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How to Trap a Possum: Picking a Possum Trap

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possum traps

A possum is a medium-sized nocturnal animal with a grayish-white fur, a pointed snout and a naked prehensile tail. With its tail a possum can cling to tree branches or carry small trifles in its nest. It feeds mainly on insects, fruit, fresh meat or carrion. When frightened, this animal can play dead. It adapts easily to a variety of environmental conditions, and once it has found its new home in your yard, field or garden, it will be happy to stay there. The scientists advise using a possum trap to get rid of them, as it is the most humane way to remove possums from your place. Here you will learn who the possums are, how to catch them, what the scientists’ recommendations are and which traps are worth buying.

Table of contents:

What You Should Know Before Trapping Possums

Possums are frequently used as pets. They are not afraid of boxes, cages, traps, so they are fairly easy to catch. Since the animals are pretty nimble and small, it is best to use a fine mesh possum trap. Its doors must be durable enough and should close quickly so that the animal does not have any time to escape.

You’d better start taming a possum no later than it becomes two months old. It should be done very carefully and patiently, as the opossums reciprocate aggression when they encounter it and so in this scenario they will never become a proper pet. Do not get a few animals as they are single by nature and the second living creature would suffer.

If you are not willing to take care of a new pet, and you do not find pleasure in seeing the results of the possums’ night feasting, it is possible to get rid of them. The following can be used for this purpose: a live animal trap, other traps, repellents, guns. However, not all states permit catching or killing possums. Before you make a choice in favor of one or the other way, you should clarify this matter. The most humane method, in our opinion, is to use the Live Animal Traps, the best of which we will describe to you.

Possum Facts: Behavior and Habits.

What Should be Done to Avoid Catching Opossums Later?

Opossums are small animals, their maximum length is 40 inches and they weigh up to 14 pounds. Possums’ natural habitat is wet and dry forests and fields. They prefer to settle near swamps and rivers in abandoned burrows or hollows. They can also settle among piles or in the attics of abandoned houses, in the basements or under houses.

Out in the wild the possums prefer to feed on the insects or carrion, but they never disdain of some fresh meat, fruit or crops. As they settle near people, they begin to eat whatever will find in the garbage cans, piles or they consume pet food.

If you don’t want the possums to settle near you, undertake some preventative measures outlined below to make the possums refrain from entering your place:

  1. Do not leave the garbage cans open;
  2. Animal feed should be removed from the streets at night;
  3. Unnecessary bushes and piles of garbage must be removed from your place;
  4. Lumber must lie tightly at the height of not less than 18 inches from the ground;
  5. If you own a garden, fallen fruit  there should be cleaned up as often as possible;
  6. All available entrances and exits in the house should be sealed, so that the possums have no chance to reach you.

How to Trap a Possum

What Do Entomologists Recommend? 7 Rules of Successful Possum Catching

What should you do if possums actually love your place and irritate you? To rid yourself of unwanted neighborhood you can use: Live Animal Trap, other traps, repellents, guns and simple sticks. Here are some pieces of advice from the scientists to help you to properly trap a possum.

  1. Opossums are nocturnal animals, so it is most efficient to leave possum traps open at night only. The Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia experts claim: “When captured or surprised during daylight, opossums appear stupid and inhibited. They are surprisingly intelligent, however. They rank above dogs in some learning and discrimination tests”.

  2. Don’t use pet food as bait, or else you risk trapping your own or your neighbor’s cat

  3. Try using whole raw chicken eggs or jam or peanut butter spread on a bit of bread. Other baits can include overripe fruit such as grapes, bananas, or melons.

  4. Install a possum trap in such a manner that none of your pets could get trapped. For instance, place it on a tree or lock your pet at home until you catch a possum and remove all the traps.

  5. Since these animals have a very sensitive nose, wear old gloves when setting the trap. When it comes to the new cage-traps, you’d better wash them with water and vinegar to remove oils. Before leaving, mist the area around the trap with a spray bottle containing water and fir needles, or other local aromatic vegetation, to hide human smell.

  6. These animals are rather slow when caught during the day. You can easily approach them and grab them by the tail. If the animal begins to “climb its tail” to reach your hand, lower the animal until it touches the ground. This will distract the opossum and cause it to try to escape by crawling.

  7. If you are sensitive towards the animals, use a live animal trap. They are the most humane and safe way of possum trapping.

The Best Possum Traps

The Best Live Animal Trap to Catch a Possum

Acquiring a high-quality Live Animal Trap, which will allow catching a possum without harming it is the simplest and most humane way of possum trapping. We’ve picked two best traps of all the plenty available on Amazon.com.

