Are opossums raiding your garbage can in Cordova TN? Opossums are known as the "garbage disposals" of the animal kingdom. These odd little creatures will eat almost anything. The opossum is omnivorous, feeding on almost anything it can find or catch. You may have noticed this if you found one pawing through your garbage can.
Ticks, particularly deer ticks, are a main item on the opossum’s menu! An opossum’s voracious diet consists of carrion, rodents, snakes, insects, slugs, frogs, plants, fruits, and garbage. They catch and eat rats and mice. Opossums are the “sanitation workers of the wild”! They have an unusually high need for calcium, motivating them to eat the skeletons of rodents and road kill. That habit gets about 8.3 million opossums killed a year!
Opossums rarely cause problems for humans, but often frighten people by their rat-like appearance. These are not aggressive animals but when encountered directly, they will hiss and growl. Opossums get a bad rap as garage invaders and “creepy looking” animals that wander up onto our porches at night. And opossums certainly are not the cutest little animals. In fact, some go as far as calling them ugly! They resemble a silver rat, with naked ears, long scaly tail and silver-tipped fur. The face of the opossum is almost pure white, with a pink nose and eyes like black shoe buttons.
Actually, opossums are incredibly useful and typically misunderstood. Opossums provide free pest control! They are more beneficial as scavengers, than harmful for any damage they may cause. Opossums are excellent at rodent and insect control and, being carrion eaters, help keep roadways and neighborhoods clean. A neighborhood with opossums is considerably cleaner than a neighborhood without them!