A possum can be a cute pet or cause serious injuries to your pet while fighting for food. When buying a small possum, you make that choice. But if it is an unwanted guest, you need to decide how to get rid of it before it could do any harm. Making a possum leave if it already has taken a fancy to your place can be quite difficult, but we have learned how to do it. Here you will find out what methods and possum repellents are advised by the scientists.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- Possum Facts to Help You Get Rid of Them Effectively
- 5 Ways to Get Rid of the Opossums as Recommended by the Experts
- Top-7 Best Possum Repellents
Possums tear trash, overturn garbage cans, wound animals and are carriers of many diseases, as they defecate on your neat pathways, lawns and porch, drag moldy stuff into their nest, which can be located under your house or in the attic. Can you imagine the smell?
These tiny animals of a size of an adult cat don’t attack people unless they have rabies. Opossums are nocturnal animals, and they feel most comfortable in the dark. Many homeowners have never seen them move around the yard and its surroundings, but they often find evidence of the animals’ presence in the morning. Litter, broken things, gardens, empty feeder for pets, compost heaps or scattered garbage cans can all signal the opossums’ presence.
- Possums are marsupials and can give birth to 17 pups at a time, but on average they bear 7-10 pups which are still a lot. They mate twice a year. The only advantage is that unlike raccoons and rabbits, opossums are solitary animals, meaning that you should not expect a full-scale invasion of them.
- Rather than building own nests, they occupy ready burrows, nests, furnished them to their liking. If you do not leave spots where these animals can live at your place, they will not stay, and will look for a suitable accommodation elsewhere.
- They have short legs but very functional and slick tail. With it they can climb a tree or steal something. They are perfectly capable of climbing trees, although a metal mesh can become a serious obstacle.
- Possums can cause serious damage to the storage of crops, eat your cattle’s food or birds and sprinkle dry products. Opossums are omnivorous, but they prefer insects, carrion and fruit, they also like sweet corn, just like raccoons. Do not plant it near rivers, swamps or in the woodland.
- Do not throw meat, eggs, fats or oils in the compost heap as they will attract opossums and other scavengers. Do not leave pets’ food and water over night.
- They have a good sense of smell, do not forget to cover up the smell near the trap and rinse thoroughly after its previous use.
Clearing the place and protecting it from repeat opossum infestation can be done in several ways, the choice of which will depend on your skills, the state of residence and the place where the animal has settled.
The most radical method is shooting banned in many states. If you suffer from a possum invasion, no traps or repellents will not save you as the only way out is to completely fence off the site. But if you encounter a single possum, it makes no sense to bother with building a fence as you can trap a couple of individuals or drive them off with chemical repellents.
- Shooting and hunting. The most radical way to get rid of possums is shooting them, but it is banned in many states. If there is no ban on hunting, then hunting the possums will be pretty simple. You need to use a powerful flashlight and walk around the site. An animal, caught in the rays of light, will be disoriented and will freeze for a moment. If you are a good hunter, you will quickly shoot the animal. It may even try to play dead, and in that case you can catch it with your hands as long as you don’t forget the thick gloves.
- Fencing. Regardless of whether you are positive there are possums at your place, before you eliminate them up, you need to protect yourself from the invasion of new ones. Even if you remove a few animals from your place, they can easily come back if there are holes in your fence. So be sure to check your fence for undermining, rotten boards, or other damage. Opossums are good climbers, but no animal will climb over the fence if an electric wire is on top of it. In that case you will only have to control the integrity of the fence.
- Humane traps. Possums are not afraid of the traps, so they are fairly easy to catch. Set the trap on the animal trail or near the place where it feeds. A possum will absentmindedly climb the baited trap and will remain there until you release it. If you do not want to accidentally catch your neighbor's cat, follow the advice of the Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California scientists: «To avoid this possibility, try using whole raw chicken eggs or jam or peanut butter spread on a bit of bread». If you decide to use possum traps, read our review of the Top-3 possum traps that will surely help you catch a possum.
- Lethal traps. These traps can be placed along the fence or on the animal trail. It is quite effective to set these traps in shallow pits, hollow trunks or to arrange closed holes for that, according to the Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia scientists. Make sure you place the bait inside, such as: cheese, rotten meat or fruit.
