How to Repel and Scare Possums
Possums, also known as opossums (Didelphis virginiana), can decimate your garden, especially your vegetables and fruit-bearing plants. These cat-sized omnivores eat everything from fruits and veggies to snails and birds. Although the marsupials are generally harmless, you can keep them away from your plants with nontoxic repellents, physical barriers and harmless scare devices.
Simple Scare Tactics
These harmless scare tactics will startle any possums that come into your yard so that they’ll be unlikely to return:
- Tie helium balloons around your yard to sway in the wind and startle the possums away.
- Place pinwheels, found in party supply stores, in the soil around your plants. The pinwheels will spin in the wind.
- Set up an oscillating fan in your garden with an extension cord. Tie a few ribbons to the fan so that they stream out when the fan is running. The sight and sound of the fan should scare the possums away.
- Play a portable radio in your yard. The noise will scare away the possums, but check with your neighbors to ensure that they aren’t disturbed.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Them
Possums can cause serious problems to the people who use to remain peaceful and quite environment. They are very small in size and supple animals that are always in hunt of food. They are nocturnal and used to sleep during the day. You cannot see them, but they used to leave some signs of their presence through mucks, pathways, overturned pet foods, garbage cans, and damage plants. If you found any sign of possums around your house, you need to think about their elimination. Some Possum repellent methods are needed to get free of them rapidly. The main and important issue is that often prevention method fails because they are a minuscule organism and use one’s place for several motives.
1. Cleaning the Location
Cleaning the location includes the removal of unnecessary litter and garbage. One should put all the unnecessary junk like dead leaves, dropped trees and plants into the trash bins and keep them away from the house. Cover all the pet foods and clean the barbecue grill as well. Clean all the fruit on the ground and in trees and collect garbage can and place it in the trash bins.
2. Use Mothballs
Mothballs are unbearable to them as their smell annoy them. You should use mothballs in eliminating the possums as it is the cheapest way. It is designed to keep the possums away from eating any kind of fabric. It can help to make possums empty the closed area such as underneath the sofa and porch.
3. Cover the Vents
Possums can enter through holes, loose ventilators, additional spaces, and chimneys. They can also climb to reach the rooftop. So, you need to cover all the openings towards your house. Block all the unnecessary entry holes with rocks. Sealed all the open spaces, if necessary use the fence of 4-inch long. You can also use the electric fence as well.
4. Cut Down Long Branches of Trees
Make the place unfavorable for them by cutting all the branches of trees and trim the bushes. Remove thick herbaceous border and trees that give entree to the roof. Keep the fresh water and fallen fruits clean. Examine your rooftop and doorway properly, mend all the cracked tubes and pipes, etc.
What about disease?
While it is possible for just about any animal to get rabies, the disease is extremely rare in possums since their body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to thrive.
Possums can and do, however, carry other bacterial diseases, including tuberculosis, spotted fever and tularemia. Additionally, possums could pose a health hazard if they get inside your home and leave behind droppings.
What about children and pets?
As mentioned earlier, it is very unlikely that a possum would ever attack a human or pet, but they will defend themselves if they have to. This is why it is important to teach your children to respect and never harass or try to feed wild animals.
As for pets, a possum is much more likely to be harmed by a dog than the other way around – and since possums and cats are approximately the same size, those animals rarely bother each other.
Possum in the Rafter’s Situation?
It is important to note that any good pest control in your home should involve blocking off the access points that allow these creatures entry into your property.
Possums prefer to live in places like the wall cavities in your roof void and have been found to leave under your house. You should look there first when you are serious about getting rid of possums permanently.
Solving the problem begins with identifying the point of entry. Here are some tips to do so:
- It’s difficult but you need to make an attempt at spotting the creature headed in or out before it becomes dark.
- Follow the droppings and they could lead you to the nest itself.
- Eaves tend to be a commonly used entry-point, check if that’s the case with your home too.
- Check for tree branches that are looming over your roof or home’s structure.
Opossum Problems and Solutions
Problem: There is an opossum in my yard. What do I do?
Solution: Nothing. Leave the opossum alone and enjoy watching wildlife in your own backyard. However, if the opossum is injured or an orphan (less than 7 inches from nose to rump) then contact the Opossum Society of the United States, a local wildlife rehabilitator, a veterinarian, or your local animal shelter for help. Opossums are beneficial eating unwanted pests around your home and garden such as snails, slugs, spiders, cockroaches, rats, mice and snakes. Opossums are free gardeners!
Problem: They make my dog bark!
Solution: A dog will bark at anything it sees or hears. The best thing you can do for the opossums AND your neighbors is to train the dog or keep the dog indoors at night. This will also prevent the dog from injuring or killing an opossum.
Problem: Will an opossum attack my pets?
Solution: In general, opossums are docile, non-aggressive animals and will not attack your pets. They prefer to avoid confrontations. If escape is not possible then the threatened opossum may “play ‘possum”, show its teeth, or bite in self-defense, as any animal would.
Problem: Will an opossum bite my children?
Solution: Children should be taught not to attempt to feed or touch a wild animal. Opossums are nocturnal, that is they sleep during the day and come out at night, so the chance that a small child will come into contact with an opossum is slim. Opossums prefer to sleep in dark, secluded places. If your children are playing in this type of area then there is a greater danger of being bitten by a poisonous spider or snake.
Problem: The opossums eat the fruit off my trees.
Solution: Opossums prefer to eat the rotting fruit that have fallen to the ground. Keep opossums out of trees by cutting branches away from the ground, fences and roof. Cover the trunk with heavy plastic sheets obtained at hardware stores and secure with duct tape. This will prevent the opossums from climbing. A cut-up plastic trash can will work.
Problem: How can I keep opossums out of my home or garage?
Solution: Close all doors, pet doors and unscreened windows before dusk. Put food away so the opossum will not be tempted to enter. If an opossum enters, provide a safe exit route and leave the room.