Opossums aren't necessarily dangerous animals, but they can still pose a risk to your family, pets, and property. Between their sharp claws and 50 sharp teeth, these animals can cause significant damage or injure you if they become aggressive. To avoid this issue, it is best to keep opossums away from your property using a range of prevention techniques. The best way to deter them from turning your land or attic into a home is to keep the area clean so they don't see it as a source of potential food or shelter. Repellents are also a popular option, but they tend to be less effective than other preventative measures.
Does Repellent Work?
You will hear mixed opinions concerning opossum repellents and their effectiveness, but most experts agree that there are very few repellents that will truly work. In some cases, a repellent will keep away opossums for a short period of time as a temporary solution while other times it won't have any effect at all. Depending on the repellent in question, there is no harm in trying it, although you do want to be careful when using a system containing chemicals.
No matter the wild animal causing a nuisance on your property, predator urine tends to be a popular suggestion for repellent. The idea is that by adding the scent of their predator to your property, opossums will assume that their enemies live nearby and select a different, seemingly safer location. In reality, however, most professionals can tell you that they have seen almost no positive results from this particular repellent. As such, you shouldn't rely on predator urine, either as a standalone repellent or the main ingredient in a store bought one.
In addition to solutions and granules, there are also electronic repellents available for opossums. A common variety is an ultrasonic sound machine which theoretically emits a noise that will be highly irritating to the animal but won't be audible to human ears. Depending on the ultrasonic machine you buy, there can be one of two problems. In some cases, the ultrasonic sounds are actually within the human register, meaning you have to choose between listening to annoying sound or never using the product you spent a lot of money on. Additionally, these machines won't typically keep the possums away; instead they will simply ignore the sound or adjust to it.
Motion Activated Sprinklers
Among the various opossum repellent options, motion activated sprinklers tend to be more effective than the other options and experts will even occasionally recommend these. This method is better at keeping opossums from visiting your property than evicting those who have already taken up residence. The downside, however, is that you will have to keep using these sprinklers for the foreseeable future to repel opossums. That can quickly become annoying and costly over time.
Ammonia Or Mothballs
Among the most common suggestions for possum repellents are mothballs and ammonia. You can find numerous websites claiming that these methods work, including those that seem reputable and aim to offer reliable information. The idea is to place mothballs around the area you want the opossums to avoid and do the same with a rag soaked in ammonia. In either case, you would have to regularly change out the mothballs or ammonia as they lose their scent. To make matters worse, neither method is reliable effective and experts can tell you numerous tales where these substances didn't work. There is no reason to expose yourself, your family, your pets, and the environment to dangerous chemicals when they won't even help your opossum problem.
If you really want to try an opossum repellent to help you with your issue, then you should consider opting for a homemade one as this will not cost you any money. Although they will eat nearly anything, some people say that possums do not like the smell or taste of hot spices, garlic, or Lapsang Souchong tea. This means that you can spray an area with Lapsang Souchong tea to try as a deterrent. Alternatively, you can try making a solution of hot chili and/or garlic with some dish soap and spraying that. A final homemade repellent is to dissolve some molasses in water and apply this to areas you don't want to the opossums to visit. None of these homemade remedies will be entirely effective and they all require frequent reapplication as the scents will fade.
Another way of deterring possums that may offer results is using spikes. If there is a certain area that the animals are climbing to get to your property, you can try attaching spikes to the area. You can find these spikes online and in your local store and they are easy to install. The thing to remember, however, is that this method will only prevent the opossum from going to the specific location where the spikes are.
Read the How to get rid of opossums page for helpful information and to learn more about Opossum Repellent
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