What is the Best Bait to Trap Possums in Your House?

best bait to trap possum

The very first condition to trap a possum in your house is to pick the best bait for them.

If you have selected the right bait, the possum will get trapped quickly in the animal trap.

But, if the bait isn’t alluring enough, then chances are possum will not fall for it, and all your efforts will go in vain.

So, how do you know the right kind of food which will attract the possum into the trap?

Well, there are some best foods that you can use as baits for possum traps.

Professionals who are often used to trapping possums suggest that bait like apples and fish work really well to trap a possum in your house.

You can pick fish for winters and spring when possums search for meat, while apples can work well for summers and fall when they have a desire to serve on fruit.

Should You Use Poison Bait?

Based on my experiences, it’s not good to use poison as bait to trap the possums.

This way, you are not trapping the animals but killing them.

One main problem of using poison bait in the cage (or around the location of an animal) is it can be a risky deal for your children and domestic animals.

Plus, dealing with a carcass (if the animal consumes the toxic poison in the cage) can also be a lot more unpleasant than it is with capturing them in a trap and relocating.

What Food Attracts Possums?

Being omnivorous, possums can eat a large variety of food.

In short, we can say there is nothing as such that you won’t find a possum eating.

They will hunt mammals or snails in the cold season, spring, and summer which means during this season they prefer to eat meat.

Whereas in fall and summer, they prefer eating fruits like bananas.

While possums love to feed on shellfish and fish, they can also consume peanut butter, grains, peas, and beans.

When it comes to choosing the right food to put in a possum trap, the experts suggest that the food bait you choose should have a high smell.

It simply means that the food you choose as bait for them should have a dominating smell that can easily attract them from far.

what do possums like to eat

Choose the Right Trap and Place the Bait

For trapping possums, choose a wire mesh box trap that comes with mesh less than 19mm square.

If you choose the larger mesh, it can injure the possums.

The kind of trap you need to catch a possum is called a cat trap.

As possums weigh the same as a cat, the cages can be picked according to their size and weight.

If you go for a cage that is too small, then possums will get cautious and may not get in at all.

While a too large animal trap may not trigger at all because of the entrance of a small animal, and the possum may enjoy a free meal.

When you are putting the bait in an animal trap, make sure that you keep the bait on the inner end of the trap so that possums are completely inside the trap and they don’t escape before the door shuts down.

If the door starts to close down before the entrance of the animal, it will be able to escape.

Tips for Locating a Trap to Catch the Animal Fast?

When it comes to locating the cage trap for possums, it’s best to place them near the area where they are active on a regular basis.

This means you should place them near holes found in the fencing or a hedge from where the animal is trying to gain access to your backyard garden.

In order to get success, make sure that you do not place the cage directly above the holes.

Instead, keep it a short distance away from the possum hole.

You can also consider placing the trap in the route where possums might find their favorite food.

This can be near your pet food bowl or a garbage bin.

The feces and footprints of possums found in such areas can be a good indication of this type of location.

when placing the trap in such locations, consider anchoring the trap to avoid getting moved by other animals or pets.

what to do with a trapped possum

How to Deal with Possums When They Get Trapped?

After you have trapped the possum in the cage, it’s important to know how and where you should release them safely.

Relocating the possums safely will generally mean releasing them into the natural environment that is far away from your home.

This will be safe for you as well as for the animal.

While dealing with the trapped animal, make sure you:

  1. Wear gloves and do not touch the animal with bare hands – they may spread infection by biting or scratching your hand
  2. Release them near to their natural habitat where they can find lots of trees – if you release them alongside the road, they may get killed under the running vehicle.
  3. Relocate them at night and not at daytime – they are nocturnal and will quickly find a good shelter for themselves without the fear of predators when you release them into the wild.

According to your state’s regulations, you should find out where you can relocate the animal and whether you can take humane or inhumane steps to get rid of them.

If there isn’t any specific rule in your state, then you should relocate them more than 10 miles from your home or somewhere where they don’t cause a problem.

While transporting the cage trap for releasing the brush-tailed possum far away, make sure the trap is covered with a thick blanket to keep you protected from scratches and bites.

Remove it before opening the trap and release the animal far away from your house in the wild.

Possums vs. Opossums

Possums vs. Opossums: Are They Different or the Same?

Possum, opossum… the words sound the same, especially in North America, but are they the same or different animals?

What difference does an “O” in the beginning make?

The truth is, both the words refer to different animals. And you should know the difference before trapping them in your attic or backyard.

However, because they share the last classification (Infraclass Marsupialia) with each other, they are considered cousins.

By marsupials, we mean that they give birth to young babies and nourish them in their stomach pouches (somewhat like a kangaroo – the world’s renowned marsupial).

However, depending on where you reside, the word possum, when interchangeably used for opossum may help you get some funny looks.

Where Do They Both Live?

Though native to Australia during 1800, possums were also introduced to other nations like China, New Guinea, and New Zealand.

