Possums do eat strawberries and with their keen sense of smell, they are attracted by the strawberries’ sweet scent once they ripen. However, possums avoid raw strawberries because they dislike the bitter taste.
Possums are pretty fascinating creatures and the only marsupial found in North America.
However, for most amateur gardeners, possums can be a pest, and they often dread a possum attack. My neighbor, who loves to grow different herbs, vegetables, and fruits in her garden, had recently started growing strawberries in her backyard.
No matter how careful she was about the plants, she lost most of her harvest to a possum attack. Seeing my neighbor’s concern, I decided to gather more information about the food habits of possums, and here is what I learned.
Can you give your pet possum strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the favorite food of possums. Nevertheless, it would help if you were careful about giving your pet possum strawberries.
You can give your pet strawberries as an occasional treat, but do not make it a part of the regular diet.
Do possums like to eat ripe strawberries?
Once the strawberries in your garden begin to ripen, they can attract possums.
This is because possums have a keen sense of smell, and once the strawberries ripen, the possums are attracted by their sweet smell.
Therefore, if you do not take suitable precautions, you can lose a significant part of your strawberry harvest.
Can possums eat raw strawberries?
Possums prefer ripe fruits and vegetables and when it comes to strawberries, the same rule applies.
Hence, you will find that once the strawberries in your garden begin to ripen, they will attract several animals, including possums.
Raw strawberries do not emanate any sweet smell; hence, the possums cannot identify these fruits. At the same time, raw strawberries have a bitter taste which possums dislike.
Hence, they will eat only ripe strawberries and avoid raw ones.
Do possums eat strawberries in the wild?
In the wild, possums usually eat various fruits, vegetables, and insects. Wild strawberries are smaller in size than the commercial ones or the ones you can grow in a garden.
Possums can eat wild strawberries, provided that these are sweet and ripe. However, they will soon find out that Indian mock strawberries have little or no flavor.
It has been observed that possums often avoid eating excessive strawberries even in the wild because of the higher sugar content of the fruit.
It could also be due to the energy boost they receive after consuming a few.
Are strawberries toxic to possums?
Strawberries are not toxic to possums. However, if the animal eats strawberries with remnants of pesticide or insecticide, then the marsupial can go into toxic shock.
Moreover, you cannot give frozen strawberries to the animal. These usually have chemicals to keep the berries fresh for a more extended period and such chemicals are not healthy for possums.
Excessive consumption of strawberries that are not organic and have traces of chemicals in them can prove to be dangerous to possums.
Are strawberries nutritious for possums?
According to the website, Exotic Nutrition, possums should avoid food with high sugar content.
When it comes to strawberries, although these fruits are rich in protein and fiber, they have equally high sugar content.
Moreover, in one hundred grams of strawberry, nearly eight grams is carbohydrate. Hence, you should avoid giving strawberries to possums.
Do possums eat strawberry plants?
Possums don’t eat strawberry plants but when they tear the fruits off the plants, they can accidentally break the stems and leaves.
If your strawberry plants are destroyed, chances are there that possums have done it. However, it is not because the creature finds the plant edible.
Amateur gardeners often consider possums a menace because they can destroy the leaves and stems of the plant to get to the fruit.
Strawberries are herbaceous plants, and they do not have strong stems. As a result, possums may damage the leaves and stems when they grab the strawberries.
When do possums attack strawberry plants?
As possums cannot see clearly during the day, you will find that they venture out mostly at night in search of food.
If you have planted your strawberry plants in a bed in your garden and you find that an animal has attacked the plants, then you can be assured that it is a possum.
If you are wondering what is eating the strawberries at night, here is your answer.
Possums look for food at night, and unprotected strawberry plants are ideal for the creature to satisfy its appetite!
Are possums considered a menace by commercial strawberry farmers?
Yes, strawberry farmers consider possums to be a menace. The primary reason is that a possum attack can destroy a strawberry field.
Possums usually live alone and come out at night. However, when possums give birth, they come out with the young ones on their backs in search of food.
During this period, possums are considered an even greater menace as they can maraud through a farm and reduce a harvest significantly.
Do you need to protect your strawberry plants against a possum attack?
If you are an amateur gardener like my neighbor, you must take precautions against a possum attack.
You can build a fence around your strawberry patch or the planters where you have planted the strawberries.
This will prevent the animal from reaching the fruits.
You can also plant onion and garlic plants around your strawberry plants. The pungent smell of these plants often acts as a deterrent for possums.
Are there any species of strawberries that are resistant to possums?
No particular species of strawberries are resistant to possums, but they will most certainly avoid raw strawberries, so when they’re ripe, I suggest fencing off the area.
You can use pesticides and insecticides to reduce the attack of possums on your strawberry plants.
There are some disease-resistant strawberry plants that you can purchase. However, these plants are usually not resistant to the attack of animals.
It would help if you took additional precautions to protect the plants and the harvest from possum attacks.
What do possums normally eat in urban areas, and why are your strawberry plants at risk?
Possums are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they can survive on animal and plant-based food. They are excellent scavengers.
With the loss of their natural habitats, possums are forced to survive in urban areas.
So, if you are keen on planting strawberries in your garden, in planters, or in your backyard, you must be careful because the fruits and leaves are suitable for possums.
There are quite a few animals that like strawberries. You can check out that article for more information.
Daily Mail – Brisbane Bunnings Possum Caught Eating Strawberries
Health Line – Strawberries 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits