Hello friends and seedlings!! In honor of the Arctic Blast currently sweeping the nation, I have made printable DIY instructions for building your very own Cozy Outdoor Opossum House. Like cats, opossums are very clean animals, and constantly groom themselves. They will keep their living quarters meticulously tidy. Opossums are typically solitary animals, though they are not territorial and coexist nicely with any cats and dogs that do not pose an existential threat to them. Opossums' body temperatures are generally too low to carry rabies, so while it's important to keep a safe distance from wildlife, you can rest assured that their presence is not likely to be a threat to you or your pets. In fact, having friendly neighborhood opossums will often benefit you, as they keep tick, mouse, and rat populations at bay!
As a species, Virginia Opossums have been making their way farther and farther north and often rely on warmth provided by living in close proximity to humans. For instance, they may take refuge from the cold under houses and near machinery warmth. In some regions, frostbite can indicate an opossum's age as professionals use varying degrees of frostbite on ears, fingers, and tail tips to estimate how many winters an opossum has lived through. Cozy insulated housing can help keep opossums (and feral cats) toasty warm.
30 Gallon Plastic Tub
18 Gallon Plastic Tub
Bedding (Fleece Blanket or Towel)
Wrap the sides and bottom of the 18 Gallon Plastic Tub with Insulation. Put the lid on the 18 Gallon Plastic Tub and cover the lid with Insulation. Place the insulated 18 Gallon Tub inside the 30 Gallon Tub. Put the lid on the 30 Gallon Tub. Use the Box Cutter to cut an entrance hole through both Tubs and the layer of Insulation. Use Duct Tape to cover exposed Insulation and connect the 18 and 30 Gallon Tubs along the hole.
While the bottom of the housing should be waterproof, it may be a good idea to elevate the house on some bricks. This can keep the shelter removed from snow and slush, and will also keep it off cold ground. Older opossums aren't always great at climbing, so be sure the entrance is still easy to get to for any senior marsupials! You could even make a little staircase by stacking bricks up to the entrance.
Feral cats and opossums both will appreciate fresh water, and opossums in particular will love any fruit, nuts, or leftovers you leave out! Remember to check your local organizations for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs for feral cats.
Click below to download a printable PDF of the illustrated instructions!
A brand-new, FREE downloadable and printable coloring book!
Featuring Sesame and his sweet friends!
Please feel free to download, print, share, and enjoy.
Thank you everyone! It's meant so much to have such support, and we're so happy that Starry Surprise! is fully funded! We've put the order in with the manufacturer and they've let us know they're "putting a rush on it". We should have them in-hand in not too long!
We'll put them up on the website so you can order them from here, too, or order more if you were only able to claim one on the Kickstarter. Of course, our Kickstarter backers will be the first to have their orders fulfilled and the first to receive the plushes! We've also been busy collecting the names and addresses of your favorite nature centers and wildlife hospitals so we can send complimentary plushes their way. You can always comment here on the blog with requests for places to receive them, or you can email email@example.com as well. Thank you for making this project a reality. We appreciate each and every one of you so much!
We can't wait to send your Starry Surprises to you!
Hi Friends and Seedlings!! It's me, Starry! I've made a kickstarter to mass produce the first Opossum Plush with Seedling Babies! We're calling it Starry Surprise. I'm really excited about it, and one of the many reasons it makes me smile is that if it gets fully funded we'll be sending Starry Surprises to wildlife rescue and nature centers around the world. Doing so will help these centers educate kids and adults about the amazing opossum. Awareness and advocacy are a huge part of encouraging humans to be kind to opossums, and these educational plushes (with pouches and educational tags) will be one more step toward creating a more compassionate world for our America's only native marsupial.
Please consider joining and supporting the campaign! We would be very grateful to have you, and we would love to send you one of the many Kickstarter rewards, including but not limited to your own Starry Surprise! In addition to populating educational centers, Starry Surprises will be available to the public at $59 retail. Now is your chance to claim one of the very first and support the initial manufacturing of the very first litter. You will be our hero! We have only until Oct 24th to secure full funding (which will mean that this first litter could be in your hands by this winter's holidays!).
Check out the Kickstarter here, and as always, we adore you and are thankful for all your support and love!
The title of this post is fairly vague — I mean, where to begin?!?! Our virtues are limitless. However, let's take a quick moment to focus on our eco-friendliness, our sweet nature, and also the features that make us ideal neighbors to welcome into your gardens, yards, and hearts. Today's content comes from Northern Oaks Bird & Animal Hospital, who did such a lovely job articulating our goodness that I've shared their text virtually unchanged. Of course, I had to sprinkle a few opossums around to jazz it up a bit. Head on over to their Facebook page for more wonderful content, including images and stories about their patients! xo Starry
If you prefer a cut & paste version, see below!
"Opossums are harmless, timid, docile creatures. They hiss for protection because their eyesight is poor. They freeze or “play opossum” when confronted with danger because they have no means to fight. When you see these critters, leave them be.
A few facts:
1. Opossums are not rabies vectors because of their decreased body temperature.
2. They eat insects, acorns, ticks (very efficiently!), overripe vegetation, and occasionally, tiny vermin. They do not attack cats, dogs, chickens, etc, and are excellent disease control for Lyme, Ehrlichia, and any other tick-borne diseases.
3. They do not tip trash cans or destroy gardens. They clean up what other predators leave behind, but often get the blame.
4. They will never offensively attack or bite. They are completely avoidant of interaction and will hiss, growl, involuntarily faint or, like all animals, bite defensively when cornered.
5. They are a carrier for sarcocystis, the Protozoa causing Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). All horse feed and hay should be kept off the ground and covered. A devastating disease, and treatable if diagnosed early, less than 1% of healthy exposed horses will progress to disease.
6. They are resistant/somewhat immune to toxic snake bites and will kill them if encountered, out of defense. They perform natural pest control!" Text courtesy of our friends at Northern Oaks Bird & Animal Hospital.
Written by me, Starry, from It's Me, Sesame!