How To Get Rid of Possums

It’s hard to determine if possums are invading your yard because they hide in the darkness of night. 

This makes it difficult to plan how you are going to get rid of them. 

In this post, I will go over the different ways you can get rid of possums that are invading your yard. I will also give you some techniques you can use if a possum is hiding inside your crawl space, attic, or storage shed. 

Let’s get started.

1. Use Traps

One of the most humane ways to get rid of possums is to use catch and release traps.

These traps allow you to use bait to catch opossums and release them in a different location.

These traps work by placing bait inside the trap; when the possum walks in, the trap is triggered, and the door closes. This leaves the possum safe without any injuries.

Most people would assume that since opossums eat anything that any bait will work just fine.

This is not true. For the trap to be effective as possible, you want to make the bait more attractive than any other food choices in your yard.

The best possum bait is:

  • Fruit such as apples and pears
  • Raw meat
  • Fish
  • Peanut Butter

If you believe there are multiple opossums in your yard, then you can buy a double trap. These traps have two sections that allow you to catch multiple possums with one trap.

This is great if you suspect that the possum near your home has babies.

2. Cover Your Garbage Cans

Opossums are scavengers, and they will eat anything they can get their hands on.

One of their primary targets is trash cans.

Always close your trash can. You also want to make sure that you don’t leave any trash outside of your trash can.

3. Eliminate All Food Sources

Opossums are omnivores. They will eat anything that they can get their hands on.

This includes fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, grains, and pet food.

You want to make sure that there are no food sources in your yard.

Follow the list below to eliminate common food sources for opossums:

  • Pick ripe fruit  from your trees and garden and store them properly
  • Place barriers around gardens to exclude opossums
  • Protect compost piles to prevent access
  • Store pet food in air-tight containers after they finish eating.
  • Keep bird feeders out of reach from opossums.

4. Eliminate Potential Nesting Areas

You want to eliminate potential nesting areas to reduce the chances that they are living near your home.

Unlike other rodents, opossums don’t build their own nests.

They tend to create their nest out of natural habitats or other animal burrows.

Some common places where opossums tend to nest include:

  • Crawl spaces
  • logs
  • brush piles
  • piles of debris
  • hollow trees
  • marshes
  • swaps
  • branchy trees that are easy to climb

You must keep your yard well maintained and close off any access points to your crawl space.

If you see any hollow trees on your property, you want to cover these holes with foam or seal the entry points with wire mesh.

If opossums are hiding in trees on your property, you can bait them down.

Once they are down, you can use tree collars to prevent possums from climbing back up. These are typically smooth surfaces that wrap around the tree’s trunk to prevent them from climbing up your trees.

5. Use Repellent

Repellents are a great way to get rid of possums.

These are especially effective if the possum is only visiting your home to feed or get water.

You can apply repellent to the areas that you want the possum to avoid.

This will drive possums to other areas for food and water.

There are two types of repellents chemical and natural repellents.

chemical Repellents

Chemical repellents are effective, but they can be dangerous to other animals and even your plants.

They also tend to be much more expensive than natural repellents. 

Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are a less expensive alternative to chemical repellents. 

These repellents are ideal because they are typically safe for other animals and plants around your yard. 

They are also less expensive and easier to find than chemical repellents. 

6. Use Lights and Lasers

Possums are nocturnal and will shy away from light.

You can use this to your advantage and keep them away using a flash ultrasonic repellent.

These repellents are motion-activated.
When a possum crosses the path, the lights will flash, scarring the skunk away and protecting your property.

Make sure you purchase enough devices to cover your home’s entire perimeter.

If you do not set your perimeter up properly, there can be gaps in your coverage where skunks can get in without setting off the motion sensors.

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7. Motion Activated Sprinkler

Sprinklers are a natural alternative to keep skunks away from your home.
Be sure to strategically place the sprinklers so that the perimeter of your house is covered.

Without a full perimeter, possums may find ways to get close to your house without getting wet.

One downside to this is that the sensor will go over for motion or animals.
Also, it may attract pests because it will provide them with a source of water.

Use these with caution, and be sure to test your sensors before you set them out for the night.

8. One Way Door

If there are possums in an enclosed area like your attic or storage shed, then you can use a one-way door for the most effective way to get rid of  them. 

This is a great way to get rid of possums without having to ever see them or trap them in a cage. 

These traps will allow the possums to exit but won’t allow them to enter. 

Wherever you are using this trap, you want to make sure that all possible entry points are sealed off. For the trap to be effective, it can be the only entry/exit point in the enclosed area. 

This typically involves using wire mesh or caulk to seal any holes or entry points around your home. 

Possums commonly enter into attics through broken boars or vents. It important that you throughly check and repair any potential entry points to prevent the possums from returning.

frequently asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Possums Aggressive?

Possums are not typically aggressive towards humans.

They are often thought to be aggressive and rapid due to their hissing and open mouth defense.

This is merely a defense mechanism, but when this doesn’t work, they will play dead.

They are also one of the few mammals that are hardly found to have rabies. While it’s not understood why this is the case, it’s suspected that it’s because their body temperature is too low for rabies to survive.

Do Possums Carry Diseases?

Yes, possums carry diseases.

The most dangerous diseases that possums carry are Chagas disease, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, tularemia, spotted fever, trichomoniasis, and coccidiosis.

The germs and pathogens that possums carry can cause disease. They are most commonly known to cause leptospirosis.

Do Possums Bite?

Yes, possums can bite. However, it’s not common for possums to bite humans.

The hissing and showing off their teeth is only a defense mechanism.

If this defense mechanism doesn’t work, they will proceed to play dead or run away.

Is it bad to have a possum in your yard?

No, possums are not bad to have in your yard.

Since they tend to do most of their foraging and move around at night, you will rarely contact them.

They can be beneficial to your yard. They tend to eat small snails, slugs, and small rodents.

What Do Possums Eat?

Possums are omnivores that will eat anything they can find.

They will eat fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, insects, pet food, decaying organic matter, and rodents.

Possums are commonly known for eating fruits and vegetables in gardens, eating at compost piles, and eating from garbage cans. 

Is It Legal To Kill Possums?

Yes, in most states, it’s legal to kill possums without any license or permits. 

I still recommend double-checking that this applies to the state and county you are living in. 

Since Possums are not game animals, there is very little regulation.

In most cases, if there is a possum on your property and it poses a threat to your property or the people or animals on your property, you can use deadly force to remove it from your property. 

Will Animal Control Remove Possums?

Yes, animal control will get rid of possums if they are inside a structure specifically your home. 

If the possum is not inside your home or an enclosed structure it’s unlikely that animal control will take any action. 

In many states, it’s recommended that possums are left alone and residents should live with wildlife in harmony. 

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