The small mammal often called the possum in North Carolina is an opossum. Possums are an Australian cousin and another species of marsupial, but they are in fact quite different. You will not likely come across any possums in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Burlington, Kernersville or the surrounding areas.
Opossums, however, are fairly numerous. While they appear disgusting and frightening to some people, they are pretty shy and non-aggressive. Opossums are about the size of a housecat with rat like features. Their coats are gray, and they have long snouts and sharp teeth. Climbing, swimming, foraging, sneaking and other similar activities make them versatile enough to survive in many landscapes, including urban areas.
Opossums as Pests
Problems caused by opossums typically involve trash and other items left outside people’s homes that the opossum considers food. They are nocturnal and will compete with raccoons for late-night snacks in neighborhoods. In addition to trash cans, opossums will eat any pet food left in dishes on a porch over night.
The other main issue people will have with opossums is their nesting habits. Opossums do not create their nests as much as they live in pre-existing areas for shelter, like crawl spaces, under decks and in sheds. This often startles homeowners who did not plan on sharing these spaces with the opossum.
Removal of Opossums in the Triad
There is usually not a threat posed by having opossums around, but they are relatively dirty animals seeing as they spend a lot of time in the trash. There are many strategies to employ to prevent opossums from spending time on your property. Not having open trash cans or pet food dishes outside over night will help not have your home seen as a food supply. Similarly, not leaving sheds and crawl spaces accessible will stop them from seeing your home as their home.
Opossums are sneaky though and can be hard to keep away. If you live in the greater Triad region and suspect opossums are making a home on your property or at least dining there at night, it may be time to call in the experts. Critter Control of the Triad will send a wildlife technician out to your property who can quickly figure out the best solution to your opossum problems.