How to Get Rid of Possums Under Deck: Effective and Ethical Methods

How to Get Rid of Possums Under Deck?

To get rid of possums under a deck, you can employ several methods.

Firstly, create a safe exit path for possums by temporarily blocking off other potential routes.

This will encourage them to leave on their own.

Additionally, prevent possums from accessing food sources like garbage cans, bird feeders, and pet food, as this will discourage them from staying in the area.

You can also employ DIY deterrents, such as motion-activated lights or sprinklers, to discourage possum foraging in your yard.

Understanding possum behavior and habits will help you better address the issue.

It’s also worth noting that possums can assist in controlling pests like rats and snakes.

To discourage possums from digging holes in your yard, keep the area clean and well-maintained.

Finally, familiarize yourself with signs of possum presence under a deck and learn how to identify them.

In case of an injured or dead possum, take appropriate steps to deal with the situation.

Key Points:

  • Block potential routes and create a safe exit path for possums under the deck
  • Prevent possums from accessing food sources like garbage cans, bird feeders, and pet food
  • Use DIY deterrents such as motion-activated lights or sprinklers to discourage possum foraging
  • Understand possum behavior and habits to better address the issue
  • Keep the yard clean and well-maintained to discourage possums from digging holes
  • Familiarize yourself with signs of possum presence under the deck and know how to deal with injured or dead possums.


Did You Know?

1. Despite their appearance, possums are not rodents. They are actually marsupials, making them more closely related to kangaroos and koalas.
2. Possums are immune to the venom of most snakes, including highly venomous ones like rattlesnakes and copperheads. This immunity allows possums to prey on snakes without any adverse effects.
3. Possums have a unique defense mechanism known as “playing possum.” When threatened or startled, they will often go into a state of shock, temporarily appearing dead. This bluffing behavior helps them avoid predation.
4. The lifespan of a possum is relatively short, usually ranging from around two to four years in the wild. However, in captivity, they have been known to live up to seven years.
5. Possums have a remarkably low body temperature compared to other mammals. Their internal temperature typically hovers around 94-97 degrees Fahrenheit (34–36 degrees Celsius), which allows them to thrive in various environments with extreme climates.

Creating A Safe Exit Path For Opossums Under A Deck

Having wildlife living under our decks can be alarming and unsettling. If you’ve discovered opossums under your deck, it’s crucial to remove them safely and humanely. One of the first steps you can take is to create a safe exit path for the opossums. To do this, start by assessing the area around your deck to identify any potential hazards or obstructions.

Clearing away debris, such as fallen branches or loose stones, will make it easier for opossums to move freely. Additionally, check for any gaps or openings under the deck that may need to be sealed. However, it’s essential to make sure that you’re not trapping the opossums under the deck by closing off all escape routes. By providing a clear pathway for them to leave, you encourage the opossums to relocate to a more suitable habitat.

  • Clear away debris to create a clear pathway for opossums
  • Seal any gaps or openings under the deck
  • Do not trap the opossums by closing off escape routes

Note: It’s important to handle the removal of opossums with care and respect for their well-being.

Preventing Access To Garbage Cans, Bird Feeders, And Pet Food

Opossums are opportunistic scavengers and can be drawn to our properties due to readily available food sources like garbage cans, bird feeders, and pet food. To deter opossums from coming near your deck, it’s important to take preventive measures.

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Here are some tips to keep opossums away from your deck:

  • Store your garbage cans in a secure area, such as a locked shed or garage, to prevent opossums from accessing them.
  • Opt for wildlife-proof garbage bins or use bungee cords to secure lids tightly.

In addition, consider using bird feeders that are designed to be opossum-proof. These feeders have mechanisms that prevent opossums from reaching the seeds.

When it comes to pet food, it’s recommended to feed your pets indoors or clean up any leftover food immediately after outdoor feeding. Opossums are attracted to the scent of pet food and may try to access the deck area in search of a meal. By removing these enticing food sources, you reduce the chances of opossums being drawn to your deck.

Store garbage cans in a secure area, such as a locked shed or garage
Opt for wildlife-proof garbage bins or use bungee cords to secure lids tightly
Consider using opossum-proof bird feeders
Feed pets indoors or clean up any leftover food immediately after outdoor feeding.

DIY Methods To Deter Opossums From Foraging In Your Yard

If you want to deter opossums from foraging in your yard altogether, there are various do-it-yourself methods you can try.

  • One effective technique is to install motion-activated sprinklers around your deck or garden areas. These sprinklers, equipped with motion sensors, will activate when they detect movement, scaring away opossums and other unwanted animals.

  • Another simple deterrent is to use strong scents that opossums find unpleasant. Spraying a mixture of water and vinegar around the deck perimeter or using commercial opossum repellents can help keep them away.

  • Additionally, opossums have an aversion to bright lights. Consider installing motion-activated lights or utilizing solar-powered lighting to discourage their presence.

  • Furthermore, preventing access to hiding places can discourage opossums from taking up residence under your deck. Trim any overgrown vegetation near the deck and remove any piles of debris where opossums may seek shelter.

