Hope you don't end up with more than possums putting meat out there!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Last night I saw a baby possum, a different one. We have another one that's been coming around with really neat markings, black and white. This one is a little fatter, fluffier and grey. I'm so surprised they can look so different, almost like a different animal.

Well, this new one just sat on top of the chain link fence for such a long time. I think it was waiting for the raccoons to pass through. It didn't move at all when the raccoons were there. When they left it stretched a little but stayed on the fence. I went out and talked to it for awhile, like I did the other one. Told it to watch all around all the time, be real careful and stay hidden, only come out when it has to and try to stay in this yard and the one next to it as it will be safe here.

I know some may think it silly, but somehow I think they understand. I'm so glad to see them. Possums have really had a hard time surviving around here. Wasn't that long ago a neighbor said one got run over by a car in front of their house and another was deliberately killed by someone in their yard. A few months ago, I remember seeing a little baby one walk by with a trickle of blood coming from his head. The pit bull across the street attacks them and kills them in his yard. There used to be alot of them around here once. I hope they can make a comeback.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

One more, a different one. Just saw him. So there's 3 babies. I'm so excited. This one's smaller than the other two and it looks like his fur is still wet from the womb. He's adorable! I hope he makes it.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I'm curious: What happens when there are "too many possums" on your property? I've perused this thread and have not read about the problem, other than their presence.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Hello? *tap, tap* Hello?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums are nomads....they are on the move most of their lives...they go where there is food and shelter. If they have food and shelter, they stay. The possum in the picture...asleep in my hand, was released in July and up until about 3 or 4 weeks ago, came home several times a week. I don't know if she still comes to the house, but I haven't seen her, however, I leave a pan of dry cat food by the back door and some cut up fruit for her, just in case. The fruit is always gone, but another possum or one of the raccoons could be getting it.

As for how many possums are too many....I guess it depends where you live. I live out in the country on a bayou on 50 acres surrounded by several hundred acres of vacant land. The shelter contacts me a couple of times a week, and I bring home possums. Those that can be released are and those that need to stay awhile, stay until they can be released. The rehabbers get donated dog and cat food....they furnish several hundred pounds of it to me a month. I put out about 20 lb. of food a night. I encourage them to stay here....as many that want to stay. I go out at night and often see possums that I raised this summer that are still here. They aren't bothering anything...they can stay as long as they want. Last night I got in 4 possums. Two were released. One is recovering from an attack by a dog and one is a baby, so those two will stay until they are able to go. The baby will go ahead and spend the winter. A lady who used to raise parrots donated many large cages to our group. I was able to get 5 truck loads of cages and a nice chain link dog run. So, I now have plenty of space for them. Right now I have one unreleasable
female and 5 others...young ones, but almost ready to go, and the two that came in last night.

Last week I went for a walk in the woods and I saw a dead cedar tree that was hollow at the base. I looked in and saw
Carmen...one of the little possums I released a few weeks ago. I was very happy that she has found such a good den.

Here is a picture of Amanda, one of the possums I raised last year but kept over winter. She moved into a hollow tree in my yard.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Thank you for your response.

So far, I don't know about the "problems" caused by "too many" possums.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Please be more specific about what the problem is. If you have too many possums, it would mean there is food and shelter around for them to hang out there. Are they coming in to your garage and getting into cat food? What are they doing that is causing you to think there are too many?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

A couple of weeks ago when I let my dog out in the morning he ran like he was really after something. I went right out to see what it was & by the fence was a huge dead [I thought] possum, a beautiful animal that looked very healthy , no signs of injury.
I didn't touch it but brought my dog back in & asked my son if he'd go out & help me do something with it.
Well as you might guess when we went back out about 5 minutes later there was no possum to be found.
I've always read about them 'playing possum' but this was the first time I'd been fooled by one & I was happy to know the possum was OK.
I have seen possums in my yard before over the years but not an average of even once a year. Could be they visit more often than I know about during the night to eat seed the birds drop on the ground from the birdfeeders?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Yes. They may pass through your yard at night...looking for scraps, or slugs, snails, insects and bugs if you have any outside lights that attract them. When confronted they will usually "play possum". They will grimace...fall on their side, drool, exude a greenish stinky fluid from their anal glands. For all the world, they appear dead...and that is the plan. When they are left alone for a few minutes, they will trot off somewhere.

Possums have 50 razor sharp teeth, but they will very seldom
bite. I have handled a couple of hundred adult possums over the last 3 years, and I have never been bitten by one. When they come in, they are in individual carriers and I check them out for any wounds, their over all condition, whether or not they have fleas or need any extra attention. So, I run my hands over their bodies. I don't usually have any problems...they don't have to be restrained. Then they get a big meal and water, and at dusk I open the crate and they are free to go.


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RE: A possum here, possum there, possums everywhere

When I was growing up in the Rio Grande Valley my Mom found a baby possum on the sidewalk one day, no adult possums in sight so she brought it in & fed it with a little doll bottle. I have no idea if she knew what was best to feed it but it did just fine. My little sister quickly adopted it & it was her playmate, she had more fun with that baby possum, dolls were neglected to play with her little possum. About a month & a half later she had it outside playing with it & it got away from her & that was the last time she ever saw it. Hopefully it was far enough along by then to make it on it's own. My sister still remembers that baby & how much she loved it & how she cried when it got away... :-)


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

A number of years ago a woman called our bird hospital with a problem. She said she'd seen a raccoon on her property. This area was far enough from the city to be considered "country," but close enough for city folk to buy homes to live in the "country."

I told her she must safely contain her garbage, bungee-tie it securely, and keep it in the garage. That way it won't be raided by raccoons.

"Oh, the raccoon wasn't in the garbage," she said.

"So what's the problem?" I asked.

"I saw it on my property."

"Did it do anything?" I asked.

"No, I just saw it. How do I get rid of it?"

I don't remember how I replied.

Another woman called to complain about the birds. "They sing in the morning. What can I do?"

"Move back to Newark, where there are no birds," was my answer.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Marilyn is correct... a possum's mouth is crammed with incredibly sharp teeth! I also agree that 99% of the ones you will encounter are either going to scurry for cover or totally keel over and play dead, no matter what you do to revive them. BUT! Having said that, I want to remind everyone that the other 1% seemingly missed out on Etiquette 101 and DO BITE. We have large brushpiles within 100 feet of our dwelling and there are constantly possums checking to see what the compost pile has to offer. Our dog does not appreciate their snuffling around that close to his house so I am always relocating possums to the trees. I heard the dog whining on the step one night and was not surprised with the snarling grimacing possum I saw in my flashlight beam. This is the usual reaction but it's always a precursor to "death" or flight. I sent the dog to his house and stepped toward the possum....and it politely lunged forward and clamped onto my foot. Ruined a completely new pair of rubber boots! I could not have been more surprised! I took a limb and herded the still snarling drooling thing to the nearest climbable tree and went to the house to see how things were with my foot. Blood evrywhere, and two neat deep punctures. Oddly enough, I bathed it once or twice with peroxide but it never so much as swelled up. I had thoughts of sepsis, gangrene, etc. Nothing. I've had worse reactions over chigger bites!

In short, don't worry about getting your leg chewed off, they rarely bite. But never say never.....


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

One good look at a possum's teeth and you won't get near it, regardless of their rep for being gentle. One that I trapped was as big as any racoon I have seen, bigger than most.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Elly, most of the possums I get come in via the animal shelter, people see them and trap them. I release them here with food...they call it a soft release. We provide food and shelter and they can stay or go.

