Opossums are crazy, fastidious, grooming animals like cats, and when they find a tick, it's right down the hatch. The opossum as a biological organism is not forgiving of a poor diet- they WILL get sick, lose mobility, or die if they are fed inappropriately. 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. ANSWER: The study notes opossums are particularly good at grooming themselves, which leads them to swallow most of the ticks that attach themselves. 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. Feed your opossum a quality food made with wholesome grains, high quality proteins and real insects. Edit: PHOTO by Greg Swann, who told VWC that indeed the opossum was nibbling ticks! Because of their varied diet, adaptability, and warm winter climates, the animals have successfully integrated into urban environments. Out of all the animals on the planet, opossums can clean up the most ticks in one area. Additionally, opossums forage for carrion, garbage, and pet food left outdoors when … 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. March 30, 2015. Opossum Facts. Squirrels and chipmunks are also great traps for ticks, eating most of the ticks that try to feed on them. This Web Site is for the group most recently led by the late Dr. Henness, the National Opossum Society. However, the opossums lick the ticks off their fur and eat them, with around 90% of the ticks they do pick up ending up being eaten, killed, and excreted in their faeces. those who tout the virtues of opossums, claim that opossums are tick… The key is that opossums are fastidious groomers, and whenever they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. How Opossums Feed (get Rid) on Ticks; Opossums are known to be thorough groomers. Night Moves. Use wild opossums to rid your property of ticks. Opossums roam around at night in search of all types of bugs and insects (even cockroaches! A trail camera in Vermont captured a photo of an opossum eating ticks straight from a “willing” deer’s head. 1. ... 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. March 16, 2015. – Diet: Omnivore. The Modified Jurgelski- Don't Do It. – Source 2. They are omnivores and eat a variety of plant matter, fruits, seeds, grains, insects, earthworms, birds, and frogs. Cheers to the guy who got that job! 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. Researchers found many digested ticks in the feces of cooperative opossums. Ticks that carry the Lyme Disease bacteria are found on mice, shrews, squirrels, and chipmunks, but not so with the opossum. Young opossums will stay in their mother’s pouch for around 80 days before they are mature enough to scavenge on their own. Opossums are the super effective tick-killers! That means the more possums that are in your area, the fewer ticks … They Serve A Purpose Opossums eat ticks and on average they will eat around 5,000 ticks each season. 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. Based on a study conducted by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, researchers estimated opossums can kill about 5,000 ticks in one season. Opossums can eat up to 5000 ticks in a 2-3 month period, and are resistant to rabies due to their low body temperature. ), snails, mice, rats. While they're mainly scavengers - feeding on dead animals and plant matter - they also love insects and occasionally hunt small animals like chicks and snakes. An opossum may swallow a flea while self-grooming. The brilliance of these ecological traps is that these organisms actually encounter a lot of ticks… Ducks and turkeys are also at risk; owners should enclose these animals in secure pens to keep opossums from reaching them. Tape Worm: These are acquired by swallowing a flea infected with a tapeworm larvae. So now we are back at the 4,000 ticks a week. The opossum’s diet is varied and can include corn and poultry. Just one reason not to fear if you see an opossum around. Possums can carry parasites like fleas and ticks, although these are the same creatures that also live on cats and dogs. Scientists estimate that a single opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks in a single season. Media Coverage Give opossums a break. Opossums are highly opportunistic and a large amount of their diet consists of scavenged food items, like carrion. Just visit the Facebook page, Opossum Awareness & Advocacy for examples. Research by scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York found that opossums eat over 95 percent of the ticks that land on them during their meanderings. Just like cats, opossums groom themselves and eat all ticks found on their bodies. This includes the ticks that carry Lyme disease. 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. Opossum boosters, i.e. Opossums are resistant to rabies and rarely carry the disease. 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. In fact, they typically eat the ticks before they have a chance to infect them. Exotic Nutrition foods contain a blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense pellets. Just like cats, opossums groom themselves and eat all ticks found on their bodies. Possums actually eat most of the tick that land on them. It’s estimated that a single opossum eliminates over 5,000 ticks from the environment each year. Opossum Food. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about these amazing creatures! Feature 4 facts about tick-borne illness. Media Coverage Opossums: Where Lyme disease goes to die. Now don't get the wrong idea, opossums eat ticks mostly through grooming. Opossums aren’t the only ecological trap for ticks identified in that Ostfeld study. Opossums are opportunistic feeders whose diets change depending on the season. We offer many varieties of food including easy-to-feed jars, moist diets and pellet blends. As a matter of fact, opossums are known to kill off about 90% of ticks on their body. Opossums don’t actually “play dead”, but under intense fear, they will pass out involuntarily and will start reeking of death.– Source 3. On the positive side, because rodents, cockroaches , snails and slugs are included in the possum’s diet, they can decrease the number of these pests. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Scientists have discovered that a single opossum can consume as many as 5,000 ticks in a season! Follow Facebook for any length of time and you will likely see a meme about opossums and ticks. The National Opossum Society and the Opossum Society of the United States, while both founded by Dr. Henness, are separate groups. Opossum feces, however, sometimes carry the eggs of a parasite that may cause illness in horses if the feces contaminate food and water. Now, most animals do groom themselves however, only a few (if any) are ever as effective as opossums when grooming. According to one forest ecologist, opossums are net destroyers of ticks. July 23, 2014. 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”. Several years ago, biologists from the Cary Institute put opossums and other species, like chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and catbirds to the test, giving each animal 100 ticks to eat. The National Opossum Society is an all-volunteer not-for-profit, tax-exempt charity, founded December 5, 1986. With global warming, ticks and tick-borne diseases are on the rise. Opossums have been known to raid farm outbuildings at night to steal chickens, according to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball. Because of this, possums may contribute to preventing the spread of Lyme disease . June 13, 2015. Opossums are opportunistic omnivores that eat a wide variety of animal and plant matter. Opossum Diet. Ecologists have recently learned something new about opossums. 2. Opossum's are far more interesting than most people give them credit for. “Trail cam snaps photo of an opossum eating ticks off of a willing deer’s head! Our popular new Opossum diet is Premium Insectivore! As meticulous groomers, opossums consume about 95 percent of the ticks which hitch a ride on their mammalian bodies. This takes care of more than 90% of the ticks that attempt to draw their blood meal from an opossum. 1. Sometimes, opossums even eat ticks directly off of other animals. 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