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Possum vs. Opossum – What’s the Difference?

While the words possum and opossum may seem interchangeable, there is actually a difference between the two words and two species of animals. The two species are alike, but there reside halfway across the world from each other.

If you call the animals you see around Maryland possums, then you are actually incorrect. While both possums and opossums are marsupials, possums have thick tails and soft fur, and opossums have a hairless tail and coarse tails. Additionally, possums are predominantly located in Australia and New Zealand, while opossums have spread all the way around the Western Hemisphere but are predominantly found in North America.


Possums are also much bigger animals than opossums, as they can weigh up to 32 pounds, while opossums are lighter, and typically top out at about 11 pounds. Opossum have a unique characteristic of having a prehensile tail, which means they can pick up objects with their tails, but they are not strong enough to carry items for long periods of time. Possums, on the other hand, have long, furry tails that are of no use gathering and carrying items.

Catch an Opossum Problem Before it’s too Late!

Opossums are smart, resourceful creatures that can wreak havoc on a home if left to their own resources. They will construct dens wherever they can, whether it be in nature or inside a home if given the opportunity. Attics, walls, decks and porches all serve as attractive spots for opossums to settle down and live in, making a heated home the ultimate opportunity for a scavenging creature.

When it comes to gathering food, opossum are nocturnal and will not come out in search of food until late at night. They will raid anywhere they can to find food, making trash cans and pet food popular targets, and while they are omnivores, they mostly stick to plants and other easily accessible options. When those options aren’t so easy, though, opossums have no reservations about eating insects, fish and small rodents if needed.

It is important to catch an opossum problem before it begins, in order to avoid them wreaking havoc both inside and outside a property. A few determined opossums can tear up a garden, destroy a pond, or force their way into a crack in a wall, all in search of food and shelter. They are not very aggressive if out on the open, and will prefer to play dead in most cases. However, especially if they are cornered or frightened, they can bite back and defend themselves. As such, it is best to leave opossum removal to the experts.

At Shumaker Animal Control, we are a family-owned business who cares about the safety of you and your family but also about the well-being of the animals themselves. All of our trapping and control methods are humane, as we never try to hurt the angry or scared animal. Once trapped and safely removed from your property, all opossum are relocated to an approved wildlife management area.

Let the opossum removal experts at Shumaker Animal Control take care of your problem.

Call us at +1 (443) 854-8072 or view the online website at https://shumakeranimalremoval.com/ for more information.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at 6:36 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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