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Best known for their habit of playing ‘possum when they are frightened, opossums are interesting animals that are found in many areas of the United States, but in urban and suburban areas these animals can be a real nuisance. They will often be a problem on roads where they will freeze or jump in the air in front of a vehicle, while they can also cause a range of other damage too. There are several ways in which you can deal with an opossum, and you certainly do not need to kill these animals in order to successfully get rid of them from your property.
Problems Caused By Opossums
There are many ways in which opossums can be a nuisance, and one of the main ways is because of their feeding habits, which in urban areas will often include breaking open garbage sacks and finding food scraps that people have thrown away. They will also eat by stealing pet food from certain areas, and can also feed on fallen fruit in gardens that have apple and fruit trees. The other problem they can cause is in terms of damage to property, as they will often build a nest in areas such as beneath decking, under porches and even in the dark areas of sheds and outbuildings.
Trapping An Opossum
When it comes to catching an opossum that is regularly returning to your yard or garden, or nesting in and around your property, as long as you place the cage trap in an appropriate spot where they are active, they aren’t usually too elusive. A mid-sized cage trap will usually be sufficient to catch an opossum, although make sure it is sturdy enough as some opossums may succeed in rolling the trap on to its side while trying to escape. The key to trapping is the bait, and something with a strong smell such as canned fish or cat food can be successful, while opossums are also attracted by sweet fruits such as apples.
Where To Release The Trapped Opossum
Once you have caught the opossum, you will need to transport it at least ten miles away from your property to ensure that it isn’t able to return to the same area to become a nuisance for you again. It is also important to ensure that the opossum you release won’t be a nuisance to other people either, so the best location to release an opossum will be in a rural area that is well away from any other settlements where the animal will become a nuisance. It is also worth considering the transporting of the animal, and putting a tarpaulin or blanket over the trap as you move it will help you to avoid getting bitten or scratched, and will also help to keep the opossum calm as it is being moved.
Making Your Property Less Attractive To Opossums
The truth is that if you are dealing with an opossum that is nesting elsewhere, but visiting your garden, there will usually be factors that are attracting the opossum to your property. The key step here is to deal with potential food sources, which means ensuring that any garbage is kept inside a garbage can either in a shed or garage, and that any pets that you have are fed indoors to prevent the scent of food from attracting an opossum. Another good step is use a composting bin as opposed to a compost heap, while making sure that any spaces beneath decking, porches or sheds aren’t open, otherwise the opossum may try to make its den in these areas of your property.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does opossum removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of opossums - my main opossum removal info guide.
Example opossum trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Opossum job blog - learn from great examples of opossum jobs I've done.