Tag Archives: rodent 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

There’s a Dead Animal inside My House

Dead animal removal
Photo credit: Furryscaly via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

After working in the animal control industry for several years, I have received calls that usually start with the following line: “I think there’s a dead animal inside my house.” I have also learned that animals, specifically rodents, are great at doing two things: gnawing and dying. On this blog post we will be talking about the latter.

I always emphasize the importance of catching any type of animal infestation during its early stages. Stopping a small problem is always easier than trying to mitigate a large one. When I conduct an inspection and see an extensive amount of animal damage done inside my customers’ walls and attics, I always wonder how and why they let such problem go out of hand.

But then I realize that not all animal infestations are noticeable. That is, until the animal (or animals, if you’re a bit unlucky) start to die and rot. I am certain that nobody, not even the animal care and control professionals, can get used to the smell of a rotting carcass. It stinks. It really does. So I can totally understand the frustration that my customers experience when dealing with the unbearable smell of a dead animal inside their homes.

Why Are Animals Dying Inside My House?

A sick animal on the verge of death usually crawls inside an area that is partially or completely covered. Your attic, walls, or under-decks fall under this category. Some people may set animal traps and completely forget about it until the horrible stench reminds them again. Other times, the animal simply gets stuck inside the house and starves to death.

How Do You Remove the Animals?

Our methods of removing a dead animal are quite simple but not necessarily easy. All we do is basically follow our nose. We may have to cut some holes in our clients’ walls and we may also find a colony of animals in the process, but we make sure to remove the source of the smell. Once located, we pick up the carcass, seal it in a bag, and properly dispose of it. We can also clean the surrounding area where the dead animal was found.

Can I Prevent This From Happening Again?

Of course! If you want to prevent animals from dying inside your house, then make sure to completely cover up any hole and opening. Stop unintentionally inviting wildlife critters by securing or eliminating their food sources near your homes. This includes trash cans, leftover pet food, and etc.

If a dead animal is keeping your home from smelling fresh, you can always call us. We can definitely remove animals, either dead or alive, from your home.

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

Carmel Wildlife Removal

Illiana Wildlife Services is your Carmel animal control and wildlife pest control experts. We cover all of the Greater Indianapolis metropolitan area. We specialize in the removal and control of animals in attics.  These are usually bats, raccoons, or squirrels, depending on the season. We are state licensed with the DNR for wildlife removal.

Once the critters are gone from your attic we can give you an estimate for any damage that they may have caused.  Animals can carry diseases like rabies or raccoon roundworm and that is always a concern, but usually the greater damage is due to the compaction that they do to your insulation, resulting in higher utility bills. They  can also put holes in roofs or tear holes in soffit and or fascia. We fix it all. In many cases the damage caused by animals is covered by insurance.

Carmel Wildlife Removal
Photo credit: greyloch / Foter / CC BY-SA

We think that the way  we price our jobs are a great deal for the customer. We quote a “flat rate” to remove the raccoons and squirrels from your attic and make sure they can’t return. Some companies charge per animal. You don’t know how many animals are up there. Contact us for pricing!

Just because we specialize from removing animals from the attic doesn’t mean we don’t take care of the rest. If you have ground hogs, skunks living under your deck or moles digging up your yard, just  give us a call for best pest solutions we offer.  We would love to take care of that for you as well.

Bats are more common than one may think. If you have bats in your attic you need a bat exclusion. Bats are not trapped, instead they are allowed to release themselves through the use of a one way door called a bat cone after every opening around the house that a bat can get in is sealed up. Since there are so many styles and conditions of homes we can’t quote this one over the phone but the good thing is we offer an inspection for a reasonable fee! So what are you waiting for?

Call us for all your Carmel wildlife removal or control needs today.

Carmel Wildlife Removal
Illiana Wildlife Services – Indianapolis
(317) 203 – 6083