So, you’ve got a problem with possums. And you need to get rid of possums. Nice.
Possums can be the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen, or some folks find them too cute to kill.
They’re relatively quick, smart, agile, and love to eat your garbage.
They’re also relatively large and can destroy your wiring, car, woodwork, and even your house.
They’ll return for food just like a cat, so you need to act quickly before the possum makes it a habit, unless they already did.
But that’s OK too, we’ll figure it out and get rid of them in this tutorial.
Sound good? Let’s get rid of your possum problem – DIY style.
Last updated: 12/30/19.
What do possums look like?
Possums are quite distinctive from other rodents you may find in the yard.
Compared to rats and mice, they’re a lot bigger, have a much longer snout, and a longer tail. They’re the only marsupial native to North America.
They tend to have darker fur, typically silver and black with a hairless prehensile tail that they can use to grapple objects and hang from trees. They’re also decent climbers with their rear pair of legs.
They have pointed ears with large, black eyes.
You’ll often find them only out during the night, but you’ll easily spot activity that they were rummaging or foraging through your yard at night.
You can learn more about them here.
Signs that you have possums
Possums are nighttime creatures, so finding them in the act is difficult. You’ll often find possum droppings, which are about 2-3’ long and look similar to cat or dog feces.
This type of dropping typically shows up where they feed and spend most of their time at during the night time, so you can kind of gauge where to set up your traps and DIY solutions to get rid of possums.
They do have a varied diet, so droppings may not always look the same.
But the shape and size of them will always be similar. They may range in color from brown to black to light orange.
Opossum poop has a shiny, hazy, and film-like appearance, which makes it different from most other pests, like shrews.
You’ll see a “coat” over the feces, which makes it easy to identify possum activity.
Possums and humans
Possums aren’t dangerous by nature, but they will defend themselves when threatened.
They’ll fight your dog or cat over food, and they also can transmit bacteria, parasites, and other diseases to you or your pets directly or indirectly.
They can transmit a disease to your dog, which then can transmit to you. So there’s always a risk of transmission and sanitary risks.
Possums are known to play dead when threatened, where they’ll literally lie on the ground for up to 5 hours in comatose.
During this act, they’ll emit a nasty smell from their body. The possum isn’t actually dead, but will do its best to pretend. So be warned. Don’t be carrying this possum sound because it’ll definitely, magically, spring back to life.
Possums are resistant to rabies and this has been a common concern.
They actually have a much lower body temperature compared to other pests, which makes them resistant towards rabies and other common diseases in the wild.
But, they still carry a ton of paradise and other diseases, so if you get a possum bite, treat it as if you’re infected and seek out medical attention right away.
Are possums destructive?
Possums are actually often mistaken for what they really are
By nature, possums are gentle, non-aggressive, non-destructive, and don’t harm humans or other animals, unless threatened.
They will attempt to defend themselves when they feel threatened, and will also play dead, hiss, growl, and even bite when necessary- especially when cornered.
They eat plants, fruits, and bugs, but not necessary to the point where it’ll destroy your ecosystem.
They’re more of nature’s sanitation engineer where they’ll clean up any excess bugs, ants, and pests. If possible, you should leave them alone and learn to live with them.
Avoid harming them and use natural repellents to get rid of possums rather than harming them. They’re peaceful animals and prefer to not fight when possible.
Possums that get into the house though pose a different story. They can start to damage your belonging, furniture, and property.
This is where you should looking getting rid of them by repelling them. Start with a conservatives approach at first, then transition to a more aggressive approach if needed.
Are possums dangerous?
No. Not by nature.
Again, they’re peaceful creatures and prefer to be left alone.
They’ll show plenty of warning signs when they feel threatened, such as:
When they’re cornered, they may bite. Some will bite even when not cornered.
Don’t ever approach a possum when it’s not necessary as you could end up getting bitten by one.
Do possums come out during the day?
No. Possums are known to be nocturnal creatures, so they come out at night
You may find them during the day if they’re forced to leave their shelter for a reason, but typically you’ll only see them out and about at nighttime.
If they’re hungry or if they’re running from predators, they may be out during the daytime.
But by nature, possums aren’t a pest that comes out during the day. They’re not diurnal rodents.
