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Home » Blog » Opossum Sounds: Identifying and Understanding Their Vocalizations

Opossum Sounds: Identifying and Understanding Their Vocalizations

opossum noises

Opossums are fascinating animals known for their unique behaviors and physical characteristics. Most people are familiar with their signature defense mechanism of "playing dead," but did you know that opossum sounds are also a source of intrigue? These sounds can range from hissing and growling to chattering and clicking.

Opossum sounds are an important part of their communication repertoire. These creatures use these sounds to express emotions and intentions, like warnings of danger or indications of submission. Opossums are generally nocturnal animals, which means that they are most active at night. This is also when they are most likely to make sounds, such as when they are foraging for food or defending their territory.

If you've wondered what sound does a opossum make, you may be surprised by the variety of noises they do. Some of their most common sounds include hissing, growling, and snarling. They may also make clicking or chattering noises, which are thought to be a form of communication between family members. Understanding these sounds can help us better appreciate these unique animals and their behaviors.

Understanding Opossum Sounds

opossum sound at night

Many wonder what does an opossum sound like. These animals are known for their unique and varied sound repertoire. Understanding these sounds can help identify their behavior and communication.

Types of Opossum Sounds

Opossums make various sounds, ranging from hissing, growling, and screeching to clicking, chattering, and even playing dead. When threatened or attacked, opossums will hiss and growl to warn their predators. They also make a screeching sound when they are in distress or feel threatened.

The most common brushtail possum sounds are clicking or chattering. This sound is usually made when they are excited or exploring their surroundings. Opossums also make other sounds, such as sneezing when they are irritated or annoyed.

Communication Purposes

Opossums use their sounds to communicate with each other. They make different sounds to convey different messages. For example, when opossums are mating, they make a distinct sound that is different from their usual sounds. Possums also make clicking sounds to attract their mates.

Opossums also use their sounds to communicate with their young ones. When the young ones are in danger, they make a hissing sound to alert their mother. The mother opossum, in turn, makes a clicking sound to reassure her young ones.

Opossum Sounds at Night

what sound does a opossum make

Opossums are known for their unique sounds, especially during the night. These nocturnal creatures have a variety of vocalizations that they use for different purposes. In this section, we will explore the opossum sounds at night and their behavioral context.

Identifying Opossum Noises at Night

So, what sound does an opossum make? These creatures are known to make a range of sounds at night, including hissing, growling, screeching, and clicking. These sounds are usually made when the opossum feels threatened or tries to defend its territory. The hissing sound is often used as a warning to predators, while the growling and screeching sounds are used to scare off potential threats.

One of the most distinctive traits of these animals is the opossum clicking sound. The opossum's teeth make this sound as they grind together. It is believed that opossums make this sound when they are feeling threatened or anxious.

Opossum sounds at night can provide insight into their behavior. For example, when an opossum feels threatened, it may hiss or growl to warn predators that it's not an easy target. Similarly, if one of these animals is trying to defend its territory, you will hear opossum screeching sounds to intimidate other animals.

Common Opossum Noises

Opossums are known for their distinct vocalizations, which they use to reach out to other possums and warn them about potential predators. Here are some of the most common opossum noises:

Clicking and Hissing

When opossums feel threatened or scared, they may make a clicking or hissing sound. Common brushtail possum noise and is often accompanied by a show of teeth. It is a warning sign to predators that the opossum is not to be messed with. The opossum may also click and hiss when it is angry or agitated.

Screaming and Screeching

Common brushtail possums are also capable of producing loud, high-pitched screams and screeches. These noises are usually made when the opossum is in extreme distress, such as when it is being attacked by a predator or injured. The screaming and screeching can be quite alarming and may attract the attention of other opossums in the area.

Overall, opossums have a wide range of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other and protect themselves. By understanding these noises, you can better appreciate these fascinating creatures and their unique ways of surviving in the wild.

Opossum Vocalizations by Age

north american opossum sounds

Opossums are known for their unique vocalizations, which vary depending on their age. Now, we are going to explore the vocalizations of opossums at different stages of life.

Juvenile Sounds

Juvenile opossums, also known as joeys, make various sounds to communicate with their mother. These sounds include hissing, clicking, and chattering. They also make a high-pitched "peep" sound when they are distressed or frightened.

Adult Vocalizations

Adult opossums have a more comprehensive range of vocalizations than juveniles. Possums make a hissing sound when threatened or cornered. When they are angry or aggressive, they emit a low growling sound. They also make a clicking noise when they are exploring their environment.

One of the most distinctive sounds that adult opossums make is a "ch-ch-ch" sound, often described as a warning or alarm call. This sound is typically made when the opossum feels threatened or senses danger.

Regional Variations in Opossum Sounds

North American Opossum Sounds

Opossums are known for their unique vocalizations, which can vary depending on their location. In North America, opossums can be found in various environments, from urban areas to forests and wetlands. As a result, their vocalizations can vary depending on the region they inhabit.

In general, North American opossums produce a range of sounds, including hisses, growls, and clicks. They also make a distinctive chattering noise when they feel threatened or try to scare off a predator. This chattering noise often accompanies the opossum baring its teeth and making itself look larger.

