How To Get Rid of Possums: [Tried & Proven Hacks That Work]

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You are here because you want to get rid of possums. Possums might be the native cute and fluffy animals but having them on your roof or yard is not the best idea. While possums are mostly minor nuisances, these pesky critters can cause problems when they decide to nest on your property.

 Possums can disrupt:

  • Gardens by trampling on plants, 
  • Homes by pooping around and making disturbing noises,
  • Chicken coops by preying on your birds occasionally, and
  • Places where pets live by passing over fleas and ticks as they rummage for something to eat. 

When cornered, possums can attack, and you don’t want this if you have seen their sharp, pointed teeth. Additionally, possums can pass parasites and diseases to pets. The possums are best left in their natural habitat, and that is why you need to get rid of them to protect your family, yard, and pets. 

How To Get Rid of Possums
How To Get Rid of Possums

What Attracts Possums?

Possums are attracted to your property by food availability. If you leave food scraps around, you will likely see a possum around, and they like moist areas. Therefore, homes near a sewer, a pond, or a drainage ditch are most likely to attract more possums.

Some smells like cinnamon scents also attract possums. If you have such scents somewhere in your yard, you will see possums sooner than later. That is why some people use these scents to lure and trap possums when removing them from their property. The following are the main things that attract possums to your home.

1. Pet Food-If you feed your pets outside your home, possums will sniff them out and come for the left-overs later at night.

2. Filled-Up Trash Cans– A trash bin full of all sorts of food leftovers is an invitation for possums to visit. Possums will have easy access to the container if it is not sealed tightly.

3. Partially Rotten Fruits-When fruits fall off garden trees and begin to rot, possums will pick up the scent, and they will soon come for it. Sweet fruits such as mangos, berries, pineapples, and nuts are possum’s favorites. 

How To Get Rid Of Possums On Your Roof

If you occasionally hear some scampering on your roof, most likely, a possum is living up there. Naturally, possums dwell in the trees and similar hollow spaces and come out at night to look for food. 

However, as land and trees are cleared for development, the natural dwellings of the possums have declined. Additionally, natural food sources are no longer in abundance. Possums, therefore, look for alternative shelters, and the roof is their ideal choice because it offers a secure shelter and proximity to food sources. 

The roof is dark, which resonates with their nocturnal nature, and the possums can rest because they are safe from any predator. A possum dwelling in the roof sooner or later will cause problems, and you need to relocate the pest animal as soon as possible. How bad is it to have possums on my roof? Let us have a look.

Do Possums In The Roof Cause Problems?

  • Possums are noisy! The possum screeching and scratching sounds can wreak havoc on the roof and lower the quality of your sleep.
  • Damage to your roof- possums can damage ceilings, break roof tiles and chew electrical wires. These issues can be expensive to fix.
  • Droppings– Possums will poop over your roof, making the place unhygienic. The droppings also invite other insects because of their foul smell.
    • Additionally, possum urine has a pungent smell that is hard to get rid of. It requires tedious cleaning and ventilation. If you allow possums to inhabit your roof, you will find it harder to deal with the foul odor.

How Do You Know There Is A Possum On The Roof?

Heavy bangs on the roof at night are the common signs of a possum in the roof. You will also hear hissing and coughing noises. Other signs that you have a possum in your roof are the typical stains on the ceiling and a strong ammonia smell from the possum’s urine.

  1. Noises – A possum makes a “thumping” sound and an occasional “hiss’. Rodents such as rats, on the other hand, “scamper” and “squeak.”
  2. Size of the Droppings – A possum dropping is larger than that of rats. You will also find urine stains trickling through the roof ceiling when there are possums in the roof.
  3. Access Points – Look at the access hole. Particularly under the eave, the access holes for possums are larger than those of rats.
  4. The “Apple Test” – Place an apple through your ceiling maintenance hole. If it’s eaten chiefly or gone in the morning, you are likely to be dealing with possums. However, if the fruit is slightly gnawed and teeth marks are apparent, they are likely rats.
  5. Thermal Imaging – Many households do not have access to this technology, but it makes the detection and identification of possums relatively easy.

