Male Virginia opossums may grow to 100 cm (40 inches) but average about 76 cm (30 inches) in total length (including the tail); females average about 72 cm (28 inches). First an understanding of why we have wildlife in our cities. Genetically white animals are usually a true white; dark stripes, rings or masks usually appear the same color (sometimes diluted) as found in the normal phenotype. As it turns out, there is a significant increase in opossum’s population in their native habitats. Opossums are not susceptible to distemper as our dogs and other wildlife. The worst thing that can be done is to trap and haul off the mother. ... settlers were farmers, in 1984 a number of the residents worked in the mills and broiler factories of Center. A quick look around in your neighborhood, you will understand there is plenty of food. This is defense tactic and is where the term “playing possum” originated. The mythology is that rats eat the bait, then leave in search of water. The coat color will be a creamy white to pale yellow – the color isn’t a true white. The squirrels seemed to fall out of nests when strong winds blew through in March. Decks should be constructed so that wildlife cannot get under. Many believe that rat poison is a “no muss, no fuss” solution. A heterozygous normal phenotype mated with a white phenotype would yield half normal and half white. The wildlife moves around our cities freely, utilizing our creeks/streams, greenbelts, and storm drainage systems. ; Primates are illegal in most states. The Southwestern Naturalist, 42:2: 170-176. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Either way, there is no doubt the lowly opossum should be welcomed with open arms. Melanin is the pigment that colors our skin. The opossum holds the distinction of being North Americas’s only marsupial. Then her wounds were treated. Most of the guard hair is agouti (banded) which means that the hair starts growing one color then change color one or more times before it sheds. A dollar bill is 6-inches and can be a handy ruler. Opossum Removal Houston. The animal responsible for turning over trash cans, dragging them half-way across the yard and prying open the lid is the raccoon, not the innocent opossum you see munching away in it the next morning. Because of their slower metabolism, they are not as susceptible to the venom. For details, see The Electric Scarecrow under Related Informationbelow. Opossums are nomadic and will move along once their food source disappears. They are about 2.5 feet (76 centimeters), nose to tail, and weigh 8.8 to 13.2 lbs. You are responsible for creating this food chain in your backyard. Mother opossums never return for the baby. Often, they will fall off the mom while traveling.  Put in a garden sprayer and spray the area of concern. A dollar bill is 6-inches and can be a handy ruler. Lemur. Deter opossums by making pet food, garbage, and ani… It can use its tail to hang from tree branches, and it has paws with opposable "thumbs." The Opossum or Possum Removal should only be attempted by people who understand the danger this animal can present. Attract birds to your yard that may dine on grub worms and other insects. Cover the den opening with newspaper. The opossum (scientific name: Didelphidae) was named so by English colonist John Smith of the Jamestown in Virginia colony. If you are truly bothered and want to discourage their presence in your yard, know that: Rabies in the opossum is very rare and considered negligible. While we are sad the moms did not make it, their heritage is carried on by these resilient little ones. Most animals express as completely albino, but there are cases when only certain parts of the body are affected. It was also badly hypothermic, so WR&E staff administered warm fluids and pain medication. The opossum’s face is usually white while the body coloration can range from almost white, through various shades of gray to black. If using a bin keep the doors closed. Opossums are prevalent throughout Houston, in neighborhoods as well as more natural areas. If the opossum is injured, contact an opossum wildlife rehabilitator or the DFW Wildlife Coalition hotline. It is a recessive trait that can be inherited. Dark markings will be expressed as gray or pale tan. Pink baby opossums rarely survive in a rehab center. In this situation, expect the opossum to show its 50 teeth, drool, and look terribly fierce. A female opossum may have 1-3 litters per year that contain 16-20 babies. By the end of the day all three animals were dry, warm and taking food. The next morning, check for babies that could have been left behind in the den and in the yard. Turn these deterrents off at day break. Even if you don’t hear babies – they are there. 1. Opossums eat pests such as roaches, grubs, grasshoppers, and ticks, just to name a few. Albinism is easily identified by the striking red eyes. The nipple completely fills the tiny opossum's mouth, firmly attaching it to its mother. Each hand and foot has five fingers and toes. Their populations in the cities are known to be 5 to 8 times greater than their country counterpart. Eyes appear red or pink because without melanin in the iris, the capillaries inside the eye show through. Cap your chimney.  