How to get rid of possums – Tutorial
Have you ever had an issue with possums in or around your home or in your trash? If so, then you probably know that possums can be one of the most troublesome pests that can linger all around and inside your home, and trying to get rid of them can make you want to pull your hair out. Like many pests, they can be difficult to find if they get inside, they cause the areas around them to smell, they get into any trash or areas where any food is, and they can ruin your flower garden and/or vegetable garden.
Stopping these pests in their tracks safely can be important for not only your sanity but for the health of the possum(s) because they eat ticks, cockroaches, and smaller rodents that can cause more trouble than one or two possums.
With this tutorial, we hope that you will be able to rid yourself of these pests so that you will not have a damaged home, garden, or trash cans.
What you will need to follow this tutorial
There are a few things that you’ll need to both determine if you have possums in or around your home as well as getting rid of them and keeping them away. No matter the extent of your pest problem, here is everything that you may need to find or get rid of them:
- Gardening gloves
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Long pants
- A face mask
- Gardening tools
- Repellents and/or deterrents
A thick pair of work gloves or winter gloves can be a decent substitute if you don’t have a pair of gardening gloves. You can also wear long-sleeved sweatshirts or jackets/coats are also good alternatives if you don’t have a good long-sleeved shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Alternatives to gardening tools
If you don’t have a simple gardening trowel and gardening fork, then you can use a shovel and a rake. As long as they are sturdy enough metal that can get a few inches deep into the dirt and you do not use too much strength, they should still work just as well without digging up too much grass or dirt.
Alternatives to flashlights
If you don’t have a regular flashlight, one of the most common alternatives is a phone-attached flashlight, mostly because of the fact that we’re always carrying phones around. However, if you want to be able to use both of your hands without having to worry about holding a flashlight, then you may want to try using a headlamp.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Cover up and be prepared
When you are searching for possums, covering up can be one of the most important things that you can do to protect yourself. Possums are generally calm and do not care if you walk by, talk, or move around them, but they can become very defensive if they get backed into a corner or feel threatened. One of the most common ways they defend themselves is by biting their possible attacker(s).
While it is pretty rare that possums carry rabies, they still can and do carry other diseases that can affect your health. Wearing thick clothes and work gloves while you’re looking around for them or may come across them can help protect you from a possible bite getting through the skin.
Here is a somewhat gag video on how well work gloves work from Napotnik Welding Supplies, but the video does show and stress that a simple pair of thick work gloves can help save your fingers from even the sharpest of objects.
Before you start your possum purge, you should also make sure you have any tools that you plan on using for any or all of the next steps. It can save time and be more efficient if you check an area for possums and then immediately ‘treat’ that area to prevent them from returning while you’re checking the other troublesome spots.
Step 2: Take a look around the troubled areas
Once you are prepared with some type of light source and your thick clothing, it is time for you to start your game of hide and seek with your pest(s). It can be better to do your searching in the day so that you have the most amount of light to work with.
It may seem a little silly, but you may want to start by searching the entire inside of your house from top to bottom. Possums are pretty clever and can squeeze through holes, poor paneling/siding, or do something as simple and walk through the garage door that was left open for a few minutes without you looking or noticing.
This popular video from The Dodo shows just how some possums can hide in simple places that you look at or go around quite often and still hide there without you noticing right away. True, the video is heartwarming, but the beginning also shows why you should wear thick clothing and have plenty of light when searching because the possum may become defensive quickly.
Generally, they often hide in cool and dark places, meaning attics, closets, basements, and garages are some of the more common places you can find them. Of course, if they have not gotten inside your house yet, they could also be found easily under a porch, in a shed, and in or around any other covered areas on your property. If you notice a certain area where they like to be around, you may want to check around there first.
Step 3: Call pest/animal control
The odds may be pretty high that you will find a possum in or around your home, especially if they have easy access to those areas like a door that’s left open regularly or a hole that hasn’t been sealed for a while. If you do find a possum and it is clear that it is aggressive, you should avoid getting close to it and call animal control.
