Removing Opossums From Your Attic

Opossums are North America’s only marsupial – a furry-skinned species that carry their young in pouches. 

Nocturnal creatures, opossums are non-aggressive and easily frightened. However, if they’ve found their way inside your property, you’ll need to get rid of them. These creatures can cause damage to your home and should be outside.

If you think an opossum might have laid claim to your attic, here’s some fast-action tips you can follow to remove it:

Close Off Entry Points

The only way an opossum could have entered your attic is through an opening – usually a fairly large one – on the side of your house or in your roof. 

Before you remove the creature, you need to first ensure that it can’t return by pest-proofing your property. You can deter all unwanted visitors, not just opossums, by locating any entry points and closing them off. You’ll need to check for: 

  • Holes in roof fascia and soffits
  • Loose boards 
  • Gaps in siding
  • Crawl space openings
  • Air vents that are broken/missing screens 
  • Chimneys without a cap

Any of these could act as welcome entry points for house-hunting opossums. 

Once you’ve located the space, fix the problem, or close the gap up. Sealing materials like Caulk work well for sealing holes and will ensure pests can’t access your home.

Choose a Trap

Once you’ve closed off all entry points, you can set a humane trap to catch the opossum. Be quick to do this after sealing up spaces, as it could distress the animal if they can’t get out of your property.

There’s plenty of traps available to purchase online – you can check some out here.

When choosing a trap, keep in mind its dimensions. Opossums are around 2 to 3 feet long, so you’ll want a trap that can secure them inside safely.

Set the Trap

To attract the opossum, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Put bait in the trap – fish or a small can of wet cat food both work well. 
  2. Place the trap in the center of your attic on an even and level surface.
  3. To increase your chances of enticing the creature, place a trail of bait outside the trap leading toward it.

If you’re worried there’s more than one opossum living in your attic, that’s ok. It will likely be a mother and her babies. Because opossum offspring live in their mother’s pouch or on her back, if you catch mom, you’ll catch them all. 

Check the trap regularly – morning and evening at the very least – to ensure the opossum is not caged for any longer than necessary.

Release the Opossum

Do not release the opossum too far away from your property. As long as you’ve sealed off all entry points, it won’t return. 

Release it in your yard or any surrounding green space.

Relocating the animal far away could lead to its death – opossums are simple creatures and can’t find food or shelter in unfamiliar environments.

Opossums are wild animals and, although non-aggressive by nature, when frightened they could become unpredictable. Take care when approaching any known nesting area or when handling a trap. 

Remember, if your removal approaches fail, call in a professional. These people are trained in eliminating wildlife and can help you opossum-proof your attic once and for good.