- How to Get Rid of Raccoons, Possums, and Skunks in Your Yard
- Keep Raccoons, Skunks, and Possums Out of Your Yard
- How to Keep Animals Out of Your Trash
- Reclaiming Your Yard from Raccoons and Skunks
- Pet-Safe Way to Repel Raccoons
- Keep Possums Away
- Get Rid of Skunks in Your Yard
- Complaints about Possum Damage
- 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Them
- Besides, You Can Kill Them
- How to Get Rid of Oppossums?
- Regions and identification
- Benefit to ecosystem
- Opossum control
- Getting rid of possums
- How to Get Rid of Possum Problems
- Opossum in the House
- How to Get Rid of Opossums In Attic
- Opossum Information & Facts
- Possum Control: How To Trap Opossum
- Backyard Possum Control
- How to Get Rid of an Opossum
- Why Is There An Opossum In My Yard?
- Why Do I Only See An Opossum In My Yard When The Weather Is Colder?
- GreenleafOrganicPest.com Blog
How to Get Rid of Raccoons, Possums, and Skunks in Your Yard
Keep Raccoons, Skunks, and Possums Out of Your Yard
Besides being pesky mammals, raccoons, skunks, and possums have something in common—they hate light. Keep the outside of your home well-lit, and they’ll stay way. This is also a good tip if you have a dog: Make sure you turn on the light before you let your dog out in the yard at night, and give skunks and other creatures time to amble away.
How to Keep Animals Out of Your Trash
To keep raccoons, possums, skunks, or other critters out of your garbage, regularly spray the side of your cans with a mixture of half ammonia, and half water. They hate the smell (as we all do) and will stay away. (You can also try using an ammonia-based glass cleaner like Windex, but it’s not as strong.)
Reclaiming Your Yard from Raccoons and Skunks
Have the raccoons or skunks grown rather bold around your yard? Try this equivalent of a phony “Beware of Dog” sign by distributing dog hair around your property.
Pet-Safe Way to Repel Raccoons
Raccoons keep getting into your trash, and so far your only strategy is running outside to yell at them every night. Save your screaming and purchase some inexpensive Epsom salts from a drugstore. Sprinkle them on and around your garbage cans and raccoons will stay away, but it’s safe for your dog or cat!
See also: 10 All-Natural DIY Fertilizers for Your Garden and Yard
Keep Possums Away
If opossums (aka possums) are a problem in your yard, mix together camphor oil with enough petroleum jelly to make a paste, and spread it around the base of trees. The smell should keep them away.
Get Rid of Skunks in Your Yard
Mothballs aren’t just for moths! Sprinkle them around your yard, and they’ll keep skunks away. Just be careful, as they’re harmful to your pet should he decide to eat them!
For more great outdoor tips, check out our Gardening and Yard Tips Pinterest board, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!
Image courtesy of .
Complaints about Possum Damage
It is common that everyone’s backyard is occupied by different pests and buds and they need to be eradicated. Possums are one of them. Although they are not difficult to kill and eradicate and they are the cause of potential health hazards for anyone’s family and domesticated animal.
There are some complaints including the smells which is worse than the dead possums. They steal the pet food and make clutter of garbage. They should eliminate rapidly because they cause a disease name Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). Possums do property damages like they will chew everything and make way in your home, make holes in the walls, they will throw all the trash in your house and make your yard dirty. The best and easy way to remove them is to understand their habits as well. They will take up the residence in wild wooded areas, bushes, beneath the decks, steps, and outhouses. When they feel any threat, they start “play Possums” imitating the presence and bad smell of sick or dead possums that will make you sick in turn.
10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Them
Possums can cause serious problems to the people who use to remain peaceful and quite environment. They are very small in size and supple animals that are always in hunt of food. They are nocturnal and used to sleep during the day. You cannot see them, but they used to leave some signs of their presence through mucks, pathways, overturned pet foods, garbage cans, and damage plants. If you found any sign of possums around your house, you need to think about their elimination. Some Possum repellent methods are needed to get free of them rapidly. The main and important issue is that often prevention method fails because they are a minuscule organism and use one’s place for several motives.
1. Cleaning the Location
Cleaning the location includes the removal of unnecessary litter and garbage. One should put all the unnecessary junk like dead leaves, dropped trees and plants into the trash bins and keep them away from the house. Cover all the pet foods and clean the barbecue grill as well. Clean all the fruit on the ground and in trees and collect garbage can and place it in the trash bins.
2. Use Mothballs
Mothballs are unbearable to them as their smell annoy them. You should use mothballs in eliminating the possums as it is the cheapest way. It is designed to keep the possums away from eating any kind of fabric. It can help to make possums empty the closed area such as underneath the sofa and porch.
3. Cover the Vents
Possums can enter through holes, loose ventilators, additional spaces, and chimneys. They can also climb to reach the rooftop. So, you need to cover all the openings towards your house. Block all the unnecessary entry holes with rocks. Sealed all the open spaces, if necessary use the fence of 4-inch long. You can also use the electric fence as well.
4. Cut Down Long Branches of Trees
Make the place unfavorable for them by cutting all the branches of trees and trim the bushes. Remove thick herbaceous border and trees that give entree to the roof. Keep the fresh water and fallen fruits clean. Examine your rooftop and doorway properly, mend all the cracked tubes and pipes, etc.
5. Demolish Shelters
Degenerate brush masses from place to place in your house because this is the simplest way to get rid of opossums in your lawn. Unnecessary woods collection should be kept in some safer place. All the garages, huts and boathouses should be closed because possums used to hide under the low places. If needed one should use metal hindrances as well. Otherwise, you will reluctantly give shelters and accommodations to different animals and insects.