Any wild animal can and will bite. I didn't mean to imply that they won't. I just have never been bitten by any of the adult possums that I have handled, but I try to keep them calm and handle them as little and quickly as possible. I got in 4 more last night. Fortunately, they were all able to be released.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I still don't understand the problem.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Me neither, Elly.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

We got a little Wally Watt shed and there was no floor so we built one and raised the floor up off the ground about big enough for a little possum to hide under there or whatever needed to hide from its' predator. I have seen baby possums coming out from under there at night. One night a racoon was sticking his nose under there snarling and growling and baby possum was crying like a guinea pig but was safe.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I have a possum that gets into the "attic" part of my trailer. This trailer is my summer cabin at the river. It dug 3 big holes in the ceiling in different. I thought I had gotten rid of it this summer, but now, I think it is back. How can I get rid of this little bugger?
Leslie


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Cover the entrance to the attic part of the trailer.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

There is no entrance to the attic part. That would be a given. Unless it is crawling up through the water heater area. But that door is latched with 2 latches (hook and eye type).
Leslie


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

It must be getting in somehow. Ultimately the best solution would be to find the entrance and close it off with sheet metal or wood, depending on what would be the most appropriate material. Look around for any holes. People sometimes get squirrels in the attic when roof vents are not sufficiently closed off. If the latch is coming loose you could replace it with a swinging latch and put a clip on it, if not a lock. If the opossum can't get in it will loose interest in the trailer real quick.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I specifically did a search for possum & am so happy to have found this discussion!
We live in the city, no parks near us or anything like that, so imagine my surprise when I saw a possum on our tiny back porch! I immediately looked up possums on the internet & found the same info that Marilyn has written above.
This was on September 10, 2004. I call our possum Pete.
The 1st thing I found out was that he is coming around because I always leave cat food out for our visiting strays. The cats seem to be afraid of him & he in turn is afraid of them. Which is fine with me, that way they avoid each other. Although I have read stories where cats & possums ate out of the same bowl together.
I have a clean, unused covered litter box on our back porch with an old pillow & old rug inside for a stray kitty that was coming around back in November, one night I went out to check & who was in the box but Pete the possum. He still goes in there once in awhile.
He had a bagel in there one time, I assume he dug it out of someones trash?
I have never seen him climb, he just goes in & out the opening in our back gate. But, I think it is getting a little tight.
He likes raisins, vanilla wafers, cat food.
I leave meat out for him sometime also.
I never saw him eat the birdseed. I put peanuts out for the squirels & I know he doesn't like them.
I left him some broccoli the other night but it didn't get eaten. I gave him a piece of bananna last night - that was still there this morning. I think he ate a slice of orange but I am not sure?
Marilyn, I would never do anything to hurt Pete, & since we live in the city I feed him to keep him around, I don't want him wandering too far & getting hurt.
There is an alley behind our small yards & fortunately there are locked gates at both ends. So hopefully he is pretty safe from stray dogs & cars etc. As long as he stays in the alley & watches what yard he ventures into!
Don't worry, I know that he is a wild animal & I would never get too close to him. What is good to leave out for him to eat?? I hope I haven't goten him toooo fat from all the cat food!
(He gets the same as our cats, Hills prescription blend - Science Diet- for sensitive stomach! HA!)
I will be devasted if anything should happen to him!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums will eat just about anything. Of course each has their own preferences, so why not just fix him his own little plate at mealtimes. They are neat little critters and I always loved having one around. Even tho the authorities claim they are nomadic, I found if they are made to feel welcome, they will find a spot on your property and claim it as their very own den. They are docile (yes, even with that wide mouth and hiss) mostly will try to bluff their way out of a fight or else run like the dickens. One that came every night down the back hill to the feeding area got spooked and ran up the hill. Formed a huge circle and ended right back at the feeder! Not sure if that was the plan or it just happened. They really don't seem to be too brilliant, God bless them, so whatever you can do to help them along is great. Hope Pete sticks around for a long time. Maybe Pete is really a Petunia and will favor you with a view of youngun's riding on mom's back when they are old enough. Good luck.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by pam2 Z8 Central TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 7, 05 at 10:16

My Dachshunds went nuts one day so I went over and behind our shed was a possum. I placed heavy concrete peices between the shed and fence so my dogs wouldn't be able to reach her. She comes back from time to time, since it's a relatively safe place to crash. I say she, I really don't know.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'possum


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Nancy,
Yes, that would be too funny if Pete was Petunia!!
He was on the porch last night but left real fast when I looked out. When I opened the back door one of our visiting friendly cats ran in the door. Pete was afraid of the cat (Blackie) & in turn Blackie is afraid of Pete.
I don't think Pete came back because the vanilla wafers were still there this morning.

Pam,
I couldn't get into the link.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by pam2 Z8 Central TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 8, 05 at 14:57

Sorry. Maybe this will work better.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'possum


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

"I still don't understand the problem"

"Me neither, Elly"

I like possums about as much as the next person; for the most part, they're an interesting, easy wild animal to have around. As other posters have noted, though they can bite, they usually dont. They aren't overly destructive to your property like squirrels in the attic, they don't give your house pets nasty diseases, and they're slow enough that they're easy for people to see, even if they are nocturnal. Personally, I have trouble believing that a Possum is credited with rat killing, but that's because I can't imagine a rat slow enough for an Possum to catch. Maybe they mean it will eat baby rats still in the nest? I think if you're wanting something for biological rat control, a cat or a small Terrier would be a much better choice.

At any rate, if all you have is a suburban backyard, and you like the idea of "wild" animals coming to your doorstep, then "possumly" you couldn't have too many Opossums. ;^)

OTOH, if you or a neighbor keeps poultry, you might find that one can be "too many" if he develops a taste for eggs and/or birds. You wouldn't think it to look at them, but even a very small Possum can attack and kill a chicken or duck, leaving you to dispose of the remains of what could have otherwise been *your* Sunday dinner. But even if there isn't any nearby poultry, Possums can and do attack nesting waterfowl and other ground nesting birds and not only kill the bird if they can catch it, but eat the eggs too. So I guess if you like quail, or wild turkeys for example, you might not want to encourage a large possum population.

Oh, and even though they very rarely have rabies, they do carry some nasty diseases; tuberculosis, tularemia, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis (nasty for any pregnant mammal, including humans) for starters. They're natural reservoirs for leptospirosis, and, they can transmit EPM which can kill up to 30% of the horses infected. If it were me, I'd do everything I could to discourage one from living in my yard, especially under my deck, even if they are cute little devils. But then, I do raise poultry, and not as privately funded Wildlife Welfare either. ;^)


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correction

"they don't give your house pets nasty diseases..."

That's completly incorrect. I was typing this up in text pad and missed that. Obviously, they have the capability to give dogs, cats and especially horses some very nasty diseases.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I lost track of who was asking for what, but if you have possums living under the house, in the attic, or in the top of a camper, you might try running a trouble light (even a table lamp, if it will fit, can be used) into the area. The animals, generally nocturnal, look for dark places to sleep. Letting the light in will discourage them from using your camper as a sleeping nest.

Ray


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I have heard that they can and do on occasion take poultry, but it just seems so bizarre that an animal that slow could get the job done. Now an animal like a mink, that's all energy and teeth, makes much more sense despite its size. I wonder if possums catch the birds on the roost with their guards down or simply get more aggressive and nimble than we usually see them?
I know if you want to catch a possum -and it doesn't immediately stop and "die" on you--you can easily trot along after it so surely speed is not a factor.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

If you keep poultry, wouldn't you have to keep them inside at night, so all the predators (owls, foxes, raccoons, etc) would not get them? All domestic poultry are in danger of predators in general, so it is for their keepers to make sure they are safe.

