Must Know To Take Care Possums In Your Garden

How To Trap Opossum

The traps should be set in locations the animal frequents or where it is causing damage. Fish, canned cat or dog food are good opossum baits. To readily entice the opossum into the trap, use a small trail of bait leading to the trap. All traps should be checked in the morning and evening, so that captured animals may be dealt with in a humane manner.

Release the animal several miles. Check with your game and wildlife department before trapping and releasing them.


Opossums have a repulsive, musk-like odor and can be an occasional nuisance when they enter crawl spaces, under decks, garages, and similar areas. They nurse in the mother’s pouch for about 3 months.The average number of young is 6, but as many as 13 may be born.

  • The opossum is 2-3 feet long. Its head is white to yellowish with a pink nose, black eyes and bluish black, naked ears.
  • Adults are long-haired, light-gray, and about the size of a large cat weighing 4-15 lbs.
  • It has a long scaly tail, black at its base, grading to yellow-white or pink for the rest of its length.


Expert Tips

Before trapping an opossum, become familiar with the trapping and relocating laws in your area by contacting your local game commission.

The best time of year to trap an opossum is late fall through early winter, before the breeding season.

Stabilize your trap by placing a brick or weight on top. This will prevent animals from knocking the trap over, and will keep the trap from rattling when an opossum enters it.

Using a small amount of bait, create a trail that leads the opossum inside. Be sure not to use too much bait to prevent the opossum from becoming satisfied before stepping inside the trap.

An opossum may pretend to be dead – or “play possum” – when you try to release him from the cage. This is a normal defense mechanism that opossums use when threatened. Be patient and step away from the trap so the opossum can exit when it’s ready.



Possum kill traps have the advantage of killing possums humanely in the trap, this also means they do not have to be checked as regularly as live capture traps.
It is not recommended to use kill traps in areas where pets or non target animals may be able to access the trap.
Like leg hold traps, possum kill traps are set on or near trees where there is regular possum activity.
There are a variety of different kill traps available in New Zealand. The possum kill traps sold by Maintrac Group have been used and tested extensively by DOC and other pest control operators. These have proved to be humane and have a high kill rate, they are also safe and easy to use.


Professional Humane Animal Trap

The Professional Humane Live Animal Trap is a relatively big wire mesh trap that prevents possums from escaping once they are inside in the trap. You can put this outside in all weather conditions since the material resists rust.

The possum cannot cause damage to the trigger rod due to its location on the outside of the trap. Stay safe when you release the possums you catch elsewhere due to the positioning of the handles. The bait hook is capable of holding all bait types you use for possums. You can attach the bait within seconds, making setting up this trap easy.


  • The trap has a very sensitive trigger
  • Animals cannot scratch or bite when you handle the trap
  • More than one possum fits in the cage
  • Possums cannot escape even if they move the trap
  • You can make minor changes to the trap if you need to


  • The bait hook may be too big for certain bait types
  • Possums may snatch the bait from outside of the trap


How to Get Rid of Possums

Possums are usually non-aggressive animals, but they can create unsanitary conditions and may turn aggressive if they become diseased. There are several ways to get rid of them if they are hanging out in your yard. Most solutions simply involve making the environment less appealing. However, you can also set traps to capture possums and physically remove them if other simple solutions don’t work.

Scaring Possums Away :
Set up motion-activated lights or sprinklers.
 Place a motion-activated device near the perimeter of your house, at the front of your property, around fruit trees, or on any other spots where possums frequent. Once the device is triggered on the animal several times, it won’t want to come around again.

  • Motion-activated devices are triggered once the possum crosses the sensor but they are also triggered by anything else that crosses the sensor.
  • Motion-activated sprinklers tend to be slightly more effective than motion-activated lights. Lights are enough to frighten away skittish possums that are afraid of humans, but water sprinklers work better with possums that are a little more mature and a little harder to startle.

Scatter dog or cat fur in the areas that possums frequent. Collect pet hair after brushing your dog or cat. Place the hair in small mesh bags and hang them or scatter them around areas at which possums frequently gather.

  • The smell of a potential predator might be enough to deter many possums from hanging around.

Spread something that smells potent. Ammonia and garlic are scents that possums tend to flee from. If using ammonia, pour a small amount of ammonia into a coffee can with a lid. Place a rag inside the ammonia and bring one end up through a hole cut into the lid. The rag will act as a wick to disperse the fumes. Place one of these containers in every area where possums gather.

  • Place a clove of crushed garlic in any area that you want neighborhood possums to avoid. Crushed garlic is better than whole garlic since crushing it first allows more of the scent to escape.

Apply a chemical repellent. Chemical repellents can be applied to gardens, flowerbeds, or the base of a structure. Purchase a product from your local home improvement or hardware store. Follow the instructions on the repellent to apply it safely. Most repellents consist of a powder that is sprinkled over the desired area.

  • Different repellents use different ingredients, but predator urine is often one element of it.