Keeping Opossums Away From Your Property

You have a problem.  It starts with signs of an invasion.  Your carefully tended garden is torn up.  There are claw marks on the side of your house.  Your trash can is tampered with.  You find signs of nesting material inside holes, logs, under your porch, or even in your basement or attic.  There are animal tracks with opposable thumbs.  You smell a foul odor (not a skunk) in the air.  All of these are signs that you might have an opossum problem.  

Opossums are a real nuisance.  They create havoc with gardens and other manicured outdoor areas.  They get into trash.  They pose a threat to chicken coops and, occasionally, pets and other smaller animals.  They can also spread a variety of diseases to people and animals, including leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, spotted fever, and tularemia.  They also spread fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.  They are known for “playing dead” in order to deter predators and emit a truly putrid odor from their anal glands while doing so.  Clearly, you will want to get rid of any opossums who try to take up residence.  In this article, we will explore five useful ways to get rid of them.

Good Fences

Fences are an important first line of defense when you want to keep your property an opossum-free zone.  Opossums do not generally dig, so fencing in your property line is an effective way to keep them out.  It is also a good idea to carefully check all fences regularly to make sure they are in good condition and have no cracks or holes.  It is also a smart idea to fence in your garden.

Good fences will not only keep out opossums, they keep out a variety of other animals who destroy your property and pose a threat to people and pets.

Noise and Lights

Opossums are repelled by noise.  There are a variety of devices on the market, such as sonic noise devices, that emit high-frequency noises opossums will flee from. 

Opossums also like the dark.  Motion-activated lights are also useful for scaring off opossums.  Motion-activated sprinklers that blast them with water are another useful tool.

Keep Things Tidy

Opossums thrive in places they can hide.  Some things you can do to lessen the amount of hiding places they have include:

  • Clearing brush
  • Getting rid of old logs
  • Removing other debris and the like
  • Keeping up the siding and baseboards on your house
  • Blocking off areas under porches
  • Fixing holes and other potential points of entry to your house

Eliminate Food Sources

Look around and imagine that you are a hungry opossum.  Where is the food? 

  • Pick up any fruit that falls from trees. 
  • Clear away wild berry bushes. 
  • Don’t leave out birdseed and bring in feeders at night. 
  • Clean grills and grease traps. 
  • Secure trash barrels to discourage them from raiding the trash. 
  • Never leave pet food out. 


Like a lot of animals, opossums depend on a keen sense of smell to avoid predators and stay alive.  Giving them a whiff of a predator’s scent will send them scrambling.  Here are some tricks you can use:

  • Collect hair from the family dog when they shed or you brush them.  Place the hair in strategic places around the yard.
  • There are a number of sprays on the market that mimic the scent of predators.  Spraying them around the yard and foundation of the house will make opossums avoid your property. 

Using a few basic tricks will make your property an opossum-free zone.