Tag Archives: critter removal

Why Do Opossums Play Dead?

Opossum
Photo credit: Dawn Huczek via Foter.com / CC BY

What Are Opossums?

Opossums (scientific name Didelphimorphia) are small-sized marsupials that can be found in North and Central America. These tiny critters can reach 76 centimeters (29 inches) from its head to the tip of its tail and can weigh anywhere between 4 – 6 kilograms (9-13 pounds). They are omnivores, like humans and their diet mostly consist of the following:

  • nuts
  • fruits
  • leaves
  • seeds

However, as omnivores, they are also seen hunting and eating small animals like snakes, mice, worms, insects, and rats. On some occasions, they have been witnessed killing chickens.

Opossum vs. Possum

“Is it an opossum or a possum?” This is a question that people usually ask. Opossums and possums are both mammals, however, Opossums (scientific name Didelphimorphia) can be found in America while Possums (scientific name Phalangeridae) are found in Australia. They are both marsupials but they are not related in any way. Most people make the mistake of referring to opossums as “possums.”

Opossum “Playing Possum”

You may have heard of the term “playing possum” which basically means to “play dead”. As the term suggest, it came from the odd characteristic of Opossums:  They literally feign death when faced with larger animals like foxes, wolves, and even humans. Opossums will immediately—and involuntarily—lose consciousness due to shock. This temporary comatose can last from several minutes to a few hours.

When threatened, the opossum will fall down to the ground, lying on its side. Its mouth will be left hanging open with drool leaking and its tongue sticking out. Its eyes can either remain open, although unmoving, or it can also be closed. If that isn’t enough to scare off a predator, perhaps the fake smell of “decay” will. When an opossum plays dead, a foul-smelling substance will start oozing out of its anal glands. This green, pungent fluid makes its predators think that the animal has been dead for a long time. Even predators have a sensitive appetite, it seems.

While this defense mechanism may help an opossum against wild animals, it can be ineffective—even fatal—when used against humans. Some opossums have been buried alive because people thought that they were actually dead. Others have been run over by vehicles after suddenly collapsing on a busy road.

How Should I Deal With Opossums?

The best approach would be to leave the animal alone. Opossums are usually mild by nature. They rarely pose any threat against humans and they will usually leave on their own. However, if an opossum gets inside your home, you may want to call a wildlife control company. There is usually no need to harm or kill the animals, which is why humane exclusion techniques work best.

Call Us!

Need to get rid of opossums? Call us now and we will gladly help you out!

  • Chicago – (708) 320-0004
  • Indianapolis – (317) 203-6083
  • Northwest Indiana – (219) 464-7966

Attic Insulation

If you notice strange noises in your attic such as scratching, scuttling, digging, thumping, or perhaps even vocal squeaks, there is a high chance that your attic has been invaded by wildlife animals. Critters like rats, mice, squirrels, bats, and raccoons are often found nesting inside closets and drawers. These animals, although tiny, can cause severe damage when left alone. Raccoons are the most common animal that we usually encounter whenever we inspect our clients’ attics. They are also the ones causing the most significant amount of damage. Attic insulation that used to be perfectly clean will get damaged and soiled. Rodents like squirrels and mice are also known for their constant chewing habits. Exposed cable wires can become fire hazards.

attic insulation
Photo credit: BillSmith_03303 via Foter.com / CC BY

Attic Insulation Damage

Animals that have taken up residence in your attic will urinate and defecate on your insulation, this will cause foul odor that will eventually spread all throughout the household. The smell isn’t the only problem; soiled insulation may also carry various diseases and parasites that are hazardous to humans.

On average, household heating and cooling machines consume the most amount of energy. This means that the less insulated your home is, the higher your electric bill becomes. Damaged or unkempt insulation becomes ineffective which results to higher energy usage.

Before we start cleaning your attic insulation, we will first perform all the necessary wildlife animal control and critter removal procedures to make sure that no other animals are left hiding inside the attic space. We will then start covering up all the possible entry holes to prevent future animal infestations. Please note that bat infestations need to be handled properly. Some bat species are protected by the law. We try to avoid excluding bats from attics during the month of July because female bats are usually nursing their young around this time. If the adult bat is excluded, the young pups will eventually die from starvation.

Once all the necessary methods have been performed, we will then start cleaning the mess left behind on the insulation. It is important that all the soiled material gets removed; otherwise, the smell would eventually attract other animals into your attic. We completely remove all of the insulation to prevent contamination. Our services include sanitization and deodorization of the entire attic area before properly installing the fresh insulation.

If you suspect animals are ruining your insulation, possibly resulting to an increase in your electricity bill, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always willing to help.

Animal Proofing

Here at Illiana Wildlife Removal Services, we make animal proofing easy, convenient, and affordable for our customers. You may be wondering what animal proofing really means. Basically, animal proofing your home means that you prevent any kinds of wildlife from gaining access to your property. “Prevention is better than cure”, which is why many home and business owners prefer animal proofing over other methods of animal control. Although animal trapping and other forms of critter removal methods are effective, animal proofing is a great way to prevent wildlife-related issues that may happen in the future.

How Animal Proofing is Done

One important thing that we always keep in mind when conducting animal proofing is to make sure that we see the world through the eyes of an animal. It may sound silly but once you start to think about it, it is actually a smart strategy. We will conduct a thorough inspection of your property and look for things that could potentially attract unwanted animals such as skunks, raccoons, rats, beavers, etc. We will analyze your property intensively, from looking for holes under your decks to cutting off tree branches hanging on top of your roofs (some animals, like raccoons, are smart enough to climb trees to gain access to your chimney). We often look for food sources like trash bins and vegetable gardens, these things can attract animals like magnets.

Animal Proofing
Animal Proofing

Sealing Cracks and Holes

Once we have found all the possible factors that can attract animals, we start removing things that we can remove. We will also check the entire building for any animals that may have gotten inside, if any animal is found, humane animal removal methods will be used. Once we are 100% sure that no animal is hiding inside the building, we will start sealing the cracks and crevices. Cracks as small as one fourth of an inch can still cause trouble because bats small bats and mice can squeeze through them. We can also cover larger holes.

Importance of Animal Proofing

Our company offers various animal control services, all of which are perfectly safe and humane, but we still believe that animal proofing is one of the best methods that we can offer. Once animals have entered your home without you noticing, you are exposing yourself, your family, and your pets to various health hazards. Trying to conduct animal proofing without using the right equipment and insufficient knowledge can just waste your time and may even cause more problems in the future. It would be best to contact professional wildlife removal experts to perform these kinds of procedures. For inquiries regarding animal proofing, contact Illiana Wildlife Removal Services now!