Possum Behavior and How to Get Rid of Possums

Possum on Fence

Possum Removal Options

Possums are the only marsupials that live in North America, and they can be found just about everywhere on the continent. These pests can cause a wide variety of problems both inside your home and out. They can make nests in basements, attics, sheds, and more. They are smelly, and they can be disease carriers. For example, they can carry tularemia, leptospirosis, salmonella, and more. In addition to this, possums are omnivores, which means they will eat just about anything. This includes vegetables and fruits growing in your garden and pet food. 

If you have possums, it’s important to understand their behavior. When you understand how possums live, possum removal is much easier.

Possum Behavior

Possums, which are also called North American opossums or Virginia opossums, are marsupials, and this means that the young possums spend time in their mother’s pouches after being born. Possums are born at an early stage of development, around two weeks after conception, and they must crawl into their mothers’ pouches where they will latch onto one of her teats. There they will continue developing for about eight weeks.

Possums are opportunists, and as such, they are often found in urban areas. They will raid gardens, trash cans, and pet food. Because water, food, and shelter are readily available in urban areas, many people find possums in their yards, under their decks, or even in their attics. Because they are so common in urban areas, many people have witnessed one of the possum’s more bizarre behaviors—playing dead.

Playing dead is a defensive behavior that possums may use when they feel threatened. For example, they might do this when they are surprised by your dog, and it is the behavior from which the phrase “playing possum” originated. They basically enter a coma-like state where they foam from the mouth and release a foul smelling fluid from their anal glands. This entire episode is aimed at encouraging predators to leave them alone. Possums can stay in this state for up to four hours. To avoid a potentially unpleasant surprise, it is best to exercise caution before handling or disposing of a “dead” possum as it may not be dead at all.

Possum Removal 

If a possum is raiding your garden or living in your attic, you probably want to get rid of it. If a possum is in your house, you have a few options. You can pay someone to come and trap or kill the possum for you, or you can trap or kill the possum yourself.

Paying Pest Control to Remove the Possum

If you have a possum in your house, and you want it gone quickly, paying someone might be a good option. However, if you have a possum in your yard or garden, you might want to remove the possum yourself. Paying pest control can be expensive, and it might take a few days if the company sets out traps. They might also use harmful chemicals to kill the possum.

  • Trapping the Possum

When laying traps for possums, remember that they will eat just about anything so you don’t have to buy or prepare special bait. Once the possum is trapped, you will have to remove the trap and release the possum.

  • Killing the Possum

 If you live in a rural area, you may be able to shoot the possum, but this might not be an option in more residential areas. You can also put out poison, but some people might not like this option. Poison can be dangerous for pets and children.

  •  Repelling the Possum
Natural Possum Repellent

All Natural Possum Repellent

You also have the option of repelling the possum. For example, you can use Shake Away Small Animal Repellent Granules. This all natural repellent uses fox urine to repel possums. The possums will stay away from areas that smell like predators. Spreading the Shake-Away Possum Repellent  granules around the area that you want to protect  can keep the possums out of your yard and your house without having to use harmful chemicals!

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