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Facts About the Possums

Thе роѕѕum found in New Zеаlаnd iѕ the Auѕtrаliаn brushtailed роѕѕum, whilе Pоѕѕumѕ аrе fоund in Nоrth Amеriса whеrе they аrе called opossums.Thе most familiar and abundant of thе many Australian possum ѕресiеѕ аrе thе Bruѕhtаil роѕѕum (Triсhоѕuruѕ vulресulа) аnd thе Cоmmоn Ringtаil роѕѕum (Pѕеudосhеiruѕ реrеgrinuѕ).The bushy-tailed Bruѕhtаilѕ аrе agile сlimbеrѕ аnd are mоrе often …

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Playing Possum: 8 Interesting Truths behind This Cute Little Rodent

Drawing cartoon picture of playing possum

What Does Playing Possum Exactly Means?

Often presumed as a giant, dirty and abhorred rat with scavenging habits but a possum is a cute little rodent living in the wild. It suffers from a perception problem. Whether you hate them or love them, you cannot deny their unique set of abilities. One of them is the playing possum. They fake their death to escape hunters, fights, and predators. It is one the most complicated and applauded behavioral characteristic shown by the possums. The main aim of playing possum is to remain undetected at the time of threat.

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Opossum:12 Fascinating Facts and How to Get Rid of Them

Opossum climbing on tree

An opossum belongs to marsupial mammals from the order Didelphimorphia. There are more than 60 different opossums species present in the world. In North America region they are popular with a name of possums. The most prominent species of opossums are Virginia opossum and Common opossum. Some people consider it as one species, but actually, they are two different species. The scientific name of the Common opossum is Didelphis marsupialis, and the scientific name of Virginia opossum is Didelphis virginiana. The opossum is the only pouched mammal (marsupial) that exists in Canada and United States.

An opossum looking at camera
Source: http://texaswildlifecontrol.com/

Opossum body size is about 21 to 36 inches long. This length measures from nose to the tail. The body weight is approx 4 to 6 kilograms or 8.8 to 13.2 pounds. From the length perspective of their body, they look like a cat or a kitten. Besides having a cat-sized body, other physical features of opossums are extended, pointed pink-coloured snout, gray colored fur with a white face. They have dark colored beady eyes and ears having no hairs on them. These creatures possess four paws and a long tail that is almost one-third of its whole body size. Like their ears, opossum tail is also hairless. By nature, opossums are nocturnal. For a reason, they stay awake whole night and keep sleeping during the day time. They keep searching for their food during night time. Opossums do not build their shelter place, and they usually prefer to live in den and caves evacuated by other animals. This is a very adjustable animal and can happily live in different shelters types like woodpiles, burrows, brush piles, empty logs and even in attics or other structures made by humans. Generically, they prefer to live in forests or other those woodlands having a source of water on its premises. They can easily adapt to changing the climate or different habitats. The basic things opossum needs to live are just water, food and shelter.

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Opossum vs Possum: No More Confusion

Picture of Opossum and Possum
Source: http://imgur.com/

The opossum is a marsupial mammal found in North America. The opossum was firstly originated from the South America and started moving towards the North America. The scientific name of Didelphidae was given by John Smith, the English colonist of the Jamestown colony. They are known to be successful colonizers and survivors for they can survive in diverse conditions due to their flexible diet and other characteristics.

Possums are the Australian marsupial mammals also known as Phalangeriformes. The name possum was derived from the opossums of America because they both resemble a lot. Although the Australian marsupials usually have long tails as compared to the opossum. Many people have a lot of confusions regarding these two animals. Most people think that both are the same species with just two different names. However, in actual, when you study in detail, you would get to know that they belong to two different families.

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Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Possums (Plus 2 Lethal Solutions)

Possum family caught by trap

Complaints about Possum Damage

It is common that everyone’s backyard is occupied by different pests and buds and they need to be eradicated. Possums are one of them. Although they are not difficult to kill and eradicate and they are the cause of potential health hazards for anyone’s family and domesticated animal.

There are some complaints including the smells which is worse than the dead possums. They steal the pet food and make clutter of garbage. They should eliminate rapidly because they cause a disease name Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). Possums do property damages like they will chew everything and make way in your home, make holes in the walls, they will throw all the trash in your house and make your yard dirty. The best and easy way to remove them is to understand their habits as well. They will take up the residence in wild wooded areas, bushes, beneath the decks, steps, and outhouses.  When they feel any threat, they start “play Possums” imitating the presence and bad smell of sick or dead possums that will make you sick in turn.

10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Them

Read moreTop 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Possums (Plus 2 Lethal Solutions)

How to Get Rid of Possums in 11 Ways

Get rid of opossum

Possums are non-aggressive animals however they are known to create unsanitary conditions, and if these circumstances help in the development of diseases, it can turn aggressive as well. There are various ways to get rid of these creatures. By removing them, we can make the environment more appealing. You can get rid of them by setting traps and capture them immediately. You can remove them by scaring them away. You can let pets like dogs and cats roam around in the lawn. This will scare away the possums. They bite the possums viciously and scare them away in no time. You can also collect the hair of your pet and scatter them where there is a possibility of these possums.

You also have the option of setting up motion-activated lights or sprinklers to startle and scare them off. You can do this along with the perimeter of the house. If the possums dare to cross the sensor, the motion activated devices which are set will be automatically triggered and give off an alarm signal. This may help frighten the possums away from that place on the spot. These devices are more efficient than those that only activate lights. The lights are enough to scare these possums away, but the water sprinklers also work best to frighten them. Water sprinklers are much more effective than light activated devices, but they are a bit complicated to handle.

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Top Ten Possum Facts and How To Control Them!

Three possums hanging on a wooden stick
A possum sitting on the tree
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org

The Opossums or possums are the small marsupial mammals that fall under the order Didelphimorphia. They are considered as one of the major marsupials that are found in the Western Hemisphere. This order consists of more than 103 that are further classified into 19 genera. They are natives of the South American region. They also became part of the North America following the Great American Interchange. It is because of their biological diversity, dietary habits and the adaptability of the reproductive system that helps them survive in all kinds of environmental conditions.

Basic Facts about the Possum

The word “opossum” is taken from Powhatan language. This terminology was used for the first time by John Smith and William Strachey in 1607 and 1611 respectively. These men learned this new language while visiting the British colony of Jamestown. Strachey later described the animal he saw as a beast which was as big as a pig. As per the observation of Smith, the head was similar to that of swine; the tail was like a rat and the size of that of a cat. The meaning of the word opossum in the native language is “white dog or dog-like beast.” The other name of the same is a possum. This is how it is known as in the Southern United States and Midwest. The same term was later used to describe and define the Australian marsupials that belong to the suborder Phalangeriformes. They were different from the opossums and close to the kangaroos in their appearance ad features.

Read moreTop Ten Possum Facts and How To Control Them!