How to Get Rid of Possums from Your Property | 10 Humane Ways


As human beings, we often find a variety of animals cute, possums being one of them. However, as much as they bring benefits to their existence, these rat-like creatures don’t always conjure positive thoughts, especially when it’s deep into the night, and they are scrounging through your trash can in search of food.

Before you create a misconception thinking that possums are harmful, quick disclaimer, they technically aren’t. If you leave them be and don’t agitate or threaten their existence, they might help you clear out your garbage and keep the insects out of the house.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Geese | 11 Potent & Humane Ways

This article will explore everything you need to know about how to get rid of possums safely and humanely from your property.

Identifying the Possums

Before you even dive head-first into eliminating the possums from your house, the first step is identification.

Many individuals confuse possums (and opossums) with fuzzy-looking cats. The first step to identifying them, especially at night, is by their length. Possums are typically 24-30 inches long, but the highlight is that their tails are 10-12 inches long.

Also, a healthy possum will weigh somewhere between 4-12 pounds. Besides their physical traits and characteristics, one can also identify possums by their droppings, which are typically 1-2 inches long and brown with a smooth surface. In some cases, the droppings might turn yellow due to mold growth.

What are the Signs of Possum Infestation on your Property?

Before you even think about the different ways to eliminate the possums from your property, you have to confirm whether it’s a one-time thing or a full-blown infestation.

Following are a few signs that you are dealing with an infestation:

  • Possums are notorious for inflicting exterior damage, which means that if you notice damage to the exterior of your home, chances are that you have them to blame.
  • Possums are also known for mysteriously stealing pet food from the house, especially cat food. So, if you notice some missing out of the blue, chances are you could have possums around.
  • Possums are vocal creatures, which means that if they feel triggered or threatened, they will not shy away from expressing the same. So, keep your ears peeled for that.
  • If possums end up infiltrating your home, look out for scratches and scuffing on the furniture, especially on softer fabrics like leather and sofa fabric.
  • Possum feces have a powerful and abhorrent odor, which will be very prominent if you have an infestation at or near your home.

These are some signs that your home is likely taken over by the possums. Once you identify a potential infestation, the next step is to remove them from your property ethically.

How to Get Rid of Possums from the Property

Possums are no wonder a nuisance, but they are pretty large creatures with a few positive traits that benefit the environment. So, the last thing you want to do is kill them.

So, when it comes to eliminating them from your property, we have sorted some of the most effective and ethical ways that you can try out for yourself:

1. Use a Rodent-Repellent Spray

Rodent-Repellent Spray

The first and the most commonly used method is to use a store-bought rodent repellent spray. These are effective and work immediately.

Depending on where these creatures frequent the most, spray the repellent along the perimeter of your home, fence, and even around the garden. You should also spray a generous amount in front of the door of your property so they don’t linger around those areas.

2. Remove Access to Food

There are two most common reasons possums are frequenting or living on your property – food and shelter. So, if you are wondering how to get rid of possums, the most effective way is by removing access to food and shelter.

How do you do that? The first factor to consider is the trash can. If you leave, your trash can open and unattended, that’s the first thing you need to change. Opt for a heavy-duty trash can with a lid. Also, never leave food scraps outside your home.

Trash Can
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The next thing you have to target is the dwellings. You have to eliminate any and every form of dwelling place that they might use to live and multiply in number. This includes burrows, attics, walls, sheds, etc. You might even find some under the deck of your home.

3. Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Lawn Sprinkler
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If the possums are making a mess of your garden, one quick trick to eliminate them is using motion-activated sprinklers in your yard or garden. We’d recommend installing them around the perimeter of your home so the possums are scared anywhere they step around your home.

The benefit of using these motion-activated sprinklers is that they act as a deterrent. Once the possum gets drenched multiple times when they try to venture into the lawn or your property, they will never come back.

4. Electronic Repellents

Outdoor Ultrasonic Animal Repeller

The sound of electronic repellents might sound harsh. But, they use ultrasonic waves to mildly shock the animal and keep them out of the property. They don’t inflict long-lasting damage to the animal, so you won’t have to worry about hurting them irreparably.

Some of these repellents even use LED strobes, which are activated when the possums step inside the property. Their working principle is similar to motion-activated sprinklers. Also, most of these are solar-powered, which means that they won’t contribute to your utility bills either.

5. Block Access to the Indoors

It’s one thing having to deal with possums outdoors, and it is an entirely different thing having to deal with their infestation inside your home. To prevent that from happening, you must block access to the entry points to your home, including that of chimneys, vents, and other inlets.

