Keep Opossums Out from Under Your Stoop, Deck and Shed

Opossums are common in the Chicago Suburbs. The best way to control opossums is to seal them out from beneath decks, stoops and sheds by burying underground fencing. We call this service a Deck or Stoop Screen Up. Landmark’s ABC Humane Wildlife Certified experts dig a trench around these structures and bury strong materials that animals cannot dig through or around.

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Opossum Control and Trapping in Illinois

When opossums are seen in the yard, there is no reason to control them unless their den is in a troublesome area on the property. If opossums are already living beneath a deck or stoop, trapping them humanely may be necessary, especially if the family dog is likely to attack them.

A barricade-style trap can be set in conjunction with performing a Deck or Stoop Screen Up. This ensures that once the animals are trapped, the problem will never reoccur. It also ensures that only the animals beneath the stoop or deck are trapped, since putting a trap out in the open can result in non-target captures.

Sometimes opossums die under stoops and decks. Whether they are ill from infection, injured in fights with dogs or hit by cars, an injured opossum will often travel home to die in its own burrow. Removing a dead animal from under a stoop or deck can be a time-consuming and sometimes costly process that can take the better part of a day to perform. Screening Up decks and stoops in advance prevents this undesirable event from occurring.

Opossums are the Only Marsupial in Illinois

Marsupial and placental mammals diverged from one another about 100 million years ago and have evolved separately ever since. The Opossum’s status as North America’s only marsupial means that it has a variety of unique traits that are not shared by Illinois’ other native wildlife.

When the female Opossum gives birth, her tiny fetus-like young wriggle into her pouch where they each latch on to a nipple until they are weaned at approximately 70 days of age. Opossums give birth to an average of 8 young, and females opossums have an average of 13 nipples. Sometimes a female opossum gives birth to more young than she has nipples, and the extra young that don’t get a nipple cannot survive.

Opossums have other unique features and aspects of their physiology. The female has a second uterus and she can gestate young in both of them at once. Correspondingly, the male Opossum has a bifurcated penis that can simultaneously impregnate both uteri.

Opossums also have 50 teeth, more than any other North American mammal. By comparison, humans have only 32.

Diseases Carried by Opossums in Illinois

Opossums also show some resistance to diseases that are common in Chicago’s local placental mammals (including skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes). Scientists credit Opossums’ naturally lower body temperature with their partial resistance to rabies, distemper and parvovirus and other rampant wildlife diseases.

One disease that Opossums do carry that is of concern is Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EMP), a protozoal parasite that invades the central nervous system of horses. Since only 40 percent of infected horses make a complete recovery, it is important that opossums are not tolerated where horses are kept.

Landmark’s ABC Wildlife Certified Technicians

Landmark solves every wildlife issue from A through Z. When animals invade your home, yard, attic, or business, we make solving your wildlife issue as simple as A-B-C.

Knowledgeable Staff

Every one of Landmark’s State-certified wildlife technicians undergo extensive training before receiving their ABC Humane Wildlife Certification in humane wildlife control. Our courteous technicians will come to your home and solve any wildlife problem that is causing damage to your property or threatening the health and safety of your pets and family. You can rest easy knowing that Landmark’s ABC Humane Wildlife certified technicians have the training and expertise to be the best.

When it comes to protecting the health and safety of your family, pets, and property remember to always look for the ABC Humane Wildlife seal.

Go directly to ABC Humane Wildlife’s homepage to learn more about the originators of the nuisance wildlife control field in Illinois.

Wildlife in Illinois

The greatest threat facing wildlife is habitat loss. When Illinois and the Chicago region were comprised of deciduous forest, wetlands and prairie, a greater diversity of ecological niches existed supporting a greater variety of animals and plants.

Human expansion transforms once diverse ecosystems and removes them, making way for uniform landscapes, like homes and parking lots. The trees and plants that we then select for our landscaping are often invasive and fail to provide food or habitat for what wildlife remain.

In spite of our poor habitat management practices, some species of wildlife have endured and even thrived alongside us. Raccoons, for instance, have greater population numbers today than when covered wagons crossed this area 200 years ago. Fall population estimates for raccoons in the North Shore suburbs around Deerfield, Highland Park and Winnetka have reached 99 raccoons per square mile, and many towns in Cook County have reported record numbers of skunks in recent years.

Integrated Pest Management Principles for Humane Wildlife Control

Landmark Pest Management utilizes the humane wildlife control service of ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention. Since Landmark Pest Management is an ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention company, we know that ABC Humane Wildlife is aligned in the same Integrated Pest Management Principles that comprise the Landmark Difference.

  1. Modifying structures to keep wildlife out is the most humane, safe, and economical means of solving and preventing wildlife issues. Chimney caps, attic fan covers, attic vent guards, installing animal-proof screening beneath stoops and decks and correcting structural deficiencies should first be employed to reduce reliance on animal trapping.
  2. With adequate correction of structural deficiencies most rodent problems should be able to be well controlled without the long term use of rodenticide baits. When rodenticide baits are used as a knock-down agent for the immediate control of severe rodent problems, structural exclusion must take place in conjunction with their use to reduce reliance on rodenticides over time, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for rodenticides, since rodenticides may have the undesirable potential of reaching non-target species such as birds of prey and other wildlife.
  3. The control of bats and the remediation of bat colonies must center around the use of one-way-doors, called excluders, that allow bats to escape but not re-enter.

ABC Humane Wildlife Control and Prevention is headquartered in Arlington Heights and offers same day animal control service to Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, McHenry County, and parts of Kane and Will Counties. Their phones are staffed by state-certified nuisance wildlife control personnel who will create a plan encompassing exclusion, and if necessary trapping, to resolve your animal problem and restore your home or office to safe, sanitary conditions.

ABC Humane Wildlife’s 24 hour telephone number is (847) 870-7175 or you can learn more about their programs and book service on the web by visiting www.abcwildlife.com

Animal Relocation in Illinois

Some healthy animals may be relocated alive onto private lands with a good water supply and an abundance of the animal’s natural food and harborage. For instance, this means that relocation sites for flying squirrels must feature mature oak trees so that the squirrels can feed on their acorns and live in their hollow cavities. All release sites must be on private lands within 40 miles of where the animals were captured in order to comply with State laws and avoid the spread of diseases. Consideration must be taken not to exceed the natural carrying capacity of any piece of land. Consideration for the impact of released species on properties adjacent to the release site must be considered. Since the State of Illinois authorizes only select species of wildlife to be released only onto private land within 40 miles of capture, ongoing effort must be made on the part of wildlife control organizations to secure new release sites through arrangement with private landowners.

Without the hospitality that you offer to wildlife, reintroduction to their natural habitat would not be possible. Private landowners with suitable sites should volunteer their properties to receive relocated wildlife. Unless landowners cooperate with the relocation of wildlife to their properties, species that are allowed by law to be released will not have accommodations available to them.  Private landowners who wish to offer their private lands for the release of relocated wildlife should contact help@abcwildlife.com.