Possums are nocturnal animals and are generally safe around people and pets. However, they usually carry the risk of spreading various diseases and can cause serious damage to your property.
According to the report of Study.com, there are 60 different kinds of possums. And modern possums, kangaroos, and koalas probably evolved from a common ancestor that lived almost 20 to 30 million years ago. However, for many people, having a possum infestation in their backyard is a real problem.
When you are looking for how to get rid of possums in your home or yard, you can do this humanely while keeping your family safe from danger. And you should remember that they are highly adaptable animals but tend to favor trees or burrows for their protection.
In this article, we have shared 5 simple and effective ways on how to get rid of possums in your yard to protect your property, pets, and plants. Also, here we have discussed how you can identify a possum infestation and how you can prevent a possum infestation.
So, let’s get started.
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How You Can Identify A Possum Infestation
If you suspect a possum infestation in your home or yard, there are some common signs you can look for. And one of the most common indications that a possum is present in your yard is food disappearing from your garbage or your pet’s food bowl. Here are all other common indications to look for.
- Signs Of Possum Feeding: First, you should know that possums are actually opportunistic omnivores. And in most cases, possums will eat plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits, however, if they are near your home or garden, they can also eat pet food and other household products.
- Damage To Your Property: Like any other wild animal in your home, you will sometimes find evidence of damage to your property. You may want to check for damages in small spaces where humans would not be able to enter. And damages are also possible outside of your home, so you should check for signs of broken or torn-up trees, bushes, and grass in your garden.
- Footprints Of Possums: Possums also have their footprint and track like all other animals. And you can easily identify their footprint by their human-like front paws and long back feet. Also while tracking for possums, you should follow not just where they were but also where they went. Because this can help you to create a pattern for their nightly routines in your house or yard.
- Presence Of Possum Droppings: If you can determine any droppings you find are from possums, then it can be another indicator of a possum infestation in your yard. And possums generally have small and oval-shaped droppings and come in a variety of colors, such as dark brown and green.
How To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Yard: 5 Easy And Simple Ways
Depending on the location of the possum infestation in your house, different ways would work best for different situations. And if you can create minor inconveniences for them, it is often easy to get rid of them. Here we have shared 5 simple ways how to get rid of possums in your yard.
1. Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside Overnight
Outdoor pets and possums can be a bad combination due to the potential for fighting among them, however, you can definitely reduce this risk by not leaving any pet food outside overnight.
Because possums will easily eat out of pet dishes, even if those are close to homes. And they will come back every day as long as you continue to feed them.
Also if there are fruit-bearing plants on your property, you need to make sure that crops are not left on the ground and try to use sealable trash bags while removing these items.
And your garbage cans should always have tight-fitting lids. Possums generally prefer forested or bushy homes and they would use leftover and destroyed settings as a house.
So, your yard will be less friendly for them if there are no brush piles, broken-down buildings, or holes under concrete slabs.
And always try to trim your bushes and trees up and away from the structures and trees should always be trimmed a minimum of five feet away from structures.
Because possums are opportunists and will generally use easy-to-access holes as temporary shelter no matter where it is located.
2. Using Chemical Repellents In Your Garden
You can purchase chemical repellents from your local home improvement or hardware store and apply those to gardens, flower beds, and structure bases to repel possums.
These chemical repellents generally vary by brand and type, however, most are powder and usually include predator urine.
So, they have a strong odor and are more expensive to purchase. And these repellents should be applied regularly and in high concentrations.
And to get the best results, they can be used in conjunction with other methods and these are safe to use around kids and pets.
Chili powder can also be used when no other solution is available, however, it needs to be reapplied frequently. Chemical repellents generally attack the possum’s sense of smell, however, they are the least effective measure against possums.
And other possum control methods are more successful, that includes motion-activated sprinklers or trapping cages.
3. Building A Wire Or Electric Fence
Possums are generally skilled climbers, however, a wire or electric fence can help you to keep them away from your garden. To deter these animals, your fencing should be a minimum of 4 feet high, with the top foot facing outward so that it can create an overhang.
In some cases, you can also add an electric fence and set it at an outward angle, almost 3 to 4 inches over the top.
And other areas that include underneath porches, stairways, and crawl spaces should be blocked off and you should cover these openings with steel wire mesh or sheet metal. Possums sometimes enter homes through pet doors, so those doors should also be sealed.
Because when possums are inside your home, that’s where the most damage occurs. So, if possums in the garden are your main problem, then building a fence around the garden should solve your issue.
Also, dog houses and coops should have fencing around them to keep these animals away from your pets.
