Opossums (or, possums) aren’t necessarily dangerous to humans but they can be quite a nuisance. Opossums will enter your property looking for food, water and shelter, and leave a trail of fecal matter and damage in their wake. Yes, oppossums can be nuisance pests!
Why are opossums a pest?
Opossums can carry many diseases (like rabies) and parasites so it is not safe to try to remove them on your own. They can be host to diseases like rabies, tuberculosis, tularemia, toxoplasmosis and others. They may also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites, and lice which can put other animals at risk as well. These diseases and parasites can be spread to humans and other animals if they scratch or bite when cornered or threatened, and through their feces. These diseases can have some pretty dangerous side effects, so it is important to do everything possible to avoid contracting them.
How to remove opossums
The best method for removing these nuisances from your home and yard is to use a trap to detain them so you can move them to a different location. While you can often find these traps at the local hardware store, it’s advisable to contact a local pest removal service to do the job for you, mostly thanks to the diseases they can carry.
If you do opt to do it yourself you’ll want to bait the trap with fruits like apples, bananas, tomatoes or grapes. Put it out at night because that is when opossums are active and you don’t want to catch squirrels or cats during the day. Once the opossum has been trapped you’ll have to relocate it to a wooded area a fair distance from your home or it will just come back.
Prevention is key
If an opossum isn’t relocated far enough away (there may be limits) it will often continue to return to the same location as it has learned it is one they like. Follow these tips to make your yard unappealing to them to prevent them from making it their new home.
- Keep tight lids on outdoor garbage cans, and don’t keep them directly outside your house
- Erect fences around your garden and compost areas
- Dig down and install fencing around the base of your deck, shed and any other areas with space underneath it to prevent them from getting under
- Don’t leave pet food outside. If you feed pets outside, be sure to pick up uneaten food daily
If you find you have an opossum getting comfortable in your yard, don’t delay in taking steps to remove it! Here at Regional Wildlife Services we’re ready with trained professionals to help remove the pest in a safe and humane manner!