Before running opossums out of your garden, please reconsider. These odd-looking beasts may seem threatening, but they’re not, really.
While they might hiss and bare their teeth when they see you, they’re just trying to scare you away. They’re actually kind of shy. If you approach, they’re likely to keel over and play dead–hence the term “playing possum”.
If you let them, they can play an important role in your garden by chowing down on snails, grubs, beetles, rats, mice and gophers that might otherwise chow down on your crops or lawn. They also eat ticks, preventing Lyme Disease. The National Wildlife Federation reported in Give Opossums a Break: a study calculated “a single opossum might kill an astonishing 4,000 ticks in a week.”
That said, opossums might take the occasional bite of your tomatoes or corn, and they do have an unfortunate tendency to eat out of the compost heap. Usually though they tend to seek decayed or overripe fruit.
So, before you run off the opossum out of your yard or garden, consider the benefits!
Want to learn more about the opossums and their benefits in the garden?
See these helpful articles:
Give Opossums a Break: Why it makes sense to make way for opossums in your garden from the National Wildlife Federation
Opossums and Gardening: A Few Things to Know from the National Wildlife Federation