6. Fence Around the House
To control the possums, electrical and interlaced wire fencing is a good idea. One should use the fence that will be 4 feet high, face towards the outside and some at some distance from the garden to stop them because they like eating garden vegetables. If you want to choose electric fence, then its length must be 3-4 inches from the top to prevent possum access.
7. Use Ammonia as a Deterrent
Ammonia is the efficient way of removing them from the house and gardens because it smells horrible. As we know opossums are night time animals because they do not like lights, and also the smell of ammonia make them obnoxious. One should strategically place ammonia scent in the house.
8. Install Sprinkler in Your Yard
As we know that they used to move at night time that is why we cannot identify them. You should install sprinklers in the places where you suspect that the insects and possums will make their shelter, but the meantime when sprinkler works at its best is when possums could be near the range. These products are an efficient and ordinary way to keep them away from your house.
Find a Trusted Local Pest Expert Need to hire an exterminator? Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.
9. Use Spice
One should apply some home remedies as well. Sprinkle some chili powder around your property as they cannot resist the strong odors. You can also make a paste of it and spread it. Quassia spray is also used for this purpose, mix 100 g chips to 2-liter water and heat it for one hour, also add one tablespoon of detergent and spray it. You can get Quassia chips from nurseries.
10. Use Cat or Dog Hair
The hair of cat and dog helps a lot in removing possums. Collect the hair of our cat or dog after brushing them, put them in small bags and hang them around the suspected areas. The smell of their hairs is the best trick to fool them that there could be any other killer animal near the house as well.
【Read more about Possum】
Besides, You Can Kill Them
Some folks found them and kill them brutally, but If you do not want to kill the possums, then you can trap them for capture a live possum. Place the trap for at least 5 to 6 miles away from your property and open the cage when the possum get caught. The animal will leave the cage, and you will never see him again around your house and garden. This is the least human way of removing them from your property. Also, you can eliminate all the way that will encourage them to enter into your home and garden.
【Read more about Trap】
1. Chemical-Based Deterrents
Seeing the possums in your garden will be alarming for you because they can grow into numbers. They are omnivores, so they will eat garden vegetables and pet food that is left in the trash. By using repellents will force them to move anywhere else. Some natural repellents will not damage the animals or your plants.
Mix molasses in a liter of water because it is the simplest and cheapest way to eliminate possums. Also, mix some drops of liquid dish wash as it will help the serum to stick to the plants. It can be reapplying after the rain, and you can check it on a daily basis to make sure that if there is need of fresh serum or not.
3. Sprinkle Method
Possums are night time animals so we cannot recognize them. Place ammonia on the floor because its smell annoys them and to make sure that they are gone, you need to sprinkle the flour on the floor of your top story and check daily if there will be any footprints of them in the floured area. In case you do not found any trace then block the entry hole into your house.
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4. Kill Traps
They are light weight trap, very cheap and easy to use but they are rarely used. They are effective to control the possums in your yards and gardens. A famous example of these traps is timms kill traps. They are set on compact land and are attached to it. If you do not want the animals to get injured then attach the trap to tree, rooftop or boundary.
source: http://www.wikihow.com/Source: http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/Source: https://upload.wikimedia.orgSource: https://www.traps.co.nz
You can also check whether they left without their babies or not because often possums mom left behind their babies, also placed an L footer in the openings to prevent them again getting in the house. So, these above are some measures to prevent opossums from your house and gardens. Anyone can remove and eliminate them by adopting prevention methods properly.
Apart from their harm, possums are also useful and beneficial for your garden because they use to eat snails, insects, and other small organisms as well. They will also eat the fallen fruits and dead leaves and clean your garden, so, they are not only harmful nut useful in many ways too. One can also call pest control company to remove them, and you can also search some websites to take some precautions and learn the new and innovative ways to eliminate the nuisance named possums.
Many homeowners have found possums taking up residence in their attic, basement, garage or outbuilding much to their displeasure. The strong scent, urine and feces left behind by possums make them undesirable house guests. Often mistaken for “large, white rats” possums are generally harmless, preferring to runaway if possible or “playing possum” if need be.
How do I prevent possums from becoming a pest on my property?
- Possums are always searching for a free meal. To prevent possums from getting a free meal from you, all outdoor trash cans should have tight fitting lids and outdoor pet food dishes should be removed at the end of every meal. Make sure all pet doors are secured each night, as possums have been known to enter homes to eat from indoor pet dishes.
- Make sure possible entry points on the outside of your home have been secured. Check attic vents, chimney caps, loose fitting basement doors and broken windows. Use Stuf-Fit Copper mesh and Pur Black Foam to help seal any holes or gaps that could allow access. (Please read the Rodent Exclusion article for detailed tips and products to help make your home pest proof).
- Possum-proof your yard. Get rid of any unnecessary debris such as fallen trees, deep leaf litter, unused cars or lawn equipment. Keep grass cut short and trim bushes up away from the soil to get rid of possible harborages. Trim tree branches that touch or hang over your home. Eliminate any accessible areas under sheds, outbuildings or porches by filling it in with rocks or blocking entry with hardware cloth.
- Repellent products seem to have little to no effect on possums and must be applied in high concentrations, often. The smell from these repellents usually is very strong and the repellents themselves can be quite expensive.
How do I get rid of an existing possum problem?
Possums are transient creatures by nature and will generally leave on their own within a couple of weeks. By following the steps above (unless you already have an opossum in your home) most possums will leave the area as their needs will no longer be met on your property.
Possum Traps. For possums that are causing damage to property or have taken up residence in your home, trapping is usually the best option. Use a Havahart cage trap baited with canned cat food, fruit or vegetables. Set the trap directly in front of places where you have seen activity. (It is a good idea to check with local authorities before trapping to find out what the local laws are on relocating wildlife in your area.) After the possum has been trapped, follow local laws regarding releasing the animal in a new location. Make sure the relocation area is away from places where the animal could possibly become a nuisance again and also in an area where the animal can find resources to sustain itself.