The majority of possums are nocturnal and are most active during the night.
But there are a few species that will come out during the day. The majority of them will come out from dusk to dawn. When they come out at night, they eat, feed, and forage.
They’re generally come out during the night but you may find them during the daytime, possibly during the summer.
They may be seen when they’re disturbed from their sleeping quarters or looking for food, or possibly looking for new shelter! Don’t let that be your yard, attic, or house and get rid of them before then! Fast!
Do possums come out during the rain?
Yes, possums will come out in the rain.
Though there’s no specific reason for whether they do or not, they’ve been spotted out and about in the rain.
Most possums spend their time in the trees, and only about 17% of their time is on the ground. Because they’re in tree cover, the rain doesn’t really affect them much.
Possums don’t have any specific reason for coming out during the rain. Whether it’s’ raining or not, it doesn’t seem to correlate with their behavior. The rain doesn’t affect whether they make an appearance or not.
If you happen to spot a possum out in the rain, it just may be a consequence.
Can possums climb?
Yes, possums are excellent climbers.
They can climb nearly vertical walls if given enough footing and can easily climb up over your fencing, walls, and house.
This is why they’re often found in attics, as they can easily climb up your house’s edges, eaves, and other areas to grasp and get into your house.
They’re also excellent and agile climbers on trees, barriers, crevices, cracks, roofing, and ledges. If given enough area to slip their paws into, they can climb without issue really.
Baby possums may have trouble climbing and can scratch surfaces they attempted to climb, so if have you scratches everywhere, this could be possum activity.
Demonstrating their climbing ability, here’s a funny clip of a possum climbing a bird feeder:
Is it hard to get rid of possums?
Not with patience and persistence.
You’ll need both in order to focus your efforts and get rid of them for good. Thankfully, possums are relatively easy to catch and relocate.
Possum poop and danger to humans
Of course, with any animal’s feces, they harbor a ton of nasty bacteria.
The problem with possums is that even though they don’t carry diseases directly transmitted to humans from the most part, if you get in contact with possum fecal matter, you could seriously get sick from contact.
Not to mention, they can track in their own feces and then run all over your house, leaving bacteria in every step they take, at night, when you’re asleep.
This is why possums can be dangerous. Even if they don’t give you a disease directly from biting you, they can give you one without you even suspecting it through bacteria.
So be careful of them. Don’t leave out any food. Don’t eat without washing your utensils and plates. If you have a possum in the house, you should treat everything as contaminated until the problem is taken care of.
There’s no being cautious enough from possum poop- that’s for sure. So be clean.
Be safe. And treat all your surfaces as possum-contaminated until you get rid of the possum. Then do an entire household cleaning to be safe.
Is it bad to have possums?
Yes and no.
Possums will gladly do nature’s janitorial work and clean up all pests from your yard. But at the same time, they’ll eat your fruits, veggies, shrubs, plants, flowers, and more. Thus, it’s a tradeoff.
Most people see them as a marsupial pest as they have an unsightly appearance and a bad reputation, and they want to get rid of them from their yard.
This is subjective. If you don’t care for your plants outdoors or you don’t have anything edible.
You can easily let them roam and clean up pests from your garden. If you have pets, that may cause problems as they’ll get into fights
But if you have absolutely no reason to be outside, no pets, and don’t care for your garden, you can actually ignore the possum. Other than the feces they’ll leave behind, there’s no much other damage they’ll do to your yard.
On the other hand, when possums start getting into your shed, basement, or attic, that’s when they become a pest.
Most people won’t tolerate possum activity near their living quarters, or house, so that’s when they want to get rid of the possum.
If you’re on this pest control guide, chances are that you want to get rid of it. So we can stick with that.
Possums aren’t necessarily good or bad to have, and it depends on the subjective thoughts of the person dealing with possums.
Do possums carry diseases?
Rabies and viral diseases are extremely rare in the possum and rarely transferred to humans.
This isn’t something you should be worried about, let alone getting bit by one’s rare enough.
However, if you do happen to get bitten by a possum, seek medical attention to get it checked out. You should do your due diligence at all times.
Do possums kill rats?
Again, possums are gentle by nature and won’t harm most other animals unless threatened.
Rats can definitely be aggressive towards possums, so they may bite or retaliate in response. They’re not good rat hunters if that’s what you plan to use them for.
