Opossums Kill Ticks, Help Stop The Spread Of Lyme Disease

While many people think that opossums are funny and cute, they have a pretty big reputation among pests, and some are seeing them as huge trouble. However, there is more to these cute little critter than meets the eye, and scientists are indicating that they can be very useful.

Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America, and the most common type of their family is the Virginia Opossum, which adapted to the New England severe winters.

Just like the cats, opossums groom themselves and they eat all the ticks that they find in their body. A research which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B pointed out that the opossums kill about 90% of the ticks which attempt to attach and feed on them!

A wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Humane Society, Laura Simon said:

They are some of the oldest species of mammal around, having walked around with dinosaurs. They eat insects and grubs, and sometimes even mice, working over the environment just like vacuum cleaners. They can eat really whatever they find.

These little gentle creatures are incredibly resistant to disease, and they are rarely aggressive, if they are attacked they usually play they’re dead.

The only time the opossum is a threat to your home is, if you’re raising chickens.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Wildlife Coalition wrote: 

Opossums eat organic products, snakes (opossums are resistant to a wide range of snake venom, then again, actually of the coral snake), creepy crawlies, snails, slugs, eggs, mice, rodents, fish, frogs, crawfish, and carcass. On the off chance that for no other explanation than bother control, opossums are incredible to have around!

The following video will give you an explanation of their habits and why having these little creatures in your garden or backyard is beneficial:

These days, the populaces of ticks are on the ascent, prompting the expanded spread of tick-borne maladies, for example, Lyme ailment, and fourteen others. 

These ailments are not determined and treated to have ease, and various clinical specialists accept that there’s a quiet scourge of these sicknesses, particularly Lyme Disease.

Ostfeld explained that the team has found that in a single season, an opossum kills about 5,000 ticks.

He also added:

They’re the net destroyers of ticks.

However, note that while the data indicates that opossums are eating thousands of deer ticks in one season, and therefore can prevent the spreading of Lyme Disease to humans, their effect on the Lyme Disease infection rates is indeterminate.

Sources:
newstimes.com
boston25news.com
ajc.com

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