If you find opossums in your attic and rummaging around your property, you may wonder how you can do to get rid of them. Although opossums are nocturnal mammals that typically live outdoors, some opossums can enter and live in human structures, such as a garage or attic. If you have trees near your house or branches hanging over your home's roof, the pests can use them to enter your attic. In addition, trees that bear fruit or other types of food may also attract opossums to your property. Here are things to know about opossums, why you have them in your attic and on your property, and what you can do to get rid of them.
Why Do You Have a Opossum Problem?
Wild animals usually enter human structures when they need shelter in the cold season or a place to hide from predators. They can also inhabit human structures if there's a food source available for them. A opossum's diet consists of fruit and insects. They also enjoy rats and other rodents. If you have any of these treats in or around your attic, they may attract opossums.
Although opossums travel by foot, they will also use tree branches and limbs to get around. If trees or long branches surround your house, the animals can use them to reach your roof. Opossums will typically look for openings on and around your roof to enter the attic, including missing chimney flashing and damaged soffits and eaves. If you didn't already see the opossums, you might confuse them with rats and mice. Like rats and mice, opossums can make a great deal of noise when they move about.
Opossums will also come to your property if you have trees with fruit, berries, or nuts. To reach the food, opossums will climb the trees and leave marks on the bark. Trees with extensive bark damage can experience disease, decay, and even death. If your trees grow close to a fence or utility line, opossums can use them to reach the food source.
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What Can You Do to Solve Your Opossum Problem?
The first thing you can do to keep opossums out of your attic is to professionally trim the trees growing close to your house. Although you can do this job yourself, you may accidentally damage your trees if you prune them too much. Some types of trees can die if you remove too many of their branches and limbs. A professional tree trimmer will cut only the branches and limbs that hang over or too close to your roof.
Also, have a tree contractor trim any food-bearing trees on your property that grow or sit next to a fence or utility line. If the branches grow close to the ground, have these trimmed as well. If possible, secure the bases of your trees covered with a barrier to deter opossum climbing.
You may want to establish a tree-trimming schedule with a contractor to help keep your trees and attic safe from opossums in the future. Sources recommend that you prune or trim trees in early spring or late winter. However, some trees may require a different schedule, depending on their species. A contractor can discuss your schedules in greater detail when they visit you.
Finally, contact wildlife control services to trap and remove the opossums in your attic for you. Like many other wild animals, opossums carry diseases, parasites, and other dangerous pathogens that harm humans. Wildlife contractors will generally trap the animals alive and release them away from your house. Be sure to seal up any entrances that allowed opossums to enter the attic, including the eaves and soffits near your trees.
For more information about keeping opossums out of your attic or away from your food-bearing trees, contact a tree-service provider today.