Can Wild Animals Help Control Other Pests?

August 9, 2016

One of the most common pests that Jacksonville exterminators are called upon to remove is the opossum. As the only native North American marsupial, the possum (as it often called in the South) is truly unique. Though it looks aggressive and does have some rat-like features, it is not a rodent and poses no real danger or threat to people or pets.

Did you know that a favorite of the opossum's diet is ticks? According to a study reported by the National Wildlife Federation, a single possum can kill up to 4,000 ticks in a week. Just as bats help manage the mosquito population, possums do their part to control the tick population. Although ticks can carry lime disease, opossums themselves do not.

Possums are nocturnal omnivores, often building their burrows near food sources. This is why most interactions with people happen. Garden sheds, garages, and even back yard decks can all be favorable places for opossums to make a home. Underground dens are their favorite habitats, often leading them to dig under lawns, woodpiles, and even sidewalks. However, most people go about their day never knowing how close they are living to wildlife.

When cornered or handled improperly, most wild animals will lash out, clawing and biting at people. Scratches and bites from any source can be dangerous and may become infected or spread disease. The best way to prevent opossums causing problems on your property is to remove things that attract them. Trash cans stored outdoors, food left out after a backyard barbecue, or uneaten pet food can all bring opossums closer to your home and family.

Should you have a problem with a possum on your property, never try to remove the unwanted guest yourself. Instead, contact Safari Termite & Pest Control and one of our trained specialists will humanely trap, remove and relocate the animal from your property. Until then, just enjoy the fact your furry nocturnal friend regularly dines on plant-eating insects, ticks, slugs and even poisonous snakes.