This video from E. Lectricity can show how possums can be a bit stubborn when it comes to scaring them away from their hiding spots, but they usually just run away, despite the name of the video. Although, if the possum is hissing, appears ill, or tries to bite or scratch at you before you have even had the chance to try and scare it away, you should stay away from it until a professional can determine if it is safe to be around before they can remove it.
Yes, calling a pest removal service or animal control may cost you money, but trying to handle or scare the possum away can be dangerous for you or the animal as they can move pretty fast, meaning you might not have enough time to react if it runs at you instead of away from you.
Step 4: Clean up
Once you have or haven’t found any possums in the area you’re looking in, you will want to start cleaning around that area. If it is an area like a dumpster or around a trash can, then you will probably want to wash the can or dumpster out if you can. As seen in this video from Andrew Jenkins, possums love areas where there’s either food or it is dark and dirty enough for them to be pretty well hidden from predators or us.
For areas inside a building like your home or shed, it is a good idea to keep the floors clear, remove any trash, and mop or scrub the floors if possible. The fresh smell of most cleaners can help to deter them. Even if there are not any trash piles where they can hide it, they will still hide in areas where they think they will be unnoticed like boxes, underneath or in furniture, and sometimes on shelves, too.
In order to keep the outside areas clean, it is a good idea to keep your lawn mowed and weeded, especially around your house, garage, shed, and any other buildings. If they cannot get inside of these buildings, it is actually pretty common for them to lay in tall grass or brush beside them, even more so if you have wood or other messy things that can protect and hide them. It’s during this step that you’ll need your gardening tools.
Step 5: Close off any entrances or holes
One of the easiest ways to prevent any more possums from getting into your house or buildings is by making sure that there are no doors or windows that are left open, especially in areas/rooms like the garage, shed or the entrances to your home.
If it is impossible or unlikely that they’re getting in through a window or door that was left open, then you should check for any holes both inside and outside the house. It can be pretty easy to not notice a rodent hole that leads into your home, especially if you live in an older house. Depending on the size of the hole and where it is, you may want to contact a contractor to make sure that there is no structural damage because of the hole.
Even if they haven’t been getting inside your home, it is actually common for possums to hide in holes in the ground that were created by other animals, which can be seen in videos like this one from Bob Wagner. On the bright side, possums do not or cannot dig holes for their own homes, but they do rely on holes that are already dug.
So, one way to ‘clean’ your yard is to slowly scan across your yard and fill any holes with dirt before compacting it. You will want to make sure that the hole is empty before trying to fill it up so that you won’t hurt any possum that may be inside and so that it does not surprise or bite you when you’re filling up the hole.
Step 6: Set up preventative measures
There are plenty of products that are sold for repelling or deterring possums without hurting them like chemical-free sprays and light/noisemakers which is how you can get rid of possums naturally. These are generally affordable and only take a few minutes to set up, depending on the type of product that you are using.
Some of the most common deterrents are wires for gardening or chicken coops and noisemakers, but some people say that most deterrents are less effective on possums because of how stubborn they are while others say that the repellents are the ones that hardly work. This can all depend on the possum, but using both repellents and deterrents seems to work, especially if you keep your trash lids on and your garden is fenced or wired off.
If you are looking for more information on how to prevent possums from entering your property, you may want to check out this video from Garden & Lawn. It gives a little bit of detail into how possums behave, what attracts them, and a few simple steps on how to keep their attention away from your yard.
Did you think that this tutorial was helpful and enjoyable enough to learn how to get rid of your pesky pests? Remember, this list can help you to safely prevent both you and the possum from getting hurt while you are trying to stop them from returning. This will be especially important if you do happen to find any possums and they are carrying a disease or two.
If you think that we missed a step or a tool that will be needed for getting rid of possums, feel free to leave a comment, and if you liked the article, feel free to share it with your friends so they can get rid of these pests too.