Cleves, Ohio

Why Do Opossums Play Dead? June 5, 2020

Cleves, Miami
Why Do Opossums Play Dead?, Miami, Ohio

If you hear scratching in the walls or weird smells under a deck, you may need opossum removal. Opossums are typically harmless to humans and are omnivores that tend to “play dead” when they are scared. Below is more information to help you understand this unique action.

What Does It Mean to Play Dead?

Coyotes, foxes, and dogs are a few predators that like to eat opossums. If the marsupials sense a threat, they may quickly lie down, go limp, and curl up as if they have an injury. They often nestle their teeth into their nether region as if their bodies are tightening into rigor mortis.

opossum removalThe opossum will stop moving for several seconds or minutes while giving off a musty scent. This smell comes from a green mucus that forms in the anal glands. Opossums use it to trick predators into thinking the body is decaying. Some opossums also drool to convince predators further that the body is rotting. Homeowners may experience this when confronting an opossum.

Can Playing Dead Be Dangerous?

While this instinctive response is helpful at the moment, freezing can cause the animal to go into shock, potentially creating an unconscious reaction for several hours. The opossum may be incapable of moving if the predator ignores the warning signs.

Homeowners who attempt DIY opossum removal may think the animal is dead and put it in a garbage can or bury the animal. The mammal may die because it can’t escape these situations in this condition. Additionally, opossums may freeze on a roadway, and drivers can drive over them instead of swerving because they think the critter is dead.

 

Contact A.S.A.P. Critter People in Cleves, OH, for opossum removal. We have more than 25 years of experience with safely trapping nuisance animals to make your house feel like home again. We service Hamilton, Warren, Butler, and Clermont Counties to remove birds, groundhogs, raccoons, squirrels, and more. Call us at (513) 941-0258 or visit the website for information on our removal services.

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