Possum Control Products
- Havahart cage trap – The Havahart #1079 cage trap measures 32″ x 10″ x 12″ trap and is suitable for trapping armadillos, racoons and groundhogs (woodchucks). Easy to bait, set and release, this high tensil wire mesh trap is steel reinforced for long life and maximum resistance to damage. The smooth inside edges are for the protection of the animal, while the gravity-action door has sensitive triggers to ensure a quick, secure catch.
- Stuf-Fit Copper mesh – Copper Stuf-fit is a unique exlusion material that prevents pesky rodents from entering your home or office building. The Copper Stuffit is a copper mesh wool material that is rust-proof and stain-proof. Stuff it into openings around pipes or other holes and cracks in the structure and keep rats, mice, birds and other wildlife out.
- Pur Black Foam – Pur Black Foam is for outdoor use and will quickly seal cracks, crevices and voids to help prevent insects and other small pests from getting inside your home.
Humane Animal Trapping with Havahart Traps
How to Get Rid of Oppossums?
Possums are excellent to have around the house. They clear out garbage, feed on harmful insects and have charming, rat-like tails. Not impressed? You’re not alone. While many people have an appreciation for wildlife, it’s best for wildlife to stay in the wild. Having possums lurk around your home in the middle of the night is not the most pleasant thought. So how do you get rid of possums that have become all too eager to call you neighbor? There are a few ways to solve this dilemma.
Regions and identification
The first step to opossum control is proper identification. The Virginia opossum is the only species found in the United States, although despite its name, it can be found in many other regions. According to Pennsylvania State University (Penn State):
“The Virginia opossum (Dedeliphis virginiana) is North America’s only marsupial (“pouched”) mammal. It is found often very abundantly throughout the eastern and midwestern United States westward into Colorado and Texas. It is also found in the western coastal states of California, Oregon, and Washington and in the southern regions of British Columbia. It is not typically found in mountainous regions, in extreme deserts, or in the high northern sections of the United States.”
Before deciding how to get rid of a possum, verify the animal you are dealing with. Possums at first glance, might be confused with large house cats. According to Penn State:
“Adult Virginia opossums are between 24 and 40 inches long. This overall length includes a 10 to 12 inch long tail. They weigh between 4 and 12 pounds with males being larger than females. They have long, coarse dark gray to white-gray outer body fur with a black or dark brown underfur. This darker fur, then, predominates on the legs. Each foot has five toes. The first toe of each hind foot lacks a claw and is opposable (‘thumb like’). They have large, black, hairless ears, small black eyes, and white, fur covered faces. Their snouts are long and pointed and tipped with a distinctive, pink nose.”
Your main reason for questioning how to get rid of possums may stem from a concern about disease. Many people fear that possums are rabid creatures. However, while possums do carry certain diseases, they appear to have a certain resistance to rabies. The Wildlife Rescue League states:
“Opossums do not harbor diseases normally found in dogs and cats, such as distemper, parvovirus, or feline hepatitis. All warm-blooded mammals can contract rabies, but opossums are rarely found to be rabid. Scientists believe that a body temperature too low to support the rabies virus is the reason.”
They do carry other diseases that may be of concern to homeowners and their pets. According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department:
“Opossum carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. They may also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Opossum are hosts for cat and dog fleas, especially in urban environments.”
Benefit to ecosystem
It is important to get rid of possums that are causing havoc in your home, but not all possums are bad. According to the Wildlife Rescue League, “Opossums are excellent at rodent and insect control, and being carrion eaters, they help keep roadways and neighborhoods clean.”
It also states that, “Opossums are more beneficial as scavengers, than harmful for any damage they may cause. A neighborhood with opossums tends to be considerably cleaner than a neighborhood without them.”
Opossum removal can be a challenging task. The best method for controlling an opossum population is prevention. The Wildlife Rescue League recommends the following:
Do not leave pet food or trash outdoors at night. This is always an invitation to dinner.
Pick fruit and garden crops when they are ripe to discourage opossums, and do not leave rotten fruit or crops on the ground.
Eliminate brush piles, dilapidated buildings, and holes under concrete slabs – you will eliminate opossum hotels. Opossums use the abandoned burrows of other animals rather than digging their own.
Secure pet doors at night, as opossums occasionally enter homes through pet doors. Once inside, they can generally be coaxed outside with a broom. Opossums seldom stay in one area for more than a few nights, so fear of them “taking over” an area should not be a concern. Occasionally a mother with babies might stay longer, but will leave after a brief period as well.
Getting rid of possums
When possum removal becomes essential, there are a few methods to consider. Trapping is a popular method. The University of California provides the following advice:
“Opossum are not wary of traps and can easily be caught with a box or cage-type, live-catch trap. Traps should be at least 10 x 12 x 32 inches in size and set along trails or known routes of travel. Fish-flavored canned cat food works well as trap bait but often attracts cats as well. To avoid this possibility, try using whole raw chicken eggs, or jam or peanut butter spread on a bit of bread. Other baits can include overripe fruit such as grapes, bananas, or melon. Live trapping presents the problem of dealing with the animal once captured. Since it is illegal to relocate an opossum without a permit, those not wanting to deal with its disposal may prefer to hire a professional wildlife control operator.”
A pest management professional can also be of assistance. If your new neighbors happen to have rat-like tails and pig-like snouts, it’s time to call Terminix®. A service technician will develop a customized plan for possum control to keep them away from your home.
