Opossums (or, possums) aren’t necessarily dangerous to humans but they can become a nuisance. Opossums will enter your property looking for food, water and shelter, and can leave a trail of fecal matter and even damage in their wake. Opossums have a role in the local environment but on your property, they may become a nuisance.
Are opossums pests?
Opossums can carry many diseases but due to their low body temperature, rabies is rarely a concern. They can be host to diseases like leptospirosis, a bacterial disease which can spread among other animals and humans. Onset clues are flu like symptoms which, left untreated, can develop into organ damage and raspatory complications. Other diseases can include tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease (source).
Diseases are transmitted primarily through feces and urine, so it’s important that cleanup is thorough so as to disinfect all affected areas. Wear gloves or have wildlife professionals perform the required clean-up.
Did you know? Opossums can actually be positive creatures to have around! They may be helpful when it comes to your garden as they eat snails, slugs, insects and sometimes even small rodents.
How to remove opossums
The best method for removing these nuisances from your home and yard is to use a trap to detain them so you can move them off of your property. While you can often find these traps at the local hardware store, it’s advisable to contact a local pest removal service to do the job for you, mostly thanks to the diseases they can carry.
If you do opt to do it yourself you’ll want to bait the trap with fruits like apples, bananas, tomatoes or grapes. Put it out at night because that is when opossums are active and you don’t want to catch squirrels or cats during the day. Once the opossum has been trapped you’ll have to relocate it to a wooded area a fair distance from your home or it will just come back.
Relocation is often illegal, and prevention is key
It may be illegal in your region to relocate wildlife, including opossums, out of their local environment. They may not survive and relocation is inhumane.
The best – humane – solution for ridding your property of opossums is prevention! Follow these tips to make your yard unappealing to them to prevent them from making it their new home.
- Keep tight lids on outdoor garbage cans, and don’t keep them directly outside your house
- Erect fences around your garden and compost areas
- Dig down and install fencing around the base of your deck, shed and any other areas with space underneath it to prevent them from getting under
- Don’t leave pet food outside. If you feed pets outside, be sure to pick up uneaten food daily
If you find you have an opossum getting comfortable in your yard, don’t delay in taking steps to remove it! Here at Regional Wildlife Services we’re ready with trained professionals to help remove the pest in a safe and humane manner!