Possums have been eating bird's eggs and nestlings for millions of years, so they are no real threat to birds in the big picture.

Basically, there is no problem with "overpopulations" of possums, is the feeling I get.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I really want to believe you're kidding, but just in case you are serious, I have to say I'd expect it to be common sense that an "an overpopulation" of any wild animal anywhere, but especially one in contact with humans, is a very Bad, with a capital B, idea.

Yes, people who have poultry and wish to keep them safe do make sure chickens are put up for the night, but, predator proofing is not as simple as shutting the door to the henhouse. I've seen the humble Opossum shred 1 inch chicken wire, dig under foundations (oh yes, they do dig), and work at the vent under the eves that had been covered with rabbit wire (hardware cloth) until they got in. They are not as slow and dumb as people think, and they are definately not vegetarians. ;^)

Like I said, if what you have is a suburban backyard, and no outside animals like dogs, cats (and especially horses), or something like geese or ducks that traditionally are not locked up in a building at night in the same way chickens are, then there's a possibility that you could host as many Opossums as you care to buy cat food for. Then again, the last time I looked, no suburban yard was an island. That means the potential possum population explosion you would be fostering would spill over into the neighbor's yards, neighbors who might have dogs or cats or small children that play in their yard. Some of the diseases I mentioned are zoonotic, so it might be your neighbor's toddler that ends up with salmonella, or the nice lady next door who finds herself in the ER because her pregnancy is threatened by toxoplasmosis.

In that sense, I would liken the idea of encouraging several possums to live in your yard (not just having one drop by occasionally, but actively encouraging several to come and stay at an unnaturally high density) to the same kind of people who feed bears, and then are shocked, just absolutely shocked when they find that being what it is, (a wild animal) gets itself declared a nusiance, and ends up getting killed. That's not even taking into account the disease factor among the wild animals themselves when normally solitary animals are suddenly living in a "community" in someone's backyard.

I just make it a practice to remember that wild animals are supposed to be wild, and the best way of encouraging natural behaviour and a long, healthy life for them is to discourage sustained human contact. If they come and go at your place, and you catch a glimpse of a red fox trotting through the back corner, or happen to spot a Opossum climing a tree in the alley, smile and consider yourself lucky. But people who encourage wild animals to cluster, especially in unnaturally high numbers, should realize that while they might think it's neat-o that they have this "special" bond with nature, it's really a ticket to disaster; if not for the human, then for the very wild animals they claim to be trying to help.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Grammahony, this post comes from the Opposum Society of the United States link below:
" I think opossums are digging holes in my roof or yard.

Answer: The damage is not likely to be caused by opossums. Opossums have soft, delicate hands with nails that are easily ripped out. They are not capable of doing a lot of digging. Other animals are more likely to be causing the damage. Opossums are very opportunistic animals and will often move into a hole created by another animal. The opossum is often the animal observed and assumed to be the cause of the holes."

Also from the link below regarding diseases:
"Question: Do opossums carry rabies?

Answer: Any mammal can get rabies. However, the chance of rabies in an opossum is EXTREMELY RARE. This may have something to do with the opossums low body temperature (94-97 F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in an opossums body.
Back to the Questions
Question: Can I get a disease from an opossum?
Answer: A zoonotic disease is a diseased passed between animals and humans. There are diseases you can get from any animal, including pets. As long as you exercise common sense then the chance of getting a disease from an opossum is slim. Do not attempt to pet or get too close to the opossum. As mentioned in the question and answer above, rabies is extremely rare in the opossum."

Here is a link that might be useful: Frequently Asked Questions


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RE: Possum paws

Grammahony, this link shows the possum's paws...not built to dig as you can see so something else probably did the digging and possum just moved in there.

Here is a link that might be useful: opposum paws


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RE: More about possums

Regarding Dino the Opossum in the Wildlife Rescue League's post in the link below:

"While Dino was a resident in my yard, the mouse and rat problem that comes with living near a creek disappeared, and I am hopeful that another Dino will take up residence in my yard soon."

The Opossum diet...

"The opossum is omnivorous, feeding upon almost anything that it can find or catch: rats, mice, moles, slugs, snails, shrews, worms, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, frogs, garbage, fruit (especially persimmons), corns, berries, and even road kill. That habit gets about 8.3 million opossums killed a year. An opossum seeing an object on a road during the night may believe it to be road kill, and may either freeze in the headlight of a car, or try to run away. As opossums run very slowly, they often get killed. Opossums also enjoy eating snakes, and will kill and eat all snakes including poisonous ones. They are immune to the snake venom, and relish copperhead, water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and others."

The Opossum's enemies...

"Enemies of the opossum are dogs, coyotes, bobcats, and raptors. The two enemies from which the deathlike trance will not save the opossum from are man and the automobile.

Diseases

Opossums do not harbor diseases normally found in dogs and cats, such as distemper, parvovirus, or feline hepatitis. All warm-blooded mammals can contract rabies, but opossums are rarely found to be rabid. Scientists believe that a body temperature too low to support the rabies virus is the reason. According to Dr. Susan Jenkins, Assistant State Epidemiologist, Office of Epidemiology, Virginia Department of Health, six rabid opossum cases were reported between 1989 and 1998.

If you are not interested in attracting opossums:

Do not leave pet food or trash outdoors at night. This is always an invitation to dinner.
Pick fruit and garden crops when they are ripe to discourage opossums, and do not leave rotten fruit or crops on the ground.
Eliminate brush piles, dilapidated buildings, and holes under concrete slabs - you will eliminate opossum hotels. Opossums use the abandoned burrows of other animals rather than digging their own.
Secure pet doors at night, as opossums occasionally enter homes through pet doors. Once inside, they can generally be coaxed outside with a broom.
Opossums seldom stay in one area for more than a few nights, so fear of them "taking over" an area should not be a concern. Occasionally a mother with babies might stay longer, but will leave after a brief period as well.

Benefits

Opossums rarely cause problems for humans, but often frighten people by their rat-like appearance. Opossums are excellent at rodent and insect control, and being carrion eaters, they help keep roadways and neighborhoods clean. Opossums are more beneficial as scavengers, than harmful for any damage they may cause. A neighborhood with opossums tends to be considerably cleaner than a neighborhood without them."

Here is a link that might be useful: The Opossum: Our Marvelous Marsupial, The Social Loner


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RE: Hoses getting EPM from opossums

This post comes from the Opposum Society of the United States link below:
"Question: I heard horses could get EPM from opossums. True?

Answer: Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurological disorder caused by a parasite. The opossum and a parasite called Sarcocystis neurona have been implicated
although current research suggests other hosts and other parasites may be involved in disease transmission.

The infective form of the parasite is passed in the feces. If a horse eats contaminated feces then it could develop neurological signs. It should be noted that the majority of opossums are probably not shedding the infective parasite and that of the horses exposed to the parasite, very few will develop EPM."

Here is a link that might be useful: Frequently Asked Questions


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I have raised horses for the past 40 years. Altho I don't actively persue raising horses now, I have owned over 100 horses and I still have 4 horses...I have always lived in the country, and possums have always been around. I consider them catching something from a possum about as remote as myself getting hit by a meteorite. I think the danger is when a horse drinks from a pond, which is never a good idea anyway in the control of any kind of parasites.

I haven't posted in awhile, but came back to this thread today because I was very happy that Shirley, the little possum sleeping in my hand in the picture in this thread, came home last night for the first time in about 3 months.
I had given up hope of ever seeing her again. Prior to that, she had been coming home almost every night and had probably been away without checking in for only about two or three weeks, prior to that. I was so happy to see her, and gave her some treats and whatever I had on hand that I thought she would like...some raw beef, orange, banana and
apple. I told my husband to be sure and bring home a chicken tonight...her favorite...just in case she comes back again...I believe she will.

