The jury is out on whether they are cute or ugly, but if you have an opossum (or possum) living under your porch or in your attic, you want it gone. While they are not the most destructive pest you could have, they do carry more than their fair share of parasites including ticks and fleas. They also tend to leave a lot of droppings which can contain harmful bacteria. Another reason to get rid of them as quickly as possible is that if a possum dies while it is in your attic or under your shed, the smell from the rotting carcass will be hard to tolerate.
The good news is that opossums are not very bright. They are nocturnal scavengers, and they tend to be easy to catch. When an opossum is frightened, rather than running away, it will frequently fall over (as if dead) in a state of shock. This is where we get the expression “playing possum.” Despite this, however, it is still best to let a professional handle their removal as these animals can deliver a nasty bite. Fortunately, these animals almost never carry rabies.
It is quite common to find opossums in urban areas. They seem to love man-made structures like sheds and porches even more than they like the wild. Often these animals will move from one place and then to the next rather quickly, but when a possum decides to stay, it is important to have it removed.
How are opossums removed?
There are many ways that opossums can be safely removed although the exact method will depend on where the animal is located. If the animal is in the attic and cannot be located, one of the best things that can be done is to locate possible points of entry and then install one-way doors. These devices will allow the opossum to leave but not allow it to re-enter.
Other methods of catching and removing these animals are live humane traps and pole nooses. If the opossum is in a very tight spot, they can also be manually removed. Once the animals are removed, they must then be relocated to a suitable spot where they will not continue to be a nuisance for humans.
How to ensure opossums do not come back
To make sure these uninvited guests do not come back, it is important to seal off points of entry. Dig around and put mesh over areas where opossums like to dig under and hide. This includes around sheds, porches, decks and slabs of concrete.
Another thing you can do is remove their temptation to return. If you have fruit trees in your yard, regularly clean up fallen fruit from your yard and if you have a pet, make sure that their food is not left outside after dusk. The same goes for garbage. Possums are not picky about what they eat, and while they do hunt for grubs, they would be just as happy to dine on trash.
Do you need help in getting a possum removed from your property? Then call Habitat Wildlife Control at 905-973-2223.