Opossum: Didelphis virginiana
Florida's only marsupial (a mammal of the order Marsupialia
having a pouch containing the mammary glands and serving as a
receptacle for the young) is the Virginia opossum (Didelphis
virginiana). Opossums are about the size of a
house cat, have long naked tails and small ears.
Opossums are attracted to virtually any type of available food,
including garbage, pet food, or cultivated fruits and
vegetables. To prevent attraction of opossums garbage cans
should be secured with rubber straps, and pet food should be taken
in at night.
A landowner may lawfully live-trap nuisance opossums using
sardines or cat food as effective bait. Live-captured nuisance
opossums must be released or euthanized within 24 hours of capture
or trap inspection. In addition, nuisance opossums may be
transported and released at an off-site location that is within the
county of capture and a minimum of 40 contiguous acres if the
releaser has written permission from the owner of the release site;
and the transportation of the wildlife does not violate any rabies
alert or area quarantine issued by a county health department or
county animal service. Relocating wildlife is seldom
biologically sound, the animal often does not survive.
You can receive technical assistance for opossum problems by
contacting the FWC regional office nearest you.