She isn't as cute as when she was a baby, and her ears no longer have the white tips, but no mistaking her, because she is the only tame possum that I have that comes in the house.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Oh i absolutely WUV her! Must be the nose-in-the-lens angle. She's the best!

ok i am back in control of my emotions now. Always thought highly of possums, makes me sad to see so many unfortunates on the roads. Why do so many people associate them with rats?? We need to replace that misconception with thoughts of kangaroos and other marsupials but it would be a tough if not impossible thing to do....


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Marilyn,
I am so happy to hear that Shirley came back!!!
She is just precious!

Pete is still showing up, but he is getting fatter I think.
I also saw 3 new stray cats. Sooo, I have been feeding them.
Didn't Pete eat their can cat food the other night!
Chicken & tuna 9 Lives.
I think they must have run off when they saw him coming?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Littledog,

I never said to feed wildlife. I never said to encourage possums by feeding them. Possums, and other wildlife, don't need our help that way. Please do not confuse me with the people who "love" wildlife so much they confuse them with their cats and dogs (which they also keep outside, and I would never do).

I said that no one has any evidence of what "too may possums" can do. In other words, what's the difference between a "normal" possum poulation and "too many?" The people who have "problems" with these critters see one, or a family, and they think that is too many. I know what too many feral cats look like and what they can do; but I've never seen "too many" possums.

Nor has anyone else, it seems. Yes, they will take eggs and biddies, but how many people really protect their poultry? I worked at a wild bird hospital for 10 years, and we had to protect our outside cages from invasion. We buried clain link fence to prevent critters like possums, foxes and raccoons from invading our cages. We put lots of work into protecting our birds. So there was no problem. (And we were in the middle of a wildlife refuge, where nervous homeowners could not trap or kill the mammals they feared would eat their children.)

Feeding wildlife is misguided. Don't confuse me with those people.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I suppose taking away their habitat is "guided"...what have you done?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I've got a possum that walks my fence here in central california; i've also got a 1year 4month German Shepherd dog who i give access to about an acre of pasture+ my front yard. My dog is 90lbs now and keeps some distance from the possum that visits. They encounter eachother on my fence line(which i don't allow my dog to pass/jump); when i hear my dog barking and trying to push the possum off my fence i go outside and assits him(my dog). They look nasty at night, and freeze when you shine a 5w luxeon star LED in their face! you know LOL! obviously blinding them for some time...

next time i find the possum trying to rip my dogs nose open with its claws should i kill it?
it seems to be an adult, i'd guess around 15-25 lbs; larger than any domestic cat
My neighbor has 10+ head of horse

have possums been known to cause deadly infections/wounds in goats?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

The possum probably thinks he's in danger as they only attack when threatened. Have you considered bamboo to put over your chain link fence? Not sure if it will work, but maybe the possum wouldn't walk on it. I think there are other options rather than killing him. Maybe even relocating the possum somewhere where he can thrive?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo fence


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

"have possums been known to cause deadly infections/wounds in goats?"

Not that I've heard of. But cougars have. You may have a cougar in the neighborhood. (These "mountain lions" are becoming quite common in CA, and they are increasingly checking out urban areas.)


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I know someone who shoots possums because they eat his cats food on his porch. Honestly I really wish he wouldn't kill them. They are very fasinating creatures I think. And also very cute. I mean really, would there not be any more options than shooting them?

I also want to say I have heard scientist say that possums may actualy be literaly fainting instead of just playing dead. Has anyone ever heard of that?


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foxes among our wild animals that we feed......what to do?

I, too have experienced the joys of watching critters eat from our catfood dish and water bowl each night through an entire Fall and Winter now, on our back porch through our sliding glass door. But we now have a dilemma.

We have noticed gorgeous raccoons, possums and cats, as well as a very unusual white skunk, with beautiful inverted markings.We see the coons and possums sidle right up next to each other peacefully- it is so beautiful.

Now we are just recently seeing foxes, however-red and grey, (about three different foxes each night)- in the mix. We thought at first- "cool!Even the foxes are eating cat food peacefully."

Then this past week, there was white fur all over our backyard- (no blood, but the signs of loose fur don't look good).I also notice that the foxes, while some do stop and eat, most now seem to run up and check to see if an animal is there, and then dissapointedly run away from the temporarily empty area where there is a full dish of food waiting, as if I have unwittingly put together for them a convenient wild animal trap for them to catch their prey in.

I am torn now, because where I used to enjoy watching the baby possums, now I worry that they are being set up for bait. Is there any information / non violent suggestion from any one out there to solve my dilemma? I should mention we are at the end of a subdivision, (end house on a pretty large yard with brush and trees all around 3 sides of the lot). Feeding the animals here makes me feel better that they do not have to wander across the busy streets that are so nearby, where they can get hit. Thanks for your thoughts if you care to share some.....Obviously, I should add, my hope is that I do not have to stop feeding my wonderful visitors.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I can't imagine anyone shooting a possum or any animal.
That is horrible.
I always have cat food on our back porch for the stray cats & then I read that was why the possum was coming around.
I started putting more out! The cats & the possum avoided
each other, never any conflicts.
I would report that person for shooting the possums!


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Repeling Possums

I have heard that rags soaked in ammonia help repel possums. There are also products carried by suppliers such as https://www.critter-repellent.com that have formulas that reportedly repel possums such as fox-urine powders (a natural form of small animal repelents. These are used so that you don't actually harm the animals.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I am wondering what to do.... I just found this site thankfully :) Here's the problem. The other day, hubby went to burn the trash and low and behold there was a possum in there with babies that had just been born. Needless to say, we didn't get to burn, and we just assumed mama went there to have her babies in a safe place away from predators. We want to make sure she is ok, and thought maybe she was getting out of the barrel at night to eat and drink. However it's been quite warm here during the day and she was panting this afternoon. We put a bowl of water and some cat food in there for her this evening. She drank the water immediately, and we had to refill the bowl. My question is..... is she able to crawl out of the barrel or should be do something to help her out?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

John_D "You may have a cougar in the neighborhood. (These "mountain lions" are becoming quite common in CA, and they are increasingly checking out urban areas.)"

No - urban areas are more and more invading the cougar's territory resulting in more human/wildlife interaction. Most often to the animal's detriment.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I 'll be sleeping with a possum tonight unless it gets too rambunxious. I am sleeping in a basement that I have been sharing with a camelback jumping spider couple for a few weeks and now have possum buddy. I am posting now, and I imagine I'll post again soon.
I hope there'll be no problem as I established my presence and I respect its presence on the other half of the basement where I have little interest in going. There are gaps through which big chunks of light and whatever else can pass, so I have no concerns about its method of arrival. Just let me know if they have a penchant for approaching a sleeping critter of my size. I'm betting not.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

To Circle5KnMO--
If you're saying the possum is at the bottom of an upright barrel, then it's very likely she's unable to get back out. I once read a wildlife tip about open barrels sitting around on your property. It said some animals, like possums, get into them, then can't get back out.

I learned from experience how true this is. We have a little land out in the country, and one small area is where we keep a lot of junk like extra building materials, etc., including a couple of 55-gal metal drums (without lids). It's basically a junk pile, and so we don't really go over there that often. Once while wandering around on the lot, I kept getting a whiff of dead-animal smell. I looked around a bit for any obvious dead animals but never could find any, so I just wrote it off. Eventually the smell went away and I forgot about it. Months later, we were messing around in the junk area, and I looked in one of those open barrels & saw the skeleton of a possum. In a flash I realized what had happened, and that the possum was what I was smelling a few months before.

