I live in a suburb of Los Angeles and my problem is an opossum that is getting into my bagged trash. I want to know how to get rid of him without killing him. He is very cute, I've seen him face to face several times. But I have a cat so I want to get rid of the opossum.
Vickie from Montebello, CA
Can't you put your trash in a can of some sort? If one 'possum found you, another will, even if you get rid of this guy. (Not to mention dogs, feral cats, raccoons, etc.)
You could purchase or borrow a live trap; but then you have the disposal issue. You could call your local animal control, who can probably help you, but it may mean death to the opossum.
It seems to me that removal of the "bait" is the easiest solution. (03/26/2008)
The only way to get rid of any unwanted visitors is to remove the source of their pleasure, in this case garbage. It should be put in a can of some sort with a tight lid or a concrete block on the lid. The smell should be sealed up as much as possible. (03/26/2008)
Put some ammonia in a spray bottle and mist it over your trash. Nothing will bother it with the ammonia smell on it. My dog used to pull my trash can over and knock the lid off to get to the trash, but since I've been spraying it with ammonia he hasn't touched it. (03/27/2008)
Go to the store and get something made with Fox urine. I've seen products at Menard's, Walmart, etc. Pour it around the garbage cans. That should keep it out. Be warned! This stuff stinks to high heaven, but it works. It's also great for rabbits and deer, too. (03/27/2008)
Try buying some mothballs and placing them around your garbage can. I have not tried this, but have heard that animals hate the smell and it does not harm them. Good Luck!
Editor's Note: Mothballs can be very toxic to animals. Maybe hanging them off the handle of the trash can would keep them out. (03/28/2008)
I don't know about the laws where you live, but in Ohio, animal control "will not" relocate an animal. Even if you use a live trap, they will still put it to sleep. It is illegal for you to trap an animal and release it at a park or other "wild" area. This seems harsh, but the reason is to control the spread of disease in the animal population. If you don't want the critter put to sleep, you'll need to find some way to keep your trash indoors or in a container.
If you must sit out a bag try to take it out on trash morning rather than the night before, especially if it has food in it. When you do put it out, pour ammonia all over it. Also, I have had outdoor cats most of my life and lived in an area with lots of opossums and raccoons. We have never had a problem with our cats getting into scrapes with the wild critters. That said, I would make sure any outdoor cat is current on all shots. (03/28/2008)
Actually you should encourage that possum to hang around. They are very clean, scour the yards for bugs, slugs, spiders, and other things that you want to be rid of. There are some good websites about them.
http://opossum.craton.net/faqs.htm and http://www.opossum.org/
opossum.org, may make you see them in another light.
I have a family of possum in my backyard. They will not bother your cats and of course will defend itself and bite if you or your cat/dog reaches out to grab it. Any animal will. They keep your yard clean, encourage them to hang around. Just make sure you have a good lid on your garbage can. Although it's usually raccoons that will get into those.
The possum I have are very and I mean very slow moving, they don't seem to see to well and are not aggressive. I've been as close at 3 feet from them and they just ignore me. They really are cuties.
Call your local humane society and they should be able to tell you of a pet friendly no kill company that will catch him in a safety trap and take him back to the wild. I personally raised one and she was a doll. They do not and cannot get rabies because their body temperature is too low, so don't be alarmed there. Please help him before someone tries to kill him.
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