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
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.
Interesting Facts About Opossums:
We can solve your opossum problem. Call 503.333.9580.