Set the trap at possum’s feeding spot or near the nest if you know where it is. Cover the possum trap with some leaves and twigs, set the bait, open the door at night and go about your business. Be sure to check the trap in the morning, so as not to let a trapped animal suffer some extra hours and ensure against its escape.

There are two leading items among the Live Animal Traps: Havahart trap is of better quality, is made in the U.S. and costs ~$50 while OxGord one is cheaper and only costs ~$21.95. Both traps are equipped with the falling door, but the mechanism is fundamentally different. In the Havahart trap the door drops down perpendicularly to the floor, completely blocking the passage while OxGord trap’s door descends at an angle that not only conceals a place in the cell, but also allows the animal (given that it is strong enough) to bend the door and escape.

Havahart 1089 Collapsible One-Door Live Animal Cage Trap for Raccoon, Stray Cat, Groundhog, Opossum, and Armadillos

Live Animal Cage Trap for RaccoonLet’s start with expensive and familiar Havahart trap. What are the advantages of this ~$50 item? It is perfect for catching opossums, raccoons, and other animals of similar size.

It is made of durable galvanized stainless steel. The fine-meshed grid allows you to worry about neither the bait nor the caught animal. A possum won’t be able to get out of it or steal the bait through the bars. The trigger is quite sensitive, so the animal will not be able to leave the cell before the door slams shut. Smoothed edges help prevent injury. Besides, an activating rod is mounted outside the cell, which does not allow the animal to accidentally bend it and make it unfit for further use. The top of the cell is a metal sheet with an attached handle that fully protects you from the trapped animal.

The only complaint the buyers usually have is that the triggering mechanisms breaks regularly making the trap no longer usable. Most often this happens if the animal got bigger than the one for which the cell is intended, or after the trap has been dropped. Be careful and possum trap will serve you for a long time.

Price: ~$50 Check the current price

OxGord Live Animal Trap 32" X 12" X 12" Catch Release Humane Rodent Cage

OxGord Live Animal Trap OxGord is half as expensive, as it only costs from ~$21.95. It is slightly larger and is renowned for its simplicity and ease of use. It is supplied pre-assembled. Like the previous trap, it is safe for the animals as all the edges are smoothed, making sure that the creature raging inside does not get hurt. Transportation handles are also protected. The trap is designed for catching opossums, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, and mink.

The customers’ feedback proves that the buyers like a cheaper trap less because the trapped animals often set themselves free by opening the door. For comparison, 78% of the buyers are happy with the Havahart trap while only 57% are satisfied with the OxGord trap. It is suitable only for small animals as if a big cat or a raccoon gets trapped, they can break down the door closing mechanism and bend the door itself.

When choosing this or that trap, consider the size of the animal to be caught, and whether the trap should be used in the future. Havahart is suitable for frequent use while if you only need to catch one animal, you needn’t spend much money and can do with an OxGord trap.

Price: from ~$21.95 Check the current price

Hunting Dog-Proof Traps

If you live in a state where hunting or catching opossums, then you will find that No. 1 or 1 1/2 leghold traps are also effective.

Hunting Dog-Proof TrapsDuke 1 1/2 Coil Spring Trap for Fox & Mink trap for ~$39.22 (6 pack) is made of stainless steel. It is a platform for the bait and steel-band jaws, which compress and grab a paw or snout of the animal. The moving spring mechanism is also made of steel and is relatively stiff. The chain is attached to a number of staples or can be nailed to a tree, so that the animal could not escape from the trap.

The trap should be set where the animal nests or feeding places presumably are. If you're hunting possums with it, the trap can be installed inside of a fallen tree trunk, on a sloping branch or on the ground.

Price: ~$39.22 (6 pack) Check the current price

For facilitating comparison and choice, as always, refer to the chart below.

Possum Traps Comparison Chart

Photo Product Trap Type Trap Size Price
 Live Animal Cage Trap for Raccoon Havahart 1089 Collapsible One-Door Live Animal Cage Trap Live Animal Trap 31” x 10” x 12”

~$50

OxGord Live Animal Trap OxGord Live Animal Trap Live Animal Trap 32" X 12" X 12"

from ~$21.95

Hunting Dog-Proof Traps  1/2 Dozen (6 PAK) Duke1 1/2 Coil Spring Trap for Fox & Mink Dog proof trap 4.75" 

~$39.22

Do You Need a Possum Catch Permit

Many states require a special permit for capture and killing of the possums. Therefore, to avoid problems and a penalty, make sure your county has no restrictions on killing or capturing possums before committing such actions. For example, in Michigan with a valid state hunting license you can hunt possums all year round. While the California You Department of Fish and Wildlife Regulations prohibit the relocation of the wildlife without written permission from the department. To find out whether euthanasia is legalized in your state, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University web-site.

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