 Ways To Getting Rid Of Possums From Your Roof

First, you want to make sure you are not doing anything illegal. There are laws that protect possums and guide you to get rid of them from your roof. Get the permits and do it as humanely as possible. The initial step to getting possums out of your roof is to identify their entry point.

Possums often make noises, mainly in the mornings and after hunting expeditions. During these times, possums are reckless, and they make lots of noises. They excrete cylindrical droppings whose color is dependent on their diet. Here are the steps to get rid of possums off your roof.

  • Buy or build a possum box– Put the box somewhere in your garden, and it should be high enough, say, 4m from the ground. Regularly check the box to ensure wasps, bees, or pest birds do not inhabit it.  Possums being naturally curious will find the box. To better motivate the possum to get into the box, put a sweet fruit near the box. Using a possum box is effective only after sealing your roof to prevent re-entry of possums.
  • Make your roof possum-proof- Block every access point to your roof to ensure that possums are not getting into your roof or re-entering after you have removed them. Check for gaps and holes at the eaves. If you see the possum getting out of the roof, seal the opening with a mesh.
  • Get one-way door access to your roof- If you struggle to see where possums are leaving your roof or are worried you might seal them inside the roof, seal everywhere and install a one-way hole.
  • Get a possum trap. Place the trap in the roof near the possum’s access point and routinely check each morning. When you catch one, release it to the wild at night.
  • Fencing your property is an effective means of keeping possums off your roof. Possums don’t dig, and if you can build a secure fence, you can get the possums off your property and end up on your roof.
  • Scare Tactics- Make your residence less attractive and appealing for possums to scavenge around for food. Possum being a forgetful animal, it is less likely to recall it was frightened the day before. Scare tactics will be more effective when used with other methods.
  • Motion-activated lights and sprinklers help scare and keep possums off your roof.  Each time a possum nears your property, the moving lights and sprinklers will scare them away.
  • Possum repellents are another method of getting rid of possums off your roof. The repellents produce noises and vibrations of high frequency, which help in scaring possums off your roof.  Modern possum repellents incorporate motion sensors that scare possums off your roof as soon as they detect motion.
  • Create a home for the possum to keep your roof free of possums. Get a suitable nest box on a tree. With the help of a nesting material and food sources like fruits and vegetables, the possum will get in, and you can safely relocate it from your roof. Once the possum is in their nesting box, get enough light on the roof for at least 48 hours to keep the possums in their nesting boxes.

How To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Yard

While opossums can have a few benefits around your yard, the thought of these rat-like animals roaming around your yard at night may not be inspiring. Besides not conjuring positive thoughts, possums being omnivorous will help themselves to your garden fruits and vegetables. 

You want your yard clean and tidy, but if a possum is around, they work against that. They rummage through refuse and garbage and leave a stinky and messy cleanup on your property. If you are raising delicate flowers and plants in the yard, you don’t want a possum around because their urine can damage the plant’s roots. 

Possums will also interfere with the quality of life of your pets because possums have fleas and ticks and will readily spread them to the animals. If your dog or cat is curious and tries to go after a possum that fights back, they can be injured. Possums are not only a nuisance, but they can eat and trample on your yard plants and cause damage to the yard.

Does Possum In The Yard Cause Damage?

Using their sharp teeth and claws, possums will tear shingles and chew on the insulation cables. Their feces and urine also cause large stains around. These are not only unhealthy but also irritating eyesores. Additionally, possums will bring over grass, dried leaves, and other materials from outside to make their nests, making your yard dirty. Here are some reasons you need to get rid of possums in your yard.