4. Use Electronic Repellents To Repel Possums
Electronic repellents, such as motion-activated sprinklers, can be used to startle the possums and scare them away.
In the case of motion-activated sprinklers, the appearance of a sudden burst of water frightens the animal away. And these repellents are eco-friendly and also deliver more consistent results than other repellents.
You can use these on lawns, chicken coops, entryways, pools, compost bins, trees, and other areas around your yard.
Also, you can use lawn lights and wind chimes as these can also help you make your backyard a less welcoming place for possums. There are also ultrasonic pest devices that involve flashing LED strobes, which can further annoy possums.
All these products are safe for humans and pets and even for pests, so you can repel possums from your yard safely and humanely.
So, after considering all factors, electronic repellents are the best method to get rid of possums. However, if your possum problem still continues, then you should look at trapping the possums and removing them from your yard.
5. Trap Possums In A Live Trap
If a possum has found its way into your home, a live trap can help you get rid of it. And for these nocturnal animals, you should set up the trap at night and bait them.
According to various reports, they generally prefer to eat fruit, grain, or insects. So, food items such as jam or peanut butter on bread or overripe fruit would definitely attract them.
And this trap should be set up along the common travel routes in your house so that there would no chance for the animal to miss the bait.
However, it is always best to use a trap in the late fall or early winter before their breeding season begins. And after trapping it in a live trap, you should move it to an appropriate location.
However, relocating pests is restricted or strictly prohibited in various states, so you need to check with local authorities first before selecting this option.
Also, you should check the trap regularly, and try to relocate any trapped possums to an approved location that is at least 5 miles away from your home. And these live traps are also safe to use around kids and pets as long as you are checking them regularly.
Why Possums Enter Your House
If you have seen possums in your yard, or somehow they have entered your home, most probably they are there for safety and food.
And sometimes possums can hide in your yard for a long time before you notice them because of their nocturnal nature and also slow and quiet way.
However, they can become destructive, as they can eat trash and garden plants and can even fight with your pets who roam outdoors.
So, the most probable reason for a possum infestation is the presence of food and since possums are omnivores, this reason covers a wide area. Here are the foods that would generally attract possums the most.
- Fruits and berries that have fallen from those plants that you are growing in your garden.
- Birdseed that has fallen from your bird feeder.
- Pet food (Try not to feed your pets outdoors or in the yard).
- Garbage or trash.
How You Can Prevent A Possum Infestation
It is definitely easier to prevent a possum infestation than to get rid of possums in your yard. You should remove all potential food sources and those areas that a possum could use for shelter. Here we have shared some great tips to help you to prevent a possum infestation.
- You should always keep your yard free of fallen berries and other fruits.
- Try to feed the birds in small amounts at a time or without wasting any.
- You should also use animal-proof trash cans and tumbler-style compost bins.
- You need to trim back any tree branches that have grown within 10 feet of your roof because they can easily provide bridges to your home for possums.
- Try to block any unintended access points to your buildings such as broken vents, and screens with holes in them, because possums can exploit these access points to enter your buildings and also use them for shelter. And this is also applicable to your garage and outdoor storage sheds.
Wrap Up On How To Get Rid Of Possums
Possums can be a really annoying thing around your house and if they get inside, they can cause various damages. So, you need quick actions to prevent damage to your property and pets.
And if you are suffering from a possum problem, you can always try animal repellents. Also, if you take precautionary actions such as fencing, it may help reduce the risk of a possum infestation.
However, if you haven’t had the desired success after using these simple ways, you can always call a pest management professional.
Because the service technician will help you to remove the animal from your yard and also develop a customized plan to keep future pests away.
We really hope that our informative article has helped you to find out how to get rid of possums in your yard. If you still have any doubts or questions in your mind regarding this topic, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: How To Get Rid Of Possums
When you are handling your possum infestation, there are some common questions that can come to your mind. Here I have tried to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in the FAQ section of this article.
Q1. Should I Be Worried About A Possum In My Yard?
Ans: Possums are generally not aggressive. And if there is a possum in your garden or yard, you don’t need to worry. Because, they are not a threat, and most probably they will be moving on in a short while.
Q2. How Long Do Possums Stay In One Area?
Ans: Possums are usually transient animals, and they generally stay only 2-3 days in an area before moving on. And according to many wildlife experts, if possums are removed from an area, then the population of roof rats and other pests would increase rapidly.
Q3. What Bad Things Do Possums Do?
Ans: Possums are usually not destructive in nature, however, they are opportunistic and resourceful. They would take shelter and find food wherever they see fit. These instincts of possums can cause property damage, such as overturned trash cans, torn ductwork or insulation, and many more.