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Opossum Trapping and Removal in the Chattanooga Area

Young opossum in a cage trap after being removed from a house in Chattanooga Tennessee

Opossums are small to medium-sized mammals who have the distinction of being North America's only native marsupials. After a very brief gestation, baby opossums spend the first two to three months of their lives in a pouch on the mother's body where they nurse and grow. When they're ready, they'll climb out of the mother's pouch and onto her back, and shortly thereafter will begin exploring the world on their own. They typically are weaned at about three to four months of age, leave their mothers at four to five months of age, and reach reproductive maturity at about six or seven months of age.

The only opossum specie native to Tennessee and all of the United States is the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). They can vary widely in size and weight, with adults ranging from about a foot to about three feet from the nose to the base of the tail, and weighing in at weights ranging from less than two pounds to ten pounds, or sometimes even more. They have prehensile tails, white faces, rounded black or brown ears, pointy snouts, and elongated jaws.

Opossums are solitary, nomadic wildlife by nature. They're also very adaptable animals who can survive in a wide variety of environments. Being arboreal by nature, they are excellent climbers who are often found in attics and chimneys. But they're also comfortable living in crawl spaces, garages, sheds, or even burrows abandoned by other animals.

Opossums' diets are also very flexible. They're omnivores who will eat pretty much anything, dead or alive. They also have remarkably strong immune systems and almost never get sick. They are immune to most diseases, including rabies. Paradoxically, however, they also suffer from rapid senescence. A possum who manages not to get run over -- they have poor eyesight and can't see cars coming until it's too late to get out of the way -- will die of old age at about two years of age.

"Playing Possum"

The tendency of opossums to simulate death when threatened is perhaps what they're most famous for. If snarling and hissing don't scare their enemy away, they go into an involuntary fainting-like state that simulates death, complete with a foul odor they secrete from their rear ends. The smell and the appearance of death are enough to make predators lose their appetites and interest.

Unlike humans who "play possum" by feigning sleep, opossums aren't really playing. The death-like state they go into isn't voluntary. It's an involuntary response triggered by fear, and is very similar to the possum being in a coma. Its heart rate and respiration slow dramatically and they are incapable of moving, but research by wildlife biologists suggests that they remain conscious and aware the whole time.

Opossum Trapping, Removal, and Control

Opossums can be found in literally any part of a house. Because they're excellent climbers, they often get into attics and chimneys; but they're just as common in basements, crawl spaces, and garages. They may tear at shingles, soffit panels, or siding to get in; or they may take advantage of construction gaps or damage done by other animals such as raccoons.

Once they get into a home, opossums can cause additional damage, especially if they're females in need of nesting materials. They're notorious for tearing insulation and damaging flexible HVAC ducts. They also contaminate the spaces where they're living with urine, feces, and shed parasites and can quickly impart a foul odor to these spaces. When they get into attics, it's almost always necessary to tear up and replace the insulation to get rid of the odor and restore the attic to a healthy state.

Because opossums are protected by law and are not considered "pests," control is accomplished by live trapping and relocation, followed by correction of whatever structural problems allowed them to get into the house in the first place. No poisons or kill traps are used. The opossums are trapped and released unharmed, using safe, humane, non-chemical methods; and then the house is sealed up as necessary to keep the opossums (and other wildlife) out to prevent new possum problems.

Opossum Control Gallery

Here are some randomly-selected pictures of opossum-control work we've done in Tennessee and elsewhere.

Please contact us to learn more about opossum removal and exclusion in the Chattanooga, Tennessee metropolitan area.


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In Auburn Alabama quoting exclusions for gray squirrels today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 07, 2021 11:01:30 am.

Lots of squirrel and rat calls today. From Birmingham to Anniston.
by Chris Scott
Jan 07, 2021 09:46:52 am.

In Alpharetta, Ga this morning providing a clearance letter to a customer so their buyers can rest assured they’re purchasing a Critter Free home. Did I mention our Warranty is 100% transferable??
by Tim McDavid
Jan 05, 2021 09:29:57 am.