Possums are slow and terrible at catching rats. And will likely avoid them if possible. So no, they don’t kill rats unless they have to.
Do possums attack humans?
Poops are typically scared of people and will stay away. But that doesn’t mean they won’t attack you.
Possums will bite if provoked, and especially when cornered. They’re typically gentle by nature and peaceful, but may hiss, growl, and bite when trapped. They’re known for playing dead when a possible predator is nearby.
Possousmare omnivores and eat both plant and meat, typically bugs. They cause little damage to the environment and mainly eat pests, bugs, boxelder bugs, snails, slugs, chinch bugs, and plants.
But they’ll also dig through your trash to eat your garbage, scraps, and your pet’s food. They’ll also eat your plants, fruits, and veggies, so it depends on the scale of the destruction and what you want to save from them.
They’re very shy by nature, so they’ll typically avoid humans unless trapped or provoked. This doesn’t mean you should handle them though, as they’ll bite if necessary and could transmit diseases.
Possums and chickens
Possums that get into your coop will eat eggs and even baby chickens. And sometimes they’ll eat adult chickens after killing them.
Chickens like bantams which are small are at risk from possums. Be sure to secure your coop with wire fencing and lock up at nighttime.
Possums will seek out the eggs. During this process, they may fight and kill your roosters, hens, and chicks.
Possums on the roof
If you have possums on your roof, they’re likely looking for shelter or have taken shelter in your house or most likely, your attic.
Possums will climb on the roof of your home, shed, or outhouse as a source of foraging and scavenging when looking for food.
They’ll easily climb on top of your house and are able to get on your roof by using any crevices, edges, or eaves that provide some sort of footing. They can also get on your house by trees or overarching natural “bridges” that give them access.
They won’t naturally stay on top, as there’s minimal coverage from predators. They’re more likely on your roof while looking for shelter or food. And they may be taking shelter in your attic.
If not, you should definitely secure your attic ASAP before they do. As the attic is somewhere every possum would absolutely like to live, especially pregnant adult frame possums.
You can get rid of possums on your roof by placing traps, although this is not practical and dangerous. You can also seal up any footing, trim any trees or bridges, and seal up your attic so they won’t be on your roof.
Possums in the attic
Possums discovered in your attic should be no surprise because the attic makes a perfect nesting place.
Possums are provided a source to hide, comfortable insulation to sleep on, and plenty of space to hide and reside away from humans and other predators.
You can tell when you have a possum problem in your attic by the following signs:
- Noise from their feet running around in the attic
- Odor from droppings coming through the ventilation, walls, or ducts
- Ripped insulations, damaged walls, or droppings
- Trails of footprints
- Cutouts in the housing insulation
- Wall scratches from the babies falling down on failed climb attempts
Listen for sounds
You’ll mostly hear them out and about at night. They’re also very slow when they move, so the footsteps are quiet and you’ll have to listen carefully.
They invade your attic through available vents, ducts, eave gaps, or any other available entry point.
They climb houses easily and also can use nearby trees like a bridge. They’re most often found during the warmer months when they’re looking for shelter. And they’ll be hiding during the winter nestled in your attic.
Possums and diseases
Not to mention possums in your attic will easily lead to the spread of disease from parasites, pathogens, and droppings.
They may also bring in food from the outdoors and other parasitic pests that are living on their skin or hair. This is why you need to get rid of them from the attic ASAP.
Female possums are more likely to take shelter in the attic as they need a place to give birth and shelter their young. The baby possums often cling to the female adult, so you can get rid of all the possums in one go.
Possums typically don’t house together as they’re solitary animals, but during the colder seasons, they may reside together.
Getting rid of them in the attic
To get rid of possums in the attic, you should start with traps, either by DIY possum traps or commercial traps.
You can also remove them manually using a snare pole, but take cautions. Using traps are the easiest way to get rid of them and you can use the traps.
After you trap them and get rid of them, you’ll want to start making sure all the entry points for your attic are blocked from future attempts.
Possums under your mobile home
You can prevent possums from getting under your mobile home by securing it. That’s the most obvious way to do so and most effective.
