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Possum in a cage in an attic



12.16.2005 - This was a somewhat typical possum in the attic job. I went to a home to inspect regarding some noises in the attic.  When I got in the attic, it was easy to tell that the culprit was an opossum.  Possum droppings are very distinct.

I inspected the roof and the soffits, and found a very large and easy entry point at one of the eave gaps.  I set some traps right at the hole on the roof, and sure enough, I'd caught two opossums the next morning.  It's rare to get two, but I knew that this meant that I was dealing with a winter denning group.  In the winter here in FL, multiple opossums will gather together to den for the winter.

Because I didn't know how many possums were living in the attic, nor whether they'd all go outside or not, I set additional traps inside the attic.  Sometimes winter possums will stay inside for a very long time.  However, they don't hibernate, and I knew that I could entice them with some nice canned cat food as bait.  The customer was still hearing noises in the attic despite the removal of the two opossums on the roof.

The next morning after setting the cage traps in the attic, the customer heard some clang-clang-clanging from one area of the attic, and when I went up to inspect my trap, I saw the above sight.  I caught a third opossum.  My roof traps didn't catch anything, and the newspaper I'd stuffed in the hole was not touched, so I knew that no animals went in or out that night.

I left a few traps on the roof and in the attic, but there was no more activity.  Three opossums was the total take.  I removed the traps and cleaned up the opossum poop, and sealed that last hole, and now the home is critter-free.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
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The opossum, (Didelphis virginiana) is a nocturnal animal that lives in North America. It is a marsupial, which means that the females give birth to tiny young, who grow in a pouch. These young eventually cling to the mother's back and drop off when they are large enough. Opossums are unique for many reasons. They have opposable thumbs, prehensile tails, 50 teeth, and several other unusual features. They are omnivores who eat almost anything, they have excellent immune systems, and they rarely live more than 2-3 years in the wild. They are most commonly considered a nuisance species when they live in an attic or other structure, such as under a shed, or steal pet food or threaten animals.

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