This happened many years ago, but I still feel pangs of guilt about that poor possum. It hurts a little even now to write about it. Anyway, suffice it to say we never keep any open barrels sitting about anymore. I've also read that if you do have an open barrel on your property, to put a tree limb or something in it that an animal can climb back out on if it happens to get in the barrel.

Since your post is over a month old, I imagine you've had resolution of some sort to your problem, but I just saw your post today, and thought I'd pass along my experience for others.

--pony


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I was very interested to see the info on possums from the wildlife rehabbers but I still consider them to be no more than marsupial rats. Possums may be native to North America but not to every part and they are definitely not native to WA. They steal fruit from the fruit trees and they get into the garbage if they can and they do harass poultry - poultry are helpless in the dark and easy prey. Mine are locked up tight at night but the best you can ever do is just slow down the racoons, altho I imagine from what I've learned here that it's more than enough to keep the possums out. So if possums are eating ground nesting birds in WA they are a destructive invasive, no better than free roaming cats. And when I was in college one took up residence in the student housing dumpster and we were afraid to take out the garbage at night - he was mean. But they must be mostly blind and deaf! I have one that forages on one side of my property and lives under the house on the other side and she walks right by me when I'm sitting outside without ever showing that she knows I'm there - definitely a she as the first time I saw her she had two babies on her back and her belly dragging on the ground. As I've moved to the city and don't have poultry at the moment I didn't feel any need to do anything about her - she can't do anything to me and she showed no interest in the garbage can and I have no fruit trees anymore either. But they are just another invasive species that thrives on human disturbance, like the norway rats, german cockroaches, english sparrows and scotch broom. They are NOT native where I live! I guess I should just be happy that something can thrive around us as we're bound and determined to raze the entire planet.

And my pit bulls show no interest in possums. Racoons they live to destroy but they don't seem to know the possums are there. They are bred as ratters and hunt by the sound of rodent toenails scrabbling on the ground so maybe possums are too quiet for them. They chase lizards but don't know that snakes even exist because of the toenail noise thing, snakes not having any. Possums stink but pits don't hunt by scent. If you need a ratter, don't get a cat, cats can't handle rats. You need a terrier, like a jack russell or a pit bull (yes they are terriers, and champion ratters).

So yeah I can see how someone could have too many possums but I'll let that one female next door alone. The new style garbage cans the city requires we use seem possum proof.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I found this site because I was looking to see what possums eat and if I should help them out with food since there is now snow on the ground here in PA. We live in a residential area and have always had a possum in are yard. It lives under my hair salon building. There has always been one there for many years, and when we turned this building into a hair salon my husband closed in the underneath of the building, but I made him leave a hole so the possums could get in and out. We have never had any problems, and from what I read they eat things in your yard that you don't want. We only ever see It at night. A funny thing happened while I was sitting here registering with this site. I have two cats who also live in my yard, and with the winter here I have a box built with straw in the yard and that is where I put the food for the cats. My computer is at a picture window and it over looks the driveway were I can see this box. As I was registering to this site so I could find out what possums eat I sat here and watched the possum cross the driveway and go to the box with the cat food. I can now tell you they (at least this one) likes dry cat food too! So apparently the cats and possum are all sharing the food.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

It is likely that is what is keeping the possum local. Most animals are opportunists and will take whatever they can find.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Thought I had a big rat under a pool deck, only to learn that there is a family of possums. I found out by setting a trap. Trapped a small one this evening and euthanized it by placing trap cage in a plastic bag and filling the bag with car engine exhaust from the tailpipe - quick and painless carbon monoxide death. I'll have to trap them one by one to get them all, as I am as tenacious as they. I recently saw that one of the online hardware stores (Do-It Best) sells a car exhaust system attachment to pump exhaust into burrows and tunnels to rid a variety of pests (it can pump through up to 240' of hose). I bet you Florida folks are looking for something to get those alligators back in check. I recommend year round open hunting season with no limits - so does the lady with the alligator purse (from a childrens book).


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Larryboy,

I must say, it is people like you that need to go. Not opossums. Hopefully the life you lead will take care of that soon.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

elly, I wouldn't bother with this joker...he just signed up today.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Terry: Some people do participate in this kind of thing as a form of entertainment I guess. I find it sad that someone would not have something better to do with their time. So, while part of me wants to ignore it, like any kind of hate, however, I do think it is important to denounce it.

This forum provides a place where we can come to get ideas that aren't usually available at the local Agway store. Quite honestly, I can't find anything in that post that is in the least bit creative or considers anything beyond the human side of the problem.

There is no doubt that sometimes animals take up residence in places that pose problems to both the animal and the humans. So, I don't doubt that there are situations that warrant thoughtful solutions. The solution presented is not only immoral but hateful and impulsive. I have more respect for the intelligence of the people who read and post on this forum. With all the people here, we can certainly put our heads together and do better than that.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Oops! I didn't see the PETA symbol anywhere on this site. So if I understand you two recent posters, I should let the possums just continue to multiply unchecked? Possums rule and I drool - I get it. You're a couple of PETA bullies. But I understand you and respect your views. Can you do the same?

Would it be better if I trapped the gray fox I saw the other week and put him in my fenced in back yard to naturally deal with the possums? One last question, I guess you folks are applauding the alligators that are eating the people in Florida? I think that you are, since you stated that you are wishing for my quick demise.

PS - I'll keep logging in to keep you updated on the capture count (1) - in the spirit of the 1st person to post this forum thread. They really should put up a little white cross on the side of the road where that possum was run over. Happy trapping! :-)

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly,
I don't know why she swallowed a fly.
Perhaps she'll die!

Oh my!
She killed a Fly?
Then I know a couple of nut-jobs that think she should die!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Larry,

I'm sorry your feelings are hurt. This is usually a pretty friendly place, but posts like yours push people to the limit of their tempers.

This is a Wildlife Gardening forum. This description is taken straight from the forum's homepage: "This forum is meant for those creating gardens hospitable to wildlife. So if you're trying to attract butterflies or hummingbirds, or just want to welcome the occasional visitor, here is a place to share your experiences and knowledge." So, given this title and description, I don't think you should be surprised that people reacted the way they did to your post. I'm not even sure how you ended up here, given that you seem to have already found a solution to your possum problem. Most people come here with the idea of brainstorming solutions that suit both the humans and the animals.

Your decision to handle your problem the way you did is certainly your choice, but it doesn't necessarily make it the best or the right decision. Maybe when you feel better, you could try not to be so defensive and open your mind to other possibilities. You have a choice to make decisions like you did, but I also believe that you have the creativity and intelligence to come up with a better solution. If you aren't interested in doing that, my suggestion is that you try googling up a different forum that will suit your needs better. I don't even know where to begin in suggesting key words. If you are looking for support for views like yours, I don't think you are going to find it on this forum, and I don't think that makes the people here PETA bullies.

P.S. I have to say that your choice of the word "bully" is a bit interesting to me given your original post.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Keeping you updated on the possum capture count this summer (3). They have each been relocated.

FYI, for the folks that think there is nothing wrong with an overpopulation of possums - ask the fine folks of New Zealand. http://www.ew.govt.nz/enviroinfo/pests/animals/possums1/index.htm

And to have the opposing view, here's some news from New Zealand about students that attacked a wayward possum that entered their school gym. http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=315&objectid=10381675

And lastly it's the Zap Trap from New Zealand. It keeps going and going... http://www.zaptrap.co.nz/Portal.asp I know some folks that would like to build a few of these for controlling the Geese and Deer overpopulation in my state.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Nice to know you are still playing with your little mouse, Larry buddy.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Why are some folks are so bent about relocating some vermin possums from under my deck? Are they concerned and acting locallly to stem the stray animal over population in their own communities? I don't know. Perhaps their homes are filled with adopted animals - then I say good for them. Otherwise they should go throw stones at their own houses.