  • Cause a Mess –As possums go through the garbage searching for food, they make a mess by opening and overturning trash cans. Their colossal appetite, in most cases, leads them to rummage through refuse you take outside. The result is a stinky and messy sight in your yard.
  • Eat Plants in Your Yard – While possums can eat pests in your yard, they can also consume your vegetables and fruits and even trample on the yard plants.
  • Possums May Attack Pets or Children – Normally, possums respond to threats by feigning death. However, they are still wild animals and may defend themselves by hissing and even biting in some cases. Kids should be taught to avoid petting or feeding possums in the yard.
  • Possums may kill chickens – Possums are known to break into chicken coops to eat the birds and their eggs. While this is not commonplace when other foods are in plenty, it can happen when possums fail to find alternative food.
  • Possums can die in the yards– possums may pass away in your yard if they have been nesting there for long. Dead possums and other animals can cause pest issues, spread disease, and make your yard have an unpleasant smell.
  • Potential yard damage –Possum urine may damage the plant roots. The damage may be more if the urine combines with other wastes of other small mammals who come to your yard. The possums’ droppings can also create foul orders making your yard uncomfortable to stay.

How Do You Know There Is A Possum In The Yard?

To get rid of the damage or problem in your yard, you first need to confirm that the culprit is the possum. Most adult opossums are between 24 and 40 inches long and have a tail that is about 11-inch-long and weighs between 4 and 12 pounds. Here are ways you can know there is a possum in your yard.

  • Look for holes in your fence of diameter 3 inches and above. Tall trees that overhang your yard may also provide access to possums. However, if it looks like the animal made its way into your yard by digging, it is unlikely to be the possum.
  • Check out the feces and footprints left by the animal. Possum prints are approximately 2 inches long, with 6 inches separating the front and back prints. If it is a possum, you will see five fingers on the front footprint resembling a maple leaf. The possum droppings are the cat’s size and may have evidence of what the possum ate.

Ways To Get Rid Of Possums In The Yard?

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with a possum, you can then embark on flushing them out by using a trap or getting the services of a pest management professional. You can take these simple steps to keep possums off your yard;

  • Apply a suitable possum repellent to your yard. Emphasize your flower beds, structure bases, and gardens. The chemical repellents vary, but most include predator urine which scares the possums off your yard.
  • Use electronic repellents to deter possums from coming to your yard. Electronic repellents such as motion-activated sprinklers are designed to startle possums and scare them off your yard. They are eco-friendly and can consistently help you get the possums away from your yard. Electronic repellents can be placed anywhere in the yard, such as chicken coops, lawns, pools, and barns. The lawn lights and wind chimes also help to make your backyard less welcoming.
  • Trap possums in your yard. The possums being nocturnal, it is advisable to set the traps at night. Use common fruits and grains as bait and place the trap along the possums’ travel routes.
  • Bring your food and leftovers in for the night.
  • Keep any garbage within your yard covered in a secure place.
  • Pick up all falling fruits under the trees.
  • Maintain your poultry houses properly. To discourage these critters from your yard, make the fence 4 feet or higher, and the top should be facing outward to create a kind of an overhang. You can also get an electric fence set at an outward angle of about 3 to 4 inches.
  • Cover the underneath stairways, porches, and crawl spaces with steel wire mesh to keep possums off your yard effectively.
  • Ensure your yard is well-lit at night. Possums being nocturnal, prefer darkness and are discouraged by light.
  • Eliminate hiding places.
  • Make your yard less attractive. Prune your trees and clear the shrubs.
  • Block entrances and openings around your yard.

How To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Garden?

The garden is where many people raise their vegetables and fruits such as cabbages and tomatoes for family consumption. Your kitchen should be clean and the soil healthy so that you get quality vegetables and fruits, but it only takes the presence of possums to turn the whole place into a disorganized and unhealthy place.

Possums are agile and adaptable and can reach any garden plant if left undeterred. Possums are not picky, and when you expect them to eat pests and rodents in your garden, you will wake up one day and find your favorite tomato tree wiped out.