Once the possums enter your home, that’s where the maximum damage happens. So, that’s the first thing you have to secure. Besides these, secure the pet doors if you live somewhere with possums. Since they are pretty great climbers, they will also climb and gain entry into the house.

6. Use Essential Oils

Essential Oils
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Possums aren’t the biggest fans of peppermint oil. Even the slight smell of peppermint oil is enough to keep them away from the property.

So, using a peppermint oil mixture as a deterrent is a safe and humane way to keep possums out of your home. For best results and safety, mix peppermint oil with some water to dilute the essential oil before spraying it around the house, mainly focusing on the garden and the entrance of the homes.

7. Install Tall Fencing

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Although possums are indeed great climbers, installing good-quality fencing around the house with barbed wires on the top is an effective way to keep them out of the property. Since they are semi-arboreal species, they spend a good amount of their time in the trees.

Installing a fence doesn’t guarantee 100% prevention, but with some barbed wires on top, you should be able to keep them out of the property in most cases.

8. Spread Dog or Cat Fur

Possums are very wary of their predators, especially those larger than them. So, one way to keep them out of your property is by spreading dog and cat fur around the areas outside your home where the possums frequent the most.

You can collect the pet hair that your dogs or cat shed and then sprinkle it around the property. The scent of the predator is enough to keep them out of your property.

However, keep your pets from roaming free to deter the possums off your property, mainly because they might encounter wild possums, who are often aggressive.

9. Trap and Release

Live Trap

Live traps are another way to catch and relocate the possums bunking around your home. However, kindly remember that relocating a wild animal like a possum is restricted in some places, so cross-check with your local wildlife authority before taking that step.

As for the trap, you can find several types of them in the local hardware store. Once you buy one, find the spot around the house where the possums are frequenting the most.

Place the trap with some bait to lure the possums into the trap. If you have somehow managed to locate the den of the possums, that’s the best place to keep the trap.

10. Try Natural DIY Methods

The last tip is to try different types of DIY repellents like ammonia and cayenne pepper. These work well, especially with their natural properties.

Cayenne Pepper
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For example, the pungent smell of ammonia is a deterrent, while the sharp and spicy nature of the cayenne is enough to drive the possums out of your property. You’d have to be careful with the places you spray these DIY repellents and ensure that kids or pets don’t frequent those spots.

Besides these, even mothballs work in keeping possums out of your home. The smell is something that possums don’t enjoy at all; hence it’s easier to keep them at arm’s length if you sprinkle a few moth balls around the house.

That’s all you need to know on how to get rid of possums. If they have been wreaking havoc around your property, these are some tips we’ll recommend you pay close attention to. Also, ensure that you are using ethical and humane ways to either prevent them or remove them from your property.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Armadillos | 9 Best Ways

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What will keep possums away?

Possums aren’t the biggest fans of strong smells like ammonia, garlic, peppermint, etc. So, using these as natural deterrents is the best way to keep them away.

What kills possums fast?

The most common way to euthanize possums is by using carbon dioxide gas. However, it isn’t something you should even consider when trying to eliminate them from your property.

Are possums aggressive?

Possums are generally not aggressive if you leave them. However, if you threaten their existence or trigger them in some way, they might become aggressive in self-defense.

Can possums bite?

Possums will generally only bite once instigated. This means that if you hurt them or try to chase them away, they might get agitated and try to bite in defense.

What are possums most scared of?

Besides noxious odors, possums are not the biggest fans of big predators. So, if you want to keep them out of your property, these hacks work.

Are possums scared of humans?

Possums don’t pose any danger to humans or pets. So, unless you are being aggressive towards them, they will mind their own business, looking around for food and shelter. They are typically not very social, so they stay away from human interaction.

Do possums hate the light?

Possums are nocturnal, which means that most of their activity happens during the night. Installing bright lights outside your home is an effective way to keep them out of the property.

Do possums eat rats?

Possums aren’t choosy eaters. They will eat almost anything they come across, including rats, mice, insects, snails, etc. They also feed on vegetables like tomatoes, etc., so keep your garden secure from them.

Do possums have rabies?

Possums don’t carry rabies; if that’s something you are worried about. However, it is still ideal that you don’t mess with them and get bitten in the process.

Will vinegar keep possums away?

Since white vinegar has a very pungent smell, that could be effective in keeping the possums out of the property.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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