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Possum Control

Opossums are frequently considered a nuisance in and around the garden, mainly when they feed on or trample plants. They can also rummage through garbage cans or “steal” your pets’ food. How to get rid of an opossum can be tricky, but with a bit of perseverance, the backyard possum may be convinced to move elsewhere.

Backyard Possum Control

The best way to combat opossum problems is to understand their habits. While they prefer wooded areas or open fields near streams, they will reside in abandoned burrows; tree crevices; brush piles; or areas beneath steps, decks, and outbuildings.

These animals are also nocturnal, typically active only at night, sleeping throughout the day. This can make it difficult to “see” the intruder attacking your garden. However, they usually leave some telltale signs of their presence through droppings, tracks, overturned pet food dishes or garbage cans, and plant damage. The backyard possum is also considered an omnivore, feeding on fruits, nuts, insects, eggs, and small animals like frogs and mice.

How to Get Rid of an Opossum

Control methods for backyard possums vary, with opossum repellents and trapping commonly used. Fencing is another option.

Opossum repellents. There are numerous products on the market targeted at repelling these wild animals. However, these generally offer little relief. Placing mothballs along your perimeter is occasionally effective, though monthly applications are usually required. Other possum control methods include motion-activated sprinkler systems, which can startle the creatures and frighten them off.

Fencing. The erection of woven wire or electric fencing is sometimes used for possum control. Fencing around garden areas should be at least four feet high, with the top foot or so facing outward, away from the garden to prevent them from climbing over. Adding electric fencing approximately 3-4 inches over the top may also help.

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. Garbage cans should have tight-fitting lids, and pet food should not be left out at night. It is also good to close or block any entrances or openings under or near the home, such as porches, decks, buildings, etc.

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