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Opossum (or Possum)
opossum in stairwell
Opossum in a stairwell
Prehistoric in looks? You bet. Opossum skeletons from the days of the dinosaurs reveal that they haven't changed much over the years. Opossum (or possum) are one of the most interesting and unique mammals of North America. These nocturnal creatures are not native to the west coast but since they've been introduced to the region, they can be found all over Portland and the surrounding area.

Rat-like at first glance (only much bigger – about the size of a house cat), the opossum has grey, white, black, and a little yellowish-brown coloring. They have dark ears and beady black eyes. Their hind feet have opposable thumbs, which help them to climb and hang in trees. An opossum's bare tail is prehensile, meaning that it can grasp.

dead opossum in attic
Dead opossum in attic
Opossums are the only marsupial (pouched mammal) north of Mexico. They give birth to babies while they are still in the embryonic state (after about 2 weeks of pregnancy). These babies (as few as 1 and as many as 14) then journey into the mom's pouch where they will attach to a nipple for the remaining stages of their development. After about 2 months the babies explore outside the pouch and cling to the mother's back as she moves about.

When threatened, the opossum will open its mouth wide to display its fifty teeth (the most of any mammal). The usually quiet animal may give out a hiss in order to keep its threat at bay. Since the opossum is not a mighty fighter, it may actually play dead (aka "play 'possum"), by passing out, slowing its breath and roll over.

Opossums diets are extremely varied because they aren't picky eaters. From carrion to grubs, from berries to garbage, they will eat just about anything organic. When there is plenty to eat, they'll fatten up which will help them get through a tough winter.

We provide professional humane opossum control, removal, relocation, and exclusion services, as well as cleaning and decontamination services.
Common Opossum Problems:
  • Opossum is living under the home
  • "What is that smell under my home?" A dead opossum in the crawl space under the house.
  • Opossum is living in the attic – hear scratching noises in the attic?
  • "What is that smell coming from my attic?" An opossum has died in the attic.
  • Sometimes an opossum will fall into the wall space... a dead opossum in the wall!
  • Opossums get into chicken coops, cat food, dog food, garbage, and compost.
  • Opossums will live in the basement, an unused grill, under a porch or deck.
  • Call us if an opossum is being a nuisance.
Interesting Facts About Opossums:
  • Possum have 50 teeth!
  • Possum are the only marsupial in North America.
  • Possum have opposable thumbs on hind feet.
  • Possum have a prehensile tail.
  • Possum have thirteen nipples (most mammals have an even number).
  • Possum have bifurcated penis and double channeled vagina.
  • Possum eat just about anything.
  • Possum are naturally immune to rabies and other diseases. They also have an incredible tolerance for snake venom.
We can solve your opossum problem. Call 503.333.9580.
info@awildlifepro.com   •   503.333.9580   •   Portland, Oregon   •   © 2007 A Wildlife Pro