How to Get Rid of Possum Problems
Possums aren’t usually dangerous animals, but many people run into various problems with opossums due to their scavenging and opportunistic behavior. Opossums turn up in many unwanted areas, such as in sheds, under decks, in attics, and in the below photo, inside a dog house. Read the below email for more information on this exciting story:
Common Possum Problems:
– Raiding the garbage cans.
– Endangering pets.
– Stealing pet food.
– Living under a shed or deck.
– Living inside an attic or wall.
– Living under the house or basement.
– Living under a trailer or mobile home.
– Dying on the property.
– Dying in the walls or attic.
– Spreading fleas to pets.
– Spreading feces on property or in attic.
You may want to read some of my other opossum articles: possum removal – opossums in the attic – photos of possum poop – types of possum problems – possum trapping – how to catch a possum – pest control of possums – possum in the wall – possum in the house – possum in basement – possum repellent – types of possum damage.
How to Get Rid of Opossums in the Yard
Getting rid of opossums in the yard is not an easy task. These animals are not picky when it comes to hunting food and scavenging. Make sure all lids on the trash cans outside are secured as tightly as possible. Trash cans with side locks work best. Smelly as it may be, fox urine placed in the yard may help to deter them. Predator’s urine may sometimes help in discouraging the opossum, especially if it is a mother with babies, from taking up residence in the area; however, it is likely that they will also figure out in some time that there isn’t a danger and return to set up housekeeping again. Some people like to use ammonia to try to keep the opossums away by saturating rags in the chemical and placing them around the yard and perimeters. These homemade methods may work for a short time; however, it is likely that they will only be a short term fix. The best way is to capture the opossum in a live trap so that they can safely and harmlessly be relocated to another area where they can continue to survive; just not in your yard.
How to get Rid of Opossums in the Home
Opossums do not like light since they are nocturnal so they become active as the sun goes down. Call the Humane Society and get one of the traps and make sure to ask about the local laws for tapping wildlife. Bait the trap with basically anything. Opossums are scavengers and not too picky about their food. Remember, they do tend to carry many diseases and bacteria so wear gloves and use caution when capturing and dealing with these animals. If you know where they are entering the home, try and close off their entry point. Using steel wool to cover the hole is always great. Chewing on the steel tears their gums and keeps them from chewing. Stuf-fit is a copper mesh that also works well. Make sure you search the home really well for those babies. Get rid of their food source by making sure the trash cans have lids that are sealed tightly. Do not leave scraps and other foods such as bird seed around for them to get to. Live traps are the best method so that you can safely capture the opossum and have them relocated to an environment that will allow them to survive without creating problems in your home.
How to Get Rid of Opossums in Your Crawl Spaces
Getting rid of opossums in your crawl space is not easy since you have limited space to work with. Keep in mind these animals are nocturnal so they do not like light. If possible, make sure there is plenty of light getting into the space. During winter some people will use lights under the home but I caution you to this. Depending on what light you use, it may get too hot. Home fires are very common in winter months. You can use the moth ball approach but once again the fumes can come through the air conditioning unit so be very cautious on this also. Place only a few around if you want to try this approach. Try calling local Humane Society for a trap and ask about local wildlife trapping laws. If your area allows capture and release, then this is the best and most humane way to get rid of opossums in your crawl space. They can be baited with just about any kind of food since opossums like most everything and then once captured, they can be taken away to a place where they can make a new home and survive.
I got the below email about a possum problem in a dog house:
Love your website. I could read for hours – great stories and sense of humor. Seems like you truly enjoy your work and respect the critters. I’ve found that my labrador has been hosting a house guest lately. Very brave opossum found the gourmet food, water and heat lamp as shelter from the mid-north Indiana winter. Great tips – and I have been removing it by it’s tail. To the horror of my girlfriends and co-workers. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. If it keeps returning, I’ll have to give someone a call. I’m bookmarking this site and sending it on to others – I have some friends in your area of Florida too! Thanks for what you do and a fantastic website!
Jamie, thanks for the kind words! Do you have a way of keeping out that opossum permanently? If not, you can either relocate it a few miles away, or wait for it to move on. Opossums tend to be nomadic, except in the winter, when they den up at times. – David My dog has 2000 sq. ft. of fenced-in area with the dog house in the middle. So either it’s climbing the fence or possibly a tree and “jumping” inside. Can’t find where it’s getting in under the fence. Just couldn’t believe my dog was still IN the dog house when I found the opossum inside with her at 8p on Thursday (first sighting but who knows how long this has been going on)! Scared the crap out of me when I lifted the flap! “Oh, good to see you’re here with some more food!” It’s been comical as it doesn’t seem scared at all. Abbey’s almost 14 and may have been asleep when it slipped in. She did bark to alert me at 2a this morning so I think she gets it. The attached picture is from today – I assume they look just the same as the southern variety. I have Indian Runner ducks that my daughter shows in 4-H and they are couped up whenever it’s below freezing and always at night. That will be my next concern if this little thing doesn’t leave soon. We have all the area wildlife passing through so I gather eggs daily, have an enclosed run, and try not to have food outside. AND have a DOG! There are plenty of other wooded areas near me so I’m sure I can find another safe spot. It would be my luck that it’s a female that decides she wants to stay a while with some babies. It would be hard for me to kick her out. Thanks for the response. Good luck out there! Wow, you are host to quite a lot of critters! Don’t worry if an opossum has young. They grow in the pouch and stay with mom, and she usually remains somewhat nomadic. As the young get too big, they drop off and can fend for themselves. Oh, the only critters around here are opossums, raccoons, white-tailed deer, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, skunk (I like the smell too and always wanted one as a pet), coyote, fox, owls (great horned owl got one of my ducks last fall so they’re on my short hit list), turkey vultures, snakes, stray cats, mice, moles, voles, groundhogs (they want under my house), bats, and I’m sure others I’ve forgotten or haven’t seen personally out my window. Lots of hummingbirds in summer. I live near the Wabash River so there are otter and beaver there too. My grandfather used to drop off nests of orphaned babies that needed bottle-fed when I was little so it’s all his fault. He lived down the road on a farm and had to have at least one of everything besides the horses, cows, pigs, and poultry. We raised bunnies, raccoons, opossum (they do hang from your fingers and are so cute). I have no idea if there were wildlife rescues here then nor did I know it was illegal to help them out at the time (1970’s). You saying that the young opossum drop off put to mind them jumping ship, stepping off a trolley or a covered wagon while the mom just waddles along. The fruit is ripe! Nature is amazing. How do you think of those rhymes and stories? The one about the baby opossum was fantastic. Merry possum band. And the little man in the tree. Do you go to schools or camps and talk to kids about animals? You would be great. You should write a book. Really! Well, thanks again for the kind words! You sure do have a lot of wildlife on your property. I didn’t think anyone read my website, and I was often careless when I wrote poems and stories, but it’s nice that you like them. Have a great day, David
Opossum in the House
If the opossum has gotten in your house, like in your living room or bathroom, don’t panic. They will not attack. They often bare their many teeth as a threat display, but they don’t really lunge and bite – in fact, they’re as likely to “play possum” (play dead). Still, you want the animal out of the house.