Mostly they like to stay in woodlands or small rocky dens as per the terrain.

They are highly opportunistic and would love to avail themselves benefits of what’s available to them.

But still den in forests is their first and foremost choice.

Opossums, on the other hand, are majorly found in North America, mostly on the mainland of the US.

You can even find opossums in Ontario, Canada, but the chilly winters serve as a limiting factor for their migration.

Usually, these small guys are also called possums in America.

They are usually black-eyed with pointed specs, somewhat rodent-like creatures that roam around in the night with their babies on the back.

How Can You Tell Them Apart?

As stated before, both the North American opossum and Australian possum belong to the Marsupial family, which means that they carry an additional pouch on their stomach to take care of their newborns till the time they can eat on their own.

The family bond and similar names are the same to a great extent, but they do have some rigid differences.

The possum has a round-shaped body with a thick fur of golden color which gives it the nickname Golden Brushtail Possum.

The eyes are peanut butter-colored in daylight, and it has a thick and furry tail just like a squirrel.

They somewhat resemble koala bears but are quite different from the opossum.

The opossum, on the contrary, has black eyes, sharp and white faces with jagged teeth.

These critters skulk around with their rat-like tails, hissing at any external threat.

You can find them in ransacking trash piles while they are shifting from one den to another.

They are migrating scavengers who feed on everything they get during this transitional phase.

Which One Is Known to Be Smarter?

Although both the American opossums and Australian possums don’t rank high when it comes to raw intelligence, the opossums are seen to develop better behavioral traits which they use to deter predators.

They also reach a comatose posture and play dead for some time – say 2 minutes to 2 hours.

This has made the phrase “playing possum” come into existence which keeps the animal secure from any threat.

On the contrary, Australian possums just walk straight to the face and have a highly friendly and trusting nature.

They can easily become friends with any stranger. Their naïve attitude often leads them to fall prey to fur poachers.

Are Opossums More Dangerous Than Possums?

Both of them are neither vicious nor very dangerous.

However, when thinking of trapping possums and opossums, many people think of them as disease-carrying vermin. 

The adorable Australian Brushtail possums who make humans their friends usually don’t pose any threat to people because they are naturally resistant to rabies.

Opossums also have this resistant power along with some other serious immunity.

For instance, it is seen that an opossum can eat a rattlesnake (a deadly snake of America) and digest it as if it was nothing but mere trash).

Hope these differences help you differentiate between possums and opossums more clearly and precisely.  

But usually, it is acceptable in the US to call them by both the names opossums and possums.

But, in Australia, there is nothing like opossum and if you are American (holidaying in Australia), you will be surprised to find out about these small animals living on the tree and sharing the same name with trash-eaters.

catching a possum

Other Related Questions:

Which Plants Deter Possums?

The thing which most gardeners hate about possums is they can remove all the buds of new plants or make them weaker.

This prevents the new plants from growing further.

Possums like to eat plants such as eucalyptus, so if you are fond of planting them in your garden, you should think again.

Fortunately, few plants can help deter the possums.

If you are frustrated with the possum’s infestation in your garden, you can try planting them near your veggies.

The plants that possum doesn’t like are citronella varieties, agapanthus, lavender, and rosemary bushes.

Prickly and smelly plants like a tea tree, geranium, and a few others can also be planted to deter the possums away.

Quassia chips that are made from the bark of the quassia tree, when brewed into a bitter-tasting tea and sprayed on the plants, may also work to deter the possums.

When Do Possums Run in Circles?

Animals, including your pets, may behave strangely when they are feeling frustrated, stressed, or bored.

There is abnormal behavior also seen among the possums, which may include walking in circles and falling over one other.

This can be due to various reasons, which may not be limited to stress, neurological damage, blindness, frustration, etc.

If you see them circling again on your property, it’s good to immediately call a wildlife rehabber in your area.

Are Possums Good to Have Around?

The fact is possums can be more beneficial than harmful.

So, if there are only 1 or 2 present, you can leave them in your yard as it is – instead of baiting/trapping them.

This is because they can catch and eat a variety of insects and rodents in your yard, keeping it clean and pest-free.

Few insects and animals that possums can help keep away by eating are cockroaches, beetles, slugs, snails, rats, and mice.

Since they are also carrion eaters (who consume the flesh of dead animals of all types), they can also be a great benefit to ecosystems and a healthy environment.

The Conclusion

Possums and opossums are beautiful, strangely gifted animals with a sense of resilience.

However, if present in a larger group they can be a nuisance and even dangerous for the families.

When it comes to baiting possums, they can feed on a variety of different food that is available to them.

No matter what bait you choose to trap the possum in your backyard, ensure that it has a strong smell.

As a matter of fact, you should be able to smell the bait when you are standing near the trap.

In addition, you should put the bait in the animal trap appropriately to successfully trap a possum, or you will most probably be going to fail in your attempts.

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