Sherrie S
Sherrie S
  • Hometalker
  • Debary, FL
Asked on Apr 11, 2012

Possom - does anyone know about these animals?

ToniaLizUpState
+29

Answered

A possom walked so close to me so at first I was afraid. It looked at me, I looked at it and slowly it went away. Is there a anything I should know about this animal/rodent? What does it hurt/destroy? Should I call animal control?
32 answers
  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 11, 2012

    A possom walked so close to me so at first I was afraid. It looked at me, I looked at it and slowly it went away. Is there a anything I should know about this animal/rodent? What does it hurt/destroy? Should I call animal control?

  • Burco Surface & Decor LLC.
    on Apr 11, 2012

    They are by far one of the ugliest creatures roaming around. Other than that, if their not rabid they usually do anything they can to get away from you as quick as possible. Just dont leave out garbage bags for them to get into, they will get in the garbage like a dog.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Apr 12, 2012

    They can be pretty aggressive if they have babies around. I am pretty cautious around them as I was bitten when I was a youngin :)

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 12, 2012

    I'm far more leery of raccoons than possums. For some good info, check out this article from the University of California: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74123.html

  • Nina F
    on Apr 12, 2012

    YIKES!!! I grew up in the City of Chicago & had never seen a possum up close & personal. Then this one time I came upon a possum next to the side of my house. I totally thought it was a genetically altered, mutant RAT!!! I screamed, ran, slipped on a piece of ice, thought I broke my arm & when I stood up fainted!!! LOL City girl problems!!!!

  • Becky H
    on Apr 12, 2012

    We have an opossum family living under our gazebo; every year they have a litter, and the babies are so cute! Opossums eat things I don't care to have in my yard, so I don't mind having them here. Seldom do we bump into one another, but upon occasion, we almost collide on the boardwalk. When the opossum sees me, he turns and runs away. I consider them to be totally benign, unless they look unhealthy.

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 12, 2012

    I was very surprised to see him in mid afternoon. Wish I had a camera as he was a big one.

  • Pat G
    on Apr 12, 2012

    my niece is wet-nursing a pair of babies... mother was zapped by a speeding neighbor... good learning experience (even giving kisses and wiping their faces after feeding) for my great nephew...

  • Evelyn R
    on Apr 12, 2012

    Nina (one of my dearest friend's name) - I'm still laughing. Sorry you broke your arm.

  • Evelyn R
    on Apr 12, 2012

    Didn't read it correctly, I see you only thought you broke your arm.

  • Evelyn R
    on Apr 12, 2012

    I've had them visit and I just look at them and they try to play "you don't see me". Now, when a skunk visits, I'm the one who backs away ... quickly!

  • Bonnie B
    on Apr 12, 2012

    All I know is be careful ~ ! I had one that raised itself up on a screen door so I bent down to get a close look. My, my, my what long nails and teeth they have. It was very interested in me; as I was of him/her. I know of an individual that rescues Possums and has always told me that if I see one that's been hit on the highway to stop and check its pouch for babies. Yea...right...! Don't think I'd go there but I know she does and has found live ones in the pouch, has taken care of them and returned them to nature.

  • Fawn S
    on Apr 12, 2012

    be very careful they are very aggressive animals and will bite you. They carry all sorts of diseases to and will fight with a dog or cat..

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 12, 2012

    Fawn S, I think if any animal is trapped it will attack. Their worst problem is they are ugly.

  • Becky H
    on Apr 13, 2012

    Opossums don't pick the fight............the dogs start it. I know, because I have had 3 dogs, one of which always attacked opossums if it saw one before I did. Another would go over to see what it was, and if it ran, would run after it. Opossums acquire rabies less often than raccoons, and are relatively benign. They have razor sharp nails for digging and protecting themselves, as well as sharp teeth. In 29 yrs. I've never had one charge me.

  • Taken in my backyard a few years ago...

    , Mama Possum Kids
  • Charlotte F
    on Apr 13, 2012

    I am told they do carry rabies sometimes

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 13, 2012

    Hewitt, awwwww.

  • Teresa D
    on Apr 13, 2012

    Sherrie, one word ... "eeeuuuw". lol I've only seen them attack when they feel threatened. The look is enough to scare me so I go the other way when I see them.

  • Louise
    on Apr 13, 2012

    I have a friend who's a wildlife rehabber and possums are one of her main animals. She told me they do NOT carry rabies, so that's good. You'll seldom see one since they're nocturnal and they avoid people. I think they're pretty harmless, especially since you won't see them often. If you feed outdoor animals -- cats or dogs -- they will come up at night and eat the food.

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 13, 2012

    Douglas I went to the site you suggested and was glad to see the possom eats insects, snails, snakes, frogs, birds and their eggs, and small mammals such as meadow voles, mice, and rats. I'd rather it didn't eat birds/eggs & hope there are enough of the other creatures to keep him busy. I love having 2 acres with a small lake where I provide refuge for many animals/birds. So Teresa D, there is some good about Possoms. Awww.

  • Patricia B
    on Apr 13, 2012

    It will also eat dog or cat food. They are really fun to watch in trees and some people find baby ones and make pets out of them.