You have three main options for getting an opossum out of the house:
1 – Use a tool, such as a snare pole as seen below, to grab the animal and bring it outside, or in a trap.
2 – Grab the animal by the tail. This is easy for me, but if you’re afraid and don’t want to, I understand.
3 – Open all the doors and wait for it to walk out, or usher it along with a push broom.
Opossum in the house.
But what if the opossum isn’t one loose in the house, but one somewhere in the architecture? Well then, please check out my following guides. If you have an opossum in your ceiling or attic, click on my: guide to opossums in the attic, which will give you strategies and advice for dealing with that situation. Trapping and exclusion are required, since you’re unable to just open the door and push it out (for one, you probably won’t be able to find it, for two it’s hard to move around in the attic, and three, it WANTS to be living there and will return if you get it out, so you must relocate it and seal the hole shut). The same goes for cases of: guide to possum in the wall, or – guide to possum in basement. I’ve written some good trapping guides, if you click the links below. Of course, in many cases, only a wildlife removal company can really do a good job.
I often deal with cases of opossums living under people’s sheds or decks. This provides the perfect opportunity to offer the customer an exclusion barrier. The opossum doesn’t really get down in the dirt and dig the way a groundhog or armadillo does, so in theory, the barrier doesn’t have to go very deep into the ground. I usually stick to my standard depth of 8-12 inches just to make sure that I’ve covered these animals as well.
You may want to read some of my other opossum articles: possum removal – photos of possum poop – types of possum problems – possum trapping – how to catch a possum – pest control of possums – possum repellent – types of possum damage.
Over the years, I’ve heard all sorts steam being blown about how dumb opossums are. I’m not an expert in the field of animal intelligence, but I definitely have respect for any animal that can survive in the wild, and sometimes opossums can surprise me. Consider the case of one particular baby opossum which I caught last spring. It had crawled into a home through a gap next to a water pipe leading into the bathroom, and it scared the homeowner to death. I eventually found it in the recesses of a living room couch. I put it in a squirrel cage, transferred it to the bed of my truck, and returned to the homeowner to collect payment. When I went back to the truck, I saw that the trap was empty. Still closed and secure, as I was certain it had been when I first placed it in the truck, but empty. My bed has a cap, so I knew that the opossum must have still been somewhere amongst my equipment, unless it played Houdini once again, and escaped the truck itself. I figured that it must have, because I could not find it. I returned home, and began a more thorough search for the little critter, and just when I thought I had searched every possible nook and cranny, I found it balled up in the absolute bottom of a crowded tool bucket. I lifted it out (by the tail), placed it on the bed of the truck, and took just a second to replace the tools in the bucket. In that second, this little bugger managed to scurry to the back of the truck, up the side and over the tailgate, and make a flying leap of at least four feet out into the street, where it promptly ran off and escaped. I marveled at the resilience and cunning of this creature, who was no bigger than a rat and no more than a few months of age – most of that time spent clinging to its mom.
Opossum Situation: Hi David: Just wanted to compliment you on the great information on your website! I’ve got an issue with opossums in our house, and I learned quite a bit reading all the details on your site before I called an expert in our area (Los Angeles). They’ll come out to inspect today, so hopefully we’ll have the problem solved quickly. Keep up the good work. I’m having a problem with a opossum crapping in my house and I want to get rid of it. I would like some info on how much it is to hired your company to do this. I live in Hollywood fl. Please email me back on how, when and how much it would cost to do this. Thanks, Shaz
My Response: Is it living somewhere inside the house, or in the attic or walls or basement or something? If it’s inside the house proper, you of course want it out immediately! I live in Florida, but my directory should have someone good in your area.
Opossum Situation: Good morning David, We have found a opossum in the house and we believe it has been there for approximately 2 weeks due to the noise we have heard. Can you please tell me how much it would cost to have it removed. We only see a few droppings so I don’t be believe it has had babies but not sure. Thanks
My Response: Costs vary by company. I live in Florida, but my directory should have someone good in your area.
Article topics include: Possum in the House – How to Get an Opossum out of the Home – how do you get possums out of the house – remove a possum from my house
How to Get Rid of Opossums In Attic
It is my goal to educate the public about opossums and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.
