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Of urban marsupials

wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User regular
edited December 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm pretty sure I have an opposum living in my basement in LA. My room-mate had seen him a bunch and I just heard something in our back yard and poked my head out and finally saw him as well. He's just sort of rustling around eating our figs. We've heard some scratching much larger than a rat on the inside of one of our walls one night, but that's about the extent of us being inconvenienced by it.

Can anyone give me a good reason why I'd call animal control and have it trapped? Things I know about opposums seem to make me want to keep it around, such as:

They're great rodent control. No mice or rats.
They eat bugs. No cockroaches, ants, or spiders.
Their defense mechanism is to play dead. No threat of being attacked.
They don't contract rabies as easily as other animals. No chance of getting killed.

It seems the biggest con the internet gives me is that they cause damage to whatever they're living in, they sometimes smell, and they make noise. I rent a very big house and whever it's sleeping is no where near an area I care about damage with, I can't smell anything, and he doesn't make too much noise.

wallabeeX on

Posts

  • CristoCristo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    They're great rodent control. No mice or rats.
    They eat bugs. No cockroaches, ants, or spiders.
    Their defense mechanism is to play dead. No threat of being attacked.
    They don't contract rabies as easily as other animals. No chance of getting killed.

    It seems the biggest con the internet gives me is that they cause damage to whatever they're living in, they sometimes smell, and they make noise. I rent a very big house and whever it's sleeping is no where near an area I care about damage with, I can't smell anything, and he doesn't make too much noise.

    I think you just answered your on thread.

    Cristo on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Animal Control most likely won't do anything unless it's like in your living room staring at you anyway.

    Sir Carcass on
  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    wallabeeX wrote: »
    So I'm pretty sure I have an opposum living in my basement in LA. My room-mate had seen him a bunch and I just heard something in our back yard and poked my head out and finally saw him as well. He's just sort of rustling around eating our figs. We've heard some scratching much larger than a rat on the inside of one of our walls one night, but that's about the extent of us being inconvenienced by it.

    Can anyone give me a good reason why I'd call animal control and have it trapped? Things I know about opposums seem to make me want to keep it around, such as:

    They're great rodent control. No mice or rats.
    They eat bugs. No cockroaches, ants, or spiders.
    Their defense mechanism is to play dead. No threat of being attacked.
    They don't contract rabies as easily as other animals. No chance of getting killed.

    It seems the biggest con the internet gives me is that they cause damage to whatever they're living in, they sometimes smell, and they make noise. I rent a very big house and whever it's sleeping is no where near an area I care about damage with, I can't smell anything, and he doesn't make too much noise.

    Playing dead isn't their only defense mechanism, I believe. I grew up in a rural area, and it wasn't all that uncommon for an opossum to get in a fight with a dog. They aren't as vicious as a raccoon, but those sharp little teeth could do a whole lot of damage if you were to accidentally corner him in your basement.

    Since it sounds like he is moving between your basement and your backyard, one possibility is to attempt to close off whatever opening he is using to enter your basement. Then he could still perform rodent control in the backyard without the drawback of having him in your living space.

    Hedgethorn on
  • Hobbit0815Hobbit0815 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I don't quite understand what you're asking. You're giving all the pros for him living there, but want to get rid of him? I'm confused.

    Hobbit0815 on
  • KajustaKajusta Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    He's just asking if there's any outstanding 'cons'.

    I say let him live there, and if he starts messing around with your house and you, then get rid of him.

    Kajusta on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    XBL
  • Hobbit0815Hobbit0815 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Ahh alright. I thought he was saying 'help me FIND a reason to get rid of it'.

    Hobbit0815 on
  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Yeah, I just wanted to know if there was something I was missing about having an opposum living in your basement. As I said, this is a BIG old 1920's house, and there's more than enough basement for him to enjoy without getting close to us. Given that it's a dirt floor with 5 and a half foot ceilings, we rarely go down there anyway.

    The opposum will stay! We'll just have to decide on a name.

    wallabeeX on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Bitey.

    Quid on
  • locomotivemanlocomotiveman Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Pogo.

    locomotiveman on
    aquabat wrote:
    I actually worked at work on Saturday. Also I went out on a date with a real life girl.


    Can you like, permanently break the forums?
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    rabies

    Local H Jay on
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Phineas T. Chunderdearth.

    PolloDiablo on
  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Bitey.

    Also, I believe part of an opossum's defense tactic is to look as diseased as possible; hissing, drooling, etc. Reason being that the attacking animal won't want to catch whatever the opossum has.

    There's also this.

    FF on
    Huh...
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    They're not completely harmless of course as mentioned... I had two friends in high school who were bitten by possums... but if it's staying out of your living space and not damaging anything and you don't have any pets that might end up fighting with it, it should be fine to just let it be.

    Daenris on
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    There is always the case where he ends up chewing his way into somewhere you really don't want him. Like under the cabinets in the kitchen to scare the crap out of you when you go to get a pan. Or when he dies inside your walls and starts to rot and stinks to high heaven.

    meeker on
  • tallgeezetallgeeze Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    meeker wrote: »
    There is always the case where he ends up chewing his way into somewhere you really don't want him. Like under the cabinets in the kitchen to scare the crap out of you when you go to get a pan. Or when he dies inside your walls and starts to rot and stinks to high heaven.

    Pretty much this. The pros are great, but this is a big possibility especially as it gets colder.

    When they come to get rid of the thing it won't be cheap. Besides those possums look creepy.

    tallgeeze on
  • ErandusErandus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Eventually you're going to end up with a metric fuckton of possum shit in/under your house. I don't know about you, but one of my personal life rules is to live around as little animal feces as possible. Shit breeds disease.

    Erandus on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • tallgeezetallgeeze Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Erandus reminded me of the most crucial thing. Breeding. Like all animals that have found a sweet pad they will populate like crazy.

    Do you want your home to be back story to the next Pixar/Disney animated movie?

    "Durango: The Awesome Possum" A tale of a spunky young marsupial that breaks all the rules and heads upstairs to befriend the first human it sees.

    tallgeeze on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    As others have said, you should probably just try to keep him out of the house without bothering with animal control. There's also the note that if he can get into your basement, so can anything else his size or smaller. If he builds a nice little den and then dies or moves out or whatever, you have a great spot for anything else to move in. Just see if you can animal-proof your basement, and then encourage him to stay in the area by not bothering him.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I vote for Bitey McPossum

    clsCorwin on
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Seconding "Bitey".

    I also agree that you need to animal-proof your basement like, now. If you want the little guy to hang around, they make shelters for feral cats or you could build something yourself. Just a wood box with some straw and some roofing shingles on it would do fine. Make it two-levels for added protection, and add some insulation (something he won't eat) and you've got a friend for life

    TL DR on
  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I vote for hotpocket. ~.~

    E.Coyote on
  • RallyGirl76RallyGirl76 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Wow, you're freaking me out... opossum's are scary little critters...[she says jumping into the arms of the closest male]

    It will eat bugs and stuff, but what happens when that runs out? He may chew on cables, or start to bite you or your pets, etc...

    I think he should return to nature, where he will be safe and sound, [shiver]

    RallyGirl76 on
    Shoes are better than sex...almost!
    "So alternate, against the grain, anti establishment - so you're just a regular joe again, right?"
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