How to Get Rid of Possums without Breaking the Law

Gardeners often face annoying disturbances such as the existence of possum. Hence, this article would guide you on how to get rid of possums in safe ways.


The Characteristics

Possums are generally a net good for their native environment because they help to keep insect populations in check. They do occasionally destroy human gardens and farms, for which they may be considered as a pest.

Indeed, this article will provide a complete guide on how to get rid of possums. But before discussing further, it is a good idea to know who your enemy is, that you can take the right action.

Possums are mammals belonging to the Didelphidae family. Its size is only as big as a cat, and many live in the Americas, especially in the United States.

This animal is nocturnal or accustomed to activities at night.

  1. Possum Playing Dead

Playing dead is regarded as an instinctive response from an Opossum, as the prospect of facing danger can send the animal into a temporary shock.
Possum Playing Dead

One of the unique traits of possums is their ability to play dead. When this happens, it will remain motionless with its mouth and eyes open.

Their tongue sticking out would make anyone believe they are not alive.

This behavior is not intentional. When feeling shocked and scared to death, the possum will fall unconscious in that position.

In addition, this animal will discharge a foul-smelling green discharge from the anus. On average, it will wake up after 30 minutes to 6 hours later.

Its slowed breathing will make predators think this mammal is not alive and decide to leave them. As is known, most animals are not interested in preying on carrion.

  1. Marsupials-type

The opossum is the only marsupial, or pouched mammal, that is native to the United States. Much like kangaroos, opossums give birth to relatively undeveloped young that complete development inside the mother's marsupium (pouch) located on her underside between her hind legs.
Possums are Marsupial Mammals

Possums are marsupial mammals that use their body parts to carry and take care of their young.

The mother gives birth to up to 30 cubs the size of a honeybee, which immediately competes for the pouch.

The pouch has 13 nipples for the babies. But only the fastest to arrive will generally survive.

They will be there for 2-2.5 months before finally being able to walk out and climb onto their mother’s back. Possum chicks will usually be free from their mothers after 4-5 months of age.

  1. Way of life

Opossums are omnivores; they eat just about anything including fruits, nuts, grains, insects, slugs, snakes, frogs, birds, eggs, shellfish, mice and carrion.
Possums are Omnivores

These animals, also known as possums, are omnivores that eat fruits, seeds, insects, and carrion. But one of their favorite foods is persimmon.

Because they are nocturnal animals, possums are rarely appeared during the day except when it is difficult to get food.

While looking for some foods, they usually hang by the tail as their hands grab the food.

Regarding housing, these animals never build their nests. Possums prefer to inhabit the nests of other animals that are not used or live in rock cavities or trees and woodpiles.

  1. Immune to Snake Poison

These guys are resistant to snake venom because a protein in their blood binds to the toxins and neutralizes them.
There is Type of Possum that Resistant to Venom

There is one type of possum that is resistant to venom, namely the Virginia species. Although snakes are one of the main predators of this animal, they will not die just from being bitten.

Its body has an antidote to the poison that prevents them from poisoning. For this type of possum, snakes are a very nutritious snack for their young.

Dealing with Possum Problem

Once you’ve made sure that you are dealing with an opossum, there are several ways to coax it out, including using a trap or hiring a pest management professional. Removing an opossum can be challenging, and the best way to control this population is through preventive measures.
Dealing with Possums

The possum’s appearance is adorable and does not look dangerous. However, its existence can be a big problem for gardeners or anyone with livestock.

When you leave the gardens and cattle unattended at night, possums will come to forage for food. They will eat anything until your beautiful plants are messy.

In addition, they also cause damage by trampling plants. Not to mention, small animals like chicks are their favorite prey.

The problem is, these animals also reproduce very quickly. Therefore, if you do not deal with them soon, they will become very troublesome pests.

How to Get Rid of Opossum

The best defense, however, is making the area less appealing to opossums. Overgrown trees and shrubs should be pruned. Brush piles and similar debris should be removed. Fallen fruit from trees should be kept clean.
Get Rid of Opossum

Catching possums is not difficult because they are very easily attracted to bait such as food, piles of goods, lush grass, and many more. But the problem is how to treat them after being arrested.

Generally, the government imposes a ban on killing these animals, although this may vary from region to region.

However, instead of capturing or killing, most people prefer to chase him away. This is how to get rid of possums:

  1. Using Repellent

Add this solution to a spray bottle and spray directly on your plants or in areas where you've seen opossums. The pests will avoid both the smell and taste of the mixture.
Use Repellent to Get Rid Opposums

The easy answer to how to get rid of possums is to use a repellent that works instantly without hurting the animal.

  • How to Get Rid of Possums by Chemicals

Several chemical repellents are on the market, generally in the form of granules or a spray. They use odor to keep opossums out and smell as bad to people as they do to animals. Because of this, they are best used at the perimeter of your yard and away from your house.
Get Rid Possums with Chemicals

Chemical repellents generally use the urine of predatory possums, such as fox, wolf, and others as the ingredients. Some products provide a mixture of others, but there is also the pure one.