HUMANE HINTS: In some cases you can resolve a possum problem without trapping the animal – for example, you can eliminate whatever is attracting the opossum to your property – garbage, pet food, etc. If you use a cage trap, be sure to set it in the shade and relocate the opossum as soon as possible. Never attempt to poison opossums. Unfortunately, there are no effective or registered opossum repellents. Read below for how-to hints.
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions if OUTSIDE:
1) Purchase large cage traps – rated raccoon size, usually about 10″ x 12″ x 30″ or so.
2) Set traps and bait with marshmallows, or, if stray cats are not a problem in the area, cat food works as well. Make sure traps are scent-free and flush to the ground, and set in the shade.
3) Relocate any trapped opossum at least 10 miles from capture site.
4) If you have opossums living under a deck, shed, or other structure, install an exclusion barrier – steel mesh around the perimeter, and down at least 12 into the ground, with bottom of mesh sloping outward.
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions If IN THE ATTIC:
1) Inspect the house to find out how they are getting inside – likely somewhere on the roof, or eaves.
2) Search inside the attic, you might find the adult(s). You can actually snare or grab them in the attic.
3) You can actually set traps inside the attic, if you wish, but you must check them frequently. It might be better to set traps outside, on the roof near the entry hole, or better yet, to set one-way exclusion doors on the hole.
4) If you’ve trapped a possum, it might have young clinging to it, and relocate them all together, at least 10 miles from capture site.
5) Repair the entry hole and clean and decontaminate the opossum feces out of the attic.
If you need possum help click my Nationwide List of Opossum Removal Experts for a pro near you.
How to Get Rid of Opossums – The best method is to trap and remove opossums in large cage traps. If you have possums living in an attic, they can be excluded via one-way exclusion doors, but cage traps also work in this case. The traps can be set in the attic or on the roof, and either way, you need to check the traps frequently so that the animal does not suffer. Read more information about opossum trapping here. If the possum is living under a shed or porch or deck, then after you trap and remove it, you ought to install an exclusion barrier.
The opossum is the only marsupial that is native to the Americas. While it once originated in South America, the opossum is now making its home in areas all the way up in Canada. The opossum is easy to identify because it is unlike any other animal in North America. It is about the same size as a large house cat and has a white face, brown body and a long hairless pink tail. It is a common animal to see in garbage bins, alongside highways and in your backyard, which is the last place that you want it to be.
Opossums are nuisances and can damage your yard and your home. Opossums are very food driven and if they think they can score a meal from your house or yard they are sure to come back again and again to ravage your garden, garbage and house. Opossums make a huge mess when they have found accessible garbage cans; they will also eat your pet’s food and break into your house or under your house. They will find the smallest of holes and chew them bigger until they can fit into them. Popular places that opossums will take up residence include your garage, attic and under the porch. They like to live in attics, and will rip up the insulation in your walls and attic, chew on wires and will most likely die in your house which causes a biohazard to you and your family. Even if they are outside, opossums carry harmful bacteria and germs under their claws and in their mouths, so if they bite your pet, they can transfer diseases like rabies to them.
Getting rid of opossums is much more difficult than you would think as some methods simply do not work on them. For example, if you thing that you can use coyote or fox urine to deter opossums from coming around you are sorely mistaken and will spend money on expensive devices and chemical that won’t do anything. Other devices like ultrasonic sound emitters also do not work on opossums. Read about how to keep opossum away – prevention techniques.
However, you probably want to know what does work on getting rid of these pesky critters. The first thing that you should do is call your local animal control office, the state fish and game department or your local branch of the department of agriculture. Different states have different rules for how you should go about ridding your property of opossums. Furthermore, these offices will sometimes offer free services or can lend you live traps.
The most common and safest way to get rid of opossums is to trap them. There are many cheap and effective traps that you can pick up at hardware stores or in some of the offices listed above. The next thing you will want to do is to bait the trap with something they like to eat. You can bait that trap with things like tomatoes, melons, grapes, bananas and apples. You must set the traps at night and close them during the day because opossums are only active at night and if you leave the trap open during the day you will only catch squirrels or cats.
Once you have trapped the critter you will have to relocate them into a local wooded area that is at least ten miles away from your own house, otherwise they will come back. After you have relocated the opossum you must take the steps to prevent them from coming back such as securing your garbage cans, patching the holes that they made to get into your house and keeping your pet’s food inside. If you take these steps to get rid of opossums you will not have any problem keeping them out of your house and out of your yard.
We can help you identify an opossum using only its tracks, and let you know whether it’s okay to pet the little critter, and why it is they play dead. If you do have an opossum in your midst learn if a Pest Control Company will remove opossum and the pros and cons of hiring a pro or removing opossums yourself. If you’re tackling the problem yourself, be sure to read up on our analysis of High Pitch Sound Deterrent Machines. You can also find information on how to kill an opossum in the yard as well as how to humanely kill an opossum in a cage. Never fear, we also have information on how to relocate your opossum safely . Learn, too, whether or not opossums hibernate, how to tell whether or not they are sick, and what to do if you find a nest of baby opossums or even just an orphaned one.
More in-detail how-to opossum removal articles:
Information about how to kill an opossum – with poison or other methods.
Information about how to catch an opossum – remove one stuck in the house.
Information about opossum repellent – analysis of types and effectiveness.
Read about What Bait To Use For Opossum Traps here.
Opossum Information & Facts
Virginia Opossum Appearance: Opossums can vary in size from two to four feet from the nose to the end of the tail. This drastic size range is complimented by an equally drastic weight range of between one and fifteen pounds. Silver and black in color, these animals have a hairless tail which can be used with some dexterity to grasp branches and other objects. The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial in North America, and as such, it has a bodily pouch used to transport and protect offspring. This animal also has opposable thumbs on the rear feet, an adaptation that allows maneuverability in trees.
