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If you have problems with ticks, leave the possums alone

raubvogel

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They eat them (up to 5,000 ticks in one season) and do not get Lyme disease. And are rather resistance to rabies.

 

Story

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Appears not:

I'll cast a jaundiced eye at anyone *groundtruthing*.

According to Dr. Bret Collier, associate professor of wildlife ecology at Louisiana State University’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, “No, not at all, period. Ticks are not, in any manner, selected for by Virginia opossums.” He cites a 2021 peer-reviewed paper called “Are Virginia opossums really ecological traps for ticks? Groundtruthing laboratory operations,” by Dr. Cecilia Hennessy and Kaitlyn Hild of Eureka College’s Division of Science and Mathematics.
 

lew

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I have enough diatomaceous earth spread around to kill any insects. Opossums are cool, though.

Fence lizards here in the Southwest are magnets for ticks, but their antibodies to Lyme disease are transmitted to the ticks that feed on them, therby killing the microbe responsible for spreading said disease.
 

alphadog58

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They come around my place regularly. I find possum poop in the driveway.
Many years ago I heard my husky/shepherd mix raising hell outside one night. I go to check it out and he's running circles around a possum curled up on the lawn. Alive, seemingly unhurt and "playing possum". I pick it up by the tail and bring it in the house to show the girls. They freak out and order me out of the house with "that thing". I get the dog in the house and leave the possum in the yard. Ten minutes later he's gone. Fun 'n' games...
Larry
 

Invictus77

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Possums are carriers of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) and can transmit this incurable and deadly disease to horses.

I lost a good horse to EPM a few years ago. Since then all possums are shot on sight here, that is if the dogs don't get them first.
 

ByronF

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Had a big ol'e possum here that would visit my porch a couple years ago. Stopped coming around. I guess it likely died. Smaller critter been visiting the tree line but doesn't come to the porch like Old Fatty.
 

alphadog58

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Guinea hens are hard on ticks if you can stand listening to them
Had ten for a while, along with a dozen or so chickens of various breeds. Their screeching drove me nuts. One starts, then the rest join in chorus. They wouldn't go in the coop at night, would roost in trees. Laid their eggs all over the place. Good thing that they're delicious...
Larry
 
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