 While possums can help in keeping pests off your property, they do not know where to stop and can end up causing more harm than good in your garden. Here are some problems possums can cause in your garden.

Why Possums Are Not Good For Your Garden

  • Garden Destruction- As possums forage for food, they often leave a huge mess. They can eat your vegetables and fruits, leaving you with little or nothing. Additionally, they trample on delicate plants. Possums will eat the new growth and remove the buds. Besides weakening garden plants, possums create bare patches, which makes the garden plants vulnerable to diseases.
  • Waste and Bacterial Growth- The number of waste possums produce will shock you. Their feces will leave your garden smelling bad and will invite parasites, and can also lead to disastrous bacterial growth. This affects the quality of your garden plants and vegetables.
  • Property Devaluation– When selling property, a possum infestation must be disclosed to prospective property buyers. If there are possums in your garden, you might find it challenging to make a sale, and when you do, the amount you get will be much lower. 

Ways To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Garden?

Possums are flexible, adept, and effective climbers. Therefore, you need to be creative enough to deter them from getting into the garden to eat your plants and cause more damage. Here are steps to get rid of possums in your garden.

  • Know what to protect in your garden. These pesky critters often like fruit on fruit trees, new plants, and new growth on recently pruned evergreens. Use cloth bags to protect individual fruits and plants. You can also enclose garden beds or use a chicken wire to create a full enclosure.
  • Block all garden entry points. Possums often get into your garden mainly through the eaves and other entry points in the garden, and you need to block these entrances to keep away from possums. Use permanent covers like pieces of wood or anti-bird netting to block the holes. As you do this, make sure the possums are not inside the garden.
  • Deterring Climbing – Make the structures and trees around and inside your garden difficult to climb. Identify structures that possums are using to get into the garden and block them. You could do this with the use of galvanized iron sheets wrapped around posts. This way, possums can’t get a grip with their claws.  Netting around the tree trunk can also help in discouraging possums from climbing the trees.
  • Remove fallen fruits from the garden fruits. When fruits fall into the garden and start to rot, they attract possums into the area. When you remove rotting fruits, possums will find new places to go in search of food.
  • Attach a greasy PVC pipe on top of the fencing. The possums will lack a grip to proceed to your garden and will fall back outside without injury. You should also ensure no points or holes where the possum will cross over to the fence.
  • Applying Possum Deterrents Sprays and Deterrents. Find commercial possum sprays from local stores or shop them conveniently online. Carefully read the instructions on the packaging for safe and effective use of the deterrents.
  • Apply predator urine around your garden. Urine from weasels, foxes, and other similar predators threatens possums and discourages them from staying in the park. You can buy the predator urine from your local store or online.
  • Place noisy deterrents in the garden. The wind chimes, plastic bottles cut in half, and noisy bells can discourage possums from your garden. You can use this temporarily to scare possums, especially when your fruits are almost ripening.
  • You can purchase ultrasonic pest deterrents and use them in your garden. Dogs are also effective deterrents against possums, and if you can keep one or two, possums may disappear from your garden.
  • Use scarecrows. You can use traditional scarecrows or buy fake decoys to scare them off. To boost the effectiveness of scarecrows, hang mirrors near the scarecrow.
Possum Proof Raised Garden Bed With Easy Access

How to Get Rid of Possums Under Decks

You might wonder why a possum would prefer to live under your deck instead of out there in the wild.  Well, if a possum is under your deck, there is probably a plentiful possum food source for them. Possums wander by nature, and you can expect them to leave after a day or two.

 However, if there is plenty of food and the area is secure, the possum may make your underdeck home. While this may seem less of a problem initially, you will soon see why you need to get rid of possums under your deck. 

Why Possums Under Decks Are Dangerous

Possum prefers living under the deck because of the presence of rich food sources. When possums live under the deck, they are a danger to pets, kids, and even adults. If cornered, the possum can bite, and in case you forgot, their jaws are full of sharp pointed teeth, which can cause serious injury.

