Opossum on the Porch, Compost Eating Critter

November 20th, 2008

No picture with this post, this is probably the first post I’ve done ever without a picture, for some reason I didn’t think about it last night.

So, last night I made some skillet apples, and as I do normally I got out a brown paper bag to put all the scraps into for taking out to one of my compost tumblers. I like this because the bag adds brown material the same time I’m adding the scraps (which are considered green) so it helps with the ratio.

It was late, and cold, and windy though, so I thought to myself “Hey, I’ll just put this bag outside on the back porch on the deck and run it to the composter tommorow.”

A few hours later my wife comes upstairs and says our cats are being well enterained by an opossum just out our (mostly glass, which is why the cats could see) back door. It was sitting there just a foot from our door and us, not a care in the world, eating the apple peels and cores.

So, not going to do that again, but you can look at it a couple ways, the opossum needed to eat too right? But do you really want a wild animal hanging around your small yard looking for food scraps? What if you have a family pet that goes outdoors, it could be bitten and have to be put down. The animal can also attack your food crops (if this was summer) or get into your garbage, or eat all your bird seed, or eat ornamentals even, plus, opossums are ugly.

It only took 3 hours maybe for the opossum to narrow in on that bag of stuff (and I’ve put bags out before without a problem, so it wasn’t as if this guy was already established in our yard).

This is why people who aren’t living out in the woods or on a farm or something anyways, people like us who live in a fairly densely populated area, should not run open compost piles. Imagine how many critters I’d have if I had an open compost pile? Raccooms, opossums, and yes, SKUNKS! Imagine that. Instead, I have 1 fully enclosed compost bin that is even on large concrete stepping stones so that nothing can burrow up into it, and 2 fully enclosed compost tumblers. Compost tumblers may be more expensive than freeform piles or large open bins, and they hold less in the end, but they work faster, and not having a bunch of nuisance critters living in your yard is a big plus. The last thing anyone wants is a skunk to take up residence under your deck because your composting kitchen scraps are readily accessible, after you pay $200 to have that skunk removed, a tumbler suddenly looks like a bargain.

And yes, I grew up in the country, in a house in the woods, and we had shotguns to deal with nuisance animals trying to live in our garage, under our deck, etc. Just for the heat and catfood. But, that too, is not an option here in town.

5 Responses to “Opossum on the Porch, Compost Eating Critter”

  1. James Mann  Says:

    The first thing that came to mind when you mentioned you put it on the porch until tomorrow.

    Don’t put off until tomorrow what… 🙂

    I have never seen an Opossum other than in pictures but here in New Brunswick Canada we have the little bandits, raccoons and you don’t leave anything on the porch here either.

    Our composter is a big plastic monster that is sealed, mostly, but I it is not fastened to the ground so I think we have been lucky so far because if I were a raccoon I would get my buddies and flip that composter right over.

    I was raised on a farm and we had dogs that kept most things from coming too close.

  2. Abby Lanes  Says:

    I had to get a special trash can to keep the nightly visits from the raccoons down. He gets mad and knocks it over anyway, but luckily, he can’t open it.

  3. Linda Hutchins  Says:

    This is why suburban sprawl is such a shame. Up here in Bangor, Maine, the subdivisions are increasing exponentially, and the displaced animals are scrambling to stay alive.

    I’d like to think we can find some solution for this.

  4. abovegroundpool  Says:

    I really value visits from the wild, and try to make our yard, our open compost heap, our deadwood heap, etc. a haven for them. Their space is shrinking and I know they’re safe, at least, on this little tidbit of land. Here are pictures of my opossum friend, Scallop’s, recent visit: http://abovegroundpoolart.blogspot.com/2009/02/tour-della-possum.html

  5. Alison Kerr  Says:

    Well, I have to disagree with you on opossums being ugly. I’d be happy to have one in my garden. I’d not encourage it to come up on my deck, but I would love to have one.

    Opossums might bring fleas, but other than that, I can’t imagine them being harmful to pets – the pets are more likely to kill the possum. Of course if your pets ate the possum parasites are a possibility.

Leave a Response

(Email field must be filled in)

Top of page...