Do the following to prevent them from getting under your mobile home:
- Build a barrier using brick
- Use fencing to secure your mobile
- Remove any food sources
- Use natural possum repellent
- Use a combination of any technique in this guide and try out different approaches
- Don’t store anything throughout the crawl space under your mobile home and keep it clean
- Remove any leaf litter or debris
Possums in the shed
Possums may be present in your outdoor shed because it provides a safe spot to hide from predators and is close quarters the possum feels safe.
Then again, this would pose a problem for people who have a shed.
To prevent possums from entering your shed, do the following things:
- Secure it at night by locking it up
- Don’t store food or other pets, livestock, or plants inside the shed
- Secure the foundation, walls, and edges
- Lock down garbage cans and remove compost piles
- Trim trees that provide roof access to the shed
- Remove any other food sources
- Seal up the shed for any possible entry, including gaps under the shed
You may also want to use wire fencing or mesh fencing with a solid barrier that’s secure to prevent entry at the base of the shed to them from crawling under the shed.
If you know the possum is getting into your shed, use commercial or DIY possum traps- outlined in this guide. They’re easy to bait and trap, so you can just catch the possum if you can’t fully secure your shed.
Possums may nest and even breed within your shed, and often shed owners state that they like to live beneath the shed. You can prevent this by using traps or securing the base.
Those are the only two ways to get rid of possums living around the shed and to prevent them from getting into your shed in the first place- and for good. So be patient and persistent.
And you’ll have a possum-free shed.
Home remedies to get rid of possums
Here are a few different ways you can get rid of possums naturally using these DIY techniques.
Get rid of possums in the garden
Possums found in the garden are often a mix of problems combined.
Typically, removing the food source will be a good start to rid them. You can start with this and then use a combination of any of the following techniques.
Using a combo to see what works best for your situation usually is the best approach.
Dog or cat hair
You can scatter dog or cat hair in the area where you think possums are showing up.
They’re afraid of these animals as they may mistake them for other predators, so just the presence of dog or cat hair in the area will deter them.
- Brush your dog or cat
- Scatter the hair anywhere you suspect possums to lurk
The smell and presence of the hair will repel and deter possums, especially if the hair is fresh. However, never let your dog or cat roam the yard when possums are around- they may attack your pet.
Ammonia is another possum repellent.
They absolutely are repulsed by ammonia and you can spray this stuff mixed with some water in a 1:1 ratio where you suspect possums are to be found.
Be careful though, as ammonia is harmful and should not be used anywhere humans may be in contact with it or other living things. Treat it like a poison and don’t use it on anything you may ingest or come into contact with it later.
Essential oils are an excellent way to get rid of possums entirely.
Even though they’re scavengers and will seek out trash, leftovers, and garbage, they’re absolutely repelled by the scent of strong peppermint oil or other various oils.
The trick is to use this stuff in areas where you want them to stay away from. Peppermint oil, in particular, is a very strong essential oil that you can buy at any grocery store.
Buy a bottle and just pour somewhere you want possums to avoid. Think of it like a natural possum repellent that’ll keep them away from that area.
The thing to note with essential oils is that they’re very strong and not to be used where you’ll be spending a lot of time in- unless you don’t mind the smell
So if you’re having a possum problem nearby your living room or kitchen, you may want to skip the essential oil approach because this will mean that you’ll have to deal with the smell also.
There’s no wrong way to apply the oil, just pour some in a bottle cap or smear it around the area.
All of the following essential oils are good for possum repellent:
- Peppermint oil
- Lavender oil
- Spearmint oil
You can try mixing them or experimenting with various oils. Sometimes possums get used to a scent and will ignore the oil. When this happens, switch up the oil.
This is a safe, natural, and sometimes organic way to get rid of possums.
Remove access to food
This is probably an obvious one, but possums are here because they know they can get food around your house. Remove all traces of food in your yard- including the following:
- Pet food
- Food scraps
- Wood piles
- Bird food
- Other food for livestock
Possums that are fed by humans will become aggressive over time if you don’t feed them, so don’t do this and remove any sources of food around your home. If there’s no food, they’ll learn about this and avoid visiting your house!
They’re only here for either food or shelter, nothing else. So don’t provide them either of those and they’ll leave.
This may also be another obvious one, but possums will dig through your garbage and compost bins. Be sure to lock them with secure padlocks- any type will do.