Differences in American Opossum Noises

While North American opossums share many of the same vocalizations, there can be differences in the specific sounds they make. For example, opossums in the southern United States are known to produce a more high-pitched hiss than their northern counterparts. Additionally, opossums in urban areas may produce more vocalizations than those in rural areas, as they are likely to come across humans and other animals.

It is important to note that while opossums can be noisy, they are generally not aggressive animals. Possums are known for their unique ability to play dead when threatened, which can be an effective defense mechanism against predators.

Overall, understanding the regional variations in opossum sounds can help individuals better identify and appreciate these unique animals.

Behavioral Interpretation of Sounds

opossum screech

Opossums are known for their wide range of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other. These vocalizations can be broadly categorized into two categories: aggressive and non-aggressive. The sounds an opossum makes can provide valuable insight into their behavior and intentions.

Aggression and Fear

When opossums feel threatened or cornered, they will often hiss and growl. These sounds are used to intimidate predators and warn them to back off. Opossums may also make a clicking or smacking sound with their mouths when they feel threatened. This sound is meant to mimic the sound of a rattlesnake and can scare off potential predators.

In addition to these defensive sounds, opossums may also make aggressive sounds when they are fighting with each other. They may growl, hiss, and make a clicking or smacking sound with their mouths during these fights.

Mating and Social Interaction

Opossums also use vocalizations to communicate during mating and social interactions. During the mating season, male opossums will make a series of grunts, clicks, and squeaks to attract females. These sounds can be quite loud and can be heard from a distance.

Opossums also make various sounds to communicate with each other during social interactions. They may make a chirping sound to signal that they are friendly or a low growling sound to indicate that they are feeling threatened. Opossums may also make a clicking or smacking sound with their mouths to show submission to a dominant opossum.

Overall, the sounds that opossums make can provide important clues about their behavior and intentions. By understanding these vocalizations, researchers can gain valuable insights into the social lives of opossums.

Responding to Opossum Noises

opossum clicking sound

Opossums are nocturnal creatures and make a variety of sounds during the night. Some of these sounds may be harmless, while others may indicate a potential threat. As such, it is important to know how to respond to opossum noises to ensure your safety and that of your property.

When to Be Concerned

If you hear loud and persistent hissing or growling sounds, it may indicate that an opossum feels threatened or is defending its territory. In such cases, it’s best to avoid confrontation and keep your distance from the possum. Remember, these creatures are not aggressive animals and will typically avoid confrontation if given the chance.

If you hear scratching noises from your attic or walls, it’s likely an indication that an opossum has taken up residence in your home. When facing these cases, the best you can do is to reach out to a professional wildlife removal service to remove the animal humanely.

Coexisting with Opossums

Opossums are beneficial animals that help control pest populations and are generally harmless to humans. If you hear soft chattering or clicking sounds, it may indicate that an opossum is foraging for food in your yard. In such cases, it is best to leave the animal alone and allow it to continue its natural behavior.

To coexist peacefully with opossums, it is important to secure your trash cans and avoid leaving pet food outside overnight. These can attract opossums and other wildlife to your property. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that opossums and humans can peacefully coexist in your neighborhood.

Safely Removing Opossums from Your Property with Expert Help from Critter Stop!

Critter Stop stands out as a reliable choice for opossum removal, offering expertise and professionalism you can count on. With their proven track record of successful wildlife removal, Critter Stop ensures that your property is free from unwanted visitors in a safe and humane manner. 

Their dedication to customer satisfaction shines through in their stellar online reviews, reflecting the quality of their work and commitment to excellence. When it comes to opossum removal, trust Critter Stop to deliver exceptional service and peace of mind. Call them today at (214) 234-2616 for a free inspection and bid farewell to opossums for good!

Frequently Asked Questions

What noise does an opossum make?

Opossums are known to make various sounds, including hissing, growling, screeching, and even playing dead. They may also make clicking or smacking sounds with their mouths when they feel threatened or scared.

How can you distinguish between an opossum's angry and happy vocalizations?

Opossums have a wide range of vocalizations, and it can be difficult to distinguish between their angry and happy sounds. However, angry opossums may make more aggressive and louder noises, while happy opossums may make softer and more playful sounds.

What do baby opossums sound like?

Baby opossums, or joeys, make various sounds, including chirping, hissing, and sneezing. They may also make soft clicking noises when their mother nurses them.

Are the sounds made by opossums in the attic a cause for concern?

If you hear sounds coming from your attic that you suspect are being made by opossums, it is important to address the situation promptly. Opossums can cause damage to your home and may carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and pets.

Can you identify the unique chirping sounds made by opossums?

Opossums are known to make a distinctive chirping sound, which they may use to communicate with each other. This sound is often described as a high-pitched, bird-like chirp.

How do the vocal sounds of Virginia opossums differ from others?

While all opossums make various sounds, Virginia opossums' vocalizations may be slightly different from those of other opossum species. Virginia opossums are known for their distinctive hissing and growling sounds, which they may use to defend themselves from predators.

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
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Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
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The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
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Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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