Tag Archives: humane wildlife control

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

Woodpecker Damage and What to Do About It

Imagine this: You’re lying in bed one Sunday morning, quietly enjoying your well-deserved rest after a stressful work week. Everything is nice and peaceful. You hear your wind chimes quietly tinkle in the light morning breeze. “I love Sundays,” you think to yourself as you slowly drift back into sleep.

Then BAM!

You’re suddenly jolted into consciousness by a loud drumming sound coming from your roof. Now you’re annoyed. Your once tranquil environment is now plagued by this irritating noise.

The above scenario can happen to you if you let woodpeckers visit your home. These birds are members of the Picidae family, of which are known for their powerful beaks. As their name suggests, woodpeckers use their beaks to drum and drill on wood. Woodpecker damage can be a huge problem if left unattended.

Why Do Woodpeckers Drill Holes in Wood?

Woodpeckers drill holes in wood for the following reasons:

  • To search for food, usually insects
  • To create nests for their young
  • To make their own shelter

It should be noted, however, that woodpeckers drum on hollow wood and other hollow objects (e.g. pipes, trash cans, poles) to either inform other woodpeckers of their territory or to attract a mate.

We Offer Woodpecker Control Services

We have received phone calls from distressed home owners asking us if we can solve their woodpecker problems, and we can! Our woodpecker control methods are non-lethal, which means that we will not be killing or harming the birds. We are a humane wildlife control company, after all.

Now, there are several ways to perform woodpecker control, and what works for one client might not work for another. We will first do an initial survey to identify the cause of the problem. These birds do not like shiny materials, so we sometimes use metal or aluminium to scare them away. Other times, we may use other exclusion methods to deter the woodpeckers.

 

Repairing Woodpecker Damage

Normally, our customers will also ask us to fix the damage the animal has done.  Fortunately, woodpecker holes are generally shallow and easy to cover. Unfortunately though, a single woodpecker can create several clusters of these holes. The sizes of the holes vary. Some are mildly unnoticeable while others are of significant sizes. Below, you can see woodpecker damage pictures on one of our customer’s house:

Wood pecker repair

As you can see, the holes are quite large. This can be a problem because openings like these can attract other animals into your home. So we fixed it:

after

Our skilled workers were able to completely cover the holes, almost as if they were never there. Not only do we prevent woodpecker damage from happening again, we can also patch up the damage that has already been done.

 

Call Us!

If you value your home and your time, then woodpeckers should be the least of your concerns. Call us now and we will take care of the problems for you!

Chicago – (708) 320-0004

Indianapolis – (317) 203-6083

Northwest Indiana – (219) 464-7966