Opossum Prevention Tips: How To Keep Opossums Away

Opossums are medium sized omnivores who scavenge the majority of their food. This means that they can easily be found across the country in both rural and urban areas. Keep in mind that opossums will usually only cause damage in their search for food, meaning that they will only attack something they see as a potential food source. This means that you can frequently reduce the number of opossums on your property with a few simple tricks and preventative measures. Some of these are as easy as cleaning up your property while others may require you to reorganize your yard or buy materials. Here are some simple options.

When planned correctly, a fence can be an excellent tool for keeping opossums out of your yard, or a specific area of it such as a vegetable garden. Any type of fence will work as long as it is buried a minimum of a foot underneath the ground and travels up at least several feet. This will prevent opossums from jumping over your fence or digging underneath it. Ideally, the fencing will be at least 4 feet tall with the top foot facing outwards so the animal can't climb.

Home Repairs
Even if there are opossums on your property, you may be able to keep them out of your home by making sure that it is in good shape. Carefully examine your house from all angles to make sure there are no potential entry points or appealing hiding spots, paying particular attention to the roof, walls, and porch areas. This means sealing up any holes in your walls and filling in areas under your porch. Rocks are a simple way to fill in this gap as well as other similar spaces.

Clean Up Potential Food
As scavengers, opossums will move to any property that has a great supply of food, whether that is fruits, grass, insects, pet food, or garbage. This means that to keep them away you need to remove all of these potential food sources. Always cover your garbage with a secure lid or store it inside your garage with the door closed. If you have to feed your pets outside, then do so at set times and bring the food inside the rest of the day. For those with fruit trees on their property, make a conscious effort to pick up fallen fruit at least every few days and everyone should pay attention to piles of leaves or even grass clippings. The main thing to remember is that if your property is tidy, it won't offer appetizing food options for opossums and you are much less likely to have a problem.

Remove Shelter
Keep in mind that opossums are one of the types of wild animals that do not make their own homes. Instead, they will move into man-made structures, holes in trees, or take over the abandoned homes of other animals. If you have already made the home repairs suggested above, you are on your way to minimizing shelter for these animals. You should still, however, carefully evaluate your property and make sure there aren't any tempting bushes or shrubs that can protect opossums from the elements.

Natural Repellents
An inexpensive way to try to prevent opossums from entering your property is to create your own natural repellent. This method will not always work and experts don't typically suggest it, but if you have the materials, it is worth a try. You can create a solution using onions and hot peppers and spray this around your property. The issue with most homemade repellents, however, is that opossums are scavengers so they will eat or be attracted to most scents. Although ammonia is commonly suggested, this is a dangerous option and you should typically avoid it.

Use Lights
A simple and fairly cost-effective way to discourage opossums from living on your property is to leave your lights on. As nocturnal animals, opossums prefer the darkness so light can sometimes discourage them from selecting your property as their next home. Keep in mind, however, that this method of prevention will not always be completely effective and requires you to leave your lights on all night every night. Similarly, you can try investing in some motion-activated sprinklers, but this will also be a temporary measure and require you to leave them on the motion-activated setting at all time.

Get Expert Advice
The absolute best way to prevent opossums from coming to your home is to consult an expert. If you have already cleaned up your property, added a fence, and made home repairs but are concerned, then an expert can evaluate your property. They will let you know if you overlooked anything that could attract opossums as potential food or shelter and give you other suggestions as well. By preventing opossums, you will never have to worry about kicking them out of your home, cleaning up their mess, or repairing the damage they do.

<Read the How to get rid of opossums page for helpful information and to learn more about Opossum Prevention Tips: How To Keep Opossums Away

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