Keep your roof and eaves in good repair to prevent entry by rodents, squirrels, or raccoons. Intubation continued on an hourly basis. The first step in dealing with an animal incursion is to determine the species of animal. The number of possums captured by the city has quadrupled over the last two years. When this happens they will excrete a green foul smelling fluid. The Center is also caring for over a hundred  little baby opossums who were kept alive by the protection of a mother's pouch, when moms were run over by vehicles. It is difficult to impossible for a wildlife rehabilitator to match the perfect conditions of the mother opossum’s pouch. Wildlife that has been in a cat’s mouth MUST go to a rehabilitator. Mild deterrents can be used to encourage the opossum to move. Use wire mesh to secure pens that house poultry. OK - so it’s ugly. A young female bobcat was brought to the Wildlife Center who was hit by a car. Many believe that albinism is a freak occurrence. Let’s start out with all the things they eat that we don’t want to share our back yard with. With guidance from the Wildlife Center he took a towel and scooped the hawk up and gently laid him in the back of his car and drove it to the Wildlife Center. We promise never to spam you! opossums and possums aren’t the same animal. Wildlife Center veterinarians checked the bobcat out and she was found to have an eye injury as well as several check bone fractures. Baby doves are beginning to show up at the Wildlife Center. They will soon be followed by songbirds and Killdeer. The Great Horned Owl began to stabilize. For this reason, the opossum is still commonly referred to as the Virginia North American Opossum. Opossums originated in South America and entered North America in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the two continents. However, removing any food sources is usually enough to encourage an opossum to move on. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Prevent nuisance animals from entering or taking refuge under buildings by closing any openings. ... Population dynamics and ecology of Virginia opossums in southern Texas. A man and his two children brought the badly hypothermic owl to the WR&E Wildlife Center for care. Skunk, opossum, raccoon, or armadillo enjoy dining on grub worms.  Digging activity is usually noticed after a lot of rain or overwatering from a sprinkler system.  The moisture causes the grubs to rise to the surface.  Wildlife eating grubs is beneficial and is free pest control. This month has kept the Center staff, veterinarians, and  volunteers very busy treating and feeding hundreds of squirrels and opossums. Evicting an opossum is the same as evicting a raccoon or a skunk. 7. If you want to feed the birds, please put a day’s portion of seed when you can enjoy the songbirds. Possum Kingdom Lake is an area in Graford,Palo Pinto County,Texas with a population of 2,506. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Consider feeding indoors to prevent fire ants and flies in your pet’s food.  A thick lawn is too dense to accommodate the beetles. Life in the cities is indeed easier for the wildlife. A good video showing predator prey in an urban eco-system. The pink, embryonic-looking infants are so small at … Several hours later a call came from a gentleman who had found a hawk on the road. Pro Tips. The grub eggs require frequent moisture to hatch. This protection extends to the eyes. Raptor babies, especially Great Horned Owls are usually one of the first babies to make their appearance each year. Opossums’ diets include snakes, snails, slugs, mice, rats, and carrion.  In Texas, commercially-available nematodes have shown a 50% reduction of grubs. A heat lamp was placed over the bird to speed the warming process. Increased rodent population can be a public health risk. The opossum [...]. They also eat beetles, ants, grasshoppers, grubs, earthworms, lizards, geckos, frogs and fresh carrion.  A healthy lawn is more resistant to pests. Be sure and look for babies when an opossum is comatose as they can fall out of the pouch. A lot of people are aware that opossums “play dead” when they feel threatened. Opossums are great climbers, so make sure that all of the trees on your property are trimmed back away from your home. They have 50 sharp teeth and might appear menacing; however, they are inoffensive unless you are foolish enough to put your hand in their mouth. Mice will leave dropping that are half the length of an uncooked grain of rice, rats will leave a dropping that is as large as a cooked grain of rice or larger. Your quick reaction could mean the difference between the life or death of an animal(s) and whether there is damage to property from the animal’s activities or from its decomposition. The infant opossums crawl to their mother’s pouch, where they will stay for 2—3 three months. Adjust sprinkler systems to prevent pooling of water. Albinism occurs when melanin is not produced by melanocytes. Our urban predators are naturally fearful of humans.  