You may have no idea why an opossum lives below the shed or in the dark rather than under the sunlight.
The simple reason behind this is the immense food source often found under the home.
Opossums being opportunistic animals, can eat anything.
Right from compost piles, gardens or garbage, anything will satiate their taste buds and calm their hunger.
Once they find a good food source, the opossum will also search for a reasonable place to reside- most of the time, it is the deck or attic of your building.
Are Opossums Dangerous?
Opossums wander a lot, so if you find one somewhere near your house, then there is certainly a big reason behind it.
The ones living under the deck or outbuilding may be a threat to humans as well as your pets.
Because of the marsupial background, they have jaws jam-packed with teeth. If threatened, they will bite you without fail.
How to Get Rid of Opossum Under Your House?
Opossums can occasionally enter your home through various sources like pet doors, roof, garden fence, underground basement, under the deck, etc.
As soon as they are in and you notice them, it’s good to coax them outside with a broom.
Since they are just a newer guest to your home, most likely, they will understand that they are not welcomed and will get out from there.
Just in case you find one living under your house, for example, deck area, it’s easy to remove them by removing the things that are attracting them.
So, make sure you do not try to trap or kill the animal.
- Start by removing any garbage or waste food materials under the deck
- Then check for the hiding places beneath your porch and try to eradicate them
- Also, fix all the big holes or spaces in the wood that can serve as an entry point for opossums
Opossums generally leave the place after sunset in search of food.
This is the time when you can try stuffing some wadded newspaper temporarily into these accessing holes, which will prevent the animal from entering again.
If you are suffering from a severe opossum problem in your house and see the animal coming again, there are a few additional natural remedies that will help you in eradicating them easily.
Some of them include:
A simple and efficient method to deter opossums from entering your house is to build a fence.
Remember, opossums being good climbers, can easily climb your fence too.
But worry not. You can make it difficult for them by constructing a critical fence.
Go for fences of woven wire that have a height of at least 3 to 4 feet.
Also, consider keeping pointed angles on the outside. This way it will be tough for them to climb and enter your property.
2- Scare them away
As I don’t recommend killing the animal, there are many simple tactics that can be tried to simply scare them away from your property.
One of the simplest ways is to use pinwheels that are easily available at a nearby party supply store.
Place a few of them in your garden’s soil (near the plants you want to protect).
When they spin in the wind, they will automatically keep the animals and other pest birds away.
Similar to the pinwheel, you can tie some helium balloons around your garden or backyard to keep the animals away.
Many people also play a loud radio in their yard to scare the opossums away from the noise.
These are all harmless ways to scare and prevent opossums in your home.
3- Make an animal trap
If anyhow these varmints happen to come inside your property you can simply trap and relocate the opossums via a live animal trap.
Before you can trap them, you will need to pick the right baits for opossums, such as pet food, fruit, peanuts, or marshmallows, to attract them.
Opossums are usually calm, but they may still bite if cornered and transmit diseases.
So, it’s wise to seek the help of animal control to help you in relocating them, especially if they are present in large numbers.
4- Seal all access points
The most suitable option to get rid of opossums from underneath your home and deck is to prohibit them from accessing that area.
Once you see that they are out, just block out all the access points by affixing hard stuff like wire mesh or chicken wires.
Actually, opossums are night animals, so you need to wait till dusk before you can start with the installation task.
5- Get rid of all their food source
Scan your house and get rid of everything under the house which may serve as a food source for the opossums.
The food for opossums may also comprise fallen fruits in the garden; open trash can content, insects, etc.
Finding which they will be attracted towards your yard and hence can invade your property.
On the other hand, they will not come inside or go to another location if they don’t find anything to eat in your house.
6- Fox urine all over the infected area
Fox urine often serves as a natural repellent to deter opossums from your house.
Just soak an old cloth with fox urine and keep it underneath your home or the decking area.
Do this more frequently till all the opossums have left your house.
If you are wondering where to buy the fox urine, then let me tell you that online stores like Amazon and Walmart have them available at a very low rate.
You can buy them here and use them whenever you need them.
7- Try natural homemade repellents
Homemade natural repellents are effective due to their taste and smell that opossums will generally not love to have around.
Some of these products include hot chili powder, bits of fresh garlic in water, hot mustard, ammonia, mothballs, molasses, etc.
When sprinkled/sprayed in your garden (near the plants), natural opossum repellents will help deter the animals faster without causing them any harm.
8- Try electric opossum repellents
If all of the above ideas fail in getting rid of opossums, then you can use electric opossum repellent. It will serve your purpose well.
