Opossum Removal – Professional vs. DIY
The opossum’s natural habitat is wooded areas and forests, nesting in tree cavities, hollow logs, or other animals’ abandoned burrows. As our towns and cities spread, they have adapted to live in urban areas as well. Garbage, gardens, pet food, and bird feeders all provide food sources, and our homes offer warm structures for them to nest in (if they can find safe access). Although they are beneficial to the ecosystem (their diet includes roadkill and venomous snakes), the noises they make and the diseases they carry make them unpopular guests.
If you’ve got an unwanted opossum on your property, you’re probably wondering whether you should remove the opossum yourself or hire a professional. Hiring a professional is the easiest and safest option and saves you from doing all the work. However, if you have the right equipment, and access to the correct information, you may be able to catch and relocate the opossum yourself, for the price of an exclusion door or possum trap.
So what’s the better option? Read on to understand more about your choices and the circumstances that require a professional.
When removing an opossum yourself, never try to pick it up with your bare hands. Always wear protective gloves and long sleeves. While opossums are known for playing ‘dead,’ they are also wild and unpredictable animals, and there have been cases where they unexpectedly “woke up” and lashed out. They have sharp teeth and are carriers for multiple types of diseases, so don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
There are many different DIY methods for opossum removal:
- You may find that you can encourage it to move along without ever having to come into direct contact with it. Try removing food sources, using repellents and deterrents (such as motion-sensor lights and sprinklers), and means of exclusion (such as installing a one-way exclusion door to let the opossum out, but prevent it coming back in).
- If you can’t encourage it to move on, you’ll need to trap it. If you want to do this yourself, use a cage trap big enough for a cat or raccoon, and make sure you check it often. The trapped opossum will try to escape, often hurting itself in the process. It will also be without food and water. So check regularly, and know where to relocate the opossum once caught.
When to Hire a Pro
If you hire a wildlife expert to remove the opossum for you, it means less hassle. You don’t have to research the best repellents, or buy and set up exclusion doors or traps and monitor them. A professional will come in, assess the situation, and proceed to catch and relocate the possum, and you won’t have to do a thing.
If you have tried to remove the opossum yourself without any results, then it’s time to call the expert in. You can also call them if you’ve caught it in a trap, but want them to relocate it for you.
Most of the time, when people opt for DIY over hiring a professional, it’s to save money. The reality is that you’re going to spend money on repellents, exclusion doors, or traps anyway, and then work out what to do with the opossum once you’ve caught it. In that case, you might as well save yourself the time and call a wildlife expert from the start.
When in doubt, hire a wildlife removal expert. Wildlife removal experts have experience in handling opossum removal in various situations and the tools to do it. Trying to remove the opossum yourself puts both you and the animal at risk of harm.