The only thing that can make removing possums from your attic more complicated is if there are babies present. As with any wildlife in your home, you want to get them out as soon as possible to minimize the damage and you need to remove them in a humane manner. In the case of baby opossums, this requires a bit of background knowledge on your part and knowing exactly how to deal with the baby possums and their mother.
About Baby Opossum Nests
There is no such thing as a possum nest - the mother opossum IS the nest! Since opossums are marsupials, the babies will spend the vast majority of their time inside their mother’s pouch. An average possum gestational period lasts around two weeks since the babies will go through most of their development inside their mother’s pouch as opposed to in utero like in typical mammals. The average opossum litter will have 10 to 20 infants, each of which is only as large as a honeybee. When born, they don’t have hearing, sight, or fur. Right after being born, the newborn opossums must travel into their mother’s pouch to start nursing and developing. Since they can’t see or hear, only around half of newborn possums successfully reach this stage.
The average opossum will live within its mother’s pouch for around two months following birth. They spend almost all of their time inside the pouch nursing and growing. As their senses begin to develop and the animals grow, they will start leaving the pouch for small amounts of times. At some point, they become too large to comfortably stay in the pouch. At this point, they will go to their mother’s back where they hold onto her fur using opposable thumbs. A young possum may spend around three months with its mother before becoming independent and fully weaned. While this is the average, many times the babies stay with their mother or in the area they were born until they have reached sexual maturity, about a year.
You May Not Need To Worry
The good news when it comes to baby possums is that they spend a great deal of their time clinging to their mother. This may be inside of her pouch or riding around on her back. Because of this, when you catch a mother possum, you are likely to catch her babies as well in the same live trap. Assuming the baby opossums are young enough, they will be in her pouch at the time, saving you some hassle. Of course, even if that is the case, you need to confirm that all babies have been caught along with the mother. You don’t want to leave any behind as this will be inhumane and lead to them starving.
To catch the mother possum, you want to use a live cage trap that is large enough to hold the marsupial. Always check your traps regularly to make sure that the possums don’t remain stuck inside without food or water. After trapping the possum, relocate it to an area that is at least ten miles from your home, repair your attic, and decontaminate the area.
Is The Baby Old Enough?
Sometimes you may think you are dealing with baby possums but they are actually teenagers who are about to get out on their own anyway. If you can tell that the baby possum is larger than seven inches or so long, it is nearly mature and ready to move out. In this case, you could catch it like you would its mother, using a live cage trap of the appropriate size and relocating it to a safe area, or wait for it to mature and move away.
Carefully Remove The Possums
In some cases you won’t be lucky enough to catch all of the baby opossums with their mother. In this situation, you will have to look through the attic and find the babies. You can grab them carefully with a gloved hand and reunite them with your mother. Sound will be your best hint that there are still baby possums in the attic as they will be calling out for their mother. The noise sounds similar to a human sneeze and the mother typically responds right away, provided you haven’t taken her out of the attic.
Leave It To The Pros
While it is possible to get baby opossums out of your attic, your best choice is almost always to hire the professionals. They will have the appropriately sized traps to catch the mother and be able to tell whether all of the babies are with her. Their knowledge also lets them approximate the age of the young possums and recommend appropriate action. It also helps that a professional will know the most likely entry points into your attic that the possums are using so you can effectively seal them up and prevent more wildlife from entering your home.