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opossums
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there is one that keeps coming up on my deck. (seventh between Brunswick and Monmoth). How do I get rid of it? Calling JC animal control tomorrow.

Posted on: 2007/7/17 23:04
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PBW wrote:
there is one that keeps coming up on my deck. (seventh between Brunswick and Monmoth). How do I get rid of it? Calling JC animal control tomorrow.


I think what happens is that animal control comes and catches the possum and releases it in a park.

Sometimes the possums have rabies, so it does make sense to call animal control.

Posted on: 2007/7/17 23:11
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PBW wrote:
there is one that keeps coming up on my deck. (seventh between Brunswick and Monmoth). How do I get rid of it? Calling JC animal control tomorrow.


You don't. We have opossums, raccoons, rabbits and even turkeys downtown. They wuz here before us and as Pogo said:

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Posted on: 2007/7/17 23:15
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Is it okay if I kill it if I promise to make use of the whole carcass, like the American Indians did with the Buffalo? Seriously, call me naive, but I don't know how agressive they are. And I have two little girl neighbors that play in my yard. Not to mention any diseases they might have. But no matter what pogo says I'm gonna take steps to get rid of it.

Posted on: 2007/7/17 23:28
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I had seen this possum on a regular basis at night in my backyard about a year ago. At one point my dog cornered it (I had to pick my dog up and bring him inside) and it was hissing which was a pretty unpleasant sight. I noticed that I have never seen it again when this tree in my yard was cut down.

Posted on: 2007/7/17 23:30
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PBW wrote:
Seriously, call me naive, but I don't know how agressive they are. And I have two little girl neighbors that play in my yard. Not to mention any diseases they might have.

I wouldn't worry too much. Sure the little girls are probably carriers for the usual childhood diseases, mumps, measels etc. but I don't think these are transmittable to possums. Just don't let the girls pick up the possum and hug him. Sometimes children have head lice and you wouldn't want the possum exposed to that.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 0:09
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I'd pick a possum over my neighbor's kid, no contest.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 1:21
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Click to see original Image in a new window

Posted on: 2007/7/18 3:51
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PBW wrote:
there is one that keeps coming up on my deck. (seventh between Brunswick and Monmoth). How do I get rid of it? Calling JC animal control tomorrow.


I read that quickly and thought you said the possum was on your desk. I was starting to question other elements of your work environment.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 6:55
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When I got my first up and close encounter with a possum I wanted to kill it too. Until, I read this!



Short Quiz ...

What animal goes on a honeymoon, and 13 days later gives birth?
It lived during the age of dinosaurs: fossil remains have been found from 70 million years ago.
It can eat almost anything. It loves to eat insects (beetles, cockroaches, and so forth). It eats snails and slugs. It catches and eats roof rats. It also eats cat food, dog food, people food.
It has thumbs on its hind feet!
It is very quiet, although it can make some sounds.
Learning and discrimination tests rank it above dogs, and more on the level of pigs.
It does not have a territory, but is always on the move, going to wherever the food is. Females stay in a smaller area while they care for their young.
It puts up a terrific bluff if cornered and can give the appearance of being really good at defending itself. NOTE: it is not good at defending itself!
If attacked and unable to fight or run from danger, it collapses and appears to be dead!

An Opossum? That's right!

Females have litters up to twice a year (the father always skips town!). Babies, typically 5 to 8 in a litter are ready to leave mommy's pouch and walk around out on their own by 4 months of age. That's when they are 7 to 9 inches, nose to rump, and weigh about 10 to 16 ounces. But 'possum life is rough! Very few survive to become adults. The few that make it are eager to have their own love affairs and repeat Nature's cycle. Nature is very efficient. If an area will support them (has their favorite foods, water, and appropriate shelter) more opossums survive. If times are hard, fewer will make it.

If a lot of opossums are killed by predators (they have lots of predators- man is one of the biggest) there is more food for those that remain. Then these little furries will reproduce more successfully until they get back to their optimum number; or others will move in to fill the void (or niche) their absence creates. They can be replaced by opossums from outside the area, by rats, skunks cats, crows, raccoons, coyotes, etc. Fortunately opossums are hardy little animals-; they have to be!