You can also use weights, chains, bungee cords, or even just plain rope. They’re not too smart or have the stability to undo secure trash bins, so you should be OK.
Secure your trash cans and compost bins
Be sure that the trash cans and garbage container can’t be knocked over as this will instantly undo any basic fastening you may have on the bin.
Or just get a good lock so that even if knocked over, the lid won’t come off and prevent access to food for the possums.
Feed pets indoors, not outdoors
Feed your dog, cat, or other pet inside your house, not outside!
Feeding them outside even during the day may leave food scraps behind for possums that you’re not aware of.
Also, they may end up getting into fights with the possums if you keep them out there, so when a possum problem arises, keep them fed in your house and away from the yard until the problem is taken care of.
This includes chicken coops and chicken feed, or horse bales, or anything else you may keep outdoors. Either secure it or clean up any scraps. Any accessible is just asking for possums.
The smell of food residue can also lure possums to your house, even after feeding time.
So make a decision:
- If you can’t feed indoors, do it early morning or afternoon so the scent is gone by nighttime. And clean up all scraps.
- If you can feed indoors, then do it indoors.
Remove all traces of food both indoors and outdoors, as the scent may linger outside and a possum can sniff it out to investigate your yard.
Shut your windows and patio doors
This is another biggie- keep your windows, patio doors, and doggie doors secured and shut.
The definite scent from your cooking in the kitchen will hang around outdoors for hours, which may bring possums over to look for food.
It’s also important to secure these entryways as they may wander in after dark. They can easily rip a screen door, so it’s best to just shut everything up securely at night.
If you must keep your door or window ajar, be sure that you’re using strong and secure netting or some kind of barrier to keep possums out of your house!
You want to keep the scents from going out and the possums from coming in!
So be sure to stay critical when doing this and getting rid of the possum problem.
Remove other food sources
This is another obvious one, but the main reason you see possums are for two reasons:
Chances are if you notice them out during the nighttime, they’re looking for food. If you have accessible food nearby, they’ll gladly forage through your yard, outhouse, shed, and even your house so they can eat up.
And they’ll remember to come by again next time.
This is why you need to secure everything where they may get access, such as:
- Trash cans
- Compost bins
- Pet food
- Bird feeders
- And any other sources of edible food.
Remember, possums eat plants, bugs, cigarette beetles, and waste products (and freshly cooked, also). If this food sits around, especially the aroma coming out of your kitchen at night, they’ll be definitely attracted over to your house and scavenge at night.
So not only are the aromas a problem but if they actually find food in the area, they’ll come back for additional servings. So that’s why you need to keep your area free from accessible food for possums.
Possum traps are a dime a dozen and you can find them at any hardware store.
They’re relatively cheap and there are tons of variations. The ones that seem to work best are the ones that use wire cages.
The trap is set to lure the possum in and then the door will shut and lock so it can’t get back out. Do your research. Read some reviews. Choose the one that suits your possum problem.
There are other alternatives, like supersonic sound emitters, smokers, and even natural repellent. If you plan to use a trap, the best way is to stick with the old-fashioned metal cages.
These can be placed wherever you noticed or suspect possum activity. It just needs some kind of bait (aromatic ones work best). And then you just set and forget.
You can place these traps around the attic, in the yard, or wherever else you see possums. After the possum is trapped, call animal control to get rid of the possum for you.
Please be humane after you trap one and do your due diligence.
DIY possum traps
You can also make your own possum traps at home, typically using a large cardboard box with bait.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to make a possum trap at home:
This video demonstrates a DIY possum trap using a commercial pet container (credits to Scoop43):
You’ll want to use something like tuna, fish, marshmallow, pet kibble, or even fruit.
Anything that’s natural and smelly seems to be a possum attractant. Be sure to replace the bait if you don’t catch one though.
They eat leftovers, but even possums will reject food that’s been out for a long time. Also, replacing the bait restores the scent that’ll bring them back to the bait.
Cut, trim, and prune trees
Cutting your trees will prevent a “bridge” for them to get onto your roof.
This will then also prevent them from getting into your attic, assuming they don’t have any other means to climb your household.
Some denser areas have heavy tree foliage, and a possum’s favorite thing is to climb trees as they’re naturally spending most of their time hanging on trees.