It is one of the best ways of how to get rid of possums from your area effectively. No need to be on guard anymore at night to catch those little creatures.

This product is also divided into several forms, ranging from easy-to-use and non-toxic granules such as Shake-Away. This method is quite effective, but it may create a dusty impression.

You can also use a spray-type repellent like Red Fox Urine. This product does not contain any chemicals other than urine, and you can use it on areas where the possum might enter.

However, the use of these materials may also bring some disadvantages. Generally, these materials have a pungent and disturbing odor. Thereupon, remember to wear gloves while using them.

In addition, most chemical repellents are also not waterproof. During the rainy season, it is difficult to make the granules or spray last long; the flow of water will remove them quickly.

If you are facing both problems, try using Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 Animal Repellent. This product has a water-resistant texture.

In addition, there is a mixture of other chemicals that disguise the smell.

  • How to Get Rid of Possums by Electronic Repellents

Some homeowners have noted an immediate effect at first, but over time the rodent problem will continue to persist.
Ultrasonic Animal Repellent Solar

If you do not want to be disturbed by the smell of animal urine that makes the atmosphere uncomfortable, you can use a more practical method.

There are several electronic-based products that you might choose.

Predator GuardSolar Powered Predator Deterrent Light is one answer on how to get rid of possums. This tool emits a light that will frighten nocturnal animals from coyotes, wolves, and even bears.

Meanwhile, Hoont Solar Powered Motion Activated Ultrasonic not only emits light, but also ultrasound that you can set in three modes.

Not only possum, but this tool is also effective against other nocturnal animals.

There is an Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler, a device that can release water and scare away any animal that approaches. It detects the presence of animals by infrared light.

  1. Don’t Draw Their Attention

Keep Away from Possums Attention

If you suddenly find the signs of possum in backyard, then there may be a lot of items that catch its eyes. As we discussed above, this mammal likes dense trees, bushes, dirty yards, and others.

Therefore, the best way of how to get rid of possums is to make your place of residence unattractive to them.

Remove trash, fallen fruit, dry leaves, and bushes from the yard. Trees that are too dense can also be their nests.

In addition, possums also like suggestions of other animals or piles of items that may be in your yard. Just keep your residence clean to make it possum-free.

  1. Making a Trap

The traps should be set in locations the animal frequents or where it is causing damage. Fish, canned cat or dog food are good opossum baits. To readily entice the opossum into the trap, use a small trail of bait leading to the trap.
Trapped Possums

We discussed above that trapping is not the best way of how to get rid of possums. But if you have to do it, you should do it carefully to avoid unlawful actions.

Instead of purchasing them at the store, you can make your traps. Make a box with a size of approximately 25 x 31 x 81 cm, and put fruit or whatever catches their attention.

Design it so that the box can close as the possum passes through it. Thus, the creatures cannot get out of it. Then, prepare for taking the next action.

  1. Installing the Fence

Many gardener are using the Electric Fences to keep possums and other pests away from gardens and the like. It is important to note that in this instance, it is far better to choose a pulsating electric fence rather than a constant current style fence.
Electric Fence

If you do not want to risk the arrival of uninvited guests, the only way is to put up a fence.

You can build a wall or barrier with a height of approximately 4 feet (1 meter) and an additional 31 cm of the top.

To be more secure, you can also add electric fencing at the top. Thus, anything that passes over it will get electrocuted.

However, it is not the best answer to how to get rid of possums. You should be careful with children or other people who may approach the fence.

If you do not want to provide electric fencing, then the way to do it is to clean the area around the fence. Make possums uninterested in approaching your garden with a clean and debris-free view.

  1. Protect Your Belongings

Secure pet doors at night, as opossums occasionally enter homes through pet doors. Once inside, they can generally be coaxed outside with a broom.
Protect What most Important

Okay, you may not want to do anything to trap, repel, or kill as your ‘how to get rid of possums’ method. Thus, the easy way is to protect your crops and livestock.

If putting up a fence is too much for you, protect your plants. You should also place the cattle in the shed and lock it securely. Do not leave an opening for possums and other animals to enter.

  1. Calling Officer

Contact animal control officer if you can't handle opposums on your own, maybe this is the fastest and the save way to get the opposums
Call Animal Control Officer

If you do not know what to do and where to buy repellent, there is a handy solution. How to get rid of possums? You can call an animal control officer to solve your problem.

It can be an alternative for areas with strict animal protection regulations. Instead of dealing with the police because you accidentally killed, calling the expert is the right move.


Although opossums are prone to carry parasites and diseases associated with rotten food, the risk of contracting rabies from these misunderstood critters is low. A low body temperature makes rabies extremely rare and even then, opossums are unlikely to attack or even defend themselves from humans or larger animals.
Not All About Opossums are Bad

Those are some tips on how to get rid of possums from your garden. Choose which one is the most suitable. Happy hunting!

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