How To Get Rid Of Opossums

Keep reading, as I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of opossums.

Opossums may be cute and cuddly creatures that help us clear out the garbage and feed on insect pests like ticks. However, having them lurk around your home may be a source of concern for the homeowner.

Opossums also carry several diseases that can be spread, so they need to be gotten rid of.

About Opossums

Opossums have certain benefits to the ecosystem.

They are known for their scavenging and eating habits, which help rid the environment of rodents and other insect pests. Neighborhoods with a high occurrence of opossums are usually clean.

They can also make their way into your home, and that’s when they become a real problem.

Mature opossums can reach a length of 30 to 40 inches (including a tail of about 10 to 12 inches long).

The male species are larger than the females and they can weigh as much as 12 pounds.

They are characterized by their long dark gray/white hair with a black or dark brown underfur.

These creatures are known to carry diseases, some of which include leptospirosis, tularemia, toxoplasmosis, relapsing fever, tuberculosis, and Chagas disease.

Besides diseases, opossums due to their scavenging lifestyle can also carry ticks, mites, and fleas on their bodies.

How To Get Rid Of Opossums

As beneficial as they are to the environment, they can spread diseases to humans and introduce ticks and mites into your home.

Fortunately, there are several steps you could take to get rid of them and control their activities around your home.

I will discuss them below.

Remove Ripe Fruits From Your Garden

Opossums are very active scavengers and they move from one location to the other in search of food. Since they are omnivorous creatures, they can eat fruits too.

If you have any ripe fruits on your garden floor, it will only be a matter of time before they sniff it out and feed on it. One opossum is bad enough, if they are 3 or more in your garden feasting on your ripe fruits, then your home may be the next target.

For this reason, you should pick up any ripe fruits that have fallen to the ground. If you let them there, then you are inviting a group of opossums to your yard.

Over-ripe fruits are even worse since they have a stronger smell. These will be very easy for opossums to sniff out. Be sure to clear your garden of both ripe and over-ripe fruits.

If there is no readily available food for them in your garden, they will have to go somewhere else to look for food.

Keep Pet Food Inside

If you feed your dog or cat outside, then be sure to check on their plate after they are done eating.

If their plates are licked clean, then it may not attract opossums, but if there are any leftovers, then they will equally sniff it out and approach your front porch to eat the leftover pet food.

Leaving leftover pet food to sit out overnight will be worse for you since rodents are more comfortable coming out at night. There might be humans to scare them off during the day, so the nighttime is very convenient for them to roam around your yard.

Cover Up Burrows

If you have had any existing burrows around your yard, then be sure to cover them up to reduce the possum population.

Opossums don’t like digging, they would rather use the burrows dug by other animals to hide or sleep.

All you need is a shovel and some sand mixed with gravel to cover up any existing burrows in your yard.

Be sure to look for burrows under concrete slabs too, as this is a favorite hiding place for opossums.

Keep Your Garbage Bin Empty

While your garbage bins cannot be empty all the time, you should do as much as you can to never let it get full to a point where it becomes a meal source for opossums.

Before the garbage disposal service arrives, you can keep the immediate surroundings of your garbage can clean. When you throw in the trash, make sure none of it spills on the floor. If it does, then sweep it up and throw it back into the can.

Leaving spillages on the floor is another invitation for opossums to scavenge around the garbage can outside.

Always make sure the lid of the garbage can is also tightly seen so the scavengers can’t get in.

Clear Out Bush Piles

Rodents love to move around corners and environments where they can remain concealed. A pile of bushes is a nice hiding place for them.

Always keep your garden area clean and eliminate all the bush piles around.

If you have heaps of dead or decaying wood, then you can expect these creatures to lurk around there too. They don’t mind eating certain insects, and a heap of decaying wood is home to all sorts of insects that opossums can prey on.

General garden and yard cleanliness will go a long way in reducing the opossum population around your yard.

Lock Your Pet Doors At Night

An easy means for opossums to enter your home is the pet door. They may come through it during the day, but rarely. The nighttime is their best chance of getting in since human activity will be low during this period.

Before you go to bed, make sure that your pet door is locked. If it isn’t, opossums can push it open with a simple nudge and they are in.

Generally, opossums move around a lot and don’t stay in the same location for long. However, a mother opossum with babies can decide to spend some extra time in your home.

All she needs to do is find a convenient hiding place for her babies, while she quietly moves around in search of food. Your kitchen store is an ideal place for her to search while you are asleep.

Locking your pet doors at night will limit their access to your home.

Install Window Screens

The pet door isn’t the only means by which they can get into your home, they can also climb through your windows.

Since there are more windows in your home than pet doors, then you should consider securing them to keep opossums out.

A window screen is a simple solution to this. Get one installed per window. Make sure the screen is made of strong and durable materials so the opossums can’t chew through and create holes that they can squeeze through.

Is Trapping A Possum Illegal?

Trapping an opossum is not illegal, however, moving them to another state or county is. You will need a permit to do so.

You can call on your county’s wildlife control agency to handle the removal of an opossum if caught.

How To Trap An Opossum

Since opossums contribute to the cleanliness of their environments, killing them is not allowed. You are allowed to trap them though.

These animals are not cautious of traps and can be easily caught using a box or a cage trap. The traps should be about 10 x 12 x 32 in dimensions to contain the animal. You should place them in areas where they are most likely to be active for quicker results.

You can use different types of food as bait, although certain foods can attract other small animals which are not your targets.

A fish-flavored meal for instance can attract cats, and that is not the animal the trap is intended for.

A better option would be to use whole raw chicken eggs to attract the opossums. You can also use some sliced of bread laced with peanut butter or jam to lure them in.

Other bait options include over-ripe fruits. You can try bananas, grapes, or melons.

There are different types of box or cage traps. They work when the opossum walks in to eat the bait, striking a lever or a string in the process. When they do, the cage door seals shut and they won’t be able to get out.

Remember, the trap must not harm the Opossum, it should only trap them.

The issue with live-trapping is that you’d be left with the problem of dealing with the opossum after its capture. Once again, you can call on a professional wildlife control agency to take it from there.

Can A Pest Control Service Help?

A professional pest control service can help you with opossum control.

If all your preventive or removal tactics fail, then the next best option would be to give the pros a call. They will visit your yard and develop a unique solution to control the opossum population around your yard.


Opossums help rid the environment of smaller rodents and pest insects, but they also carry diseases such as rabies.

Follow the tips in this article to remove them from your yard.

I trust this article on how to get rid of opossums had been helpful.

Take care!

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