Opossum Sounds: A Guide to Identifying Common Noises

Opossums are fascinating creatures that can be found in many parts of the world. These animals are known for their unique behaviors, including their ability to play dead when threatened. However, opossums are also known for the sounds they make. These sounds can range from clicking and sneezing to growling and hissing. In this article, we will explore the different sounds that opossums make and what they mean.

When it comes to opossum sounds, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, these animals are generally quiet and only make noise when they are threatened or trying to attract a mate. Second, opossums have a unique way of communicating with each other through clicking sounds. This clicking is often used to signal to other opossums that they are in the area.

While opossums are generally quiet animals, they can make a range of sounds that are both fascinating and informative. By understanding the different sounds that opossums make, we can learn more about these creatures and their behaviors. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of opossum sounds!

Common Opossum Sounds

Opossums are known for their unique vocalizations that can often be heard at night. Depending on the situation, opossums can make a variety of sounds to communicate with each other or to defend themselves from predators. In this section, we will explore the most common opossum sounds.

Hissing and Growling

When an opossum feels threatened or is in danger, it will often hiss or growl to warn off predators. These sounds are often accompanied by bared teeth and a defensive posture. Hissing is a common sound that opossums make when they are angry or upset. It is a high-pitched sound that can be heard from a distance. Growling, on the other hand, is a low-pitched rumbling sound that opossums make when they feel threatened.

Sneezing and Chattering

Baby opossums make a sneezing sound to get their mother’s attention. This sound is often mistaken for coughing or wheezing. Opossums also make a chattering sound when they are excited or agitated. This sound is similar to the sound of teeth chattering and is often accompanied by a twitching tail.

Screeching and Screaming

When opossums are in pain or are being attacked, they will often emit a loud screeching or screaming sound. This sound is often described as a high-pitched squeal and can be heard from a distance. Opossums also make this sound when they are mating or fighting with each other.

Overall, opossums are not known for their vocal abilities, but they do have a unique set of sounds that they use to communicate with each other and defend themselves from predators. By understanding these sounds, you can better identify when an opossum is in danger or feeling threatened.

Why Do Opossums Make Sounds?

Opossums are typically quiet creatures, but they do make noises for various reasons. These creatures are not vocal animals, and their sounds are usually limited to communication with their mates or offspring, or when they feel threatened or distressed.

One of the most common sounds that opossums make is clicking. This sound is made by the mother opossum in response to the calls made by her young. Male opossums may also make the same clicking sound when trying to attract a mate.

When opossums feel threatened or agitated, they may also make distinct vocalizations. The first is a loud growl that sounds similar to a pig snort. This is used as the initial communication to warn the other animal off. Predators, including foxes, often leave when they hear the opossum growl. Opossums may also hiss or growl when they feel threatened or frightened.

Finally, baby opossums make sneezing noises when trying to get their parents’ attention. These sneezes sound like a “choo choo” and are often heard when the young are separated from their mother.

How to Identify Opossum Sounds

Being able to identify opossum sounds is important for homeowners who want to keep these pests away from their homes. Here are some tips on how to distinguish opossum sounds from other noises and recognize different opossum sounds.

Distinguishing Opossum Sounds from Other Noises

At night, opossums are most likely to make sounds. If you hear scratching or rustling noises in your attic or walls, it could be a sign of opossum activity. However, it’s important to note that other animals, such as rats and mice, can also make similar noises.

If you’re not sure what animal is making the noise, try to listen for the specific sounds that opossums make. Opossums tend to make clicking, hissing, and growling noises when they feel threatened or angry. They may also make sneezing and screeching noises.

Recognizing Different Opossum Sounds

Opossums make a variety of sounds depending on the situation. Here are some common opossum sounds and what they mean:

Sound Meaning
Growling Threatened or angry
Hissing Upset or warning to other animals
Clicking Communication with other opossums
Screeching Pain or fear
Sneezing Clearing nasal passages

If you hear any of these sounds, it’s important to take action to prevent opossums from entering your property. This may include securing your garbage cans, sealing any holes or cracks in your home’s exterior, and trimming back any tree branches that may provide access to your roof.

What to Do When You Hear Opossum Sounds

Opossums are generally harmless creatures, but if you hear them making noises, it can be unsettling. Here are some things to keep in mind if you hear opossum sounds:

When to Call a Professional

If you hear opossum sounds and suspect that there is an opossum on your property, it is best to call a professional. Opossums can carry diseases and can be dangerous if they feel threatened. A professional can safely remove the opossum and ensure that your property is secure from future opossum infestations.

It is important to note that opossums are protected in some areas and it may be illegal to harm them. A professional will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

How to Prevent Opossums from Entering Your Property

The best way to deal with opossums is to prevent them from entering your property in the first place. Here are some tips to keep opossums away:

  • Secure your garbage cans with tight-fitting lids
  • Remove any fallen fruit from trees and bushes
  • Seal any openings in your home or garage
  • Keep pet food and water bowls inside
  • Install motion-activated lights or sprinklers

By following these tips, you can make your property less attractive to opossums and reduce the likelihood of hearing opossum sounds in the future.

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