Possums are usually harmless creatures, but sometimes they can become a nuisance for homeowners. Whether they are rummaging through trash, causing structural damage, or posing a threat to pets, it’s understandable why you might want to scare them away. However, it’s essential to do so in a humane and legal manner. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore effective strategies to deter possums from your property.
To scare possums away, eliminate their food sources by securing garbage cans and removing pet food at night. Use natural repellents like ammonia, garlic, or mothballs and install motion-activated lights or sprinklers. Block potential dwelling places, grow garlic and onions in your garden, and use predator scents. Commercial products and fencing can also be effective. Always check local regulations before taking action. If possums persist, consider professional pest control services.
Recognizing Possum Activity
Before you can deter possums, you need to identify their presence. Common signs include:
- Damaged building exteriors: Possums can cause damage to your house as they look for entry points.
- Loud noises: Possums make hissing, screeching, and lip-smacking sounds, especially when calling their babies.
- Unpleasant odors: Possums can produce strong smells due to their urine and feces.
- Activity near trash cans: Possums are often found near trash cans, scavenging for food.
- Digging in lawns and flower beds: Possums may dig holes in your garden, attracted by the scent of plants or insects.
Humane Deterrent Methods
Eliminate Food Sources
Remove any potential food sources for possums. Secure garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, bring pet food indoors at night, and pick up fallen fruit from trees.
Use Natural Repellents
Possums dislike strong smells. You can use substances like ammonia, garlic, or mothballs around areas where possums frequent. Consider making a homemade repellent using ingredients like hot peppers, garlic, or onion.
Install Motion-Activated Devices
Motion-activated lights or sprinklers can startle possums, making them feel unsafe and encouraging them to leave your property.
Block Potential Dwelling Places
Seal all possible entrances to your house and install wood or wire mesh skirting to block off exterior gaps. This can deter possums from seeking shelter on your property.
Grow Garlic and Onions
Planting garlic and onions around your garden can deter possums due to their strong scent.
Use Predator Scents
Scatter dog or cat hair around your property. The scent of these animals can scare possums away.
Installing fencing around your garden or yard can prevent possums from entering.
You can also consider commercial products designed to deter possums. Some popular options include Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray, Bonide’s Shot-Gun Repels-All Animal Repellent Spray, and Bird-X Yard Gard Ultrasonic Animal Repeller.
Before implementing any of these methods, it’s crucial to check local regulations regarding possums. They are protected in some areas, making it illegal to harm or kill them. If in doubt, consult a professional wildlife control expert.
Persistent Possum Problem
If a possum continues to return despite deterrents, consider hiring a professional pest control service. They can assess the situation and provide a safe, humane, and legal solution.
In conclusion, while possums can be a nuisance, it’s important to remember that they are generally harmless and can even be beneficial by eating pests like ticks and insects. However, if they become a problem on your property, the methods outlined in this guide can help you deter them effectively and humanely.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other plants can deter possums?
Other than garlic and onions, plants such as marigolds, citronella, and lavender can also deter possums due to their strong scent.
Are there any other noises that can scare possums away?
Yes, possums are also known to be frightened by high-frequency noises. Therefore, ultrasonic devices can be effective in scaring them away.
Can possums spread diseases?
While possums can carry various parasites and diseases, the risk of transmission to humans is relatively low. However, it’s always a good idea to prevent direct contact with them and keep pets away.
Are possums nocturnal?
Yes, possums are primarily nocturnal creatures. This means they are most active during the night and sleep during the day.
What should I do if I find a baby possum on my property?
If you find a baby possum, it’s best to leave it alone as the mother is likely nearby. If the baby is injured or the mother doesn’t return, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center.