Don’t allow a food source to create a conflict inviting unnatural behavior from your wild neighbors. Opossums are born after a gestation period of only thirteen days. Scavenger Behavior. Scientist Rick Ostfeld points out that few ticks survive a run in with an opossum. It has dexterous hands. You can help a comatose opossum survive by: IMMEDIATELY PUT YOUR DOG IN THE HOUSE! – Source 2. When faced with such an aggressive display, it is hard to remember that the opossum is more frightened that you. A baby opossum can be identified by the thumb on the rear foot. Common Raccoons are stocky animals with short legs and small, rounded ears. In many cases, such as the coyote, when a resident pair are removed the surrounding coyotes absorb the vacant territory allowing for the success of larger litters.  The results are a larger coyote population than prior to removal.  Studies also reveal that relocated trapped animals seldom survive, as most are territorial. Mammal predators in our cities include, bobcats, coyotes, and to a lesser degree raccoons, foxes, skunks and opossums. We will humanely remove possum from your home. Inside the pouch the babies are kept a consistent temperature, as if in an incubator. Congratulations!   Once the grubs are eaten the wildlife will continue their journey. If you must chase an opossum to rescue him and he is 8 inches long, he does not need to be rescued! Most folks like the fact that opossums actively seek and kill all venomous snakes, except the coral snake. (4 to 6 kilograms), according to National Geographic.  If you must place out the night before, put half a cup of ammonia in the can to discourage rummaging. Close off decks and crawl spaces with screen or plywood. Manage pets. Most people think opossums are pretty dumb; however, when their ability to remember where food is was tested, they came out on top, with results scoring better than rats, rabbits, cats and dogs. Tempted to chase them out of your flowerbeds? In late spring to early summer, reduce outdoor lighting which attracts the June bugs and other beetles. It will then attach to the mother’s teats for 24/7 nourishment for the next two months. Texas Population History. Opossum or Possum Removal should be initiated as soon as the animal has been discovered living in your area. So what niche does it fill? If the den site was under a deck or building, secure by constructing a “L” shape barrier of hardware cloth. The Wildlife Center has shifted to its Spring/Summer operating hours and is now open Monday through Friday 9:00-6:00 and weekends 9:00-4:00pm. O let me list the ways. Two species who have adapted extremely well are the raccoon and opossum. These Products are Recommended for the Treatment of Grubs. If you have a dog, the dog will be the aggressor and corner the opossum. Schedule outdoor maintenance and inspection at least once a month for yourself or a professional to do. Natural habitat: Madagascar; Size: Can range from 1.1 oz to 20 lbs depending on the species. We’ll never know if the opossum is grateful we are so messy or if they scurry around feeling harassed and under-appreciated. Keep cats indoors, as there are multiple dangers in our communities such as cars, disease, cat fights, dogs, hawks, owls, coyotes and bobcats. The problem is that they often don’t leave and if they die in an enclosed space, the stench and subsequent clean up [...], The short answer is no. Never assume the opossum is dead and bury or place in a trash bag, because it may indeed be alive. They do not dig up the yard or eat your newly planted flowers, but they will eat the pests that will destroy your grass, kill your bushes and eat your flowers. Your donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Perhaps the most intriguing item on an opossum’s daily menu is an even more dreaded human foe: the tick. Baby Opossums Are Cute — And a Little Weird! A shunt was put in and the opossum is on antibiotics and pain medications. The Common Raccoon is between 33 to 45 in. Opossums are part of the natural world and are present whether you see them or not. I don’t want opossums in my yard. The only marsupial (mammal with a pouch) living in North America, the opossum is a unique and fascinating animal. It is not fully developed. Some never even make it as far as the pouch. The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Virginia opossum total population size, but this animal is common and widespread throughout its known range. In North America, opossum and possum describe the same thing, but in Australia the word possum refers to … Opossum or Possum Removal should be initiated as soon as the animal has been discovered living in your area. They are extremely vulnerable to predators. 1. Avoid allowing landscape to become overgrown.  Trim overhanging limbs to discourage roof access. What can I do? Sadly, there isn’t much you can do to help pink baby opossums. Mom will not collect the babies once she revives. Â. Do not keep pet food out. On occasion, we send out a newsletter filled with rescue stories, pictures, workshop information and more. ; Diet: Varies between species, but they mainly eat plant material.  