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Trapping Opossum – What’s The Best Way?


If you’re dealing with a nuisance pest invading your home or living under your deck, you may be considering trapping opossums. Unlike chipmunks and rabbits, opossums don’t have the same reputation for being cute and cuddly. With their long snout, pink nose, beady eyes, and hairless tail, they often get mistaken for rats. However, opossums are North America’s only marsupial and are more closely related to kangaroos than rats.

Understanding Opossum Behavior

Opossums are known for their defensive behavior. When threatened or cornered, they open their mouth and produce a loud hissing noise. Unfortunately, this behavior has led to misconceptions about them being rabid. In reality, opossums can be beneficial to have around your yard. They eat various bugs that can harm your garden or invade your home, as well as small rodents like mice. Additionally, they help control fruit flies and bees by consuming fallen fruit from fruit trees.

Preventing Nuisance Behavior

The issue with opossums arises when they start burrowing under porches or garages. To prevent them from moving in, it’s best to secure or block any areas that may look appealing to an opossum. If you suspect an opossum has made a home in a hole, you can loosely fill it with dried leaves or dirt. If the animal is inside, it will dig its way out. After a few nights of no movement, you can safely fill in the hole without worrying about suffocating any babies that the mother may have taken with her. If opossums persist in trying to inhabit your deck or porch space, you can surround the opening with thick mesh, burying it to prevent the animals from digging under the barrier.

Removing Opossums from Your Home

In the event that an opossum finds its way into your garage or home, it’s important to know that they are harmless and non-aggressive. They are most likely attracted to the space because they can smell food. To remove an opossum, close all doors leading further into the house, leaving only the door leading outside open. You can then use cat food or sweet fruit to create a trail leading the opossum outside. In most cases, no traps are needed if you can leave the door open and wait. However, if this method doesn’t work, you can place an empty garbage can in the middle of the room and create a staircase using blocks of wood or similar materials. Use fruit or cat food to lure the opossum into the can, and once inside, place the lid on the can and release the animal outside.

Live Trapping Opossums

Live traps are effective tools for capturing and relocating various nuisance animals, including opossums. When choosing a live trap, opt for a large size to accommodate the size of an opossum, which can grow up to 15 pounds. The Havahart one-door live trap is highly recommended for trapping opossums. Baiting the trap with old, smelly food like apples, fish, or canned pet food works best. Simply set the bait behind the pan trigger and ensure the trap is on level ground to avoid scaring the opossum away.

Overall Prevention

Typically, opossums will not return to the same place if they cannot find food. To keep them away from your house, it’s important to:

  1. Keep a tight lid on garbage cans.
  2. Avoid leaving food in a cat’s bowl all day long.
  3. Secure your home with mesh to prevent opossums from entering.

By following these preventative measures, you can keep opossums outside where they belong.

For more information on opossum trapping and other helpful tips, visit

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