Ways To Get Rid Of Possums Under The Deck

  • Eliminate the food source under your deck that attracted the pesky animal. Take away garbage and other pet food from out of the deck.
  •  Secure garbage cans and routinely take the garbage to the landfill.
  • Dispose of carcasses of dead pets in sealed garbage or take it far from your home. Possums enjoy carrion, and if there is one around or under your deck, they’ll make the place home.
  • Use Exclusion tactics.  Seal your deck to keep the animal from entering the deck in the first place. Eliminate gaps under your deck using a wire mesh or any other sturdy barrier.
  • Trap the possum from under the deck. Trapping a possum is relatively easy because of their love for scavenging.
  • Trim foliage and dense foliage that may give them cover beneath your deck.
  • Put wadded newspapers into possum holes and put a light dusting of flour around the holes where possums entered the deck. If you see the newspaper pushed out after sunset and there are tracks in the flour, the possum has left, and you can continue preventive measures to keep it off. However, you should check with a flashlight because there might be babies inside before sealing the entry.

How To Get Rid Of Possums Under Your Mobile Home

Your mobile home should be tranquil and free from pests, including the pesky possums, for you and your pets to have peace. However, curious and agile possums may still get into your fenced-in mobile home in search of food. When they do, they steal your pet food and pose a danger to them in case of a fight. 

Furthermore, you want your nights peaceful, and you can’t have that with a possum staying under your mobile home. Possums, once they live under your mobile home, may die, and the foul smell that follows is enough to make you look for somewhere else to live until the carcass is cleared up.

Possum Problems In A Mobile Home

Possums are a nuisance for people looking to enjoy the tranquility that comes with a mobile home.  Possums are problematic in a mobile home because they;

  • Can cause damage to the mobile home
  • Make uncomfortable screeching  noises, especially at night
  • Steal pet food and even human food within their reach.
  • Spread diseases and parasites such as fleas and ticks around the home pose serious health risks to humans and pets.
  • Can attract potentially dangerous animals like foxes to the home

Ways To Get Rid Of Possums From A Mobile Home

  • Identify and block their entry points with steel wool or other similar material. The steel hurts their gums, and they will stop chewing.
  • Do a thorough search of the home for possum babies so that you safely evict the mother and the babies.
  • Eliminate possum food sources in the mobile home by use of garbage cans with tight lids. Dispose of scraps and other left-overs such as grain.
  • Use live traps to safely capture the possum before relocating it to the wild or a safer environment.
  • Keep all animal and bird feeders farther away from the mobile home to discourage possums from coming closer.
  • Make sure the underside of the mobile home is clean and free from trash.
  • Get sufficient lighting in the mobile home to discourage possums from settling on the underside.
  • Get motion-sensing lights and get a weatherproof radio or ultrasonic possum repellent near your mobile home.

How To Get Rid Of Possums In The Garage

Walking into your garage one night or morning and suddenly seeing a bunch of possums would undoubtedly shock you. The possums might be just as scared as you; however, that does not mean that you ignore them.

Why have possums suddenly in your garage anyway? And most importantly, how can you get rid of them in your garage? Getting to know a bit about possums and effective ways to get rid of them allows you to use effective strategies. Once you know you are dealing with possums and what brings them to your garage, it becomes easier to relocate them.

In addition to food sources in the garage, you are likely to see them during cold weather because the garage is warmer. You need to get rid of possums in the garage because of the numerous problems they can cause in the garage.

What Problems Do Possums Cause In The Garage?