In 1997 the estimated number of operating animal shelters in the United States was about 3,500, here are some statistics:

* Of the 1,000 shelters that replied to a national survey, 4.3 million animals (most all cats & dogs)were handled in 1997.

* In 1997 roughly 64% of the total number of animals that entered these shelters were euthanized -- approximately 2.7 million animals in these 1,000 shelters.

* If the remaining 1,500 shelters that did not respond hanlded just 25% of this total, the number euthanized grows to a stagering 3.7 million animals in one year alone. Another research survey estimates the number between 4 and 6 million annually.

* The city of Chicago alone euthanizes over 30,000 stray animals each year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Friends Network


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Larry, Ummm, possums are not native to New Zealand, so it is obvious why they would cause a problem there. Do snake-head fish ring any bells. Same issue. Possums are native here so not considered a pest, but part of the ecosystem. They are also not the kind of animals that are put in shelters. Not sure where you going with all this? Please help me to understand.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Vonyon, I'd forgotten all about this post. Larry isn't going to get it, no matter how much time you spend trying to educate him. He doesn't care. What I'm trying to figure out, is why he persists in coming to an Attracting Wildlife forum. Where the people love to actually encourage all wildlife to take up residence in their yards.

Larry, there's a garden pests and diseases here. Why not complain and get your much needed support over there? Oh that's right, because it's not quite as fun. FWIW, in my town, we don't euthanize animals unless it's truly needed. Like, they can't be saved, not just because it's a feral cat or a stray dog. But maybe it has rabies or some other disease where it can't be saved. Our shelter is a No Kill Shelter. I know that sounds very foreign to you, but consider the concept of not KILLING animals because they bother you or because you can. Better go get yerself a beer and think that one over, ey?

Here is a link that might be useful: like minded people


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Terry, I know, I just couldn't believe this had been resurrected once again and thought maybe I was the one that wasn't getting something.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

No, you're not the only one. Wouldn't he be technically referred to as a troll?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Not sure who defines trolls. I figure you can always serve as a bad example if nothing else--troll or otherwise. ;o)


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I was so glad to have the opportunity to read this thread! I live in an urban setting, close to downtown OKC. I have opossums in my yard. In fact, I had a close encounter with a young one earlier this year, but it didn't do anything, just froze. Of course, I didn't freeze and was totally shocked to encounter it as I watered. A step closer and I would have stepped on it. But, I have to admit they're cute!

My sister in Kansas hates them. She has her husband kill every one she sees. I'm just the opposite. I treasure every wildlife critter I see. My neighbor, however, traps and relocates them. After seeing that this is more harmful to them, and the fact that they are beneficial in the garden, I am going to speak to him about discontinuing that practice.

A lot of us are just "ignorant" about possums. I, for one, am so happy to be enlightened about their presence in the garden. They do scare my daughter when she comes home late at night, and there's a possum staring into her headlights from the front porch of the house. I'm assuming that once she turns off the headlights of her car, the possum is probably going to skip the other way?

We are the cause of so many urban possums these days - loss of habitat has driven more and more wild animals to the city for shelter and sustenance. I wish I had more. I do have a resident toad; I feed the feral cats; I put out rotting fruit for the butterflies that do not nectar, but only obtain food from rotting fruit. Sometimes, the possum gets a bit of it, too, I'm sure, when an entire rotten banana is gone the next morning. But, hey, that's okay with me. The butterflies are not going to eat an entire banana anyway.

I encourage moths, especially the sphinx moth caterpillars to eat my tomatoes, daturas, trumpet creeper (never gonna run out of that), and Virginia Creeper. I raise them to adult moths.

I miss my little garden snake; haven't seen it all summer. There are always going to be people with a "kill" nature. A bit on the sociopathic side. I, for one, even love my squirrels. They are just too hilarious to watch. I grow plants that atract the birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths. I don't have too many mice, since I have 4 cats indoors, so if they get inside, it's "bye bye". I watched my mom smash baby mice with a hammer when I was a youngster, and I cried the entire time.

However, we did raise a baby jack rabbit until it got bigger and began jumping all over the house. Man, those things can jump!

So, I'm a wildlife lover. As such, I cannot use chemical warfare on any of my plants, grass, or critters in the yard. A wildlife friendly garden is one is which nature takes its course, not me.

Susan


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Susan, Bravo, you and your neighbors (human and critter) will be the healthier for it.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Yes, I say bravo to Susan and the warm & fuzzy possum lovers gang. I'm glad Susan is a wildlife lover - she loves wildlife more than her sister, brother in -law, mother, and neighbor. I wonder if all these folks think the same of her? May she have the good fortune of having these critters inhabit her attic this winter. Her neighbors (human and critter) will be the healthier for it. PS: No more possums in my yard -they finally got the message that they aren't welcome. Anyone want to buy a used live (death) trap?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Now I know this is a garden page but this is the only place I'm able to find any information on my subject...

I live in northern Minnesota and a couple of weeks ago I was visiting some relatives in central Minn. They were telling me that they have been killing opossums that come into their yards and I was appalled. 1. I didnt know that opossums lived that far north (could the climate change be bringing them up?) someone told me that they were coming north in bails of hay (that doesnt sounds like the right answer). 2. They were also justifying their mindless killing by saying that the opossum urine (which they say is toxic) in horse hay kills the horses. I asked them where theyd heard such things and what kind of proof they had found to substantiate it. Now, Ive just spent over an hour searching the Internet trying to find information pointing me one way or another is there anyone with some sort of background in opossums that could tell me one way or another or point me in the right direction. I would really like to be able to tell my relies that what they are doing is being done for no reason.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Larryboy - did you kill small mammals when you were just a slip of a boy?

Well, for one thing there is not way for them to achieve ingress into my house. But, should that ever happen, I will call the wildlife refuge employees to come remove them and then fix my house so they can no longer get in.

I don't tote guns. traps, or attitude towards the animals that grace this earth. If you want to kill something then you'll have to answer to a greater power than me one day.

Susan


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Maureen, from this site http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/horsehealth/hhview.asp?recno=62780&subsec=

At least 50% of all horses in the United States have been exposed to Sarcocystis neurona, the causative agent for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). The opossum is the definitive host of S. neurona. After ingesting the protozoa, the opossum sheds sporocysts, which are the infective stage for horses, in its urine and feces. The horse can consume the sporocysts as it eats grass, hay, or grains that have come in contact with opossum feces. Once ingested, the sporocysts migrate to the central nervous system where they cause damage.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Possums are in the same class as rats and other vermin to me. They will kill chickens , and I have had one chew the foot off a baby lamb that I was keeping under a heat lamp and nursing back to life. They are one of the nastiest critters I know. "No Mercy", Larryboy. Maybe its just my kansas attitude.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

They are marsupials, not rodents.
They eat rats, mice, bugs, slugs AND cat food!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I am aware of the scientific classification of possums,(Didelphis marsupialis). I still consider them vermin, as are rats , etc. A possum will eat nearly anything. It is considered omnivorous. It will eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, eggs, insects, and carrion. They will also put up a fight and can bite very well.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I believe they only bite in self defense. We have one in our backyard & he is not aggressive at all. That does not mean that I am going to put my hand out for him to bite it though. The possum & the cats seem to have a mutual respect for each other & I have not seen any fighting.
I guess each possum like each person has its own personality.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I'm still trying to figure out how a possum got to a baby lamb that I was nursing back to health under a heat lamp??? Is it just me or does anyone else notice something very odd about that statement?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I'm not sure what you consider odd. The lamb was in a corner of the lambing barn with a panel in front of him to keep his mother from steping on him. He was recovering from being chilled in a snowbank, still too weak to get up. The possum gnawed off one foot and part of a second. Not sure why the feet. He was still alive when I came back to feed him again, but had to be destroyed. Needless to say, the possum went with him.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

If it weren't for possums we'd all be dead.

