Opossums are quite adaptable and can thrive near people, munching on vegetable garden produce and nesting under houses and sheds. This is a guide about getting rid of opossums.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
After being woken up at 2:00 am the morning before, I was quoted $389 for removal from a wildlife specialist to trap the things. I did an internet search and found this tip.
I placed ammonia soaked rags in bowls at the entries of crawl space vents in the wall where the opossum was entering the space yesterday afternoon. At 7:44 am this morning, I was woken by a muffled moving sound under my bedroom floor. I got up and went to the family room and spied mother opossum pulling the last of her 10 babies out of the hole in the wall of my home. Babies safely on her back, she lumbered to the backyard fence and disappeared into my neighbors' yard. I promptly blocked all of the holes with aluminum vents with screens, attaching them to wall with Liquid Nails.
Total cost to me? $21.00 for ammonia, painters rags, 6 aluminum vents covers and a tube of Liquid Nails. It will be nice to know no more critters of any sort will get under my house again. Peaceful sleep at night? Priceless.
I tried to catch this guy 3 nights in a row with no success. So last night I put a trail of bread OUTSIDE the cage and then a trail of bread going INSIDE the cage. Well, just like Hansel and Gretel, he followed the bread crumbs all the way into the cage far enough to trip the door closed. This morning, I took him over to the woods about 3 miles away from my house and let him go. I hope he doesn't find his way back any time soon. Here is a photo of him and I don't think he looks very happy, do you?
By Florida Gal from Spring Hill, FL
Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!
Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Opossums.
How can I get rid of the huge mom possum that lives in my pine tree? It killed 2 of my cats. It's as big as a dog! I had 3 outdoor cats when I bought my townhome. It's in a historical area and I am next to a field, that's lovely. The neighbors and I took the stray cats under our wing; they were good mousers and mole killers. I give them food, shelter, shots, etc. But this spring one cried every night to come in. I never saw it so scared. Soon I found out why. I saw what I thought was an average possum and I thought ran it off. Wrong. The last two cats were maimed so badly (leg and tails) literally chewed off. I later saw the monster mama. I have 1 cat left. I can't bring him inside. I have a cat that has never lived outside, etc. How do I get rid of all opossums without running off the kitty?
By Molley H.
You will have to either set a trap/cage yourself to catch it and then call the animal control to pick it up, or call them to do it, if they will. You can buy the trap/cage at hardware stores or a garden/pet stors. Hope this helps.
We have opossums in our roof, and we don't know how to get rid of them. Can you please advise, because we can't sleep at night?
While riding my harley down a road I never had been on before I saw a possum that had been hit by a car. As I drove slowly by it because I cant stand to see any animal die or suffer I saw something about 2 1/2 - 3 inches on top of her. I turned my bike around and saw it was a baby trying to get to her mammas teat.
4 Babies that didn't survive laid next to her, so I dug in her pouch and found 5 more babies alive. I put them in my saddlebags and went straight home. Got on the computer and found out how to take care of them so I had 6 little mickey mouse looking babies for 3 1/2 weeks, hand fed, used a warm washcloth to rub their stomachs lightly, this helps digest their food and go poop, (a replacement for their moms licking them to get their stomachs active) then I gave 5 to a wild animals rescue and kept skeeter.
They say they live 2 years but she lived almost 3 1/2. They do not have or get rabies because their blood temperature is to low. Anyways I made her her baby habitat and a little Harley hammock and when she got big we took our big closet took off the doors, I painted a palm tree, we built levels and ramps up to her now adult hammock and she loved it. I could nibble on her ears, kiss her face, she loved me to rub her little feet which are like little human hands. My mom watched her on my weeks vacation and when i came home she grabbed me so tight and made little crying noises.
We would take her to mc donalds for her own hamburger and fries. She loved them. After 3 1/2 years she got cancer so bad I had to have her put to final sleep and that still tears me up to this day. She was my baby and I will always love her. I'm showing a picture now but be sure to check out the contest because I have entered her in that. Here she is, a fat sable teddy bear. Skeeter
I caught and released, about 3 miles from home, a possum. Can it find its way back here?
By joeyv 
We have no possums up here in Canada, so I am interested to know if it comes back as well. Only time will tell, I guess! Although how will you tell if it is the same one, or another one that has moved in?
I had a flashlight on an opossum and it came to me. What do I do? I was outside with a flashlight and I saw what I thought was a big cat, but when I put the light on it, it started to come to me. When I ran to my door it was at the side of the house; it was a opossum and it looked at me.
