possum IQ?

I've seen a possum near our garden. We have a decent fence, but we've lost stuff in the past. (Probably to woodchucks.) I'm not getting a clear answer from google as to whether possums are much of a pest. It's a very dry year, so I imagine it will be tempted.
I'd appreciate any thoughts on (a) how interested it will be in our beets/broccoli/beans/carrots, and (b) how good they are at getting past a fence.
Thanks, G
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George wrote:

If you mean this critter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possum
The brushtails and ringtails are smart, agile, strong and determined. They are a significant pest here stealing or damaging most kinds of fruit. I haven't found them taking vegetables but don't rule it out. They are excellent climbers and will beat most fences unless specifically designed to exclude them.
If you mean this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opossum
I have no experience.
David
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George said:

Opossums are not a problem as far as beets, broccoli and carrots go. Probably not much of a threat to bean, either. In dry weather they will go after ripe tomatoes.
What they really love are sweet corn and ripe melons. They will also eat berries and tree fruit (apples, peaches, etc.).
Possums are a bit dim-witted, but tenacious and are excellent climbers. They can also squeeze through smaller gaps than you might think. They have all night to figure out how to get into your garden, if they have a notion that something good is in there.
Based on my experience, they are the only animial that will scoot forward when a trap door is coming down on them rather than back out. You can trap a surprisingly large possom in a small, squirrel-sized trap.
Opossums can go over any fence a groundhog can go over (and both are more likely to climb over a fence than dig under).
They have the most teeth of any North American mammal. And they really do "play possum" (roll on their back and gape their mouth as if they were dead).
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
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I don't think I'd worry about *those* veggies. Mine like the compost pile & clean up the squirrels & roadkill nearby.
I think they *could* get past most fences--- but I don't see them making the effort.
I catch a few every year in the woodchuck box trap. I let them go.
Jim
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George wrote:

if you're talking about the north american long tailed version they are fairly dumb but persistent.
i knew some folks who kept them as a pet. they love french fries.
no problems in the many years here with them getting in the vegetable patches. no idea about fruit as we don't have fruit trees. I've not seen any sign of them in one strawberry patch (in the fenced garden), but we see them all around and catch many in the live trap. they eat birds and bird eggs if they can find them at night. raccoons are 100x worse (smart and persistent and more likely to raid anything they can find). we rarely find raccoons in the live trap.
songbird
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wrote:

If you mean Opossum, we've never had any problem garden wise with them but they have played havoc with our poultry and eggs in the past. They seem to like carrion and quite often in this area, while dining on roadkill they end up that way themselves. I have more than once seen an Opossum dining a road-killed relative. They do climb quite well so a fence will be no problem if they do take a fancy to something in your garden. .22LRHP is a good deterent.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada
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Thanks to all. It ended up in my woodchuck trap. I decided that was a sign.
G
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