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What are raccoons and opossums?

Raccoons and opossums are very different animals. The round body of a raccoon is about two to three feet long and covered in gray and black fur. They have markings that look like masks across their eyes and a ringed tail.

Opossums have long bodies, about the size of the average house cat. They have a pointed face with long whiskers, gray and white hair covering their body, and a hairless tail.

a family of oppossums

Are raccoons and opossums dangerous?

As far as pests go, raccoons and opossums are considered dangerous because of their aggressiveness and the diseases they spread. While they prefer to keep their distance from people, these animals can become aggressive if threatened. Both raccoons and opossums can bite if necessary, potentially transmitting diseases. 

Raccoons can spread rabies, salmonella, roundworms, leptospirosis, giardiasis, and E. coli. Opossums can transmit tularemia, leptospirosis, and tuberculosis.

Although there may be signs that indicate an animal is sick, it is best to stay away from these animals and contact experts for removal and exclusion work.

Why do I have a raccoon and opossum problem?

Raccoons and opossums have come to rely on people for easy access to food. Unfortunately, we make it easy for them because we leave garbage cans out in the open and provide these pests with food.

These animals also look for places to hide close to food sources where they can raise their young, so your property may provide these areas for them. Below you can find some of the places raccoons and opossums can hide.

Where will I find raccoons and opossums?

Raccoons and opossums are both nocturnal animals. They hide during the day and come out at night to search for food. Some of the places these animals will shelter on residential properties include:

  • Under decks, sheds, and other outbuildings.

  • Inside hollow trees and logs.

  • In dens abandoned by other animals.

  • In crawl spaces and attics, if they have access.

  • Because they are nocturnal, you likely won't see them but may notice signs such as knocked-over garbage cans, damaged crops, scratch marks, and droppings.

    How do I get rid of raccoons and opossums?

    Wildlife like raccoons and opossums are not easy pests to get rid of. It would be best if you left removing wildlife up to experts. At Texas Termite Terminators, our technicians have the training needed to identify pests and implement the proper treatments to get rid of them and keep them from coming back again using our home pest control services.

    Give us a call at Texas Termite Terminators for more information about how we can assist with wildlife in Houston.

    How can I prevent raccoons and opossums in the future?

    While it may seem challenging to keep wildlife out of your yard, there are several things you can do to make your property less attractive to them:

  • Remove food sources by using garbage cans that they can't knock over easily and have tight-fitting lids.

  • Remove bird feeders, pick up fallen fruits, and install barriers around gardens.

  • Deter these pests by repairing damaged fencing and using motions sensor lights.

  • Don't forget to call us at Texas Termite Terminators for wildlife control and prevention assistance in Houston.

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