The device is simple to use and clean. more critical, it is environmentally friendly and helpful in repelling animals.
In case any opossum activity occurs, these motion-activated sprinklers work by starting the bursts of water to repel them.
So, all you need is an efficient water supply, and it will keep these pests out of your property.
9- Install motion-activated lights on the porch
Opossums are nocturnal little creatures and will usually enjoy living in the cover of darkness.
That’s the reason they are under your deck area or porch.
If you suspect them to be inside your porch, you can try installing a few motion-activated lights there.
You can even install some of them around your backyard garden, driveways, roof, chicken coop, etc.
These lights will make them uncomfortable and will, discourage them from living there for long, and create damage.
Can You Shoot Opossum in Your Backyard?
This is often in the mind of homeowners who are frustrated with the damage opossums make.
Well, if you are considering this option you should check out personally whether it’s legally allowed at the state and local levels.
In many places, it’s not a legal action to shoot down fur-bearing animals like these.
In many other places, if it’s allowed, you would need to check for the specific season and also the hunting hours that may exist.
Depending on your state laws, you may also need to know about the type of firearm you can use and get a proper license (or a permit) before you can shoot an opossum in your backyard.
Long story short, you should not prefer hunting down the opossums or a possum on your property, especially if you have other options available.
Should You Let Opossum Live Under the Crawlspace?
Opossums like to build their home under the crawlspace because it offers them a dark protective environment.
In fact, your home’s crawlspace offers the same qualities that an opossum would love to have in its den in the wild.
Although not dangerous for humans, it’s not recommended to have opossums living inside your house as they can kill your small chickens, cats, dogs, and even horses by either eating or spreading the infectious diseases.
You should rather take immediate action to keep opossums off your crawlspace.
While removing them from your property, also ensure that there are no babies left under the house that can die.
How to Know if an Opossum is Still Living Under Your Deck?
Reading opossum signs carefully can help you identify if there is still an animal present under your house.
Since opossums are messy when they feed, you can look for their signs near the trash or food.
Generally, it will be like the tracks of long fingers that end with claws.
Unpleasant noises on your deck, porch, or even in the walls can also be a sign of opossums residing there.
The level of noise will, however, depend on the number of animals making their home in your house.
Unlike other rodents like rats (that makes chewing sound), opossums make scraping or shuffling.
These sounds may be heard during the daytime and it stops at night when they leave their den to find food.
Possums have a strong odor. Also, the smell of their urine is very strong and often leaves stains.
If you experience an unusually foul odor in your home, it is most likely the smell of opossums.
3- Poop Signs
Then you can look for the opossum poop, which is much like dog feces.
The fecal matter of the opossums is usually curved, dark brown to black in color.
Plus, it is smooth on the sides, taper at the ends, and about 3/4 inch thick.
Other Related Questions:
Are opossums blind?
Although young opossums cannot see during their first two months after birth, the opossums, when a grown-up is not blind.
In general, their daytime vision is weak, and they also find it hard to differentiate the colors.
But they have a strong night vision which makes them nocturnal and good at finding food at night and other nighttime activities.
With that said, opossums generally do not rely completely on their vision to find food at night.
Due to their strong senses of smell and touch, they can easily locate their food sources while avoiding any danger.
Why do opossums play dead?
Opossums will generally “play dead” when they see a potential predator or a danger approaching them.
During this temporary shock, they fall deliberately on their side, open a mouth letting their tongue hang out just like a dead animal.
Their heart rate also drops considerably, making them appear unconscious.
You won’t believe it, but opossums can play dead for as long as 40 minutes to 3 hours to protect themselves from danger.
Since most predators will not hunt down dead prey, they do not attack the opossum in this state.
Why do opossums have pouches?
Opossums are marsupials, and like other female marsupials, they also have a well-developed pouch to carry their young ones after giving birth.
Since these young ones are blind and deaf for a few months, these pouches of the mother will help them keep protecting them.
Opossums are nature’s “living fossil” because they are among the world’s oldest living mammals.
If you are thinking of a plan to keep opossums off your property, then trust me, you aren’t alone!
If you haven’t seen an opossum still on your property but are suspicious about their activities, like garbage scattered, then take action to get them identified and remove them as soon as possible.
Besides trying the DIY home remedies it is important to appoint a pest control expert to effectively get rid of these critters off your property if they are present in huge numbers.
Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. I am Tina Jones. I have been working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona lately. At present, I love to spend my time with my family as a retiree.
Here I share all my knowledge and experiences to help people understand better how they can stop pests at their homes without actually killing them. Hopefully, the information you will find here will help in safeguarding your home! You can check more about me here.