In general they present a far lower health risk to humans than do dogs and cats! They seem to have a naturally high level of immunity to most diseases. Example? Opossums are more resistant to rabies than any other mammal; cattle, goats, dogs, cats, sheep, and the ice cream man are far more susceptible to rabies! Admittedly, opossums do carry fleas (as do all wild and some domestic animals). And the opossum may bite you if you are foolhardy enough to grab one; after all, they are wild animals.

But they help to maintain a clean and healthy environment. They eat all types of insects, including cockroaches, crickets, beetles, etcetera. They catch and eat rats, roof rats, mice, and they consume dead animals of all types (carrion). They like over-ripe fruit, berries, and grapes. And they think snails and slugs are a delicacy! Nature's little Sanitation Engineers!!

Typically they go about their quiet task late at night, and you usually won't know they were around...unless your dog (being territorial) starts barking, or you happen to take a midnight stroll when one is munching insects or snails in your yard.

What to do if you encounter an opossum...
nothing!


Just watch an enjoy one of Nature's beneficial wildlife species. If you must do something, try counting the thumbs on your feet...
If one has chosen your your garage, attic, or other structure, as its temporary quarters, you may not want it there! There are relatively simple and non-lethal means to get them to leave for more suitable spots in your area.
In the meantime, and BEFORE you have a visitor to those structures, pick up pet food at night, keep lids on garbage cans, and close potential entrance points. You can still enjoy opossums as they wander through your yard, eliminating its various pests as they go through their nightly excursions.

What is the COST of Killing Opossums or Removing them from an Urban Environment?

In terms of the environment, the cost is ...
* loss of a harmless animal which eats all manner of pests and carrion.
* leaving a vacant ecological niche which will be filled by adjacent opossums or by other mammals, such as rats, skunks, raccoons, etc. Opossums do not dig into the soil, nor do they destroy property; the risk of exposure to disease is lowest with them and higher with all other mammals; and they don't have a strong scent.

In terms of tax dollars, the cost is...
* loss of North America's only marsupial, and the Earth's oldest surviving mammal family.
* significant amounts of public funds and staff time spent by animal control agencies, removing and/or killing opossums;
* the loss of these resources, which might have been better used for other purposes, such as rescuing stray or injured animals or impounding dangerous ones.

We must:
* learn to live in harmony with our remaining wildlife species.
* remember that it's still nice to "stop and smell the roses ", and watch an occasional opossum waddle by.

Repellents:
* Mixtures made with food items such as peppers and onions may be cooked and strained, and used with a standard garden sprayer around perimeters and other areas you wish to discourage animals from visiting.
* Success has been reported to encourage animals to leave a particular place by placing lights or radio during the day when the animal is trying to sleep. Flashing Christmas lights are particulary effective.
* If there is one particular place that you wish to discourage the animal from coming to, you may try this: Puncture a coffee can in various places, and place inside rags soaked in ammonia. Put the lid on the can and place in the desired area. Use several if necessary, and replenish the ammonia daily. DO NOT USE AROUND BABIES!
* If gutters or other vertical surfaces are being climbed, you can try covering them with an 18" high length of sheet metal, or covering the object with vegetable shortening up to an 18" height.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 8:41
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fasteddie wrote:
Quote:

PBW wrote:
Seriously, call me naive, but I don't know how agressive they are. And I have two little girl neighbors that play in my yard. Not to mention any diseases they might have.

I wouldn't worry too much. Sure the little girls are probably carriers for the usual childhood diseases, mumps, measels etc. but I don't think these are transmittable to possums. Just don't let the girls pick up the possum and hug him. Sometimes children have head lice and you wouldn't want the possum exposed to that.



LOL

Posted on: 2007/7/18 8:54
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I had an opossum on my back porch last fall. It took animal control almost two hours to get to my house so by that time the thing was gone. I tried to scare it away but it didn't budge.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 9:00
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We've seen two poking around our yard together on occassion. They're so cute! (except when they turn and you see their over-sized long rat-like tails)... but who cares. I love having wildlife in my yard. What's the biggie? I think they only come out at night anyway.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 10:22
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bill wrote:
When I got my first up and close encounter with a possum I wanted to kill it too. Until, I read this!