Cutting down, thinning, and trimming trees would be the way to go. This means that you’ll be able to secure your household by preventing them from access to higher places.
Always make sure to do this if you want to prevent them from having a way to get into or onto your roof.
You can also do this around your shed, outhouse, etc.
Block vents, one-way doors, decks, pet doors
Securing entry points is probably something that most would do, but you need to be sure you have your vents, one-way doors, and even deck foundations all secured from possum entry.
Using secure measures by adding locks to doors, fencing off vents and air ducts, and blocking off access to your deck by any means (artificial barriers, fencing, etc.) will be a good way to stop them from getting into your house.
This will also stop possums from accessing areas they shouldn’t be, such as pregnant females who are looking for a nesting site.
Be sure to check everywhere and lock it up or secure the entry point:
- Foundation crevices
- Crawl spaces
- Attic entry points
- Pet doors
- Basic access points (doors, windows, garages, patio doors)
Don’t provide a food source
This is one of the most obvious ways to prevent and get rid of possums.
Just by eliminating your place as a source of constant food for them, they’ll learn to avoid your garden because you have nothing to offer. After all, possums aren’t here to make friends with humans or your pets.
They’re often only interested in food or shelter. And if you see them in your garden, chances are they just want to eat your veggies, fruits, plants, or leftovers.
As mentioned previously in this guide, preventing them from accessing food or eliminating any possible source will keep them from foraging your garden.
How to protect your fruits, veggies, and other plants from possums
If you have fruits or veggies, consider protecting them with natural means like possum-proof barrier fencing. Be sure they can’t climb a tree and jump over or squeeze through a crevice somewhere.
You can also directly spray the veggies or fruits with some kind of essential oil that’ll repel them from eating it directly again. Be sure that the oil doesn’t harm the plant though.
- If you have pets, feed them indoors. If this isn’t possible, feed them outdoors them clean up the spills and excess.
- If you have compost or garbage, lock them up and keep them secure.
Keeping possums out
If you have possums hanging around for shelter rather than food, here are some tips on repelling them and keeping them away naturally.
How to keep possums out of your shed:
- Seal up your shed foundation so they can’t nestle under it or dig underground to get inside.
- Be sure they can’t get on top of the shed either- remove any trees or footing on the shed itself.
How to keep possums out of your attic:
- Block any crevices to your attic and clear or seal any possible bridging (from a tree or other point) and any kind of footing they may be used to climb up there.
- Seal up your attic entry points, check vents and chimneys.
How to keep possums out of your house:
- Replace patio screens and window screens.
- Securely lock your home’s doors, windows, pet doors, and patio doors at night.
How to keep possums out of your garden:
- Use a mix of DIY traps
- Use natural repellents such as essential oil
- Use active repellents like motion-evicted lights or sprinklers
- Get rid of any food or water source
- Be sure bird feeders are inaccessible or get rid of them.
- Clear any pet food remnants or feed indoors
- Seal up trash cans and compost bins
- Dry out any bird baths or set up traps around them
- Secure your fruits or veggies, or harvest them daily
How to scare possums away from your house
There are multiple ways to scare possums away from your home.
From security motion sensor lights to motion-activated sprinklers, there are a few things you can do that’ll automatically scare possums away and repel them without you needing to be there.
These are the most effective ways to repel possums, naturally.
You can set up motion-activated lights, AKA pathway lights to scare possums.
The brighter the light, the better the setup.
Get one that’s a spotlight or focused beam rather than a beam that spreads across your yard. The focused beam is a lot brighter and will do a better job to straddle the possum.
After a few times of being scared, they’ll either be repelled or ignore it. This depends on the possum and is worth a try because these lights require no work other than setting them up.
Put them where you think possums are active, such as:
- Hiding places
- Trash bins
- Wood piles
Set the beam to point directly at the possum where you think they’ll enter the area. This way, it’ll shine directly at them and have a better chance of startling them.
You can use sprinklers around your house to scare possums away.
Once you set up a timing frequency for when you think possums are active, this will keep them out. They hate getting soaked, so you can just adjust your sprinkler timer to activate when you think they’re around.