By making your yard less appealing and creating a more open and exposed environment, you decrease the likelihood of opossums taking up residence.

  • Blockquote: “If you want to deter opossums from foraging in your yard altogether, there are various do-it-yourself methods you can try.”
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Understanding Opossum Behavior And Habits

To effectively deal with opossums under your deck, it’s important to understand their behavior and habits. Opossums are highly adaptable and opportunistic creatures that are mostly active at night. They are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of foods, including fruits, insects, small animals, and even carrion.

Opossums are proficient climbers and are capable of scaling fences, trees, and even walls. They seek out shelter in dark, secluded areas to rest during the day. Under a deck provides them with the protection and cover they require. Opossums are generally non-aggressive and will likely choose to escape when confronted with a potential threat.

It’s worth noting that opossums are also beneficial creatures as they prey on pests like rats, snakes, and insects. By having opossums in your yard, you indirectly contribute to keeping these unwanted intruders in check. So, balancing their presence and managing any concerns under your deck can be a more holistic approach.

Some important points to remember about opossums:

  • They are highly adaptable and opportunistic creatures.
  • Opossums are mainly active at night.
  • Their diet includes fruits, insects, small animals, and carrion.
  • Opossums are proficient climbers.
  • They seek shelter in dark, secluded areas during the day.
  • Opossums are generally non-aggressive and will likely retreat when faced with a threat.
  • They prey on rats, snakes, and insects, making them beneficial for pest control.

Controlling Pests With The Help Of Opossums

As mentioned earlier, opossums play a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling various pests. Their natural diet includes rodents, snakes, slugs, and harmful insects. By encouraging opossums to stay in your yard, you inadvertently create a natural pest control system.

To attract opossums, create inviting habitats by incorporating features they find attractive. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer shallow water sources, such as birdbaths or low bowls.
  • Provide shelter opportunities, such as brush piles or nesting boxes.

By enhancing your yard’s biodiversity and creating spaces where opossums can thrive, you encourage them to prefer your yard over seeking shelter under your deck.

“By creating a welcoming environment for opossums, you can benefit from their pest control abilities while supporting the ecosystem.”

Discouraging Opossums From Digging Holes In Your Yard

Opossums have a propensity for digging holes in lawns and gardens, which can be frustrating for homeowners. To discourage this behavior, you can employ a few strategies:

  • One effective method is to create physical barriers. Install a mesh or chicken wire fence around your garden or flower beds to prevent opossums from accessing these areas. This barrier should extend at least a foot underground to deter their digging attempts.

  • Another approach is to make your yard less inviting for digging activities. Keep your lawn well-maintained by regularly mowing, as opossums are less likely to dig in neatly manicured areas. Additionally, consider using natural repellents like cayenne pepper or coffee grounds, as these scents can deter opossums from digging.

It’s important to remember that opossums typically dig holes in search of food, especially grubs and insects. Taking proactive steps to control these pests can significantly reduce opossum digging. By treating your lawn for grubs and implementing proper pest management practices, you discourage opossums from digging holes in the first place.

In conclusion, when it comes to getting rid of possums under your deck, it’s crucial to prioritize effective and ethical methods. Creating a safe exit path, preventing access to food sources, using DIY deterrents, understanding opossum behavior, considering their role in pest control, and discouraging digging activities are essential strategies. With a holistic approach that accounts for the well-being of both the opossums and your property, you can successfully resolve the issue while promoting coexistence with these unique creatures.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to get rid of a possum?

One efficient method for swiftly removing possums is to employ a live-holding cage trap. By setting up this contraption, you can safely capture the possum without causing harm to it. Additionally, it is crucial to eliminate any food sources that may be attracting possums by securing trash can lids, feeding pets indoors, and promptly picking up fallen fruit from trees or bushes. Further deterring their presence, motion-activated lights or sprinklers can be installed in your yard to startle and discourage possums from lingering. By implementing these measures, you can effectively and promptly address the issue of possum infestation.

What smell will keep possums away?

Possums can be deterred by a variety of strong scents. One effective smell to keep them away is vinegar. The pungent aroma of vinegar, along with other odors such as garlic, onion, peppermint, and camphor, are natural repellents for possums. These scents can be used to discourage possums from invading gardens, rummaging through trash cans, or accessing other areas where their presence is undesirable.

What home remedy will get rid of possums?

While mothballs are a popular home remedy to repel moths, they can also be effective in warding off possums. Opt for highly potent mothballs and strategically place them in enclosed spaces such as your roof or under the porch to effectively deter possums. The pungent odor emitted by the mothballs can help keep these critters at bay and discourage them from venturing into your property.

Should I let a possum live under my deck?

A: Allowing a possum to live under your deck can actually be beneficial in some ways. Possums are natural pest controllers as they feed on insects, rodents, and even ticks. Having them around can help keep your property free from these pests. However, if the possum becomes a nuisance or starts causing damage, it may be necessary to take steps to encourage it to find a new home.

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