But I would call animal control, too, just to make sure it hasn't been finding rabid possums around lately.

I understand that possums are less likely to have rabies than raccoons are, because possums' normal body temperature is too low to make them good rabies incubators, but, when I called a few years ago about a possum that came into our kitchen, I think the animal control people said they had found rabid possums in Jersey City as well as rabid raccoons.

I found a 2005 JCList post that says that, if you see a possum wandering around during the day, rather than in the evening when possums are normally active, that might be a sign that the possum has rabies.

So, if there's a nice, normal possum around, maybe just stick with home possum remedies. But, if you see a glassy-eyed possum staggering around this afternoon, and he acts like Eddy the Excuse Guy Panhandler, and animal control says there are some rabid possums around these days, then maybe it would be good to have animal control come out.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 10:43
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bill wrote:
When I got my first up and close encounter with a possum I wanted to kill it too. Until, I read this!


bill's greatest post ever.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 11:43
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I've seen a baby opossum in my back yard recently. He even tried to climb the screen on the back door. Definitely a little guy. We call him Eddie. Looks to be doing no harm, think he just wants to hang out cause he's lonely.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 12:44
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I come from atop the mountain baby
Where the people come to pray
I come from atop the mountain baby
Where the people come to pray
There ain't no truth in action
'less you believe it anyway


I was riding down the road one day and
Someone hit a possum
I was riding down the road one day and
Someone hit a possum
The road was his end
His end was the road
So they say


Whoa possum...
Possum, possum...
Possum
Whoa possum...
Possum, possum...
Possum
Whoa possum, possum
Your end is the road

Posted on: 2007/7/18 12:55
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We had one that snuck in through a small hole in our laundry room wall and spent a few days venturing into our lobby and hallway and then darting back under the washer/dryer and into the hole again and again.

Eek! We were all creeped out but relieved when we cornered/shooed it out one morning.

They are quite peaceful little marsupials that love to climb (I found him dangling from a broomstick!)...but those teeth do look quite menacing!

Posted on: 2007/7/18 13:00
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Quote:

Kindelan wrote:
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bill wrote:
When I got my first up and close encounter with a possum I wanted to kill it too. Until, I read this!


bill's greatest post ever.


Agreed!

Here's some other interesting info on opossums:
Quote:
WORD HISTORY The word opossum takes us back to the earliest days of the American colonies. The settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, was founded in 1607 by the London Company, chartered for the planting of colonies. Even though the first years were difficult, promotional literature was glowing. In one such piece, A True Declaration of the Estate of the Colonie in Virginia, published in 1610, we find this passage: “There are … Apossouns, in shape like to pigges.” This is the first recorded use of opossum, although in a spelling that differs from the one later settled on to reproduce the sound of the Virginia Algonquian word from which our word came. The word opossum and its shortened form possum, first recorded in 1613 in more promotional literature, remind us of a time when the New World was still very new, settlers were few, and the inhabitants for whom the New World was not new were plentiful.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 13:17
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I saw one (during the day) hanging out in the bushes of the Windsor at Liberty House apartments staring right at me. I jumped back because I thought it was one of those creatures from the Labyrinth (1986 movie). Almost one of the scariest moments in my life.....

Posted on: 2007/7/18 13:31
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PBW wrote:
Seriously, call me naive, but I don't know how agressive they are. And I have two little girl neighbors that play in my yard. Not to mention any diseases they might have. But no matter what pogo says I'm gonna take steps to get rid of it.


Now you know, opossums are not aggressive. Your "two little girl neighbors" don't need you to protect them by destroying harmless marsupials. Just leave them alone. Do call animal control, but don't take matters into your own hands.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 14:52
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Well, I also have an indoor/outdoor cat, and a dog. Which I don't want fighting with the opossum, for their or it's sake.
I called animal control, 547-4888. They are going to give me a trap, whcih they'll take away and drop off at a safer location for the animal.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 15:13
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Wonder if someone will build a condo building for 'possums soon in downton jc - seems to be enough of them round here.

