Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Opossum, where art thou opossum?

I overheard this one, but can guess what the circumstances were. An opossum, babies in tow, had found her way into a garage, or perhaps underneath someone's deck.

The best thing to do is leave her alone. Opossum's, our only North American Marsupial, are nomadic by nature and do not nest, even when they have young. They do however, take advantage of opportunities like open garage doors, open decking or even unused dog kennels, when morning comes and they need someplace safe to spend the day.

If letting her be is not an option try these tips.

· Leave a radio on - put it to a talk station, it only needs to be at a moderate level because the goal is to make her believe there are people nearby even when there aren’t.

· Turn the lights on - other than when the food is so scarce they are forced to come out during the day, opossums prefer the cover of darkness, so turning on a light will help to decrease their comfort level.

· Take up any and all food sources - opossums are scavengers and they actually provide a valuable (if grotesque) service. Any bird feeders, fruit trees, garbage, un-cleaned grills, outdoor pet food or pretty much anything else that is edible should be cleaned up, brought inside or placed into an airtight container to prevent from attracting them.

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