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The opossum is a nocturnal animal, marsupial to be precise, and is usually seen at night, often when crossing the road in front of a car. Therefore, if you see one in the evening in your yard, coming from the direction of your house, you may want to inspect your attic or check underneath your porch. If you have a shed in your back yard, you may want to investigate if something is living under there, as well. Whether you want them removed from your attic because they are a nuisance or from your yard because they are causing your dog much frustration, opossums are not easily displaced.
Possums will eat just about anything, including garbage. They will also eat baby birds, which may be one reason for someone not to want opossums around their property. They have a strong, bad odor about them and many people just do not like the way they look. They are messy, tear into garbage and strew it around. If they live in your garage or shed or attic, they will leave a mess that smells just terrible. If that's not reason enough to want to be rid of them, consider the fact that when they have babies, they have up to thirteen at a time, which significantly increases the opossum population on your property.
Thirteen offspring will leave lots and lots of excrements to deal with. These Opossums could leave a couple of pounds of feces behind each day. These feces are large and contain lots of bacteria and fungi and spores. That is definitely not conducive to having children playing in the yard and perhaps falling onto such a mess of droppings. The bacteria in these droppings can cause respiratory problems among other health concerns.
What Can You Do To Prevent Opossums From Moving Onto Your Property
Since opossums are feeders that seize the opportunity when it presents itself, they are not shy about eating the dog's dinner if it is in the bowl outside of the kitchen door. Any bird feeders in the vicinity should be removed totally or moved a distance away from the house. An opossum will eat from the garbage can, making a dirty mess around your house. It is omnivorous and so long as there is food left outside, it will find it.
Any brush pile in your yard will serve as framework for a shelter for the opossum family. If one opossum can wreak havoc with your garden, your trash cans, your bird feeders, just think what will happen when they reproduce.
Spray bottles with animal repellent are said to work but no support for this has been reported anywhere. Mothballs do not do anything to repel the opossum. Some advocate the use of strong lamps, making the opossum think its day time instead of night, thereby driving him away. None of those methods are very effective, however.
Techniques And Exclusion:
Catching these fellows in cages is the most effective method to displace them from your property. They are not hard to lure into a cage since they eat everything. There are state laws that may not permit private citizens to capture and cage their own opossums, unless they have a license to do so. Once in the cage, it is the best to take possum several miles away from your property so that it can live where it doesn't cause anyone any problems.
Exclusion may be used to keep them from going underneath sheds and porches, after they have been routed out from there. The same applies to the roof and chimneys. Exclusion caps will prevent opossums from climbing down the chimney.