Naturally, as our towns and cities grow, we will run into wild creatures on or near our land.
The frequently misunderstood opossum, also called the possum, is one of these species. Possum habits and eating are largely the same whether you’re in North America, Central America, or Australasia. Despite the fact that there are over 100 possum subspecies.
You may be wondering what possums enjoy eating. So I’m assuming you either want to get rid of them because they are a nuisance or you want to feed them so you can enjoy their company. Let’s investigate the possums’ diversified diet now.
What Do Possums Like to Eat?
Because they are omnivorous, possums will consume nearly anything they can. They could scarcely be described as fussy eaters because they like a broad variety of meals made from both plants and animals. Generally speaking, a possum’s choice of food is largely influenced by its surroundings.
Possums change their nutrition to the season since they are less active in the winter. However, some things make up the majority of a possum’s diet, while others are consumed sporadically.
Possums also like some meals over others, so when certain items are available, they tend to select to consume them. We have determined the top 10 things that possums enjoy eating in order to condense this list.
Possums, unlike some animals, will consume carrion and won’t hesitate to consume other creatures. Evidence also points to the possibility of cannibalism in confined possums. However, there isn’t much proof that cannibalism occurs frequently in the wild.
Possums frequently rummage through trash heaps, garbage cans, and compost piles while people are around looking for food leftovers. Additionally, they will take food from gardens, bird feeders, and dog and pet bowls. Possums are fundamentally opportunists who never turn down a quick meal when it comes their way.
What fruit do possums eat?
Opossums are omnivores and occasionally like to eat fruit. They like every fruit. Contrary to popular misconception, possums don’t choose their foods depending on color.
They choose them instead based on size. Large fruits are their preferred choice since they are fleshy. Fruit seeds are difficult for possums to digest, thus they generally avoid them. They also consume other plant materials including bark, buds, and shoots in addition to fruits.
Possums enjoy eating fruits during the summer and fall. They consume flowers throughout the winter. Fruits are the main source of food for brushtail possums all year long. Pear, Kiwi, Watermelon, Grapes, and Berries are a few of their favorite fruits.
Other fruits eaten by possums include apples, oranges, bananas, rockmelon, supplejack, kawakawa, carambola, tomatoes, honeydew, pawpaw, karaka, hinau, mahoe, and kanono.
Sweet foods like jam, marshmallows, and peanut butter are favorites of possums. Possums only dislike one type of fruit: ferruginea. Due to its high resin content, this fruit should be avoided. Vegetables are also eaten by possums.
They may be seen chowing down on carrots, beans, peas, and sweet potatoes. A possum’s diet also includes herbs including coriander, broccoli, parsley, and others. Roses, eucalyptus leaves, and fuchsias are consumed by ringtail possums and brushtail possums.
Will Possums Eat Pet Food?
Depending on the type of pet you have, the possum may enjoy the food you have set aside for it. A house-trained possum may gladly consume solid pellets of dog or cat food. Possums most likely take pleasure in the canned pet food that you feed your pet.
Fortunately, the majority of possums won’t compete with your pets for food. If your pet is large and possessive enough, they may often cause more harm to the possum.
What do possums eat in the garden?
Everything in a garden is eaten by opossums. They consume everything, even roots and flowers. Vegetable gardens are a particular favorite, and once they have found them, they are known to return to the same food sources.
They are mostly drawn to maples, roses, and magnolias. Baby opossums consume gumtree leaves and camellias since they are unable to pursue amphibians or birds. Plants with strong scents, such as mint, daisies, and hakeas, will deter opossums from visiting your yard.
Some property owners even go as far as to scatter dog hair to deter possums. Dogs and cats’ areas are off limits to possums. Possums do consume cats, despite their fear of them, but only when the cat is weak and easy prey.
What Do Possums Eat In The Wild?
What kinds of food do possums scavenge in the wilderness? You’ll be shocked to learn just a handful of the foods that omnivorous possums consume.
Insects. While all possum varieties consume a variety of bugs, the New Guinean striped possum consumes virtually exclusively insects. Striped possums mostly eat ants, beetles, moths, crickets, and termites, thus they don’t need any additional food sources of nutrition.
Although gliding and ringtail possums consume insects often, they do not make up the majority of their diets.
Any land-dwelling invertebrate is ultimately vulnerable to becoming possum food.
Grains. No possum consumes grains like rice, bread, maize, or oats on a regular basis.
Despite this, they nevertheless take pleasure in eating a variety of cereals if given the chance. The possum should have no problems biting into the grains as long as they are “whole,” according to experts. Usually, they grab them from bird feeders or feed for cattle.
Fruit. Fruits are a staple of a possum’s diet. Many possum breeds have a well-known predilection for passionfruit.
The most secure fruits a possum can eat include melons, citrus, berries, bananas, and apples. Small berries are the most common food item for possums that only exist in the wild.
Plants. Flowers, leaves, and fruits make up the majority of a possum’s food while living in a forest or woodland setting. They like the delicate, lush foliage of vegetables, although they will eat any kind of foliage, including tree leaves.
Eucalyptus trees, whose leaves are rich in nutrients, are a well-known example in Australia. Possums may learn to assess the amount of nutrients present in the leaves they consume.
Birds And Reptiles. Possums are known to devour almost everything, including rodents, lizards, tiny birds, and bird eggs. Any rodents that a possum living in your attic finds throughout its stay in the part of your home’s roof may be killed and eaten. Rats and other tiny rodents pose a threat to possums because they are fiercely protective of their territory.
