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Opossum in the Attic

Opossums are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of scavenging and living in attics and under houses. When possums live in the attic, they cause the following problems:
  • Noise while crawling around in the attic
  • Large droppings throughout the attic
  • Spread of pathogens and parasites in house
  • Baby opossums fall down walls from attic
  • Adult or baby possums die in attic and cause huge odor
  • Opossums cause damage to ducts and insulation in attic
For these reasons, it's very important to have opossums properly removed if you have them living in your attic.

Many people don't believe me when I say that I remove opossums from attics. Well, I do, and I remove a LOT! Opossums are great climbers, with their opposable thumbs, and they like to live in a warm, dry, safe attic as much as the next critter.

Click here for a nationwide list of 100's of professional opossum trappers serving all 50 states.

  Female opossums seek out a safe place to have their young, by instinct, so an opossum in an attic is usually a female with young. Luckily with opossums, the young cling to her 24-7, so it's easy to remove them all, without searching for a separate nest of baby animals. Opposums will also exhibit a unique behavior of denning up in adult groups during the winter. I've seen up to six adult opossums living together in one attic during winter. It's unusual, because possums are not normally social animals. Once opossums get into an attic, they leave a huge mess with their dog-sized turds, and they also frequently die in attics. The stench has to be smelled to be believed.

How Do You Get Opossums Out of the Attic?
- The best bet is trapping, or removal by hand or snare pole in the attic. Exclusion doors will work too. The best starting point for you is education. Here are tips about possums in the attic:

TYPE & TIME OF NOISE: Opossums are nocturnal. They are pretty slow, and they usually sound like a ...slow, heavy animal walking through the attic. They are actually pretty quiet.

HOW THEY GOT INSIDE: Possums usually just climb up the house and enter an easy opening, like an uncovered soffit vent or open eave gap. They don't really force their way in. But they do need a relatively large opening.

EVIDENCE LEFT BEHIND: A ton of shit, basically! Opossums make huge turds, and lots of them, and they leave them all over the attic. The terds are easy to identify, since they're large with often pointed tips. They also leave the usual trails in the insulation. The young also frequently fall down walls and scratch and such if that happens. Mostly, people notice the smell of opossums, either living (tolerable odor) or dead (intolerable odor). Click here to see types of possum damage.

TIME OF YEAR: Mostly in May and June, as mothers enter an attic to keep their young safe, and again in December & January, to keep warm during the coldest winter months.

METHOD OF CONTROL: Mothballs or ammonia won't make them leave, nor will ultrasonic sound emitters or strobe lights. These tactics have been ruled fraudulent by the FTC, and they DO NOT WORK. Click to learn why possum repellents don't work. Opossums are easy to trap, either outside OR INSIDE the attic (inside trapping usually does not work on most critters). If you trap outside, on the roof near the entry point is the best spot. Read my possum trapping tips here. After all the possums are out, including the young, which are very common in spring and summer, the entry holes have to be sealed.

So in summary, if you want to know how to get rid of possums in the attic, this is the correct method - trapping, removal, and sealing of entry points. Not too hard, with possums. Still, it does take experience and knowledge to do it right, so you may want to hire a pro from my list.

Customer Email:
David, I have viewed and read your page about possums. And yes, I have seen a possum in real life.(more than once) Here is my story. On February 14, 2010 at about 5:00 A.M., I was trying to get some sleep minding my own business. I had the light off in my room. Then I heard some weird noise outside my bedroom window. It sounded like my window was about to be open. I was so scared! I thought there was somebody trying to break in.(My room is downstairs by the way.) So I got up and went to my window. I heard scratching at my window and a squeak sound. I checked at the left side of my window, pulling the blinds. I didn't see anything. I still knew something was there, because I heard the noise at the middle part of my window. I checked there. I pulled the blind. Then, I saw something moving. I did't get a clear view, because my window was condensated. I had rubbed the window. Then, I saw it. A possum!!!!!! It was looking at me. The possum was white and had black stripes on the back of it. It had a long pink tail, black nose, and was very huge. It looked like a giant rat. The possum had summoned me. It saw me. Then, the possum crawled up and into a hole in a vent under the roof, and into the attic. The possum looked like it was either digging or drinking water before that. Then I told my mom about it. I know a little about possums. I know that it's in the animal kingdom and possums are related to skunks and raccoons. Possums just come to our house. And I didn't know that possums can survive in the winter time. I thought they hibernate. Can you give me some more facts about possums? How big can a possum can grow up to? What do they eat? Can possums bite? How fast can possums run? What do possums have to avoid? Please send me back some facts about possums. Thanks!

Thanks for the letter. Opossums usually don't live more than three years. They can reach up to 15 pounds. They can eat ANYTHING. They can bite, but rarely do,. They can't run very fast. They have to avoid dogs and cars. If it's living in your attic, it can create a lot of damage and a big mess up there, so perhaps you or your mom should consider having the animal removed professionally.
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