Motion-activated sprinklers are also available and they’re much more effective. The water will startle them when they’re out and about looking for food, and this way, you don’t have it wastewater at night.
They’ll also only sprinkle when motion is detected, so they’re very effective against possums.
Possum proof a house and roof
You can possum-proof your home and roof by applying a lot of these suggestions.
By blocking pathing, sealing crevices and footing, and trimming trees or removing other ways that bridge their access to your home or roof, you can possum-proof your home.
Of course, not getting rid of the food source will keep them roaming around your garden and near your home.
You’ll have to get rid of the food source, whether the food is pet food, fruits, veggies, or something else entirely like leftover garbage. This is the only way to keep them out and away from your home (and room).
Here’s a video demonstrating the process:
Homemade possum poison
There are a few poisons you can make at home that’ll either kill or seriously harm possums.
Please, do not use them unless it’s absolutely necessary in your situation. Always try to trap them first and call animal or pest control to get rid of them.
These are chips of a tree originating from South America. The chips (or bark) of this tree is a common ingredients used amongst many commercial possum repellents.
So if you can get ahold of this bark, you pretty much have the key ingredient used for possum repellents where they charge you crazy amounts for. You can order quassia chips/bark from various online retailers.
- When you receive the bark, heat 4 ounces of the bark for each half-gallon of water over low heat for an hour.
- Eventually, the bark will start making tea as it leaks tannins into your water, which will turn it darker
- After an hour, strain the tea into a spray bottle and add a bit of dish soap.
- Spray this on the fruits or veggies that you suspect possums are eating.
Note that you shouldn’t be spraying this on anything you, your pets, or any other living thing that may be consuming it directly or indirectly later. In other words, don’t spray this stuff on something that someone will be eating later.
This will naturally keep possums away from your plants.
Mothballs and possums
Mothballs have been proven to work as a possum repellent, as they’re unappealing and naturally repulse possums. Use smelly, fragrant mothballs to discourage them from foraging your yard, crawlspace, shed, or other area.
Alternatively, you can use naphthalene crystals to do the same thing. Place them wherever you want to repel possums. Use them accordingly and place enough so that the area smells like mothballs.
The scent will drive them away and keep them out. Note that this may not repel all possums, it really depends on the possum’s habits and characteristics.
Spices to get rid of possums
Possums are also naturally repulsed by spicy mixtures and will keep rodents, pests, and other annoyances out of your garden.
Any kind of mixture that smells strong will work on possums. Some typical mixtures you can make at home are garlic bits and water with a hot pepper like cayenne pepper. Mix it all together and grind up the larger bits until it gets liquified.
You can use a blender to do this. The end product should be some concoction of a very odorous and spicy mixture that should tingle your nose.
You can then spray this where you suspect possums to be present.
You can also use other ingredients to repel them such as:
- Hot mustard
- Ghost peppers
- Dish soap
- Dragon’s breath
- Scotch bonnet
- Carolina Reaper
- Bird’s eye chili
- Tabasco Pepper
- Naga viper pepper
- Trinidad scorpion butch T pepper
- Trinidad moruga scorpion
- Bhut jolokia
What’s the best bait to get rid of possums?
Possums are attracted to anything that highly smelly, such as tuna, fish, garbage, veggies, fresh apples, canned pet food, aniseed oil on bread, strong-smelling meats, oils, peanut butter, and fish paste.
You can try using various foods and seeing what works best to lure and attract the possum.
Or you can use what’s already provided in your garden and figure out what they’re going after. Use more of that and use the food source as a bait.
What bait kills possums?
You can get lethal possum bait at most hardware stores or you can make your own at home.
Again, if you plan to go this route, please avoid it if possible and get rid of the possum humanely with traps.
But if you have no other options, such as animal control locally, you can always trap the possum and drive some distance from your location and relocate the animal.
What will keep possums away?
The best way to repel possums would be to use a combination of various methods outlined in this guide, such as natural essential oils, traps, sprinklers, and other natural ways to get rid of possums.
Since they’re active at night time, it may be difficult to manage for you, which brings in the methodology of using automated means to repel possums.
Again, these are things such as automated sprinklers, motion-sensor lights, and pet hair among other things.
