Outdoor PestsWildlife

How To Deter Possums

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Possums, while generally non-aggressive, can cause a nuisance by damaging property, spreading disease, and creating messes while searching for food. Even though they may seem cute and harmless, they can be quite destructive. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to deter possums from your property.


To deter possums, use natural repellents like ammonia, garlic, and mothballs or install motion-activated lights or sprinklers. Remove food sources by securing trash can lids, feeding pets indoors, and picking up fallen fruits. Consider using predator urine or physical barriers like fences or netting. If these methods aren’t enough, contact a professional wildlife removal service. Always handle possums humanely and check with your local authorities for regulations on dealing with possums.

Why Deter Possums?

There are several reasons why homeowners might want to deter possums. These include:

  • Property damage: Possums can cause structural damage to homes by living in wall cavities, roof voids, attics, or basements. They can also destroy gardens and yards while searching for food.
  • Spread of diseases: Although possums are less likely to carry common pet diseases or rabies, they can still spread other diseases.
  • Threat to pets and livestock: Possums can threaten pets and may attack chickens or other small animals.
  • Nuisance: Possums can create a mess by rifling through trash cans and scattering garbage. They can also be noisy, especially at night, disturbing the peace and quality of life for homeowners.
  • Potential harm to children: While possums are generally not aggressive, they may pose a risk to children if they feel threatened.

Effective and Humane Methods for Deterrence

Here are the most effective and humane methods for deterring possums from your property:

  • Natural repellents: Possums dislike the smell of ammonia, garlic, and mothballs. Scatter these substances around areas where possums might hang out.
  • Motion-activated lights or sprinklers: Possums are nocturnal and can be startled by sudden light or water.
  • Remove food sources: Secure trash can lids, feed pets indoors, and pick up fallen fruits from trees.
  • Predator urine: Possums are afraid of foxes and other predators. Spreading fox urine granules around your property can help deter them.
  • Physical barriers: Erect fences, netting, or cages around your garden to prevent possums from accessing your plants.

Remember that these methods may not be 100% effective, and it’s essential to use a combination of them for the best results. If the possum problem persists, consider contacting a professional wildlife removal service to handle the issue humanely and effectively.

Landscaping To Deter Possums

Certain plants and landscaping types can deter possums. For example, Cerastium tomentosum, Hedera helix (English ivy), and Alliums are reportedly unpalatable or toxic to possums. In addition to planting possum-resistant plants, you can also use other methods to deter possums from your garden, such as blocking access to your garden by pruning tree branches and using barriers.

Minimizing Possum Attraction

Possums are attracted to various types of food and garbage, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, insects, small birds, eggs, pet food, and overflowing garbage cans. To minimize attraction, secure garbage cans, remove food sources, maintain your yard, use repellents, and install motion-activated lights or sprinklers.

Identifying Possum Activity and Damage

Signs of possum activity include tracks and droppings, damage to structures, noises, foul odors, damage to landscapes, and unusual pet behavior. If you suspect a possum infestation, act quickly to ensure the safety of both the possums and your property.

Commercially Available Deterrence Products

Several commercial products can effectively deter possums. These include Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray, JahyShow Solar Snake Repeller, Cleanrth TSAR520 Advanced Ultrasonic Animal Repeller, Rodent Repellent Spray, and Yates Possum Repellent Spray.

What To Do If Possums Are Inside Your Home

If you find a possum inside your home, stay calm, create an exit route, close off access to other rooms, guide the possum towards the exit, and use a snare pole or a trap if needed. If you’re not comfortable handling possums, hire a professional wildlife removal service.

Laws and regulations regarding possums vary among states and local authorities. Check with your state and local authorities for specific regulations and options in dealing with possums.

Safe Removal of Possums

To safely remove possums, remove attractants, block entry points, use repellents, live trap, or seek professional help. Always handle possums humanely and take preventive measures to ensure they don’t return.

In conclusion, while possums can be a nuisance, there are numerous effective and humane methods to deter them from your property. By applying these strategies, you can protect your home and garden from damage while ensuring the safety and welfare of these wild creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time of day are possums most active?

Possums are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during the night.

How long can a possum live?

In the wild, possums typically live for about 2 to 4 years. However, in captivity, they can live up to 10 years.

Are possums dangerous to humans?

Generally, possums are not dangerous to humans. They are non-aggressive and prefer to avoid confrontation. However, they can bite or scratch if they feel threatened or cornered. It’s important to remember that while possums are less likely to carry rabies, they can still spread other diseases.

Can possums climb fences?

Yes, possums are excellent climbers. They can easily scale fences, trees, and other structures. This is why physical barriers alone may not be sufficient to deter them.

What should I do if I find a baby possum?

If you find a baby possum, it’s best to leave it alone as the mother is likely nearby. If the baby is injured, seems sick, or is in immediate danger, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator or animal control agency for assistance.

Are possums good for anything?

Yes, despite being a nuisance to homeowners, possums play a vital role in the ecosystem. They help control pests by eating insects, snails, and slugs. They also clean up the environment by consuming dead animals and rotten fruit.

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