Opossum Habitat and Behavior: A nomadic creature, opossums tend to travel where food is most plentiful. An animal that seeks shelter off the ground, these marsupials are mostly at home in trees, though a human dwelling will suit them fine. Opossums are native to deciduous forests but will travel into urban areas to feed off human garbage and pet food. Though they rarely make permanent homes, an opossum will stay in an area as long as a food source is abundant.
A main characteristic of the Virginia opossum is its ability to feign a state of death. A defense mechanism, this ability occurs when the animal feels threatened. The false death state is not a controllable response, but more of an involuntary reaction to specific stimuli. An opossum in this state can remain comatose for up to four hours. While unconscious, the animal will emit a foul odor from the anal glands inside the rectum. This odor, combined with an opened-mouth grimace, portrays an accurate and believable visual of death.
Opossums can have up to three litters a year, breeding during the months of late fall and early winter. Infant marsupials must climb into their mother’s pouch for continuation of development. This pouch not only provides protection and further development, it will facilitate nutrient and waste transfer for a short period of time. Most opossum pouches are really just thick skin folds, and some opossums do not have them at all. Young born to a mother with little or no pouch will secure themselves to her teats for the duration of time that would have been spent inside a pouch. When the opossums are old enough, they climb onto the mother’s back and eventually detach at the time of weaning.
Opossum Diet: Opossums are omnivores and eat a variety of invertebrates as well as small mammals such as mice. These animals will scavenge human garbage and will also dig up roots and bulbs. An opportunistic feeder, opossums will consume a large variety of edible matter, though they tend to be partial to snails.
Opossum Nuisance Concerns: Opossums are generally wandering feeders, though they can initiate conflict with humans when the animal moves in to an attic or under a porch. Opossums are also drawn to pet food, and this love of domestic fare can create fighting with the household pets. An opossum in the home can be very unsanitary. The animals leave large piles of waste throughout the entire area they inhabit.
Virginia Opossum Diseases: The Virginia opossum is remarkably resistant to many diseases found in the animal population of North America. Rabies, for example, rarely infects this marsupial, a fact widely contributed to the animal’s low body temperature. Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection common in the wild population is one disease opossums have been identified as carriers of, though this is infrequent. External parasite on the opossum may spread secondary diseases, like typhus or Lyme disease.
This site is intended to provide opossum education and information, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a opossum problem. This site provides many opossum control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of opossum removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance opossum.
Read more about opossums through my educational articles, written based on my years of professional experience. Read about the kind of Damage, and if opossums climb or live in trees. Find out if Possums attack cats, dogs or other pets and what to do if an opposum gets What if an Opossum Gets inside your House. Learn why opossums tend to Die Under Houses and if opossums hiss. I can let you know if the City or County Animal Services will help with an opossum issue, and if it is safe to handle an opossum with Bare Hands. Read my advice on how to keep opossum out of your Garden and Garbage Cans. Learn how to use One-Way Exclusion Funnels to remove opossums and if you should Feed a Baby Opossum.
Read whether opossum feces are Dangerous To Touch Or Breathe and what Equipment do you need to trap an opossum. Find out the Diseases Opossums Carry and about the opossum’s Natural Diet. Find out if an opossum that is active during the day actually Rabid. Read whether opossums are dangerous to cats, dogs or other pets and what to do if you are bit by an opossum. Learn if an opossum uner a shed or porch will have a Nest of Babies, and my best advice for how to keep opossums Away from Your Property.
Possum Control: How To Trap Opossum
Opossum are frequently considered a nuisance in and around the garden, especially when they feed on or trample plants. They can also rummage through garbage cans or steal your pets’ food. How to get rid of an opossum can be tricky but with a little perseverance, the backyard possum may be convinced to move elsewhere.
Backyard Possum Control
The best way to combat opossum problems is to understand their habits. While they prefer wooded areas or open fields near streams, they will take up residence in abandoned burrows; tree crevices; brush piles; or areas beneath steps, decks, and outbuildings.
These animals are also nocturnal, meaning they’re typically active only at night, sleeping throughout the day. This can make it somewhat difficult to “see” the intruder attacking your garden. However, they will usually leave some telltale signs of their presence through droppings, tracks, over turned pet food dishes or garbage cans and plant damage. The backyard possum is considered an omnivore as well, feeding on fruits, nuts, insects, eggs and small animals like frogs and mice.
How to Get Rid of an Opossum
Control methods for backyard possum varies, with opossum repellents and trapping commonly used. Fencing is another option.
Opossum repellents. There are numerous products on the market targets at repelling these wild animals. However, these generally offer little relief. Other possum control methods include the use of motion-activated sprinkler systems, which can startle the creatures and frighten them off.
Traps. Trapping opossum is another common method employed for possum control. Knowing how to trap opossum isn’t as difficult as what to do with one once it’s caught. This normally requires relocation by an authorized (licensed) wildlife expert in most areas.
Killing these animals should only be a last resort, and is often not permitted in most states. Nonetheless, trapping them in a box or cage-like trap is fairly easy. Traps should measure about 10 by 12 by 32 inches. Set the traps along trails and known travel routes, bating them with fruit such as over ripe melons, grapes, or bananas.
Fencing. The erection of woven wire or electric fencing is sometimes used for possum control. Fencing around garden areas should be at least four feet high, with the top foot or so facing outward, away from the garden to prevent them from climbing over. Adding electric fencing approximately 3-4 inches over the top may also help.
The best defense, however, is making the area less appealing to opossum. Overgrown trees and shrubs should be pruned. Brush piles and similar debris should be removed. Fallen fruit from trees should be kept clean. Garbage cans should have tight-fitting lids and pet food should not be left out at night. It is also a good idea to close or block off any entrances or openings under or near the home such as porches, decks, buildings, etc.