  • Make noises at night and disturb your sleep
  • Leave feces that makes your garage smell bad
  • Cause damage to the garage foundation

Ways To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Garage

  • Use a live trap and bait to capture the pesky animal. When you have confirmed the animal is a possum, place the trap in the right place. When setting the trap, wear gloves because possums avoid traps with human scents. Place the bait at the back of the possum trap to increase the chances of making a catch. When you capture the possum, stick to relocation guidelines and safely get it off your garage.
  • Remove food sources from the garage except the one in the trap. Keep your trash cans sealed and store the rest of the food inside.
  • Observe proper sanitation- To prevent possums from getting into your garage, make it clean by removing all the clutter and debris.  Seal the food and water sources in a container and store them in the house.
  • Exclusion- Keep the possums from your garage by sealing all the possible entry points or placing traps at all the possible entry points.

How to Get Rid of Possums in Your Attic

Possums are naturally intimidating to most people, but it may be shocking to enter your attic and find one or two looking at you. A possum will disturb your quality of sleep at night and leave feces that soon smell bad and damage the insulation in the attic. 

Possums looking for shelter are likely to end up in your attic. If there are storage bins or clutter in your attic, you are likely to find possums there. Possums will also occupy crevices and corners in the attic.

Possums are naturally a nuisance but having one in the attic is worse. The possum in the attic is a problem that will:

  • Disturb your sleep.
  • Leave smelly feces and urine in your attic.
  • Damage the insulation in your attic by chewing on them

How To Get Rid Of Possums From Your Attic

  • Use a live trap in the attic areas where it regularly frequents.
  • Flush the animal and seal all possible entrances.
  • Get rid of all the food sources in the attic.
  • Store pet foods inside and seal your garbage bins.
  • Observe proper sanitation to discourage the possums from returning after you have flushed them out.

How To Get Rid Of Possums Naturally

The most practical measure to prevent possums from coming to your property is to make adequate physical changes in the home before you start using chemicals. Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with a possum problem on your property, these natural steps can help you eliminate the pesky pest.

  • Pet Fur – Possums fear predators and any suspicion of predator presence, such as dogs and cats. If you place pet fur around your compound, the fur scent can deter possums. Do not leave your dog or cat outside overnight to scare the possums away because this will endanger both the pet and the possum if they meet and attack each other.
  • Ammonia –Soak ammonia in a rag and place it where possums frequent. The cloth soaked in ammonia releases the ammonia gas into the air and irritates possums seeking shelter elsewhere. Keep your pets from ammonia because it can be toxic as well.
  • Garlic – The taste and scent of garlic may be successful in getting possums off your property. Crush and place garlic cloves in your yard and mix with water. Get the mixture into a spray bottle, ready to be sprayed on places where possums frequent
  • Spicy Peppers –Hot peppers’ taste and scent irritate possums. Mix a cup of water, half a cup of crushed hot peppers, and some dish soap. Spray the mixture around the yard, garden, roof, and attic, and you can scare the possums away from your property.
  • Inspect Your Yard – Carry out a thorough inspection to see where the possum resides and what they might be eating. Look out for accessible possum food sources.
  • Relocate a Nesting Possum – If your inspection will confirm the presence of a possum in the property and they do not leave within a day or two, set a trap and safely relocate them elsewhere.
  • Keep Possums Out – Get rid of possums from the property by applying repellents, using ultrasonic devices, or erecting a fence to discourage entry and reentry of possums into your yard.

What if All These Possum Removal Hacks Don’t Work

Sometimes possums become adamant and seemingly unresponsive to the measures you put into evicting and deterring them from coming to your property. 

When that happens, it is best to call a professional possum removal specialist. The possum removal specialist will inspect your property, yard, garden, attic, and roof to identify where the possums live and recommend practical measures to remove them.

 The good thing about hiring experienced possum removal specialists is that they not only understand what keeps possums around but can also effectively make your property possum-free legally and safely. You only need to engage a reputable possum control company and expect a safer and healthier courtyard.

Conclusion

Possums are scavengers looking for food, and when they find some on your property, they often stay around. They take advantage of space in your roof, attic, garden, and under decks and cause several problems on the property. 

To get rid of them, remove their food sources, and use exclusion and deterrent measures. If possums are still around, look for a reputable possum control company to help you eliminate the pesky scavenging animals.

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