5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Opossums

opossum climbing on the tree
When you think about critters that go “bump in the night,” the opossum is probably near the top of your list. Unfortunately, the common opossum tends to get a bad reputation with most people.

Opossums get accused of being nothing more than big rats. They might be found lurking in trashcans or on the side of the street—but the truth? Opossums aren’t scary.

In fact, they’re very peaceful animals who could be doing more around your home than you realize. That’s why it’s important to take the right steps in “getting rid” of them. Instead of trying to kill them, you can have them safely retrieved and moved so they can continue to do good elsewhere.

So, why shouldn’t you be afraid of opossums?

1. They Get Rid of Pests

Opossums will eat just about anything, including a lot of common household pests. What do opossums eat? The list is long, but here are a few common delicacies they’re known to snack on:

  • Cockroaches
  • Beetles
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Snakes
  • Ticks

Opossums will even eat the remains of dead animals. Again, they’re not too picky about what they ingest, but that means fewer pests in and around your home!

2. They’re Very Clean

Maybe it’s because they’re nocturnal or so mysterious, but opossums seem to have a reputation for being unclean and full of diseases.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Opossums are very clean animals. Yes, they might eat anything and everything, but they do so in a tidy fashion and always “clean up” after themselves. They aren’t filthy, and typically they aren’t carrying any horrible diseases around with them.

3. They Fight Against Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be a serious problem, often caused by ticks. If you live in a wooded or rural area, you and your children and pets are likely at a greater risk of Lyme disease.

So, how do opossums help to prevent it? For starters, they kill thousands of ticks every year. Opossums even tend to kill most of the ticks that get on their bodies before they have the opportunity to cause any harm. So, if you see an opossum around your house, it could be your best defense against blood-sucking ticks and potential Lyme disease.

nature opossum possum

4. They Aren’t Aggressive

Opossums are typically slow-moving, docile creatures. They might seem scary because they’ll hiss if you get too close, but they don’t want to fight. They don’t like to move too far, which is why they tend to scavenge for their food within a small radius. So, if you don’t bother them, it’s very unlikely that they’ll show any interest in attacking or even having anything to do with you. Leaving them alone is always your best bet.

5. They Keep Snakes Away

Similar to keeping ticks at bay, opossums can also help if you have a snake problem. There is a unique gene in opossums that seems to make them immune to most snake bites/venom. Because of this, they can kill and eat all different types of snakes, which can potentially protect you and your family!

As you can see, there’s really nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the common opossum. If you have a lot of them in your area or you’d like opossums inspections done around your house, feel free to contact us for more information. We pride ourselves on making sure animals are handled with care.