How to Identify Opossums

Opossum problems are common throughout the New York area, and not just in Rural and Suburban areas. All boroughs of New York City have opossums, too.

Opossums are marsupials that weigh between about 12 to 14 pounds and are 15 to 20 inches long, from nose to tail. They have light grey fur, a long hairless tail, pointed snouts, with a mouth containing 50 very sharp teeth. In the wild, opossums are opportunistic feeders but tend to eat mostly meat like insects, worms, bird eggs, voles, moles, or dead animal carcasses. Opossums usually have 3 or 4 dens, in hollow logs or trees, old squirrel nests, rock crevices, brush heaps, and sometimes, openings in your home.



There are several indicators you could be dealing with an opossum infestation in your home, including:

  • Damage to your home’s exterior, such as torn-up shingles or ripped soffits
  • Disappearing pet food
  • Hissing, shrieking, or scratching sounds
  • Unexpected, unpleasant odors


Opossum problems start if they get inside your property. Opossums present a series of health risks caused by their urine, feces, and a foul fluid they excrete from their rear. Opossums carry a host of diseases harmful to people and pets, like Leptospirosis, TB (Tuberculosis), Rabies, Relapsing Fever, Tularemia, Toxoplasmosis, and Trichomoniasis. They can be fierce fighters, able to deliver an extremely painful bite that will require a visit to the hospital not only to treat the physical bite but the host of diseases that they carry.

Transmit Diseases

Opossums are known to transmit leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases.

Damage Landscaping

Opossums will dig up your lawn in search of small critters to eat like slugs, small rodents, frogs, and insects.

Property Risks

Opossums cause property damage to homes, sheds, descks, and porches where they invade to build nests and take shelter.

Loud Noises

Shrieking, scratching, hissing, and growling are common sounds for opposums to make.


Getting rid of opossum problems usually requires trapping and removal. Unless you know what you are doing, it is a job best left to professionals.

Our team knows the biology and habits of opossums. Our technicians are highly trained in their removal, whether it is one or an entire den of many. We can properly identify the pest, how to evacuate their hiding places, and when and how to catch/trap them.

Get Rid of Oppossums Fast
Call 1-800-244-PEST (1-800-244-7378)

We respond like every pest problem is an emergency with fast, 24 hour service seven days a week.

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