Despite many misconceptions, opossums are one of the nicer critters among those that we handle. While many people find possums to be scary, they are actually quite docile. They also do a lot for our local environment. While you wouldn’t want them in your house, opossums in your area aren’t the worst.
Opossums and Pest Control
We often think of opossums as pests (and they are) but they also eat a lot of problematic critters too. They love to eat roaches and ticks. Ticks are big spreaders of disease, most notably Lyme disease. In one season, a single opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks.
Additionally, opossums will eat mice and rats, helping curb the spread of these varmints and some of the diseases they carry. They are also known to munch on garden pests like snails, slugs, and beetles. They also eat snakes and are highly resistant to their venom.
Opossums often scrounge and scavenge for food. They will clean up roadkill, and carrion left behind by other animals. Because of this, they can be an important part of the food web, cleaning up their local environment.
Opossums and Exposure to Diseases
While we discussed how helpful these critters can be, they are still dangerous wild animals. Opossums can help curb critters that spread disease, but they can be carriers themselves. Notably, possums are well-known carriers of rabies. You should never approach an opossum. If there is an opossum in your house or on your property, stay away from it and call a professional wildlife removal service.