How to get Opossums out of your yard?
The opossum is a nocturnal marsupial that usually comes out at night to scavenge for food in backyards and gardens. Not only can this animal make a mess in your yard, but opossums can also spread various diseases, including spotted fever.
You can prevent opossums from invading your yard with a variety of scare tactics, fencing, and repellents.
Get Rid of Extra Food
If you want to keep opossums out of your landscape, then you have to get rid of all the things that are attracting the animal as soon as possible. Do not provide them with easy access to available food. Take a look at your backyard for the following potential problem areas and then find the proper solution.
- Garbage Cans: Never let your garbage cans in your backyard overflow. Make sure that they are properly sealed and make sure that they don’t have any holes or cracks in the lid. If you eat or entertain outside in your yard, then clean your yard after eating and never leave any trash out in the open.
- Pet Food: If your cat or dog spends most of the time in your yard outside, then stick to a feeding schedule rather than leaving food outside around the clock. Opossums and other wild animals can get attracted to the pet food and you may even be putting your pet in great danger by causing fights over the food.
- Birds Feeders: Take down all bird feeders and put them away in a separate locked container. This way, you can keep opossums away from your yard.
- Garden Produce: Always keep your garden clean. Pick up and discard fallen or overripe fruit and vegetables.
Remove Yard Debris and Possible Hiding Places:
Opossums don’t create their nests but instead, they take refuge in abandoned nests or other natural shelters. Brush piles, logs and hollow trees are some of the most popular spots for opossums, so remove all such items from your yard. This will also help deter a variety of pests from your yard.
Remove piles of leaves or stacks of wood from your yard. Also, put away unused garden equipment that may shelter opossums and other animals, such as wheelbarrows or empty garden pots. In short, opossums do not like a tidy landscape.
Turn on Extra Lights:
These animals are nocturnal and they usually come out when it’s dark. So use this to your advantage. Use your floodlights and point them at the darkest area of the yard, or use exterior house lights. Also, use lights attached to garden sheds and other garden structures that will surely repel opossums and keep them away from that area. Focus your external lights on specific problem areas that you want to protect, such as a compost pile or the spots where you store your trash cans.
Useful Tip: You can save on your electricity bill by using motion-activated floodlights. If an opossum scurries into your yard, then these lights will be activated by its movement and these lights will frighten the animal away.
Repel with Smell:
Opossums have very sensitive noses. Certain orders may repel them and keep them away from your yard. Every animal differs, however, try these simple methods and see if a specific smell works against opossums in your neighborhood:
- Mothballs: Take a sealed container and place a couple of mothballs in it. Then poke holes in the container with a screwdriver or a nail, and place the container wherever you want to repel opossums, like near your garden shed.
- Blood Meal: Just sprinkle a strip of blood meal around garden beds or other problem areas in your yard. The smell of this blood meal will frighten opossums and they will think that a predator has recently been feeding in this area.
- Dog Urine: The smell of dog urine will also help in keeping opossums away from your yard. Mix 1-part dog urine with 2-parts water and sprinkle the solution in your yard or any other area you want to protect from opossums.
Warning: If you are about to try the mothball method then keep the mothballs in a sealed container. Mothballs placed directly on the ground can leach unwanted chemicals into the underlying soil of your garden.
Set Up a Fence:
If all methods of scaring away opossums don’t work, then fencing remains the best and most successful option for keeping an opossum out of a yard. Use a 48-inch tall piece of ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth and then bend the top 12 inches of the fence outward, away from the area that you want to protect. Then attach the mesh to 3 ½-foot-tall-stake pounded 6 inches deep and spaced apart by a couple of feet.
Make sure that you do not attach the top, outward-bending part of the fence to the stakes. This will keep the top of the fence loose and wobbly. If the animal tries to jump over the fence, the top of the fence will sag under the opossum’s weight, preventing it from scaling the fence.