Although a snake devouring a possum is more common, it is still possible to see the contrary. A possum is far more likely to eat a gecko if it comes across one while out hunting at night.
How Do Possums Hunt and Forage For Food?
A possum’s excellent sense of touch and extraordinary sense of smell are its most vital senses. Possums will climb trees and branches using their opposable “thumbs” to reach bird nests and steal the eggs within.
They also dig in the ground for insects and other things using their powerful front paws and lengthy claws. Meanwhile, they can discover food from a great distance because to their extraordinary sense of smell. In fact, they have almost three times as many genes in their nostrils as humans have for scent perception.
Although their hearing is adequate, it is not well developed. They also have a poor sense of taste, which may help to explain why they would consume nearly anything. Finally, they have quite weak vision. But because they are nocturnal creatures, they don’t need much vision because they can navigate and find food using their keen noses.
Possums are active all night long in quest of food. They dig out insects, bugs, and other invertebrates with the aid of their razor-sharp claws. They can climb trees to fight birds and search for eggs thanks to their prehensile trails and opposable thumbs. The mouth of a possum has more teeth than any other animal in North America—roughly 50 teeth.
They also have 10 upper incisors, which is far more than any other animal. While they can easily munch down on other creatures thanks to their toothy smiles, they also spend a lot of time hunting for vegetation, particularly fruits. Possums that live near to people often use their noses to find trash and other waste. For a possum, trash is a simple and high-calorie food.
Do Possums Scavenge In Garbage?
Possums in the area will almost surely dig through your waste bin if it is filled with food scraps. To a ravenous possum, anything that even somewhat resembles food is open game.
Naturally, the majority of people don’t want to unintentionally encounter a possum every time they take out the garbage. Contrarily, many locals do not want to harm or kill the possum in order to get rid of it.
So, how can you prevent possums from foraging in your trash in a humane manner? Set up a feeding area for them!
Possums won’t get into your garbage cans if you provide them with a feeding spot outside. Possums will move somewhere else if you create a food-filled area far from your trash can in your front or backyard. So what do possums consume in an environment with a lot of people living there?
What Do Captive Possums Eat?
Possums often survive up to 4 years in captivity. However, a possum has to consume a balanced diet rich in nutritious foods in order to live thus long.
Possums must consume a wide range of foods in order to be healthy and obtain all the nutrients they require because they are omnivores. Since insects make up a sizable portion of possums’ diet, pellet insect feeds are popular alternatives for feeding pet possums.
Many people who maintain possums in captivity also consume a lot of fresh produce. Eggs and lean meats like fish or chicken are additional foods.
Additionally, you can use dietary supplements that come with extra vitamins and minerals like calcium. Possums will consume almost everything you put in front of them due to their love of food. However, given their inherently sluggish metabolism, this might result in issues like obesity.
What Do Possums Like To Eat Most?
Possums are almost universally omnivorous. They eat a range of things to stay alive. Small rodents, insects, worms, slugs, snails, frogs, birds, and worms are among their main food sources.
Additionally, they consume rubbish, pet food, fruits, berries, nuts, veggies, and birdseed.
Because they are scavengers, possums will consume nearly anything. They are drawn to smelly, overflowing garbage cans, unattended compost piles, and other outdoor containers.
Although possums aren’t extremely fussy eaters, fish or apples can be used as bait to entice them. Pet food may also be a very effective lure.
They enjoy sweet stuff as well. Possums may be attracted with fresh fruit, chunks of apple, jam, and peanut butter.
Some possums consume tiny animals, insects, chicks, and eggs from birds.
Of all possums, the common brushtail possum has the most varied diet. It favors eating plant stuff.
The brushtail possum’s preferred diet is Australian mistletoe.
Possums may consume extremely harmful leaves as well. They are renowned for having a high venom tolerance.
Begong moths can make up to to 30% of the diet of mountain pygmy possums. It adds seeds, buds, and fruits to its diet. Additionally, they eat fruit-bearing confiner, snow beard heaths, and mountain plum wine.
The majority of the Tasmanian pygmy possum’s diet consists of eucalyptus and melaleuca pollen and nectar. Additionally, it eats insects. It is believed to be crucial to pollination.
The northern brushtail possum probably consumes a wide variety of foods, including leaves, seeds, flowers, and fruits. Because their major food source is located in gardens, they are more likely to be found close to metropolitan areas.
High protein, low fat meals are some of the greatest things to feed domestic possums. They enjoy snacking on fruits, certain vegetables, and dry meals like kibble. They can consume cooked items as well.
What do baby possums eat?
When opossums are born, they are immature and stay in their mothers’ pouches. A juvenile possum leaves its mother’s pouch when it is old enough to go hunting on its own. Possum pups don’t have picky eating habits. They alter their diet in accordance with what is available.
Possums generally enjoy eating insects. Snails are particularly favored by young opossums. Other insects like tiny cockroaches, snails, and frogs will also be eaten by them.
Plants: Baby possums that are left alone don’t consume either milk or meat. hence, their top substitute plants. They consume a range of plants. They consume low-hanging fruit as food. They also consume nuts and seeds.
Pet food: Young opossums have been known to consume dead animals and, in rare instances, cat and dog food. In metropolitan regions, it is more prevalent. They often camp close to readily accessible food sources and dig through trash cans. Additionally, possums devour table leftovers.