OpossumOpossums (Didelphis virginiana)


  • Activity: Mostly nocturnal but not strictly
  • Breeding Season: January up to October
  • Breeding: 2 litters per years with 6 to 13 young
  • Description: Size of a house cat with large naked ears, short legs, and long prehensile tail
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Habitat: Residential to forests, open woods
  • Independence: Between 3 to 4 months
  • Lifespan: Up to 2 years

Common Issues

Opossums In Trash Cans

Place your trash can out for pick-up the morning of. If you need to have it out the night before make sure the can is secure (twist-on lid or bungee cord). Between pick-ups secure can as mentioned above or place in a secure building like a garage or shed.

Opossums Eating Cat or Dog Food Outside

If you have to feed outdoor pets feed only during the day and remove uneaten food before dusk. Your pets will adjust to the new feeding schedule quickly.

Opossums Living Under My Deck or House

Opossums find dark cooler places to hide from the heat in the summer. Since opossums do not hibernate they are also known to hide under houses to find warmth during the cold winter. Opossums are not territorial and generally solitary wanders and rarely remain in any one area for long periods of time. Place flour or crumple newspaper in front of the opening. Check frequently. Once the paper is moved or you see footprints, board up entry area. Do not do this during the day as opossums are nocturnal and will damage property trying to find a way out. A female opossum carries her young in her pouch or on her back so the possibility of trapping young is low.

Rabies Risk for Opossums Seen During Daytime

Most likely it does not. Scientists believe that opossum's body temperature is too low to support the rabies but you should never get close to any wild mammal. Opossum's hiss, drool, wobbles back and forth, and even "plays dead" which all bluff features to scare potential aggressors. There are many reasons why opossum's are out during the day: attracted to pet food, bird seed, garbage, displaced from its home due to construction. During the winter and early spring months is mating season and they search for mates throughout the day and night.

For More Information

For more information, call (757) 825-4657.