Opossum Control

Opossum with Young
The most notable problem with opossums is their tendency to get into houses and die. They can have up to 13 young per litter – a huge litter for an animal of its size – and the young often scatter throughout the structure.

Horses and Opossums

Opossums are carriers of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)–sometimes referred to as possum disease, a neurological infection with many symptoms. The University Of Missouri Veterinary School reports EPM as the most common neurological disease they see. If you have opossums near your horses, have ALL OUT Wildlife Control remove these potential disease carriers!

Geographic Range

North America, Central America, South America
Very common resident of Missouri, where they thrive in both urban areas and in wooded areas with access to water


The opossum is a medium-sized animal with a heavyset body that resembles a large house cat. They have long heads with a pointed snout, long, coarse body fur, and an essentially naked, scaly tail. Females have a fur-lined pouch to carry their young, which are born after the shortest gestation period of any mammal– averaging 13 days! Front feet have five toes and back feet have four toes and what looks like a long thumb. The tail and feet are adept at grasping. Body color is typically grayish-white with black tipping. The tail is black about halfway up then becomes pinkish. Lifespan is about two years in the wild. Opossums are marsupials (pouched animals), related to kangaroos and koalas.

Food Preferences

Omnivorous—eats almost anything. Scavengers who prefers animal matter (mostly already dead)—rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, mice, moles, other opossums, birds, eggs, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Will also eat fruits and grains in season.

Opossum tracks. Note the “thumb.”

Habits and Behaviors

Nocturnal. Usually seen in early evening, prior to sunset. Somewhat nomadic, with several different dens within their territory. They prefer wooded areas near water sources. Upon maturity they tend to become solitary. Opossums do not hibernate, but may “hole up” for a few days during bad winter weather. When frightened, they expose their 50 sharp teeth, drool excessively, growl and hiss. They may emit a foul-smelling secretion or play dead. They prefer running to fighting.


Humans, automobiles, dogs, foxes, coyotes, horned owls, mites, ticks, fleas, various parasitic worms, and fungal, bacterial and viral infections.

Good Points

Opossums are one of nature’s cleaners by eating dead matter. Very commonly seen eating roadkill.