Although opossums are non-aggressive animals, they can become a nuisance around homes and gardens. They will feed on almost any vegetable that is grown in a backyard garden and when they don't eat them they will trample them. These animals will break in just to score a meal and keep coming back. It’s common to find unsecured trash cans rummaged by opossum or pet food stolen. When these animals are frequent visitors to your property, they pose a biohazard both to you and the pets. Determined as they are anyone aiming to control the animals must be patient. Here are a few ways to keep them off your property.
One of the best ways to control opossums is to keep them away from your property. Electric and woven wire fences are erected usually four feet with the top facing outwards to make sure they don’t climb in. An additional three or four inch of electric wire on top is normally very effective. During installation, make sure the wire is buried underground at least a foot to make sure the animal doesn’t dig a burrow to bypass the fence.
Remove food sources around the house
One of the reasons why opossums invade your space is the availability of food. Trash cans provide excellent feeding grounds for these animals. The best way to address this is by securing the trash cans with tight lids. Another easy attractant is pet food that is left outside. Once opossums realize that there is some free meal available, they will sneak into your compound and steal the pet food on a daily basis. To discourage them from coming, make sure all pet food is secured inside the house or in the garage.
Clear the surroundings
If the surrounding area provides good cover for the animals, they may be encouraged to hang around just take advantage of any opportunity for a meal. Tall grass should be mowed down and remove any branches or grass pilings that may be lying around the house.
Opossums will sneak into your house through branches that are leaning towards the house. Trim all the branches that are near the house that may facilitate the animals in sneaking in.
Using live cage traps
With the proper bait, these traps can significantly reduce the populations. They are quite easy to set up and if they are placed in an area frequented by these critters, making a catch on the first night is almost certain. The live cage traps don't kill the opossums but it’s always good to place the trap on a protective padding so that the animal doesn’t damage its paws as it tries to dig.
Once captured, they will be very frustrated and you can place a tennis ball inside the trap to help it vent their frustrations. By the time you come to release it, the opossum will be tired and won’t be troublesome.
Seal any open places
Look out for open spaces that may give way to an invasion and seal them up. Attic vents and chimneys should be covered with some grid screening. If there are any holes in the deck lattices, get them repaired and cover your pet house doors at night. On the foundation vents, make sure that they are well covered with slotted metal vent covers.
Using dog or cat fur
Opossums are afraid of predators and when fur is laid all over the place, they will pick up the scent and think the predator is around. However, after some time they will notice that it’s just a trick and start coming around until you devise another plan. It’s not good to let your pet go after the opossums because they may easily pick up a fight with aggressive ones.
Spread something with potent scent
Opossums will flee from things like garlic, moth balls, and ammonia. Placing crushed garlic clove on areas that possums frequent will deter them. Alternatively, make an ammonia dispenser by pouring small amounts of ammonia into a can and insert a wick then place them in locations you don't want possums to access. Moth balls are also very effective at repelling these animals.
Motion activated sprinklers
This has been found to be very effective in keeping possum away. The beauty of this method is that it is very safe for the possum and they only spray them with water. The sprinkler will be turned on every time a possum goes near it. After some time, it learns to keep off the area.
Opossums have an ecological role to play and they must not be eliminated. Killing them could easily create an imbalance in the ecosystem and cause an influx of pests that are fed on by opossums. When captured in live traps, they should not be killed but rather should be released in a different location.
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