- Repellents. Possums can be scared off using chemical repellents or naphthalene as well as household ammonia. However, naphthalene, ammonia use is prohibited in most states, as their vapors are poisonous and can penetrate into the building and even poison the soil if they get into it. But fortunately, there are many repellents on the market that are safe for you and your pets.
Repellents affect one of the animal's senses: scent, taste or hearing. Some repellents have a smell that causes fear, as they smell of natural enemy predator urine. The composition of granular and liquid repellents include predators urine, egg powder, castor oil, garlic and soap, as well as products containing capsaicin (hot pepper extract). The electronic repellers on the other hand repel animals with flashing light, sound or water. In our review, we have selected the best possum repellents of all three types.
The Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department scientists give the following instructions on applying the repellents. Contact repellents that operate through odor and taste (pepper, capsaisin) are applied directly to plants. Repellents containing predator urine, i.e. “area repellents” are either applied to plants directly or are applied to a larger surrounding area to create an invisible odor barrier. However, bear in mind that the animals tend to become used to all deterrents after a period of time (that is why they should be regularly changed), and may ignore the deterrents when starving.
Granular Pepper Repellent
Opossums, like many other animals detest like pepper. Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 Animal Repellent, Granular Shaker, for ~$25.92 provides up to 30 days of protection in the territory of up to 300 square feet. It contains ingredients deterring the animals, such as black pepper, peperine and capsaicin. It is easy to use thanks to the adjustable spout that makes it possible to fill it with exactly the quantities required. It is resistant to rain. Another advantage of the product is the smell which will not irritate you meaning that it can be easily scattered around the house. The repellent is safe for children and pets. Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 is suitable for use in basements, barns, cellars, gardens and lawns.
Its action is based on three pillars: the annoying smell for the animals, taste and discomfort caused if the repellent is stepped on. This is an easy to use, efficient and cost-effective repellent.
Price: ~$25.92 Check the current price
Granular Predator Urine Repellent
You will get 28.5 oz fox urine of granules for only ~$15.95. They will scare away not only possums, but also other harmful animals from your place, and neither you nor your pets will suffer from it. Shake-Away is safe for kids and isn’t poisonous. It is 100% natural, and is made of fox urine. It is easy to use, it is enough to scatter the granules around the area you want to protect.
Price: ~$15.95 Check the current price
Liquid Predator Urine Repellent
If you don’t feel like bothering with the granules, go ahead and use another natural possum repellent, namely the Red Fox Urine for ~$12.75. It is natural fox urine, without any chemicals added. To use it, you just need to put in place the sprinkler lid and sprinkle the place where you do not want to see the possums a little. The main thing is to do it while wearing gloves; else you will have a hard time trying to wash off the sharp unpleasant odor. Liquid repellent work poorly when it is raining, so make sure you use them only in sunny weather, when the forecast does not promise protracted rains.
Wolf urine repellents, namely the Wolf urine P-Wick can be an alternative. This ~$27.99 spray will make opossums and other animals think that somewhere there is a hungry wolf, which would like to have them for dinner.
Price of Red Fox Urine: ~$12.75 Check the current price
Price of Wolf urine: ~$27.99 Check the current price
Possums (and other animals) detest light. Predator Guard Solar Powered Predator Deterrent Light Scares Nocturnal Pest Animals Away, imitates predator eyes and repels possums, foxes, deer, wolves, coyotes, bears, owls and many other wild animals.
With its help orchards, vineyards, ponds, sheds, chicken coops, trash cans, houses and lots as well as the campgrounds can be protected from the night attacks. To find out where such a device should be installed, read our “Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light review: why do night animals hate it”
Price: ~$21.99 Check the current price
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler is just as effective. It deters the animals by means of a powerful water jet. When an animal approaches the sprinkler, an infrared motion detector is triggered and it shoots a stream of water, frightening the animal, but not harming it. It's quite a humane way to get rid of pesky animals, not just possums. If the animal is on a tree, a repellent will not work, which significantly saves energy and water consumption.
