Will Louisiana Possums Hibernate?

New Orleans Opossums are known for their quiet and shy behavior. They do not cause significant damage to our garden. Nonetheless, their presence can still be bothersome especially if they start to raid our garbage bin. They may also dig in our yard when looking for food and may retreat to our house if they need to look for a comfortable place during the winter. While their activities will be reduced during the colder season, the animal will not go through a hibernation period.

The Activities of New Orleans Opossums During Wintertime
Since the animal will not hibernate, it will be common to encounter them in our yard or in our house when the cold weather sets in. They will rummage our garbage can when looking for food. They can also establish their den or burrow under our porch, shed, or decks.

The Challenges
The fur of them opossum will not be enough to keep them warm during the winter. They will look for a place that is dry and warm to survive. The place needs to be secured and safe from the predator. Since their tail, toes and ears are hairless, these parts will be vulnerable to frost bites. In order to avoid this, they will be very particular in looking for the location of their den. They can build their den in the dark and obscure place of human structures, crevices of rocks and piles of woods, on abandoned burrows of other animals, and on hollows of the trees. They will be insulating their burrows with various materials such as leaves, dry grass, and other materials that can provide them with warmth.

The opossums should not be stationary and will often change the location of their den. This is because they do not have defense apart from playing dead or intimidation. After a couple of days, the opossums will have to move to a new den. Based on the study conducted by the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife, an opossum can visit as much as 19 dens in a matter of 5 months. When females must raise their young ones, they may choose to remain in the same den for extended period.

When Will They be Active?
Since the opossums will not store foods, they will not have enough body fats. Therefore, they will have to continue searching for food on winter. They are nocturnal creature that will spend most of their time holed up inside the burrow. Nonetheless, there are instances when they will be forced to be active during daylight. In winter when the resources are lacking, they will have to hunt for foods during the day. When hunting for food they can travel at about 2 miles away from the location of their den.

Opossums can be attracted to your house if they are looking for food or nesting site. They have a voracious appetite and will enjoy the taste of the leftovers and food scraps in our garbage can. To discourage the creature from denning in our property, avoid giving them an access to food sources. Fix the holes that they can use as access point and install a barrier in the space under your house.

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