Residents of Jefferson Parish often have concerns about nuisance “urban wildlife” on their property such as possums, raccoons, and armadillos.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provides guidance regarding interaction with these animals on their website:
It is recommended that residents contact a licensed wildlife control operator if they wish to have the animals removed from their property – a list of contacts is available here:
The Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter provides additional information on their website, including the rental of humane traps:
Below is some general information about the animals:
The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is the only marsupial found in North America north of Mexico. In the United States, it is typically referred to simply as a possum. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat. Like raccoons, opossums can be found in urban environments, where they eat pet food, rotten fruit, and human garbage. Though sometimes mistakenly considered to be rats, opossums are not closely related to rodents. They rarely transmit diseases to humans, and are surprisingly resistant to rabies.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor)is a medium-sized mammal of the order carnivora, and native to North America. Due to its adaptability, the raccoon has been able to use urban areas as a habitat. Pet food, fruit and insects in gardens, and leftovers in municipal waste are easily available food sources. Sleeping areas exist in trees, garages, abandoned houses, and attics. The increasing number of raccoons in urban areas has resulted in diverse reactions in humans, ranging from outrage at their presence to deliberate feeding. Many wildlife experts and most public authorities caution against feeding wild animals because they might become increasingly obtrusive and dependent on humans as a food source. Raccoons can carry rabies, a lethal disease that can be transmitted by bites.
The armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is a rather interesting and unusual animal that has a protective armor of "horny" material on its head body and tail. Armadillos have poor eyesight and hearing, but a keen sense of smell. Armadillos are, to some degree, beneficial because they eat adult insects and larvae, but their feeding behavior also can cause problems for property owners and managers. When looking for insects in the soil, armadillos dig numerous holes in golf courses, lawns, and uproot flowers and other ornamental plants. Armadillo burrows under driveways and patios can cause structural damage; and burrows in pastures can pose a potential hazard to livestock. Armadillos are a presumed disease vector and natural reservoir for Chagas and Hansen disease.