Pest Index


Binomial Name: Didelphis virginiana


  • Overall Length: Maximum length is 102cm
  • Colour: Whitish or grayish
  • Weight: 4-14 lbs
  • Tail: Rat like tail is bald and slightly less than half of the Opossum’s total length

Life Cycle: Opossums breed from January to July and they may raise 2 litters per year. Gestation lasts 13 days after which typically 7 young are born. Opossums are marsupials and will raise their young in their pouch for 7 to 8 weeks. The young will remain with their mother for another 6 to 7 weeks until weened.

Behaviour: Opossums usually live alone having a home range of 4 to 20 hectares. Usually they are only active at night. Opossums are slow with a top running speed of 11 km/hr but are well equipped to escape enemies. When threatened an opossum may: bare it’s teeth; growl; hiss; bite; and exude a smelly odor from it’s glands.

Signs of Infestation: Opossums are a nuisance pest that can be observed at nightrummaging through garbage cans, vegetable gardens and eating food dishes intended for dogs and cats. Sometimes an opossum may enter a home through a pet door in search of food. Entry / exit points to their den sites can be found at the base of sheds, decks, porches and other structures.