Lots of squirrel calls today. It appears gray and flying squirrels are attempting to take over every attic in the Birmingham and surrounding areas.
by Chris Scott
Jan 04, 2021 05:58:27 pm.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2020 10:41:11 am.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2020 11:23:46 am.

Finishing up on a exclusion in Cordele Ga and headed to Valdosta Ga for some trap checking. Good times. Happy Monday.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 07, 2020 10:46:24 am.

Headed down south today to Albany Ga to give a quote for a bat exclusion. Animals in the attic scratching and bats are keeping the customers up at night. Time for us to step in.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 10, 2020 09:42:30 am.

Jason and Justin Deodorizing an Attic After Animal Removal
by Webmaster
Jun 24, 2020 10:10:29 am.

Young Opossum Trapped and Removed from the Attic of a House in Chattanooga
by Webmaster
Jun 09, 2020 10:48:05 am.

Our Chattanooga office just got a call about an opossum living in the attic of a house. We're sending a crew to remove the possum and seal up the attic to keep animals out.
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:59:27 am.

News: CDC Warns that COVID-19 Lockdowns are Making Rats and Mice More Desperate
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:43:37 am.

Video of Justin Sealing Rats and Mice Out of a Loading Dock
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:02:16 am.

Here's How Opossums Got into the Crawl Space of a House in East Ridge, Tennessee
by Webmaster
Apr 28, 2020 11:11:12 am.

Noises in your attic? We can help in certain case we can seal and remove animals from your home with no personal contact.
by Dean Scott
Apr 02, 2020 11:16:28 am.

From our family to yours we wish you good health and safety. During this uncertain time related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to assure you as a approved business for essential Services. Rid-A-Critter remains open. Thanks
by Jason Arruda
Mar 27, 2020 03:07:31 pm.

Here's Dan Humanely Removing Animals from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:05:57 am.

This Video Shows How to Humanely Remove an Animal from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 09:57:33 am.

Just enjoying this Georgia weather this weekend. At my parents house fishing and noticed the wildlife out here where they belong. They can become a nuisance though when they find their way inside your home. In that case give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 01, 2020 12:24:17 pm.

Well it’s North Ga today. Seeing clients in Buford, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 27, 2020 11:30:35 am.

Rainy days mean animals like to stay in. If you are hearing noises in your attic on this rainy day it could be more than rain.
by Dean Scott
Feb 13, 2020 09:27:56 am.

Going to Bainbridge Ga today for quotes for exclusions. Bats, rats and gray squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 23, 2020 11:05:03 am.

Excited to be at the Athens pest control conference this week. Let’s talk about wildlife and what services we provide to help.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 06, 2020 11:57:03 am.

Here's How an Opossum Got into the Crawl Space of this House in Chattanooga
by Webmaster
Jan 02, 2020 10:39:33 am.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2019 11:39:15 am.

Want to put a stop to those pesky critters getting in your home for good? We can do that!!
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:14:14 pm.

Heard it all. Squirrels in my attic, scratching noises in my attic, attic noises, animals partying in my attic, then there’s the crawlspace. Rats in my crawlspace, opossum in my crawlspace and there’s something dead in my crawlspace/attic.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:07:59 pm.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2019 11:07:00 am.

Just want to say. I’m so grateful for the relationships we have with the pest control companies in Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee. Thank you all for the referrals.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 19, 2019 01:01:20 pm.

A Squirrel Chewed its Way Into this House in Signal Mountain, Tennessee
by Webmaster
Dec 10, 2019 11:13:38 am.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Squirrels are busy this season as usual. I’m headed south to take a look at a commercial job in Macon for Bats. Yep bats their still hanging around with us despite the cooler temps. Have a good day.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 05, 2019 10:27:19 am.

New Blog Post: What Software Do We Use to Maintain this Site?
by Webmaster
Dec 04, 2019 06:29:03 pm.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee office of Rid-A-Critter provides opossum trapping and removal in the Chattanooga, Tennessee Metro Area, including the counties of Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie, Tennesee and the cities and towns of Collegedale, Dunlap, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Harrison, Jasper, Lakeview, Middle Valley, Red Bank, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy, and their surrounding areas.

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