Why Is There An Opossum In My Yard?
At Priority Pest Services, we get a lot of calls from people asking, “Why is there an opossum in my yard?” Do you have a nocturnal visitor that climbs along your fence and hangs around in your trees? Is your dog barking at an unwanted, pale visitor that looks like an oversize rat? Opossums are not big rats and they aren’t even rodents. They are quite a unique creature in that they are the only marsupial native to North America.
Opossums are unique in many ways, too. One trait they have that is not that common is a lower body temperature. The lower body temperature makes them less susceptible to carry the rabies virus. However, just because they are most likely not rabid, doesn’t mean they are harmless.
Opossums can harbor smaller pests such as lice or fleas and can make pretty big messes, especially if they stay for any length of time. Get rid of opossums by contacting Priority Pest Services.
Why Do I Only See An Opossum In My Yard When The Weather Is Colder?
As the cold weather begins to move in, we get more calls about opossum sightings. Like many pests, the opossum is reacting to the seasons. Cold weather is the time of year when wildlife begins looking for a place to stay warm.
Opossums normally cover a lot of territory and don’t typically stay in one place unless they are preparing to raise a family. Regardless, when winter sets in, like most animals they begin looking for a warm place to make a home to survive the cold months ahead.
Get Rid Of Opossums – Call The Professionals At Priority Pest!
If you hear strange noises in your attic, have suspicious odors from your crawl space, see that pale haired, white face on your fence, or in a tree, call Priority Pest Services. Our trained professionals can determine if you have possum problem or some other pest.
If you are having a problem with an opossum, give us a call and ask about our opossum trapping and removal services. At Priority Pest Services, we are pest and wildlife control experts that have the knowledge and experience to help you get rid of opossums the right way. Call us today at (757) 204-4523 to schedule a free home inspection!
Rodent infestations can take many forms, from large rat nests to one or two opossums (which are marsupials) that qualify as nuisance animals. The first step in eliminating any rodent problem is to identify the species you’re dealing with.
Unfortunately, many rodents are nocturnal and wary of the noise and smells of humans, so you’re unlikely to get a good look at these unwanted visitors. To identify your pest, you’ll need to pay attention to other signs of an infestation.
In this blog, we discuss where opossums are likely to be found, explain some of the extensive damage these rodents can do, and list five common signs of opossum infestations.
Places You May Find Opossums
Opossums, which are actually marsupials, prefer outdoor areas that feel more rural than urban and have lots of plant life for shelter. However, opossums can easily find their way into most homes, even in the city. Opossums are natural climbers and may use trees on your property to access the roof and attic of your home.
Like other rodents, opossums may also take up residence in open wall voids between insulation batts, unused and dark basement space, or garages and sheds.
Why Opossums Infestations Are a Big Problem
Because opossums are one of the largest nuisance rodent species, they tend to cause more widespread damage than rats or mice, even though they live in significantly smaller groups. Most infestations consist of one to two opossums or an opossum mother and her young.
Opossums may rip shingles, siding, or insulation with their teeth and claws. Opossum feces can also leave large stains and may carry diseases like coccidiosis and tuberculosis.
Contrary to popular belief, opossums almost never carry rabies because the animals have an unusually low temperature for mammals that kills the disease. Any hissing and drooling are generally a defense mechanism rather than a symptom of a contagious disease.
Opossums can also be difficult to get rid of on your own because they are not easily scared or intimidated. If their hissing display does not work on a predator, the opossum may either play dead or become aggressive. Mother opossums in particular may pick a fight to protect what they perceive as their territory.
Signs of an Opossum Infestation in Your Home
If you have opossums in your home or inside another building on your property, the infestation should be immediately apparent. These animals are loud and less confined to nocturnal schedules than some rodents.
If your infestation is a group of opossums, you may notice any combination of the following five signs.
- Damage to the Building Exterior
Because opossums usually enter a building by climbing, you may notice exterior damage first. Often, opossum damage takes the form of torn up shingles and ripped soffit on your rooftop. An opossum infestation may also impact your siding, eaves, and gutter system.
- Disappearing Pet Food
Opossums are particularly drawn to cat food. If you have cats, especially any outdoor cats, you may notice that their food disappears more quickly when you have an opossum infestation. If you suspect an opossum infestation, take measures to protect your cats who could become injured in a fight with an opossum.
- Frequent Animal Vocalizations
Opossums have a wide range of vocalizations, including hissing and shrieking. Mother opossums also make clicking or lip smacking sounds to call their babies. If you notice these noises when inside a building, chances are you have an infestation or a single opossum trapped inside.
- Loud Scratching Noises
As opossums nest, they make lots of ripping, scuttling, and scratching noises. These noises can sound similar to rats or mice, but you will likely notice that the noises seem louder because they’re created by a bigger animal.
Additionally, you may notice scratching across a wider area with an opossum infestation than with any other rodent problem because opossums do not stick solely to the edges of the attic space.
- Pervasive Unpleasant Smells
One of the most distinct signs of an opossum infestation is the smell. Opossums defecate more frequently than most mammals and their droppings can be as large as a house cats. These wet droppings can soak into insulation and building materials, causing a distinctly unpleasant odor.
Opossums can also become trapped by wiring or other architectural elements and may die there. If you have a dead opossum in your attic, you’ll know by the strong smell of decay.
If you notice a sudden influx of opossums in the area around your home, an interior infestation is more likely to develop. Cover all openings to your attic or basement and pest-proof any outbuildings to decrease the risk of infestation.
If you have an opossum infestation, call Greenleaf Organic Pest Management. We are fully licensed in nuisance animal trapping and can help you install measures to keep future pests away.