An opossum may swallow a flea while self-grooming. those who tout the virtues of opossums, claim that opossums are tick… Media Coverage Opossums: Where Lyme disease goes to die. March 16, 2015. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball. Additionally, opossums forage for carrion, garbage, and pet food left outdoors when … How Opossums Feed (get Rid) on Ticks; Opossums are known to be thorough groomers. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about these amazing creatures! March 30, 2015. “Opossums not only eat a lot of dead things, but they really love to eat ticks,” says Kathy Uhler, director of the center.“One of these opossums can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year. With global warming, ticks and tick-borne diseases are on the rise. Opossums don’t actually “play dead”, but under intense fear, they will pass out involuntarily and will start reeking of death.– Source 3. Opossums are crazy, fastidious, grooming animals like cats, and when they find a tick, it's right down the hatch. If you have opossums living near your home, below are a few actions you can take to encourage them to move. Opossums roam around at night in search of all types of bugs and insects (even cockroaches! They Serve A Purpose Opossums eat ticks and on average they will eat around 5,000 ticks each season. It’s estimated that a single opossum eliminates over 5,000 ticks from the environment each year. July 23, 2014. Because of their varied diet, adaptability, and warm winter climates, the animals have successfully integrated into urban environments. Ecologists have recently learned something new about opossums. Various sources have advised to feed what is known as the Modified Jurgelski Diet (90% kitten chow and 10% raw beef liver) to juvenile opossums. Young opossums will stay in their mother’s pouch for around 80 days before they are mature enough to scavenge on their own. It is estimated that a single opossum can eat 5,000 ticks in a year, thus protecting other animals (and humans) from tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. Ticks that carry the Lyme Disease bacteria are found on mice, shrews, squirrels, and chipmunks, but not so with the opossum. Opossums have been known to raid farm outbuildings at night to steal chickens, according to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Just like cats, opossums groom themselves and eat all ticks found on their bodies. Opossum feces, however, sometimes carry the eggs of a parasite that may cause illness in horses if the feces contaminate food and water. So now we are back at the 4,000 ticks a week. Opossums can eat up to 5000 ticks in a 2-3 month period, and are resistant to rabies due to their low body temperature. Media Coverage Give opossums a break. Opossum Food. Just one reason not to fear if you see an opossum around. Possums will very efficiently groom themselves, eating ticks as they find them, which basically results in possums just wandering around the forest “hoovering up ticks right and left”. Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) are the only native marsupial in North America. Opossums are opportunistic omnivores that eat a wide variety of animal and plant matter. The brilliance of these ecological traps is that these organisms actually encounter a lot of ticks… A trail camera in Vermont captured a photo of an opossum eating ticks straight from a “willing” deer’s head. ), snails, mice, rats. Now, most animals do groom themselves however, only a few (if any) are ever as effective as opossums when grooming. Some of opossums' favorite foods include: Scientists have discovered that a single opossum can consume as many as 5,000 ticks in a season! The key is that opossums are fastidious groomers, and whenever they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. Our popular new Opossum diet is Premium Insectivore! Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America and the most common type is the Virginia Opossum, which has adapted to the severe New England winters. The Vermont Wildlife Coalition shared the photo on Facebook, writing: “Opossums can eat up to 5000 ticks in a 2-3 month period, and are resistant to rabies due to their low body temperature. Out of all the animals on the planet, opossums can clean up the most ticks in one area. It turns out that the opossums, because of their fastidious grooming habits, were the best at removing the ticks, and that they ingested (ate/removed) 90-95% of the ticks they were exposed to. Because of this, possums may contribute to preventing the spread of Lyme disease . The opossum’s diet is varied and can include corn and poultry. This takes care of more than 90% of the ticks that attempt to draw their blood meal from an opossum. This Web Site is for the group most recently led by the late Dr. Henness, the National Opossum Society. Opossums are highly opportunistic and a large amount of their diet consists of scavenged food items, like carrion. Feed your opossum a quality food made with wholesome grains, high quality proteins and real insects. According to the National Wildlife Federation, a single possum consumes 5000 of the parasites per tick season. ... Well, even though these stinky beings have quite a varied diet consisting of fruits, berries, and bugs, larvae, and various other “dishes”, they are not known for consuming these bloodsuckers in particular. Just like cats, opossums groom themselves and eat all ticks found on their bodies. Feature 4 facts about tick-borne illness. June 13, 2015. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. 2. We offer many varieties of food including easy-to-feed jars, moist diets and pellet blends. Ticks, particularly the black-legged ticks like deer ticks that are responsible for the spread of Lyme disease, appear to be a top item on the opossum’s menu. – Diet: Omnivore. Night Moves. Opossum Facts. They are omnivores and eat a variety of plant matter, fruits, seeds, grains, insects, earthworms, birds, and frogs. Just visit the Facebook page, Opossum Awareness & Advocacy for examples. ANSWER: The study notes opossums are particularly good at grooming themselves, which leads them to swallow most of the ticks that attach themselves. Scientists estimate that a single opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks in a single season. As a matter of fact, opossums are known to kill off about 90% of ticks on their body. Opossum's are far more interesting than most people give them credit for. Opossums are resistant to rabies and rarely carry the disease. 1. 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