Should I be concerned about opossums (possums) on my property? in New Jersey | Opossum

Should I be concerned about opossums (possums) on my property?

Opossums are ‘opportunistic’ omnivores. They will go after any easy food source. While it’s true they may be going after pet food or garbage, if all of these are stored away, your property may be home to some wild critters that opossums like to eat, such as slugs, bugs, mice, and even small snakes. Additionally, if you have any fruit trees, such as apple trees, opossums will pursue fallen, rotten fruit.

Opossums hiss when threatened, but are generally very docile. They do not attack humans or pets, and their incidence of rabies is extremely low - possibly due to a low body temperature, which makes it difficult for the rabies virus to survive. 

Do opossums really eat ticks? 

Yes, opossums really do eat ticks. Scientists estimate that one opossum may kill 5,000 ticks in one season. Despite being known as ‘opportunistic’ omnivores (i.e. willing to eat just about anything, including garbage) opossums groom themselves meticulously. If they walk through leaf litter or shrubby grass and collect ticks, they will kill and eat them during the grooming process. Additionally, opossums eat bugs and mice and help keep these populations in balance.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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