By Dannilea S.
Possums have extremely bad eye sight, which is why some act aggressively. I used to work at animal services/control, and was told that it was extremely rare for them to have rabies- cats and dogs get rabies far more often than possums. Check your city codes; in some places, it's illegal to catch and release animals such as possums. If not, a trap is the best way to do it.
What can I spray on my passion fruit to get rid of possums?
Hardiness Zone: 1
By Jim from Australia
For those who say cats and opossums don't bother any one or anything, they are wrong. Just saw a opossum kill my new baby kitty right in front of me. Couldn't get to it fast enough. My heart hurts and opossums suck.
Even though we live inside the city in a fully inhabited neighborhood, we seem to have an opossum (and I'm told possibly babies, too) roaming at night. I have not only seen evidence of it (you know what I mean), but I have seen it on the neighbor's porch. What can I do? Thanks for any help.
Dennis in Texas
I leave food scraps out for them myself, and try to catch a glimpse of them feeding. They are harmless to pets and people as well. They don't even carry rabies the way foxes do. I love nature.
Is there a home remedy that doesn't cost a fortune to get rid of possums? I have a family of possums that have made a home under and in the walls of the house. Is there a easy way to run them off, a smell or a chemical they can't handle being around? That is really all I know to put down. Please and thank you.
Moth balls scattered where they enter and leave may help. If they are under the house, throw the moth balls under the house in a circle around this area. It may take a few days, but this works on mice and skunks, too.
My neighbor has an opossum in her house under her garden tub. We have set live traps with no luck. Is there any other way to run it off?
By new prospect tenn from New Prospect, Tn
I had one that kept making my dogs bark at night. No one believed that I had one in the yard so one mornign I saw it on my fench and I went and got my camera and started taking pictures of it with the flash on. It has not come back yet and this was last year.
I have heard chewing on my a/c vents under my mobile home late at night. Could the animal be an opossum? I've seen one on my front porch (not afraid of automatic light on porch) and in the tree over my house.
Yes! We had the same problem last spring. A baby actually got into the house and scared the daylights out of me. We went under the house and sprinkled some moth balls (not a good idea). Got rid of the problem, but created a new one with moth ball smell getting into the house.
I have been raising feral kittens and now they are big cats. In my yard, I noticed one night an opossum and then two opossums. I am very scared now to go out in my yard. I am afraid they will attack me. My question is, how are the cats, there are 4, and the two opossums able to get along? Why aren't the cats claiming their territory? How do I get rid of the opossums.
The cats are probably staying away from the opossum and they aren't messin' with the cats because the kitties are staying away from them. Your best bet is to get (possibly borrow) a live catch trap, catch the critters and take them somewhere far away and let them go. Opossum like rotted food, something with some smell to it is best. If you are scared of the opossum ask someone to clear the trap for you. Depending on where you live "animal control" might empty the trap for you. Normally you have to get an exterminator and they won't be cheap.
I just read that putting mothballs in the garden, inside of a plastic jug with holes in the bottom to keep them dry, will help keep cats out of the garden. So I wonder if that would help with the opossums that get in my yard and eat the cat's food. I have a fence around the yard and wondered about putting the mothballs along the fence. But I don't want to reject my cat.
As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator I am frequently asked about deterrents to wild animals that are safe and will not harm the animals, people and domestic pets. Mothballs (naptha) will usually work for animals that have a keen sense of smell...opossums, deer, mice, skunks, etc. However mothballs can be very dangerous. Even in a container there is a chance of leaching into groundwater, plus they can be poisonous for other animals.
A much safer method would be to clothespin UNUSED fabric softener sheets (the more fragrant the better) to the fence or take a small chunk of Irish Spring Original Scent soap and place it in one of those little drawstring muslin bags that are sold at most feed stores and clothespin it to the fence. You can also secure the sheets or bags to inexpensive bamboo skewers and place them around the perimeter.
These methods will also work well to keep mice, etc. out of sheds, boats or cars being stored, etc.
I have an aggressive possum in my yard that wants to hurt my Pomeranian. At night it screams at me or the dog. It's huge. I only have a small courtyard, so it's quite a problem as it's bigger than the dog. Any Suggestions?
How do I get rid of possums in our vents without harming the animals or the home?
