Unfortunately, opossums are not animals that humans hold in high esteem. Many people see them as pests, as they often crawl into their garbage cans in search of a quick snack.
But according to an Opossum Awareness & Advocacy worker, this perception is changing, although we still see cases of violence towards these animals due to misinformation. “Not everyone sees opossums in the same way and the perception is changing, but for a long time people have believed that opossums were giant rodents that spread rabies, as they look a little like rats. Historically people killed them as pests and also ate them. There are places where that behavior has not changed. One of the reasons they are seen as pests is because opossums seek heat in the colder months and can make homes in basements and attics. Many horse owners hate opossums because they can carry a virus that can kill horses. Not all of them carry this virus, some get it when they eat another creature that has it. That’s why some horse owners kill opossums on sight. Others don’t and take precautions to keep opossums away from anything their horses might eat,” they said. Obviously, there is no need to call animal control (or take more severe measures) when these creatures visit your garden.
Not long ago, the Vermont Wildlife Coalition posted a touching photo showing how useful opossums are at eliminating ticks. The picture shows an opossum eating ticks directly off a deer’s face. It quickly went viral, and it perfectly illustrates a symbiotic relationship between two different species, which managed to coexist and help each other.
The picture shows an opossum eating ticks directly off a deer’s face. It quickly went viral, and it perfectly illustrates a symbiotic relationship between two different species, which managed to coexist and help each other. Photo credit: ramendan It also shows that opossums have a very important task, as they are the “cleaners” of nature. These nocturnal creatures not only eliminate ticks, but also combat pests such as mice, snakes, slugs, and other garden pests.