How to Trap a Possum With Ease
All opossums range about 21 to 36 inches long, measured from nose to the tip of their tail. They’re similar in size to a cat or a small dog. Some of their more identifiable characteristics are their pointed head and pink nose, a long, hairless tail, and hairless, pointy ears. Their mouths contain 50 small, sharp, teeth. They also feature opposable thumbs on their hind feet.
The Virginia Opossum is the only opossum species native to America, and it is the only variety known to cause problems in the U.S.
The Common Opossum (also known as the Southern Opossum) prefers habitats near water like tropical forests, but will also be found close to people in urban areas.
Gray Short-tailed Opossum
Much more difficult to spot because of its size and relatively small geography, the gray short-tailed opossum is known to be more aggressive than other species, especially while they are mating.
Opossums Versus Possums
The opossum is native to North and South America, while possums are only found in Australia.
Although they’re named after each other because of their resemblance, possums have longer, furry tails while opossum’s tails are hairless.
In general, possums are fluffier, smaller, and with less severe features.
How To Trap Opossum
The traps should be set in locations the animal frequents or where it is causing damage. Fish, canned cat or dog food are good opossum baits. To readily entice the opossum into the trap, use a small trail of bait leading to the trap. All traps should be checked in the morning and evening, so that captured animals may be dealt with in a humane manner. Release the animal several miles. Check with your game and wildlife department before trapping and releasing them.
Opossums have a repulsive, musk-like odor and can be an occasional nuisance when they enter crawl spaces, under decks, garages, and similar areas. They nurse in the mother’s pouch for about 3 months.The average number of young is 6, but as many as 13 may be born.
- The opossum is 2-3 feet long. Its head is white to yellowish with a pink nose, black eyes and bluish black, naked ears.
- Adults are long-haired, light-gray, and about the size of a large cat weighing 4-15 lbs.
- It has a long scaly tail, black at its base, grading to yellow-white or pink for the rest of its length.
BAITING POSSUM TRAPS WITH THE BEST BAIT FOR POSSUMS AND OTHER OPOSSUM BAITING TIPS
Although they aren’t particularly finicky eaters, the best possum bait is fish or apples. Baiting opossum traps with canned pet food also works well. While there are differences of opinion as to the best bait for opossums, all professional trappers agree, the smellier the better. (No, your old sneakers won’t do the trick!) One of the most important opossum baiting tips is to smear the bait in, on and around the trap.
HOW TO DETER POSSUMS
Chicken-wire fence is a good method to ensure you won’t find a possum in your yard. Construct a fence that is four feet high with the top 12 to 18 inches bent outward away from the garden. You can “possum-proof” standard fencing by attaching an electrically charged wire along the top. However, if you’re like most, you’d rather not detract from your landscaping. If you really want to say goodbye to a possum in your garden and in your yard, apply a liquid or granular repellent that targets their sense of smell and taste.
What Do Possums Eat and Are They Dangerous?
Opossums benefit humans in many ways, helping control a number of unwanted pests. Although opossums are nonaggressive, nocturnal creatures that generally aren’t dangerous, they are often nuisances that dig in the garbage, take up residence under a porch, raid a well-tended garden or wreak havoc in the chicken house.
Opossums are omnivores and survive by eating a variety of foods. The primary sources of sustenance are small rodents, insects, worms, slugs and snails, frogs and birds. Additionally, opossums eat vegetables, berries, nuts, fruit, garbage, pet food and bird seed.
Opossums are resistant to rabies and rarely carry the disease. Opossum feces, however, sometimes carry the eggs of a parasite that may cause illness in horses if the feces contaminate food and water. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, most opossums don’t shed the parasite, and even if exposed, most horses don’t contact the disease. Keeping opossums away from barns and horses’ water and food is the best way to minimize opportunities for contamination. Additionally, opossums are hosts for fleas that carry a number of diseases.
Dangers to Humans and Pets
Opossums generally present no dangers to humans and animals, although they often harass household pests by showing their teeth, hissing and growling. Occasionally, fights break out and the opossums inflict serious injury with their sharp teeth. Usually, however, opossums protect themselves by emitting a foul, rotten smell from their anus while playing dead, often for as long as 45 minutes.
Keep Raccoons, Skunks, and Possums Out of Your Yard
Besides being pesky mammals, raccoons, skunks, and possums have something in common—they hate light. Keep the outside of your home well-lit, and they’ll stay way. This is also a good tip if you have a dog: Make sure you turn on the light before you let your dog out in the yard at night, and give skunks and other creatures time to amble away.
How to Keep Animals Out of Your Trash
To keep raccoons, possums, skunks, or other critters out of your garbage, regularly spray the side of your cans with a mixture of half ammonia, and half water. They hate the smell (as we all do) and will stay away. (You can also try using an ammonia-based glass cleaner like Windex, but it’s not as strong.)