You can also be sure that you get rid of the possum attractant in the first place:
- Removing the source of food
- securing your garden, shed, and attic, and house
- Trimming trees and branches which provide a bridge for them to get onto your home or shed
- These will all come together to help you drive the possum out and prevent future possum problems.
Did you get rid of your possum problem?
Hopefully this guide proved to serve you with just a tidbit of information so you can go into your possum hunt armed with knowledge.
If you’ve had experience with dealing with possums, please leave a comment and share your wisdom.
Or if you’re having problems with a specific possum situation, you can also leave a comment and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP with a solution and my advice.
Thanks for reading!
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.
12 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Possums Naturally (DIY Remedies)”
I have read some ideas about getting rid of possums without hurting them….maybe you could help me with something….my parents have a possum problem and the only thing is a momma cat has had her kittens and she needs to eat so she can feed her babies….I was wondering if the oils would harm the mother cat or make her either stop eating or try to move her babies….my mom has a big heart and she will feed the cats so they won’t go hungry….and my parents are elderly so they can’t go out and do much so I help them….but I don’t live there….so maybe you could help me with this….thanks
I live in my mom basement and i just realized there are possums down there with me. I ain’t sure if its one or more. I have my kitten who lives with me also. How can i clear out the possums without injury to me my kitten or them.
I have found a small bowl with straight ammonia in it keeps possums away. My experience is one confrontation with the ammonia keeps them away allowing my vegetables to grow and produce all season. I use this method for peppers and tomatoes I grow on my patio.
I have been dealing with two possums so far that I have seen on my deck. There coming from a creek behind my neighborhood. I have tried mothballs, ammonia, I shot at one but don’t know if I hit it.i am frustrated with them for there waking me up at night setting my ring camera off 2 to 4 times a night. Theres no food on my deck just a table with six chairs as o I don’t know why there coming on my deck. I have now ordered a cage to catch them and I pray that I do catch them. I called a company and they charge $199 to cstch and $99 to remove. Im a single disabled mother living on a budget i can’t afford that. I do like the things you said. I wish I had found this before I ordered the cage. I will come back and let you know if I catch them.
My mom is 90 yrs old my brother lives with her my brother found 2 possums in a opening going in the basement they had a maintenance man to come clean out the duct work when he heard my brother say it’s some possums in here he ran and left his tools and said he’s not coming back till they say they are gone we call a place they want 500$ they both are on a set income what can they do to get rid of the please and thank you
Had to completely gut and redo my tiny house, from the damage they cause. Never leave your house for any extended length of time.
Cut all the nearby trees, replaced all insulation, had to put up new dryway, after sterilizing the bear boned building. Thousands of dollars in damages.
Have a dog, repel them, nope
have sealed the basement repel them nope. Just caught the baby one who was in my attic. It’s been an ongoing war of wits with them. Neighbors not cleaning their land doesn’t help. Pray for me I am at my wits end.
Dog & cat hat don’t work opossum is actually “living” in my feral cats house. It isn’t afraid of the feral cats we feed.
Solid post, nice work. It Couldnt be written any improved. Reading this post reminds me of my previous boss! He always kept babbling about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty certain he will have a superb read. Thanks for sharing!
Possum is coming up 13 steps every night and pooping on my porch. There is no food on the porch as I very seldom go out there. I am 83 and not happy about this situation but I will try the mothballs and see and the sensor light at the same time, will let you know if it works. Tried putting up a baby gate but did not know that they are excellent climbers.
Possums are cute but when they make your house their home, it becomes a nightmare. They jump to the roof-top from the tree branch in the middle of the night. It happened to me and my wife and we had many sleepless nights. Talking to authorities and real estate did not help and pest control people are so expensive. So, I tried possum trap from https://www.pestrol.com.au/buy-online/possum-trap/. I simply put bait inside the trap and waited for the next morning. It did not work for the first time but I tried again and it worked the second time. I left the possum to a nearby forest.
Thank you for doing this!
Hi, thanks heaps for the advice. I have a family of five common brushtail possums. They’re super cute, and bring their new babies to me for inspection (and strawberries) – plus they eat huntsman spiders BIG BONUS. But one often falls through the hole he’s made in my ceiling and runs around inside. It’ll be really useful to keep him away from the hole. Please bear in mind that Lavender Oil is also toxic to cats! Cheerskmb.