I love animals, but there's nothing more jarring than chilling in your yard and all of a sudden seeing two huge 'possoms sitting on top of your fence just staring at you. Intensely staring. Beady eye knarly huge rat looking things with long tails staring at you. Certainly ruins the backyard peace.

But thanks for the info on these knarly looking animals. I feel better knowing that all they will do (as long as not rabbid) will just sit and stare at you with their beady little eyes.

Posted on: 2007/7/18 20:38
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Opossums are very resistant to rabies and rarely carry it.

They are out of sorts during the daytime and may seem to stare or look sick but are just out of it. One of their best defenses is to hiss and show their teeth and they of course play dead. They live here too. We have them pass through our yard as well. Food usually is the attractant so if there is any just eliminate it. Hope that helps. Here is a link about them:


http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Con ... php?subject=Mammals&id=71

Posted on: 2007/7/18 22:20
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jimmy wrote:
Opossums are very resistant to rabies and rarely carry it.

They are out of sorts during the daytime and may seem to stare or look sick but are just out of it. One of their best defenses is to hiss and show their teeth and they of course play dead. They live here too. We have them pass through our yard as well. Food usually is the attractant so if there is any just eliminate it. Hope that helps. Here is a link about them:


http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/wildlife/ind
ex.php?subject=Mammals&id=71



Thanks for putting up this info. So many neighbors
have questions about possums. There is a lot of
mis-info out there about them.
People need to know that they are virtually
harmless.

Posted on: 2007/7/19 12:54
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Of course, Animal Control was supposed to call back the next day, to schedule dropping off a trap, but never did. Have to keep on them. Haven't see the little guy since, and having learned they're nomadic puts me at ease. If not for my sake then his. My cat would devour him.

Thanks to everyone for their comments/suggestions/commands.

Funny enough, no one metioned if these little guys are delicious or not. I know Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies used to make Opossum meals. Since someone was kind enough to copy and paste from the Opossum Society website, I thought I return the favor and post this recipe I found online.


Amount Measure Ingredient Preparation Method
2 pounds 'Possum - (to 2 1/2 lbs) fat removed
Apple-Raisin Stuffing
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
3 Sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons Brown sugar
1/4 cup Flour - (to 1/3 cup)

Stuff with Apple-Raisin Stuffing, and truss. Dust with salt and
pepper; put on a roaster rack. Roast at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1
1/2 hours (30 to 35 minutes per pound). For the last 30 minutes, put
peeled and parboiled sweet potatoes around the meat. Dust meat
with brown sugar mixed with 1/4 to 1/3 cup flour. Baste with
juices 3 times during the last 30 minutes.

Posted on: 2007/7/20 10:41
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Somebody on this board said a while ago that you can buy opossum meat in Pittsburgh, but that definitely had a pejorative nuance.

Posted on: 2007/7/20 15:32
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we have a possum that crosses our street every night. there's also a lot of raccoons running around the yards in the heights. luckily, we've only seen them at night. i hear if you spot one during the day there is more possibility that they have rabies?

Posted on: 2007/7/21 23:53
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Ugh - he was in my yard a few months ago - I used to keep cat food out back in a closed container. It was knocked over one morning and I knew it wasn't a heavy wind... One time around 3am, I heard the scratching at the lid of the container I got up and started banging on the backdoor - I thought it was a cat that would be scared off - after a few tries, I still heard it - turned on the light and banged a few more times. Finally I had to open to door to see what it was and there was the ugly man himself in all of his long rat-tailed glory. I guess he had been living under my neighbors deck and coming over for a late night treat in my cat's food.

In the end, I moved the cat food inside and he had the nest removed and boarded up the bottomw of his deck. If you can't get rid of it, make sure if you have a deck in your yard that it's sealed up pretty well. They look for dark places to nest. If he's living somewhere else and just headed to your place for an evening walk, I don't have much for you... they climb trees, fences, etc. Based on the waddle up my back stairs, I can't believe they can climb anything but alas they can...

Sorry for assuming it's a male...

Posted on: 2007/7/23 22:03

Edited by baseballgirl on 2007/7/23 22:50:53
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the verdict is in: opossums are officially cute...

http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/pocket_pets/index.html

Posted on: 2007/8/20 10:51
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