Thank god for Kansas farmers and people like Larryboy, keeping us safe.

Here is some real information about this innocuous animal.

There is a kind of sickness here, really, going to a Nature Forum, and getting your jollies off talking about killing animals. I know it's a free country and all that, but aren't there appropriate forums for people who like to kill things? It's a bit perverse.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia opossum


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I couldn't agree more with you elly, they both must be seriously bored.

ksfarmer, If I was trying to nurse a lamb back to health, it would be inside of my home. Just like grandpa always did with his. And my in-laws do with pigs. To make sure that nothing comes into the barn to possibly do them harm. But hey, I guess they're all just silly caring people.....


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Could just be Kansas and that's why I moved away to Oklahoma! Each to his own, but as a wildlife lover, I find it hard to kill anything unless it is to put it out of its misery due to irreparable injury or terminal disease.

I find it hard to believe that there are people who have no conscience in regard to wildlife, and are selective in what they choose to be a "bad" animal or a "good" animal. I used to hate wasps and bees. In gardening, I gradually became used to them being around and have gotten over my biggest fear. Anger and dislike is usually rooted in fear, which is the real emotion, if they would own it.

And to then wish someone would get possums in their attic? That's just downright mean to the core, and thoughts like that usually come back to bite the owner of them.

Susan


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I need to know how to trap a possum. They are cute, but they are killing my chickens and eating my fresh eggs! I put the chickens up every night, but the possums figure a way in, like tearing the chicken wire up and performing acrobatics from the roof! I would like to know a humane way to trap them so I could then relocate them and save my chickens and guineas. Any suggestions?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

How about reading the beginning of this thread, and the links included? Possums are nomads. They do not have territories. If you trap one, another will come through. The only way to get rid of the problem is to fix the hen house so nothing can get in.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I had ducks years ago, and I figure the bandit could have been a raccoon or a fox or anything. I always assumed it was my responsibility to protect my domestic animals and not to relocate the wild ones that were just doing what came natural to them. Relocating the predator is like trying to reroute a stream, eventually, another possum/raccoon/fox will find your chickens.

I think you are looking at the problem from the wrong angle. The problem is that your chickens aren't protected. My grandfather used to say that the solution is often right in the problem. It isn't the predator's fault that the chicken pen isn't secure. Relocating is not only unfair to the animal, it is only a band aid solution. I agree with Elly, if you have a problem, it is up to you to outsmart the predator.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Elly nj, I actually read every message in this forum before writing. Possums may be nomads but they do stay until depleting the food supply. I also have cats which willingly share their food with the possums. And I am trying to fix my hen area to keep the predators out. Each time I fix a problem, the possums are pretty smart and figure other ways in.

Vonyon, this is the first time I have posted to a forum on this site and I appreciate the way you answered my question. You are informative rather than being rude. I live in what we call a holler which includes a trout stream, so I know there are many predators. I do have a new respect for possums in reading other information about how they eat copperheads, rattlesnakes, and other poisionous snakes and spiders which are abundant here around our house. And I do think I am smart enough to outsmart a possum! I actually fixed the chicken pen last night where it at least for last night was possum proof. I also placed additional cat food out and fed the little critters so they would take the food path of least resistance and hopefully leave my chickens and guineas alone. Have a great New Year and thanks again for the responses.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

sassy
I also put out peeled bananas, sliced apples, grapes, tomatoes.
He seems to like things that we would probably not want anymore anyway. Sometimes a cookie or two.
I'm happy to hear you are living with the possums rather than trying to destroy them.
Good luck!


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Vonyon,

They put out cat food for the possums & (


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

My neighbor has kept their garage door open day and night for years with a full bucket of cat food in there. I've carried seven or eight possums to a rural area in that time and given I don't know how many cats to the animal shelter.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

To all who think killing any "intruder" on you property
is their right are totally misguided or perhaps they just plain enjoy killing defenseless animals.
I suggest you find another forum to discuss your grisly deeds. Try the "Jeffrey Dalmer" site. I understand he
truly enjoyed torturing and killing animals as a young child.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Hi, I need some help I live in the city we have a possum living under our porch. No big deal but we have a problem for the logest time we thought it was a skunk becouse twice already we had the smell go through our house and we thought we had a skunk living under our porch well just last night my father put a trap out ( to catch a skunk) to our supprise it was a possum so I got on line to resurch about the possum and the smell that we have bin getting. So I need some one to help me out. My father let the possum go back under the porch where it has bin living but does the possum have this skunk smell to it or what could it be from we know for sure that it is coming from that area.If I don't find an answer to where the smell is coming from my father will asume it is the possum and it is going to have to go can some one get back to me about this as soon as possible. thank you


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Gosh I feel old.

You probably have a skunk but you caugh a possum. Possums do not smell like skunks. Skunks are rather unmistakable in their scent. And if you trap one, you are really going to find out how strong they smell, so I recommend you do not.

Here is some information from the Humane Society of the United States on resolving conflicts with skunks:

To skunks, "love stinks" is more than a snarky comment about the casualties of courtship. It's a reality.

Amorous skunks do their courting in February and March, the height of mating season for striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), which increases the chances that these docile animals will attract unwanted attention with their signature scent. The stinky problem occurs when a male skunk tries to court a female who may not be "in the mood." Unlike the sweet-smelling gifts of perfume or flowers that often accompany human courtship, the aroma generated when female skunks spray their rejected suitors is downright offensive to people. Luckily, skunk romance only lasts a short time, and the noxious odors soon waft away.

This malodorous spray, which is the skunk's only means of defense, has given this gentle, non-aggressive animal a bad reputation. Skunks actually make for excellent neighborstheir dietary preferences include insects, grubs, mice, and even baby rats. Skunks are also solitary and nomadic, except when raising young or sharing a den during cold periods. They den in natural cavities such as woodchuck burrows, hollow logs, and brush piles, as well as crevices in stone walls and under buildings. Baby skunks are usually born during May and June. Once the babies are mobile, the mother will travel with her young, who will trail behind the elder skunk in a single file.

A Skunk Under the Porch

Because skunks are wanderers, they will move out from under a shed, porch, or outbuilding in due time. However, if home or property owners are determined to evict skunks, try the following:

First, determine whether the skunks are still inhabiting the space by spraying a mixture of eight ounces of dish detergent, eight ounces of castor oil, and one gallon of water around the area. (This mixture should convince any resident skunks that the den has become, well, too smelly to occupy).

After spraying, lightly stuff newspaper into the entry hole. If the den is still in use, the paper will be pushed out within 24 hours.

Wait a few days before trying the procedure again.

Another option is to affix a "one-way door" to the entry point, which will allow any animals to leave the area but not to return. For more information, download our list of manufacturers and suppliers of products used to resolve wildlife conflicts.

Once you're sure the skunks are gone, you can keep them (and most other wildlife) permanently away by doing the following:

Seal off the entry points in the structure with chicken wire or hardware cloth.

At ground level, bend the wire at a 45-degree angle, and then run at least 24 inches of wire out away from the building in a reverse "L" shape.

