Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

OPPOSUMS (Didelphis virginiana)
Description:

An opossum is a mammal about the size of a house-cat, weighing 4-14 pounds, depending on maturity and age. It has moderately long fur that is not dense but stringy and shaggy looking. The color ranges from creamy white to dark gray, generally darker on the legs and lighter on the back. The face is long and pointed with dark, rounded, paper-thin ears that are hairless. Though you will likely never see them all, opossums have 50 teeth, more than any other North American mammal. Opossums have five toes on each foot and the hind foot works like a hand with an opposable toe.

Biology:
Opossums are nocturnal creatures, preferring to hunt and scavenge at night so they are not often seen. Except for females with young, they are solitary animals. They are omnivores and eat a wide variety of foods including, fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, eggs, insects, carrion, and pet food left out for house pets. So, around retail/commercial buildings opossums are scavengers, they seek out the garbage dumpster and food areas. Pestgon, Inc., has found them living in burrows, culverts, woodpiles and building openings, attics, wall voids and anywhere they can find shelter for a den and to raise their young. Being a marsupial they carry their young in a pouch like a kangaroo.

Economic Impact:
Opossums become a nuisance when they move into any retail/commercial building. Their smelly denning habits and discharges create terribly offensive odors. Opossums can damage buildings by pushing in screened vents, window screens, chewing electrical wiring and scattering building insulation. In the walls and ceilings their movements become a noise nuisance. They are also carriers of numerous diseases, including tuberculosis and salmonella, and they are heavily infested with ticks, lice and fleas, all disease transmitters. As a protection, Pestgon Inc. technicians wear, “hazardous waste”, Tyvek suits and appropriate masks when cleaning out an opossum den. Such a wildlife hazard is a danger to building occupants of office retail, or commercial projects, and is therefore a public health hazard.

Management Methods:
Pestgon, Inc. is very knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with nuisance wildlife problems around commercial, office and industrial buildings. As with most such pests, prevention and exclusion are the first line of defense. Eliminating the food sources by means of sanitation procedures and rodent control and insect pest control is paramount to a good wildlife management program. Trapping, by means of humane live traps, and removal of the animals from the property, is an effective method often used by Pestgon, Inc.