Opossum in the crawl space in Wilton, CT. The crawl space door was blown open and a opossum made a home inside. The homeowner didn’t realize until her security cameras captured the opossum going in and out of the crawl space each night.
he opossum is a medium-sized animal that measures between 15 and 20 inches long (not including the tail) and weighs between 4 and 12 pounds. It has long, coarse, grayish-white fur. Black, brown, and albino opossums have been found, but are very uncommon. Opossums have a sharp-pointed and slender muzzle, prominent thin ears, and short legs. A long, scaly, scantily-haired, prehensile tail helps stabilize the opossum when climbing. The tail also is well adapted for grasping and wrapping around things, but not for hanging for long periods of time. Opossums have five toes on each foot. The first toe on the hind feet is opposable, clawless, and thumb-like. These “thumbs” help the opossum grasp branches when it climbs. Both sexes are similar in appearance, although males are commonly larger in size.
As urban areas experience an increase in populations of these animals, homeowners may encounter these animals for the first time and not be fully prepared to deal with an intrusion. While wildlife plays an important role in nature, these animals can become a nuisance and a health threat when they come too close and sometimes into people’s homes.
During the cooler months, wild animals are more apt to wander closer to human environments as they search for food and shelter. Some homes, more than others will be more inviting to these animals. Homes that are located near wildlife habitats such as forest preserves, parks, golf courses, rivers or creeks, railroad tracks, and vacant buildings and have a presence of mature trees in the yard or the neighborhood are more likely to be visited by wildlife.