  • Teresa D
    on Apr 14, 2012

    Sherrie ... ok, I suppose. I would be afraid of my dogs running into one in my backyard when I let them out at night thought. We've had a close call. Still think they are yucky but I'll consider the good they do. *shudder* lol

  • CAROL H
    on Apr 14, 2012

    Live and let live. I have six acres with a little bit of everything. The babies like to come up on our front porch when we forget and leave a water bottle they play with it. We'll be laying in bed and hear the bottle scooting around, we sneak to the window and see them playing like children. They are not aggressive, They have always ran away when we open the door. I also have a dog and haven't had any issues between them.

  • Louise
    on Apr 14, 2012

    Possums aren't meant to have as pets, so I hope no one encourages that. Wild animals should be wild. Maybe if one is severely injured and can't adjust to the wild anymore, then a certified rehabber should take care of it, not Average Joe.

  • Bonnie B
    on Apr 14, 2012

    HEWITT: YOUR PICTURE IS JUST DARLING ~~ You are a great photographer !! I enjoyed reading the scoop on Possums that everyone posted. Thanks ! for the education.

  • Angela L
    on Apr 15, 2012

    Possums are generally harmless, they like most wild life will just move along, they are night dwellers looking for food, they will eat garbage and quite good at getting a can open, insects, etc.., if you see them roaming during the day be very cautious, and Yes possums can indeed be infected AND carry rabies. just like coyote, dogs, cats, humans, deer, raccoons, etc.. if bitten or exchange of saliva even if in a tussle with a rabid animal. look for signs of lethargic, wondering, even hissing, and over all sickly appearance, kind like a human just rolling out of bed, rabid animals have no fear and will be very aggressive. if you see them roaming during the day you should contact animal control, however where I live getting anyone here ( in the country) because its no big deal, unless they are causing harm to humans or animals.. They do look like over sized rats, they have every sharp teeth, are known for playing dead when frightened or surprised, as with all mothers they will protect their young with all its might,

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 15, 2012

    After all the answers I've read here I've decided NOT to call animal control for the possom. I'll just let him join the other creatures that visit here. Yesterday we saw a racoon far in the backyard. Two weeks ago it was a bear that went through the neighborhood. My subdivision is surrounded by woods and there are environmental easements throughout the subdivision. Hopefully the easements will help keep us protected from some greedy humans, the most dangerous creatures. Thank you all for the responses.

  • Louise
    on Apr 15, 2012

    I asked my friend, a state-certified wildlife rehabber who often rehabs possums, and this is info she gave me: I am a licensed wildlife rehabber that has worked with Virginia Opossums for years. They are NOT considered an RVS (Rabies Vector Species) and you would have a higher chance of being hit by lightening. They are not mammal, rather marsupial, and because of their genetic make up does not make them predisposed to RABIES. That being said, they are one of nature's most important species, as they can eat dead and rotting diseased items, keeping nature clean and clear from infected items which could kill most other animals (their stomach make up is much like vultures so when I talk to kids I touch on both the value of their being the daytime and nighttime clean up crews). Best yet, "possums" can and will eat poisonous snakes so they are super good to have around. They do carry a protozoa in their poop that can be bad for people with horses (of course the horse would have to eat the poop), but much like cats, they are very clean and harmless animals. Like most wildlife, they are defensive, not aggressive, and unfortunately too many people have kept/raised them as pets, finding out it's illegal, only to release them back to the wild, sadly as a habituated animal which is not afraid of people. This usually leads to their demise. They will eat with feral cat colonies, and because of their poor eye sight, and their overall genetic make up, they many times are slow at retreat. The one that approached you could have had poor eyesight as well and didn't know exactly what you were.....so give them a break and the benefit of the doubt.

  • UpState
    on May 2, 2015

    Depending on where you live...possum is a table and snack food, too. Not very tasty, a bit greasy, yet surprisingly nutritious.

  • Liz
    on May 11, 2015

    Thanks to all who responded by saying to just leave them alone. I am in a semi urban area but still have the joy of the occasional possum visiting at night. One evening, I came home from work to an empty house, family were all somewhere which was unusual. I was messing around getting dinner ready when I noticed something on a chair in the den. I walked passed it and jumped when I saw it was a possum on the chair. The poor thing was so scared it went into its 'dead' pose. I just wheeled the chair to the door, tipped the chair and the possum ambled off out the door. They make horrid faces when threatened or frightened, but are not aggressive, at least when they don't have babies. Just leave them alone. Harmless, funny to watch, the babies are cute, the hawks in the area feed off of them, and nature has dictated that they have lots of babies so that hopefully one will reach maturity. Just leave them alone, explain the beauty of nature's animals to your kids, their place in the food chain and why we need to protect wildlife instead of ridding ourselves of them. And, in advance, thanks for not killing them.

  • Tonia
    on May 11, 2015

    Make sure you put cat and dog food away at night or feed far from your house if you dont them eating your pets food. I live on 7 acres and in the last 12 years I have only had one close to the house. Thery really are nothing to worry about.

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