Opossums Kill Ticks, Help Stop the Spread of Lyme Disease

Some may think opossums bring many diseases and some may find them adorable. However, it is discovered that they are good at eliminating more than 90% of ticks. They clean themselves very often, similar to cats. That’s why they do not have any ticks on their bodies.

A few years ago, a study was made in which six-tick animals, such as white-footed mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums, and catbirds were examined. In this study it was concluded that opossums can eat more than 5,500 ticks in one season, making them the true winners.

Opossums can also be very resistant to diseases and are hardly ever rabid. They are gentle by nature and can be good garden protectors, because, against all the popular beliefs, opossums do not dig gardens, but can sometimes act as janitors and eat some of the molted fruits and vegetables. Most of the people notice that they can play dead when being attacked.

Here you can watch a video where you can understand what opossums consume and why are they good backyard companions:

A wildlife ecologist named Laura Simon said that opossums are known mammals from the past. They can be identified as little vacuum cleaners because they eat insects, grubs and mice. But, if you raise chickens, you do not want them around. Some of the chicken raisers witnessed opossums killing their chickens.

How can all this help us?

Ticks are spreading very fast as a result of climate changes and other factors and they carry diseases with them, including Lyme disease. Many doctors and medical professionals assume that a silent epidemic of these diseases is occurring and that includes the Lyme disease which is an illness that is quite challenging to diagnose. If people do not kill or harass opossums, there might be a way to control the escalation of these outspread illnesses.

Sources:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
www.caryinstitute.org

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