People don’t usually think of opossums very highly. They’re seen as a nuisance because they often get into people’s trashcans looking for food.
People’s attitudes towards opossums are evolving. Some still have the wrong idea that they are big rodents that give out rabies because they look a bit like rats. But an Opossum Awareness & Advocacy worker says that this perception is changing, though there are still cases of violence towards them caused by a lack of understanding.
In the past, people killed opossums as pests and also ate them. While that is still common in some areas, there is another reason why opossums are seen as pests. In cold weather, they like to make their homes in people’s basements or attics to find warmth.
Many horse owners despise opossums because they may have a virus which can be deadly for horses. However, not all opossums are infected; they can get the virus by eating something that has it. This is why some horse owners eliminate opossums as soon as they see them.
Some people take steps to prevent opossums from getting close to food their horses consume. There is usually no need to contact animal control or take any further action when opossums show up in your backyard.
Opossums are actually very helpful – they help reduce Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, not just in animals, but in humans too. People don’t often think about how important opossums are, but they are actually quite valuable!
What do they eat? It turns out they don’t go for leftovers from your trash can – they actually like ticks! It’s estimated they can eat up to 5,000 ticks in a season.
More info: Facebook | opossumpower.org
A trail camera recently recorded a sweet moment between a possum and a deer.
Recently, the Vermont Wildlife Coalition shared a sweet photo showing how helpful opossums are at dealing with ticks.
The photo of an opossum eating ticks off of a deer’s face quickly became popular online. It showed a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship – two different species living and working together.
Opossums are like the “cleaners” of nature, with an important job to do. At night, they get rid of ticks, mice, snakes, slugs, and other pesky garden bugs.
They aren’t as dirty as people think. They stay clean just like cats. They also almost never get or spread rabies because they have a very low body temperature.
Despite their attempts to look tough, they actually get scared easily. That’s why they play dead, whistle, and even faint when they’re scared. At the same time, they can be very cute.
If you come across them, it’s best to stay away. It is also not a good idea to keep them as pets and it is even against the law in many states.
The Opossum Awareness & Advocacy worker said people are hurting these creatures by destroying their homes and not having accurate information.
Learn about opossums and their positives and negatives, then share what you know with your friends, family, and town.