Firmly secure the wire to the ground with landscaping staples, making sure there are no gaps. This creates a false bottom and will foil any skunk who tries to dig back in.

Keep your garbage cans upright and do not leave pet food outside. This will also help discourage skunks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Humane Society of the US Information on Skunks


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Thank You very much for your help. Now one more question if the possum is living there should I still do this?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Look here for the part about possums.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solving Problems with Your Wild Neighbors


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

if the possum is living there should I still do this?

No, they are harmless and will likely move on. Especielly if there is no food (garbage, cat food, etc) left out for them.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

I am sure that it is living there my next door nahbor is a cat lover and is leaving cat food out for her cats that live out doors I know for shure that it has bin living there for a few months already. It is just strange that if you go close to the porch and stick your nose to the wood part that covers it you can smell the skunk smell. So could the skunk bin living there befor the possum. or could the skunk gotten under there the possum scared it and the skunk spraid help me out with this this smell is unbarable.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

How about cat urine? I think that can smell a little skunky over time. Feral cats are known to spray wood.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

No I am sure it is not that I don't now for now the smell is subsiding so I guess gust wate I am hopping the possum moves on. So we can close up under the porch. I did not care to much about the possum but you be amazed what a little education can do to you. When does the possum give birth? I just want to make sure that if we do have to relocate the possum that we don't leave any young behind. That was my excuss for my dad to leave the possum go I told him there might be babys there.


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Getting rid of Possums??????????????

Hi everyone!!!!

I have a possum problem. We added onto to our original deck and now a possum is residing under it at the present time. What is the best way to get rid of it???? I know I can trap it and maybe that is the only answer however I am asking for alternatives!!! I either want to deport it to another area or discourage it from going under there. I really don't want to put a barrier up by the deck becasue I think they will just find another way in. The new addition of the deck is much closer to the ground compared to the original.

Thanks Lary


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

If you read these posts, you will see that possums do not stay in one place and establish nests. They are transient, moving every night to a different place. So you are safe.

But the only way to prevent creatures from inhabiting your under-deck is by cutting off access.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by min3 9N.CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 18, 08 at 21:22

Help - still feeling guilty - I'm worried that I buried possum babies alive.

A number of years ago one of my dogs, by wildly barking, led me to a bush inside our rail fence and I found six baby possums, about 6" long and in perfect shape, lying in a row like someone had lined them up. I was afraid they were only playing dead so I kept them out of dog reach on a shelf for 24 hours but they didn't move so I buried them. Now I'm thinking maybe they WERE alive but wouldn't move until came back for them? It was warm weather so they weren't frozen.

Somebody please assure me that they were dead. They were so beautiful. Min.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

They were dead?

Sheesh, this thread is like the Twilight Zone.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by min3 9N.CA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 20, 08 at 23:53

I certainly wasn't trying to spook anyone. I just don't know how LONG possums can play dead, waiting for mom to come back, and I was hoping someone who knows would assure me in a post that they WERE dead -with a period, not a question mark.

Min


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Doing a search min, brings up this

Opossums create such a convincing portrayal of death, including a putrid odor, that dogs and other predators will abandon them for livelier prey, as most predators will not eat carrion. Some time later, the survivor regains consciousness and continues slowly on its way. Enemies of the opossum are dogs, coyotes, bobcats, and raptors.

The two enemies from which the deathlike trance will not save the opossum from are man and the automobile.

So I would say they probably were NOT dead
PERIOD


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by min3 9N.CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 26, 08 at 22:13

Terryr My heart sank when I read your post. I'm still hoping that they couldn't have faked it so perfectly for 24 hours, but I feel a little sick. Guess I always will. Min


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Min, I don't think anyone could say with certainty that they were dead or they were alive. At 6" long, they would be larger than just being born, or so I've read. So it would seem as if they'd still be with momma, but I don't know it for sure. I'm sure you did what you felt was best for them. After reading thru this post, I would hope that you wouldn't touch them or bother them at all, if or when there's a next time. Sometimes we do things that we think is helping, but in reality we're hurting. I'm sorry I was the bearer of bad news. You asked a question and wanted an answer, so I tried to answer. I'm sorry I made your heart sink, but again, I'm not sure anyone could say with any certainty if they were dead or merely playing dead. Also from what I've read, is that playing dead isn't something that they can control, it's a mechanism that's built into them. So it's automatic. I'm glad you didn't read my post as being rude or anything. Sometimes I'm too blunt and to the point and people don't always read me as such. Thank you for taking it the way I intended ☺


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Terryr, why are you saying it? Obviously, you don't know anything about opossums.
I'm sure they were dead. There is no way an opossum will "play dead" for 24 hours. A 6" baby wouldn't even know how to play dead. They don't know who or what to be afraid of.
I have seen many adult opossums playing dead after they had been confronted by my dog. They will come back to life within hour and even in the presence of a human (but not a dog!!!) .

Chilled babies can look dead, but you can bring them back to life if you place them in warm water,with the head up (if it's not to late and they are still alive). After 24 hours the body will become "stiff" and a little hard if it's dead. If it's soft and floppy, it could be alive. Also, a dead animal will be cold to the touch.

Less than a 7" baby should be with it's mother. Without the mother they will die quickly from dehydration and from exposure (even in warm weather - they can't control there body heat at this point.) Mother-opossum's will not return for lost babies, even if she is alive. So leaving 6" babies where they were would not be a good idea.

Please, check the link bellow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Found an Orphaned or Injured Opossum


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Here is quote from the link above

"It may be "playing possum" as an involuntary response to a threat, in which the opossum becomes comatose in the face of danger and appears dead. This may last from 40 minutes to 4 hours. During this time, the opossum lies on its side, becomes stiff, the eyes glaze over, the opossum drools, the tongue lolls out the side of the mouth, and green anal fluid may be seen.


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

aleksandra, what difference would it make? In the big picture, what I said didn't hurt mins feelings at all. Please re-read what I said, especially the part where I'm saying I don't know for sure. Obviously I was wrong, even though I said I didn't know for sure or with certainty.

If you know with certainty, then great. Those possums were dead when min found them. Wouldn't of mattered what she did. Burying them was the only humane thing to do. Wouldn't you at least agree with that?


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

  • Posted by min3 9N.CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 14, 08 at 16:09

Gosh, Terryr and Alexandras! I abandoned this thread thinking no more would be contributed and got very busy with summer and my family. Today I checked back only to find that there was some continued controversy after all. Mostly I want to say to both of you that I really appreciate your concern.

As for the little possums, I feel now that I did the right thing, waiting and watching them for 24 hours before burial, and I feel more certain that they were dead. I HAD to move them because of my 3 dogs but at least now I know that a frantic mama possum didn't come back looking for them - thanks for that Alexandra!

And Terryr, I LIKE people who say what they mean. (: Min


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RE: A possum here, a possum there, possums everywhere

Update: No more possums since 2006. Once they were all trapped, removed & relocated, I installed hardware cloth (small 1/2" square metal mesh) to cover all areas beneath any decks or other hiding areas. Run the metal mesh from the perimeter deck joists to the ground and bend to cover on top of the ground out to about 2 feet. This will prevent digging under, since they will always attempt to dig at the base of the deck - not 2 feet out from the deck. Also, our dog pound rescue fox terrier is a great deterrent to all vermin and trespassers.


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Dental Implants Toronto

If you leave the wild animals on their property only in areas that have no predators, you end up with a population explosion. A few years ago, my neighbors and I was 13 woodchucks with less than an acre - a mom with two bunk beds, two years running, and there was plenty of food around it did none of leave. We had to hire someone to catch - the only legal method here. This is an older, urbanized area with almost no space left open.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dental Implants Toronto


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