Possums are attractive wild animals with a wide variety of skills. They are adept at navigating through tall trees, for instance. It is fun to observe them in their natural environments.
But despite how you might watch them trudging through overhead trees at dusk, they can also be frustratingly damaging pests.
They penetrate our homes, sheds, and backyards to eat the treasured produce from our gardens, leaving our compounds stench-filled with their excrement.
Please note that they only require one essential component for their home: a lush canopy of trees where they may hide and get food—the environment your fruit orchard offers.
When they strike, they can be more of a bother than a delight because of their devouring habits and can decimate a fruit garden in no time. You will probably notice rough edges on leaves and fruits that they have partially eaten.
Possums are fast and creative; nothing is worse than having them overrun a garden overflowing with fruit. But how do you prevent them from entering your yard?
There are ways to keep possums from accessing fruit trees without hurting them, and these include:
- Installing an electric fence.
- Using natural deterrents.
- Adopting a pet predator, etc.
Possums are critters who relish fresh produce as much as we do. They are determined opportunists, so you may need to try several solutions to find a combination that keeps them off your property.
8 Strategies To Keep Possums Away From Fruit Trees
Fruit trees give a bounty harvest and provide the yard with a lovely shade.
Orchards attract possums because of the availability of tasty and ripe fruits that are easy to access.
You need to become creative to avoid a loss of harvest and damage to your property when growing fruits in an area where possums and other hungry animals are present.
This means taking the following actions:
1. Install Mesh Netting
Installing netting over the tree’s canopy is one of the best things you can do to safeguard the fruit.
Possums will find it very challenging to approach the tree to grab the fruit if a mesh netting is in place.
Installing it in a drape-over position will prevent possums from accessing the tree.
To hold everything in place, you can then gather the netting toward the base of the trunk and tie it with plant ties.
Besides protecting your fruits from possums, drape nets will shield your fruit from harmful elements, including hail, high winds, and the sun.
2. Distancing the Trees
If you have not planted your trees, ensure you correctly space them apart, so they don’t grow too close.
Cut the branches touching trees you have planted to prevent possums from jumping from tree to tree.
3. Keep Your Yard Neat
Possums dislike tidy yards because there are no spots for them to hide during the day.
You can maintain a tidy yard by:
I. Eliminating Shelter
Possums will visit your yard to search for food, but they will only stay if they can find shelter. They can cover under heaps of firewood, inside your porch, underneath decks, or in storage sheds.
To remedy this, clean brush piles, store your firewood indoors and shut off your storage shed/porch entries. Use hardware cloth or chicken wire to cover holes, ensuring it is strong enough to keep possums away.
To deter habitation, prune overgrown plants and clear brush piles. Remove any hiding areas by clearing your property of grass and waste. Block any openings and entrance points around your property.
II. Pruning Branches
Possums are expert climbers and will get access to your roof using trees.
Trim tree limbs away from structures and from one another, ensuring the trees are 8 to 10 feet apart.
III. Removing Food Sources
Possums will come to your yard if they can locate a food supply there. This source can be unsealed garbage cans, pet food you keep outside, or fruit that has fallen from your fruit trees.
To deter possums from visiting and settling down, keep your trash in a container with a tight-fitting cover, put your pet food inside the home or in a solid, sealed container, and pick fruit off the ground as soon as it falls.
4. Install a Fence
All possum species are excellent climbers and spend time off the ground. They are semi-arboreal animals that favor living in the trees to living on the ground.
Besides being expert tree climbers, they are adept at scaling buildings and roofs. A higher fence might not be enough to discourage a determined possum and might even give it a different route onto your roof.
Installing an electric fence around your yard is the best step toward protecting your fruits. Your decision to keep these intruders away will reward you with bounty harvests in the future.
5. Adopt a Pet
Possums are naturally wary animals that spend time off the ground to avoid predators. These nocturnal marsupials leave their dens or hollows at night to search for food.
They avoid the ground where predators and other perils lurk by moving across roofs, tree canopies, power wires, and fences.
Domesticated dogs and cats are examples of potential predators. Try having a dog or cat in the garden to scare off possums. A large pet who will not hesitate to alert you in case of any movement is preferable.
Also, you can scatter pet hair around the compound. The scent alone will deter possums from approaching.
6. Use Natural Deterrents
Natural ingredients work just as great to keep possums away, and examples include:
Mothballs work well to keep possums away since their stench is repulsive to these small marsupials.
To deter them, leave mothballs around your compound.
II. Bleach or Ammonia
Possums will flee bleach and ammonia-based environments because of the strong smells of these deterrents.
You can soak rags in ammonia or bleach and then scatter them over your property.
III. Garlic and Onion
You might try growing garlic and onions in your yard to deter possums from your fruit produce.
Possums find the aroma of these vegetables distasteful.
Also, you can scatter scraps of onion or garlic all over your yard or apply garlic strategically.
Spices, especially cayenne and chili peppers, are repulsive to possums. Hot sauce will also harm them. You can scatter chilies in areas with possum activity.
Also, you can prepare a spray by combining these spicy ingredients with water. Spritz this solution generously in your yard.
7. Build Tree Guards
Wrap metal sheets around trunks to prevent possums from climbing on fruit trees from the ground. Use wide metal sheeting collars (60 cm wide and 60 cm above the ground).
Also, you must prune trees so that possums cannot access them from the branches of neighboring trees.
You might need to build a guard that is larger and more robust. Construct one or choose from the off-the-shelf solutions that offer far better protection for your tree.
Also note that the larger the tree guard, the more it can restrict tree access.
8. Use Motion Activated Sprinklers
It may seem like an odd option, but motion-activated sprinklers are excellent techniques to deter possums.
Possum’s vision isn’t the best, especially during the day, so that a quick watery shower may startle them.
Sprinklers won’t hurt them and will keep your lawn looking great.
Motion-activated sprinklers are automatic, and you will have less to think about.
Possums have their place in the wild and should be nowhere near your home. Fresh and ripe fruits attract them, and they will not want to leave your compound once they discover these delicacies.
Finding spoiled/missing fruits when you want to harvest them is discouraging. A recap of the best ways to stop these animals is:
- Using nets.
- Installing sprinklers.
- Fencing the yard.
- Making your yard less inviting.
- Using natural deterrents, etc.
A bountiful fruit harvest and a possum-free garden are all we could ever ask for, and by considering these steps, you will achieve them in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Possum Animals Rodents in Nature?
Rodents and possums are separate species. Both animals are diverse and belong to different animal orders. Possums are marsupials that belong to the animal order Diprotodontia. Rodents are members of the animal order Rodentia.
Possums and rodents also differ in how they reproduce. Possums birth underdeveloped babies that they carry in their pouches. Rodents, in contrast to possums, give birth to fully formed babies.
The development of their teeth is another notable distinction. Possums have 50 teeth that do not grow past a certain point, while rodents maintain constant growth in their teeth.
Do Possums Pose a Threat?
Despite their intimidating appearance, possums behave in a non-aggressive manner. They typically resemble large rodents that immediately open their mouths when threatened.
However, although they have mouths filled with 50 sharp teeth, they are docile creatures. Their toothy show is at odds with how calm they are. They don’t act angrily or attack and pose no serious threat.