The opossums are opportunistic and nomadic animals since they do not tend to live in a certain area for extended periods of time. In most cases, they will walk around at night searching for food and suitable shelter.
Female possums that have babies will look for a home base to live in, which sometimes also happens to be a man-made structure like your home. This contributes to various damages done to houses and thus, makes them get into conflicts with people.
Read on as you will learn whether opossums can burrow underground and the specific damages they can cause under your house.
Do Opossums Make Dens Underground?
Opossums are known to use their well-defined feet to burrow in the ground. They have a diverse habitat, but they mainly prefer to burrow in moist or arid areas as well as in open or wooden fields.
Also, opossums might prefer to burrow close to swamps and streams. In other cases, they’ll have to seek temporary shelter in holes where other animals have burrowed. These animals can burrow into tree cavities, and they’re likely to occupy garages and attics.
It’s worth noting that opossums love to live alone, which means they will burrow individually rather than in groups.
Typically, they are primarily active during the night, and you might be surprised to wake up in the morning to find several burrows underground.
After they have burrowed in the ground, they will fill the new dens with rock materials, piles of wood, and hollow tree stumps that will help with keeping them warm since their fur doesn’t provide them adequate insulation from cold.
Possums can have a den that’s more than 4 feet deep, and they can spend several nights to complete burrowing and transferring materials into their nests.
Although some people blame the opossums for digging holes in the garden, they are not the typical culprits in destroying gardens or making holes in the lawn.
The possum digs just a shallow hole as it tries to get grubs and other insects from the dirt. It will do a little digging in the soil to enjoy eating cockroaches, beetles, worms, snails, or slugs.
The hole openings might be at least three inches in diameter. So, if the holes are very deep, they might be caused by other wild animals.
Do Opossums Dig Holes Under Houses?
Opossums cannot dig deep underground holes themselves. However, they prefer to search for holes that have been previously formed by other small animals, including rats, chipmunks, voles, and moles, so that they can make them their dens.
Even though the underground provides a lot of insulation and safety for some animals, possums prefer to live in trees in most cases since they consider them safer.
In man-made structures, these animals can use various places, including the underside of the stairs, porches, or decks, as their temporary homes.
If you find opossums in such areas, you should know that they found a reliable source of food nearby and found this location acceptable to occupy.
Since the opossums do not dig in the ground, you can prevent them from settling in on your property by covering abandoned burrows with gravel and covering potential entrances with wire mesh.
Can Possums Cause Damage Under a House?
The space under your house can be one of the favorite hotspots for possums. In reality, when compared to other animals which can invade your home, the possums usually do not contribute to any significant damage.
However, if they live under a house, they can still wreak havoc and might notice the following damages:
► First, the possums will bring their meals into the location under your house and leave behind the leftovers. When the leftovers start to rot, this will attract flies and create a horrible smell.
► The possums can also cause damage by leaving their waste behind. The animals poop a lot, meaning they can leave their fecal matter all over the place.
As a result, they can turn the place underneath your house into their regular toilet place, and making it a total mess.
If the opossum lives in your area for a long time, its fecal matter can begin to produce a foul smell. Not only that, the smell of the feces and urine can attract different types of parasites and turn the underground area of your house into a breeding ground for bacteria.
► Another aspect is that a dead possum will produce a foul smell which is even worse than its fecal matter. The rotting carcass will start to stink, which can be annoying.
Apart from that, the possum carcass might leave an awful mess that attracts bacterial growth, flying insects, and other pests.
► Occasionally, if the possum enters the underground area of your home, it might try to chew on your insulation, air ducts, or floors, in an attempt to get out.
In particular, the possum can damage ground electric wires and insulators. If the insulator is damaged through cuts, you can experience an increased risk of fire accidents, resulting in short-circuiting your electric systems or burning your wires.
If you’re suspecting that possums have invaded your property, you should inspect the whole area to determine the damage they might have caused and take the necessary action of cleaning the space and replacing damaged materials.
Even if opossums do not pose a safety concern to you and your family, they still should not be allowed inside your house structure.
Call Wildlife Troopers in South Florida to get professional help with getting rid of opossums from your property. We will humanely trap and remove these critters for good!