Also, this method is very advantageous since Orbit 62100 is not idling. When the built-in sensor detects motion in the range of up to 40 feet covering up to 1600 square feet, the water jet is activated and the animal runs away, and the water is immediately blocked. It can also be used for regular watering of the flower beds and lawns. It is possible to customize the working repellent mode to a day, night and 24/7 round the clock mode. And remember, the effectiveness of this tactic may be short-lived (as the animals get used to the sprinkler and are no longer afraid of it), therefore, you should move the sprinkler to new locations regularly. For more information about water repellents refer to our review of “Top-3 The Best Motion Activated Sprinklers”
Price: ~$58.85 Check the current price
Hoont Powerful Solar Battery Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest and Animal Repeller for ~$47.49 has proven to be highly effective and can switch between 3 modes. Its rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars, 86% of Amazon.com customers are satisfied with it. It uses both light and ultrasound, which is very effective against possums.
The ultraviolet motion sensor pinpoints an animal at a distance of 30 feet and activates the repellent. Hoont is suitable for use in the yards, porches, garages, attics, gardens and farms. Its use is pretty simple: take it out of the box, stick into the ground and that's it. The device is powered by batteries that are solar or USB-powered.
Price: ~$47.49 Check the current price
Most effective possum repelling in our opinion consists of combining several repellents simultaneously, such as light, and granular, or liquid; water and ultrasonic. Choose the ways that best fit your needs, and exile possums and other pests from your lot.
Possum Repellents Comparative Chart
Havahart Critter Ridder
Contact repellent, to be applied on ornamental plants, trees or shrubs /
Black pepper, capsaicin
Contact repellent, to be applied on plants in the garden and the lawn /
Wolf Urine Spray
Odor repellent creating an invisible odor barrier /
Red Fox Urine
Odor repellent creating an invisible odor barrier /
Solar powered predator light deterrent. Scares nocturnal pest animals away /
Motion Activated Sprinkler, a non-contact repellent /
Ultrasonic Repellent Hoont
Solar battery powered Ultrasonic and light animal repeller /
Getting Rid Of Opossums In Tight Spaces
A possum can pay a visit to your area not only of curiosity, but having chosen your house to build a nest under it. in that case scare tactics will be different. Wherever the opossum settled, you can eliminate it by using our tips.
How to Get Rid Of Possums in Your Yard
It’s quite simple to get rid of a possum if it took a fancy to your yard as shelter or a source of food. If your state permits possum hunting, it is possible to walk around the yard and shoot the animals a couple of times at night. Since the animals may be rabid, try to aim for their chest, lungs, just above the shoulder, not the head. After that the shot animal needs to be sent for an examination.
As a more humane possum control methods, you can use several treatments: set traps near its feeding places, and scatter granular or pour liquid repellents around the area you want to protect from pests,. These animals will not dare to come close to their former manger, and so they will try to get food from the trap, or else leave your lot for good.
After killing or catching the animals, install a fence, water, light or light-ultrasound barriers to protect your lot from the possums. This is necessary if the invasion of new animals is expected. If the appearance of an opossum was a single case, catching will be enough.
How to Get a Possum Out of Your House
Do you have a pet? Has a possum taken a habit of entering through your pet’s door? To rid yourself of these raids we suggested that you apply granular repellents on the porch area. They do not have such a strong smell as liquid ones, and have a usually quite nice (for a man) smell.
The second method is setting a trap near the porch, to get rid of an unwanted neighbor once and for all. Use fruit bait to avoid catching your cat instead of a possum.
How to Get Rid Of Possums Under House
If a possum showed up under your house, you should by all means force it out. Most likely it got in through a tunnel, which made by some other animal. One of the simplest and most humane ways to eliminate a possum is to set a trap with bait on the exit of the tunnel. The remaining corridors must first be filled.
You should gradually lure the animal into the trap. For several nights lay the bait according to the following pattern:
- on the first night lay it without the trap near the digging ;
- on the second night lay it near the trap;
- on the third night put the bait in the trap threshold;
- and finally, on the fourth night, place the bait in the actual trap.
You can also use predator odor repellent as it will frighten the animal and make it flee. However, usually these repellents have a sharp odor that can penetrate the house.
How to Get Rid Of Possums Naturally
The most natural way of getting rid of possums is by having a dog, preferably a hunting breed. Tags that leave a dog leaves in the yard, on the house and its surroundings will deter not only possums, but also other animals.
You can also follow the scientists’ recipe: mix Cayenne pepper with Tabasco sauce, water and detergent. This compound is a good repellent. You can spray garbage cans and porch with it as it will make the possums leave you alone for the time being or maybe perhaps even forever.