Opossum Identification

What are opossums?

The opossum is a marsupial, which means they have an external pouch to carry their developing young. Possums are the only pouched mammals living in the United States. Adult opossums are about the size of an average house cat. Whitish-gray fur covers their body with long guard hairs sprinkled throughout. They have a long narrow face that is lighter in color than the rest of the body, and their ears and tails are hairless.

a family of opossum in plano texas

Besides their pouch, here are some other unique facts about opossums:

  • They have two big toes that act like opposable thumbs and help opossums climb trees.
  • Opossums have a prehensile tail that can grip things and allow these creatures to hang upside down from tree branches.
  • Opossums have the lowest brain to body mass of any mammal.
  • When threatened, opossums sometimes feign death or “play opossum.”
  • Fifty sharp teeth fill the mouth of an opossum.
  • They are nocturnal.

Are opossums dangerous?

Opossums spread diseases like leptospirosis, salmonella, and tularemia. Having opossums on your property poses health risks to you, your kids, and your pets. If possums ever feel threatened or are cornered, they won’t hesitate to protect themselves by growling, hissing, biting, or scratching.

Opossums are very damaging pests. They love to feed on grubs found in the dirt and will dig up your lawn and garden to get to their favorite food source. If they ever find their way into your home, they will cause damage to insulation, wires, cables, and ductwork. They will also introduce disease-spreading fleas onto any property they invade.

Why do I have an opossum problem?

Opossums are a common problem for Dallas area homeowners. Scavengers by nature, possums find their way onto our properties while searching for food and safe shelter away from predators. The smell of food in trash cans, pet food bowls, or garden areas is too much for opossums to ignore. Since possums love to feed on lawn grubs, properties with heavy grub infestations are highly attractive to these pests.

Where will I find opossums?

When living outside in nature, opossums typically live near streams or in swampy areas; they also do well in wooded areas and fields. Yards that are near their natural habitats are most susceptible to problems with these pests.

Opossums like to burrow near homes under decks, sheds, woodpiles, and brush piles. If given the opportunity, they may move inside, taking up residence in attics and crawlspaces. Garages and sheds are other favorite sources of shelter for these animals.

How do I get rid of opossums?

If opossums have decided to use your Texas yard as a place to forage for food or your home as a source of shelter, reach out to Brinker Animal Removal. Our professionals will come to your property and put together a customized plan to remove them. After targeting your wildlife issue, we will perform professional exclusion work and wildlife proofing.

If you are in the Dallas area and need help controlling opossums and other wildlife on your property, reach out to Brinker Animal Removal today.

How can I prevent opossums in the future?

While you should always allow a professional to handle issues with opossums, there are things you can do around your property to make it less attractive to these unwanted visitors:

  • Keep opossums out of your trash cans by placing locking lids on them.
  • Maintain gardens areas by regularly harvesting fruits and vegetables.
  • Pick up leftover pet food each evening.
  • Cut tree branches back away from your roof and repair roof damage.
  • Keep shed and garage doors closed whenever possible.
  • Place covers on chimneys and vents leading into your home.
  • Remove brush piles, fallen trees, or woodpiles from your yard.
  • Keep attics and crawl spaces free of clutter and debris where opossums could hide.

Learn about our residential animal removal and commercial wildlife services.


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