Should I Let a Possum Live Under My House?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Homeowners often get creatures making a home for themselves under our desks, porches, sheds, and homes.

One of the most frequent squatters are possums. This is because they’ll set up home where they feel safe and there is food to be had.

Possum living under house
Possum live under house

You might get up one day and find your trash littering the floor and mini footprints in the dust nearby. You might even find a possum stuck in the trash can after it’s been searching for its latest meal.

So, what can you do if a possum chooses to live under your house or somewhere else around your home?

You might wonder if it’s fine to let them share your space or whether or not you should try to evict them.

In This Article – We’ll discuss whether or not you should let a possum live under or near your home and what you can do about it.

Signs there is a possum under your house

If you’re not sure whether there’s a possum living under your house, here are the signs to look out for:

  • Building damage to the exterior – gutters, eaves, sidings, shingles, soffits etc.
  • Pet food disappearing – cat food is a particular favorite
  • Vocalizations – hissing, shrieking, clicking and lip smacking
  • Scratching noises
  • Unpleasant smells

Don’t be fooled – possums play dead

If you find a possum under your shed or house, it’s easy to think it’s dead or unconscious.

Possum garden fence
Possum backyard fence climbing

Great, you think, you don’t have to deal with a live possum at least. Or do you?

The bad news is that possums are known to play dead as a defense mechanism. This is to help them in the wild when predators are around.

When they’re playing dead, they’re fully conscious and aware of everything!

Why is it common for possums to take residence under sheds and houses?

A possum will choose its home near to a good food source.

Where there are people, there are trash cans! Garbage and scraps attract possums to your home.

A trash can will smell delicious to possums and so lures them to your home.

And while they’re there, they’ll want to stay close to this constantly renewing food supply.

Are possums dangerous?

Possums aren’t on the same scale as bears or even snakes in terms of the dangers they pose.

Get rid of possums in the backyard
Get rid of possums tips

They do, however, carry infectious diseases that can be harmful to us and our pets.

Mostly, though, they’re just a nuisance and will annoy your dog, dig holes, and damage your garden.

According to the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources department, possums are known to carry the following diseases and parasites:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Coccidiosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Spotted fever
  • Tularemia
  • Relapsing fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Chagas
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Lice

With this in mind, it’s best to avoid being in close proximity to these creatures.

Do possums pose a threat to children?

Diseases aside, you might be wondering if possums are dangerous for kids with their smaller size.

Like other wild animals, possums might get aggressive around children, but they usually wouldn’t go anywhere near them in the first place.

Keeping possums in backyard

When you live near wooded areas, it can be common to see possums around at nighttime (they’re nocturnal creatures).

If one happens to be around during the day, it’s best to tell children to avoid it.

If your kids like eating outdoors, it’s important to tell them not to drop food on the floor or leave any food outside.

How can you get rid of possums?

If you have nuisance possums in and around your home, you’ll need to remove them safely so that you don’t cause them harm.

Though annoying, a possum taking residence under your floor won’t kill you and as a result, you shouldn’t try to kill them either.

Works Best – The best way to get rid of possums is to stop them from having access to food. They will then go elsewhere to look for something to eat and shelter.

Once you’ve gotten rid of possums, you’ll still need to maintain your home to deter new ones from taking their place. This article details lots of ideas.

Can you handle a possum?

If you come across a possum that’s playing dead, you might be tempted to pick it up to remove it from its hiding place.

What attracts possums
What attracts possums to the backyard?

However, this isn’t recommended. When picked up, a possum will feel threatened and try to escape. As a result, he will claw at you and try to bite you.

The best way to remove a possum humanely is to call a professional to do the job for you. Don’t forget to try other techniques first like making sure there is no food around.

If you decide to handle a possum, you’ll need to take safety precautions like wearing:

  • thick clothing with long sleeves
  • strong leather gloves
  • and safety glasses

Should you board up the hiding place?

If you’ve successfully managed to remove a possum from under your house, you might be wondering about whether or not to board up the space.

Opossum

If left, the chances are that the possum would return – or another one would take its place.

Before boarding up any areas where possums have been living, you should check the space thoroughly to make sure there are no animals hiding that won’t be able to get out.

Keep In Mind – If you board it up with a possum inside, it will end up starving and dying right under your house!

Final Words on Should I let a possum live under my house?

In summary, no. It is not advisable to let a possum live under your house.

One possum might not be a problem, but it might soon turn into a whole family of possums that damage your property and bring about a risk of infectious diseases.

Try to get rid of possums as soon as you know they’re there and then set up deterrents so that they don’t come back.

Good luck!