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