Wildlife in Culver City - Opossums
A gentle wild neighbor, the opossum is our only marsupial and is rarely guilty of more than "playing 'possum."
Opossums get a bum rap. They often get blamed for things that they don't do like tipping over garbage cans. It is probably the neighborhood dogs or maybe an energetic raccoon who provides a nice smorgasbord which the opossums enjoy. Opossums are like the kid who doesn't run as fast as some of the others and is the one always getting caught.
Common problems and solutions
Opossums usually don't get into garbage cans or gardens but they might stop to clean up the mess left by other wayward critters and get the blame. The have been accused of killing chickens but that happens very rarely. Most people complain about opossums just being there rather than for any problems they cause.
If there is an opossum in the yard, don't worry. He is not a threat, and more than likely he will be moving on in a short while. The best way to keep them from visiting is to have tight fitting lids on garbage cans, and not to leave any pet food outside overnight. Remember to pick up any fruit that had fallen from trees.
How to keep opossums out
The best way to keep opossums from living (denning) under a deck or patio is to make sure they cannot get there in the first place. To find out if an opossum has moved in, loosely fill the hole with soil, leaves, straw, or crumpled newspaper. If she is in there the opossum will push her way out and reopen the hole. If nothing happens for two or three nights it is safe to assume that no one is inside and hole can be filled.
To keep an opossum out that has moved in, wait until the animal leaves her den (two hours after dark is generally a safe time). Then loosely close the opening with netting, straw, or other fibrous material that an animal trapped inside can push away, but one outside will not bother to disturb to get back in. Opossum moms take their kids wherever they go so there is not much chance that any babies will be left behind. But always check for youngsters before closing the opening. For permanent exclusion we recommend putting in an "L" footer.
Every now and then an opossum will get into a house through a pet door. Provide them a way out by closing the doors to all rooms and open the doors to the outside. Opossum are usually not aggressive so you may be able to help by gently nudging them with a broom to shoo them on their way.
Public health concerns
Opossums have a lower body temperature than other warm-blooded animals so they rarely get rabies, and therefore are not a rabies concern.
The Opossum Society of the United States
For injured or orphaned wildlife contact
California Wildlife Center
(310) 458-WILD (9453)