How-To Steps for DIY Removal
While opossums are beneficial in keeping away rodents and insects, you still don’t want them living in your house. There are some things you can do to get them to move on.
Tear Up The Nest
If you’ve discovered opossums in your attic, crawl space or under your deck, wait until dusk and then once the animal leaves the nest, tear the nest apart and throw it away. Baby opossums will be with their mother foraging, so there’s no danger to them. Be sure and wear protective clothing when handling the nesting materials and wash your hands and yourself thoroughly after removal.
Coax Them Out
Sometimes, an opossum will get in through a pet door. If that happens, shut all the inside doors in your house and open all the outside doors. Wildlife experts say opossums aren’t typically aggressive. You may try sprinkling a trail of pet food to the door. The opossum will follow it, eat it and let itself out.
Board Up The Entrance
If an opossum has moved in under your deck or in your attic, find the entrance and exit hole and wait for them to leave—about two hours after dusk is usually a good time. Once the opossum is out foraging for food, close the opening with netting or some other type of material so they can’t get back in. Once daylight hits, you can cover it with more permanent material.
Opossums like to climb trees, and if branches and limbs hang above your roof, it can make it easy for them to get on top of your house and in your attic. Keep your branches and limbs trimmed back at least five feet away from your roof line.
If opossums are living under your deck or porch, take a portable radio, turn it to a talk station and leave it on during the day. The noise will disturb them while they are resting or sleeping and force them to leave or keep them from coming back.
Make Your Own Repellent
Take a coffee can and puncture it in several places. Soak some old rags in ammonia and put them inside the can and put the lid back on. Place the coffee can near the entry point. The smell will deter opossums. You will have to soak the rags in ammonia every day for it to continue to be effective.
Light It Up
You can put portable lights near the place where the opossums are getting in. Turn them on during the day while the animal is trying to rest or sleep. It will frustrate an opossum and cause it to leave. Flashing Christmas lights are particularly effective.
Wait Them Out
If the opossum is staying on a part of your property where you can wait on them to leave, that’s an easy solution. Opossums are roamers and generally move to another den within a few days or a couple of weeks. So, if they’re living in a barn or shed and you can wait for them to move out, do so.
One thing to keep in mind is, just because you see an opossum in your yard doesn’t mean it’s taking up residence on your property. Opossums keep consistent foraging routes, so they may not be living in your yard, it may just be their cut through to get to the food they’re searching for.