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  • Vancouver Educational Article of the Month - How to identify Vancouver opossum tracks

How to identify Vancouver opossum tracks

Vancouver opossums are possibly one of the ugliest and misunderstood animal in nature. They are pests that can wreak havoc on homes, chicken pens, gardens, and they can even tease and torment your pets. When an opossum is cornered, they will growl and even hiss. However, they very rarely attack other animals or humans. Even though they have incredibly sharp teeth and dangerous claws, they are considered one of the most docile creatures.

While they aren't an immediate threat to pets or humans, they can be a danger on a different level. Washington opossums can transmit diseases. They are known to carry some of the deadliest viruses and diseases, tuberculosis, spotted fever, tularemia, and leptospirosis. These are only a few that they can give.

Not only do they have the potential to carry these diseases, but they can create other problems. Vancouver opossums have been known to be infested with things such as lice, ticks, fleas, and mites. These pests can get on your pets and be carried into your home.

They are especially dangerous to horses because they can carry a specific toxin that can cause neurological diseases in horses. If you've seen an opossum around, then you have likely seen their tracks. They are very easy to recognize because they often resemble a toddler's hand. Their footprints commonly overlap and are accompanied by drag marks left behind by their tails. They have a distinctive shuffling gait that causes them to overlap.

Front tracks left by this curious looking animal are roughly two inches wide. However, that can change with the size of the animal. The back footprints are slightly larger with a thumb that closely resembles a human thumb.

Vancouver opossum tracks are commonly found along trees and downspouts. They are excellent climbers and often use these areas to hide from predators or gain access into homes. If you have discovered tracks in your yard, there is a good chance that you have one or more of the odd-looking animals lingering about. Be careful when searching for them because they like cool, dark places. Attics, crawlspaces, and basements make perfect hiding places for opossums.

If you think that you might have an issue with them, contacted someone that is trained in pest removal. The wildlife centers will send someone to your home or property that is prepared in not only the removal of opossums but also the ability to identify their tracks.

These professionals will also help you find safe solutions to not only remove but to keep them away permanently. If you see tracks around your property, don't hesitate to call a professional. It is better safe than sorry when it comes to your home, pets, and children.

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