By Jamie from GA
You need to find out where they are entering and exiting your house. Then get a Live Catch Trap and bait it with lettuce or cabbage. Ask around and you may find someone with a trap they can loan you or you can check with your humane society (SPCA) and they might be able to help. Oposum eat just about anything so lettuce or cabbage could be replaced with something else. We had some under the house and put out a trap with a piece of chicken and caught one. We also caught a stray cat and a bunny (with a carrot). But we got 1 adult and 2 baby Opossum as well.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
Do you have any advice in getting rid of mommy opossum and her litter? She has been around off and on for years, but now she has a family and now they come to feed with our cat! I don't want to try to catch her or her litter, very nasty.
Kathryn from Houston, TX
My hubby and I fed the possums and raccoons over a couple of winters in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. The winters were very harsh there and the animals really suffered. We had a feeding platform and camera and folks could log on and see the animals. They were cute but can be ferocious fighters. We bought cheap cat food in bags and fed scraps. One of our greatest memories is when the mama possum "parked" all the babies in a rhododendrun bush and went on about her business. They hung from their tails and waited for her to come back. My advice is that if you want to get rid of them is to not have trash outdoors, don't toss out scraps and change the place where you feed the cat so they can't have access to the food. They will go away if the food source dries up. (09/08/2007)
You could ask around at your church, and borrow a humane cage trap, then have a friend take them out into the country. and yes, the other poster is right, they will not come any more when there is no food. (09/10/2007)
I had one getting into my garage at night. We put a Have-a-Heart trap in the garage and then drove it out to the country to set it free. (09/11/2007)
By Lynn Beth
I just sent this to my sister since she is having problems with groundhogs. I don't know if this will work for opossums but it won't hurt to try.
Natural Groundhog Control
As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator of over 25 years, I am
always explaining natural, non-lethal methods of controlling
Groundhogs (aka woodchucks) are shy burrowers with multiple
entrances to their dens. They dislike strange movement, which
can indicate predators. If the area you want them out of is
enclosed (fenced), place a few inflated beach balls in it.
Wind will cause random movement of the balls. You can also put
two or three Mylar balloons on about a 3' long tether, tied to
a brick or other heavy object, and place them near known den
openings to create movement there. They won't necessarily
leave the area, but will discontinue using that burrow
To keep them out of a garden, fencing must be placed both
above and underground. Otherwise, they'll simply dig under a
fence. The underground portion should be bent into the shape
of a backwards "L" with the bent section down at least a foot
deep. The above ground portion must be at least 3' high. Or
you can use one strand of electric fence, placed 6" above
ground to ensure contact.
Trapping and relocating does not work. Other groundhogs will
simply move into the empty burrows. Also, trapping may be
illegal or can leave babies to starve to death if mom is
more suggestions on natural groundhog control at
We had a similar problem. A family of possums entered thru our pet door late one fall, probably enticed by our cats' food (we had seven) and we couldn't get rid of them. A friend was manager of the local zoo and lent us the Hav-a-hart traps. He was amazed that the possums would enter where cats lived, but they all got along just fine! We didn't catch any possums, but we did catch 7 cats! We then placed the cats' food dishes behind closed doors and the possums finally left. So the advice to keep food sources away from them is wise. Good luck. (09/11/2007)
Why? they eat up all the wood roaches & other insects that used to invade our garage. Opossums get my vote. (09/17/2007)
By Judy M
I saw this on the "Getting Rid of Possums" thread ...
(i)"If an opossum gets into your house or garage, it can be safely trapped by leaning an empty, tall kitchen trash can at a 30-45 degree angle against something the opossum can climb onto. Place cat food or ripe fruit at the bottom of the trash can. The opossum will be able to climb into the trash can but will not be able to get out."(/i)
I gave it a try to get rid of the possum that has been getting under our house every night at 10:30 for the last 2 weeks. This morning at 5am, the unmistakable sound of claws on plastic woke me up. The flashlight confirmed my catch! I set the trash can upright and put a heavy lid on it. Later this morning I will drive him out to some woods far away from the house and turn him loose. Since I don't have a cat, I will give him some more of the cat food I bought for this purpose as a starter meal in his new surroundings. (11/11/2007)
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=88422131" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Getting Rid Of Opossums">
This is the second time in a 3 week period my little Jack Russell terrier woke us up in the middle of the night chasing a possum.
Does anyone have any ideas how we can keep possums from coming in our yard?
What are possums afraid of? And how do I get rid of them?
I had a possum problem where I used to live, and although I can't give you any good suggestions, I can tell you I found out many states have laws about what you can do. We wanted to live trap and relocate it and found our state (IN) only allows you to relocate one 50 feet, which was no help at all. I would check your local laws before acting. (11/08/2009)