Possums can be a real nuisance in your yard, particularly if they’re attracted to the food you put out for your pets or birds.
While possums are generally harmless, their presence can be quite disruptive.
So, what attracts possums to your yard and how can you get them to go away?
Here’s a look at some of the things that may be attracting these critters and some tips on how to keep them at bay.
Things That Attract Possums
There are many things that can attract possums to your yard.
One of the most common reasons is that they are looking for a place to live.
If you have a yard with lots of trees that have low-hanging branches or shrubs, you might have a few visitors.
Possums are also always on the hunt for food, so if you have a lot of fruit trees or an unkempt garden, they might be interested in what you have to offer.
They won’t turn their nose up at the offer of a pile of compost though, so leaving piles of decomposing garbage, or an outdoor compost bin with plenty of food scraps are likely to attract possums to your yard.
How to Know if You Have Possums in Your Yard
If you’re not sure whether or not you have possums in your yard, there are a few signs you can look for.
Damage To Your Fences
Take a look at the perimeter of your property, specifically along the fences.
Have any parts been broken, ripped, dug under, or are missing entirely?
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have possums in your yard, but it would explain how they got in.
If you hear hissing, clicking, or sneezing noises, you could have an angry alley cat, a burglar with a pen-clicking obsession, and Sneezy (one of Snow White’s dwarves), or you could have a possum.
Have You Noticed? The hissing sound is made when possums feel threatened, the clicking sound is the sound they make when they are trying to find a mate, and the sneezing sound is made by young possums who are trying to get attention.
Late Night Scratching
Possums will scratch at anything to rip fabrics and food apart to make a comfier home for themselves.
If you hear scratching at a tree, garbage bags, a shed, or a pop-up canopy, you might have possums in your yard.
Mice and rats will do the same thing, but the sounds will be much quieter than those made by a possum.
Possums poop more than almost any other mammal, and because they are about the same size as a house cat, their poops are going to be just as big.
Now add in moisture and heat from being under any sort of cover, and that’s a smell you are going to want to get rid of pretty quickly.
Should You Keep Possums In Your Yard?
This all sounds bad, but is it?
Believe it or not, possums are beneficial animals that play an important role in the environment. They help control populations of harmful insects, including cockroaches, spiders, and rodents.
Possums aren’t fighters either.
When confronted, possums may hiss to warn you and keep you away, but they may also play dead to avoid confrontation.
If you want a natural insect and pest repeller, and you don’t have young children or pets that could accidentally stumble across the possum, it might be worth it to leave the possum if they aren’t doing any damage.
Letting a possum rent out your yard will only work out if you aren’t planning on using your backyard space very much.
Keep In Mind – While possums are clean creatures, they do have the risk of carrying diseases that they can pass on to humans.
How to Keep Possums Away
If you’re not interested in having possums living in your yard, there are five things you can do to discourage them.
Remove Food Sources
Access to food is one of the main reasons a possum moved into your yard in the first place, so by removing any food sources, you’ll force them to leave and look elsewhere.
Pick up any fallen fruit from fruit trees, keep your garbage under control, and pause your composting for a little while, or keep the compost in a shed or garage.
Trash Their Home
You don’t have to tear your yard apart, but if you have trees with low-hanging branches that create the perfect hiding spot for possums, you should think about trimming them off your tree.
The same goes for any brush piles or areas with dense vegetation.
Yes, you can bring possums into your yard with smells, but you can also repel them with some.
There are some smells that possums find revolting and using them around your yard will make the possums want to leave, never to return.
Some of these smells are:
- Predator Urine
- Moth Balls
You can spray around their nests, and your property to keep the possums away.
Stop Them From Coming Back
Once your possums are gone, make sure that there are no areas in your fence that they can get in through.
Possums are good climbers and can fit through small holes, so do a perimeter check to make sure that they can’t get back in.
Make sure you do this after you get rid of them, otherwise you’ll trap them in your yard.
Call a Professional
The easiest way to get the job done right the first time is to hire a professional right away.
They will have the experience and tools to deal with your possum problem quickly and easily, and they can also help you figure out how the possums got into your yard in the first place so you can prevent it from happening again.
If you notice possums in your yard, you might instantly start planning ways to get rid of them.
If you don’t use your backyard anyway, you could always allow the possum to stay there; they’ll take care of the spiders and pests for you before they get inside your house.
Or you can send them on their way by making your backyard less hospitable, repelling them with scents they don’t like, or calling a professional.
Whatever you choose, just make sure that you take action so the possums don’t become a nuisance.