Don’t put food scraps in your compost pile. Having an opossum in your backyard is the same as having a personal pest removal service. [...], Three animals lay on cold Houston streets on a drizzly gray day in November. Hopefully, the squirrel and opossum babies will have eased off before the birds hit their peak. I’m not suggesting opossums are blameless for they are not above crawling into trash cans (from which they can’t escape) and accidentally turning them over. Don’t let an opossum build a nest in or under your home. The hawk turned out to be a gorgeous adult Red Tailed Hawk. The eyes are the normal color. An exam revealed deep gashes in her neck. If you didn’t hear animal activity until March – April – May, I can guarantee there are babies in the attic. If you are certain, your dog did not make contact, leave your yard and give the opossum several minutes to a couple of hours to recover. The name "opossum" is derived from an Algonquian Indian word "apasum", meaning white animal. Population number. On November 21, 2009 the first call came in about a Great Horned Owl who had been found on the road. The DFW Wildlife Coalition is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization, and receives no state or federal funding. Fast facts about the only native North Amercian marsupial, the Virginia opossum North America's only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal. All three needed help as their injuries prevented them from moving. The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia (/daɪˌdɛlfɪˈmɔːrfiə/) endemic to the Americas.  If you must feed your dog outside, please pick up any remaining food after 20-30 minutes. With abundant resources of food, water, and shelter the remaining animals will absorb that vacant territory in a very short time. The magnificent Great Horned Owl was cold, wet and scared. Males are usually larger and heavier than females. She was also hypothermic and in shock. Your purchase through our product page supports the DFW Wildlife Coalition Hotline. To prevent digging bury wire from the base “L” shaped attached at a 45-degree angle with the base extending at least 12 inches away from the sides. Don’t allow fruit, acorns, and nuts to accumulate. This year we were several weeks into baby squirrels before the Great Horned owlets began showing up at intake. Shopping on our site, supports the hotline.  Their diets consist of a wide range of insects, lizards, frogs, snakes, mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, and ducks.  Keep dumpster doors and lids closed.  Consider purchasing animal proof containers. The horizontal of the “L” will be at a 45-degree angle away from the structure at least 12 inches in width and submerged four inches or so. Buried depth is recommended to be 4 to 6 inches. We handle all of your opossum removal problems such as opossum in your yard, house, or attic. If not disturbed for 24 hours the opossum has moved.  On rare occasions, you may need to repeat the deterrents a second night.  Do not attempt an eviction when adverse weather is expected. For pier and beam homes check your foundation vents and replace with a sturdy hardware cloth to prevent entry. The use of motion detector devices using either/or a combination of light, sound, and water can reduce visits to your pools or ponds. The Wildlife Center of Texas received a call from a concerned citizen about a young opossum who had fallen from a tree and was impaled on branches. Â. Teach children to respect and never approach or touch wildlife. You will need to respray as needed due to rain or sprinkler system. According to Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension the repeated use of spiked sandals (sold for aerating) over the infested turf may reduce grub population by 50%. However, albinism is actually genetic. This video demonstrates how baby opossums can fall off the mother and she not be aware. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American opossum, is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. The base can be wood, rock, brick or hardware cloth to ground level. Posted: May 22, 2010. Coyotes, bobcats, hawks, and owls consider our small pets (rabbit size or smaller) to be fair prey.  We must be responsible for their safety when outdoors.  When walking, keep your pet on a six-foot leash.  Small pets should be housed inside. The life span of the Virginia Opossum is about 2-4 years. WILD ABOUT TEXAS: Opossums come out when sun goes down. The entire State of Texas has an abundant wild animal population and Houston is no exception. Often, they will fall off the mom while traveling.  Explain the wildlife’s role in our cities and to always get an adult to help if wildlife is in need. This is all show.  Patience and tolerance are recommended. Are you experiencing an issue with wildlife in your area?  If you have an urgent concern, please get in touch with us right away.  If you are looking for more information, please click on one of the questions below to expand the content and find your answer.  If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at DFW Wildlife Coalition. In this situation, expect the opossum is comatose as they quietly eat pests such fruits... To tail, and volunteers very busy treating and feeding hundreds of and... Some very large opossums or possums and some exceed 20 pounds ) for several recommended deterrents in our cities,. White tigers mate, then all the offspring will be the aggressor and the... Inspection at least once a month for yourself or a professional to do and responsible,! Is born after a 12-day gestation period of only thirteen days significant in... Opossums may give birth to as the animal has been in a single season and grub eaters your vents... 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