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Getting Rid of Opossums

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.


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3 found this helpful
April 29, 2014

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.


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February 23, 20150 found this helpful


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January 14, 2009

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

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July 2, 20100 found this helpful

I'm going to try rat traps. I'll let everyone know if it works.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 5, 20131 found this helpful

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.

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October 7, 20130 found this helpful

I have the same problem but has not killed any of my cats that I have in a 20 by 10 kennel outside. I did see one in their kennel not long ago but it was not a large one. My cats out in the kennel are 14 plus and too old to kill like they did years ago when babies would get in there. I pray someone can give us an anwser.

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October 7, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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0 found this helpful
May 21, 2015

I caught and released, about 3 miles from home, a possum. Can it find its way back here?

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May 22, 20150 found this helpful

It's not likely. I had a nest of eight (yes, eight) possums make their home under my house one year. I managed to trap them one by one in a homemade thingamabob I rigged up and released them all in the same spot a few miles away from our house. (Most of them were about half grown, so I was pretty sure they were a family and I wanted them to be in the same geographical area.) Since it was wooded with a fresh water source nearby I was pretty sure they'd prefer that spot to ours, which was in the middle of a town of 15,000. None came back.

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May 23, 20150 found this helpful

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?

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May 1, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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May 4, 20140 found this helpful

I had one house (in the middle of a small town) that was vacant for a year and a possum set up house keeping in the back yard. When my son started cleaning up the possum would show up every night but generally did not cause a problem as there were no small animals or children around. One night the possum tried to attack my son and he realized she had babies. He called every department in city/county government for assistance or just help in what he should do.

No one could give him any help except to tell him they could/would not help him.

Their advice was to call a private company to catch the possum. He ask how much these companies charge and was informed their charges usually started at 75.00 and went from there according to how long it took them and how many possums they had to catch. Being a humane person my son would not remove the mother and leave the babies so we just waited for 2 months but he continued to clean the yard etc.

At the end of 2 months my son bought a medium size animal trap, put it out at night with bait (not sure what he used) but he did catch the mother possum. He had to buy very thick gloves to even be able to pick up the cage. He finally had to get a friend and they put a pole through the handle and loaded the cage in the back of a pickup truck.

They carried the possum about 25 miles to a government owned wooded area and released her. We kept looking for one of the babies but none ever appeared. We have no idea as to where they went. Your government agencies may help you but I doubt it as they would not accept this possum even in a cage.

Be very careful whatever you do as they can be dangerous!

Possums will definitely catch small animals if they are hungry. It seems Possums usually like to stay in trees and generally come out at night to look for food.

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May 5, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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October 27, 20110 found this helpful

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.

By Terry

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October 28, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

Moth balls do not work.... I am having the same problem an i have tried every thing... An one when its vixen to be that time of the month fir me I have to leave my house because they start surrounding my bedroom in the walls an in the floor. Sniffing an snorting at me.

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February 9, 20080 found this helpful

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?

Wala S.

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January 10, 20100 found this helpful

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

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June 12, 20160 found this helpful

I have one in my bathroom vent and i could never ever even think about keeping one as a pet. They look like huge rats and that's gross but i give u props 4 ur bravery. I've been trying to get someone 2 come out and get it out of the vent. They still haven't came yet and I put in a work order at 5:30a.m this morning. Help please

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May 24, 2011

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

By DennisAndEstelle

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

You can be grateful because they eat snails. They might be pesty in that they will eat pet food left outside and garbage. Please do not hurt them. They mean you no harm.

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June 12, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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0 found this helpful
April 22, 2010

What can I spray on my passion fruit to get rid of possums?

Hardiness Zone: 1

By Jim from Australia

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April 30, 20100 found this helpful

It would be unfair and cruel to take them into another area as they are extremely territorial. Any program I have seen where they rescue possums they always return them to the place they found them. As for deterring them from your fruit - I'm not sure how that would be achieved.

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May 17, 20100 found this helpful

Well I do know now for a fact that possums do kill ducks. And I hate them. I will/am going to do whatever it takes to get rid of this possum under the house. Move, kill, or whatever.

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October 25, 20130 found this helpful

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.

By Lyn

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October 27, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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November 24, 20120 found this helpful

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.


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November 25, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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0 found this helpful
September 13, 2010

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

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September 13, 20100 found this helpful

A live trap is your best bet. Try different bait. My dad just caught a two possum over the past month living under our house with a head of lettuce that was going bad. Remember, a opposum is a scavenger and will eat whatever attracts it's nose.

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September 18, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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December 1, 2011

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.

By pm813

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December 7, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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September 29, 20110 found this helpful

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?

By Pauleen

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October 4, 20110 found this helpful

You should call animal control for your town or county right away. It may be sick and could give rabies to your dog or you. They will probably set a humane trap for it overnight so they can examine it for illness.

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0 found this helpful
August 24, 2010

How do I get rid of possums in our vents without harming the animals or the home?

By Jamie from GA

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August 24, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 24, 20100 found this helpful

I think I have possums in my attic. They are also in my walls. These things are scary because they fight all the time.


April 22, 20100 found this helpful

How do I get rid of possums in my yard?

Hardiness Zone: 10b

By A. Downing from Coral Springs


Getting Rid of Possums

The only thing that has worked for us is to trap them, then take them someplace out in the country, where we release them, away from the homes of others. (01/18/2010)

By susanmajp

Getting Rid of Possums

Hello! They do not harm anyone or the garden. Anyway, you can sprinkle red pepper flakes, as they do not like the spicy scent. You can go further by soaking the flakes in hot water, allow to steep, place in spray bottle to spray or sprinkle in the areas you desire. Good Luck! (01/18/2010)


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