Keeping Opossums Away From Your Property

The Virginia Opossum, commonly referred to simply as a possum, is a marsupial commonly found in urban environments. Due to its proximity to humans, a possum can be quite a pest, eating its way through garbage, pet food, and plants. For those that aren’t familiar with the opossum’s nocturnal tactics, imagine cat-like agility and climbing with the curiosity and diet of a raccoon – a perfect mixture for causing urban chaos. Fortunately, we are going to be looking at simple scare tactics to keep these critters away from your yard.

Scare Devices

Motion-activated devices can be simple things that squirt a jet of water, shine a light, or make a noise. The great thing about nearly every one of these devices is that they annoy but are harmless to the possum. A squirt of water will make them think twice about your yard being a fun place to hang out, and a sudden noise will certainly scare them away, without any lasting damage.

A great dual-purpose motion-activated scare device is security lighting in your yard. Many places provide great options that are suitable for many budgets, and these things work like a charm. As the possum is a nocturnal creature that likes to hide in shadows and stay hidden, a bright light certainly takes that comfort away. Soon, all the local wildlife (as well as potential intruders) will learn that your yard is not the place to be.

DIY Option

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to purchase scare devices but still want to get rid of possums, then you have the DIY option. Take some inspiration from the Home Alone movies and set up varying scares to keep critters from your garden. For example, tying helium-filled balloons around places that possums will get in and out of your garden works very well to scare them.  

Possums are a prey species to larger animals. Because of this, have a fine-tuned flight response. Taking advantage of this is easy, using things that you can make at home that will move or make noises. These will quickly scare away possums and most critters in your area. Attaching streamers to an outdoor fan, or even hanging strings of old CD’s, will also create an environment possums won’t want to visit.

Another method is to spread oil or shortening on places that possums might climb. The slick surface will make it impossible for them to get a grip of things like feeders, fence posts, or other places they might climb and get into mischief.

High-Tech Option

In a polar switch from the DIY option is the high-tech choice. You can purchase high-frequency sound emitters that will deter any animal from approaching. These can either be set to emit the sound when a beam is broken or continually emit a sound to keep animals at a distance; just make sure your neighbors don’t have dogs, because then this would not be an appropriate option. 

High-tech scare systems are systems that, when triggered, produce a strobing light and sudden loud sound that is sure to convince an animal in the area that your yard is best avoided. These do require an external power supply and can be costly. They are not friendly to all budgets.

Whether you chose an expensive system or rely on home remedies, ensure that you are researching how this might affect other wildlife in your area. With scaring systems, make sure that you’re being a good neighbor to both humans and the surrounding wildlife. Remember, learning about the creatures you wish to repel will not only provide sound advice on how to keep these animals at bay but might give you a newfound respect for your adversary.