How To Prevent Opossums In Your Garden

November 7, 2022
Opossum’s are cute or spooky little creatures depending on your perception of adorable. Even if you think the critters are cute, it’s important to remember that they are trouble makers who will probably tear apart your garden and terrorize your beloved pets. However, there are a variety of ways to keep opossums out of your garden and we have put a guide together to help you do just that. 

Identifying Opossums 

Before we dive into the preventative measures, let’s take a look at what opossums actually are and why they are so destructive.  Opossums are the only marsupials to be found in the United States and they come in many species. The little critters vary from 1 to 4 deer in length but can way up to an astounding 15 pounds. They have gray or silver fur and have long, bald tails.  Opossums are considered pests because they are known for destroying gardens, digging through trash cans in search of food and attacking pets. They are also smelly marsupials and carry fleas and ticks as well as diseases. The most common disease they carry is leptospirosis. 

Prevention Tips

Now that we have an understanding of opossums and the destructive nature of the critters, let’s take a look at how you can prevent them from entering your yard.  Remove hiding places Opossums love to hide out in small places including wooded areas, under decks, in sheds or in tree crevices. In order to prevent them from turning your home into their home, you need to remove or limit these hiding spaces. Make sure to trim your shrubbery, clean up any debris and repair any holes in shed walls. Opossums usually don’t enter yards that are well kept as it limits their hiding spots, so keep everything as tidy as possible.  Remove food sources The primary reason opossums will break into your garden is to search for food. Never intentionally feed opossums as they will keep coming back for more and this will cause them to become more aggressive if you stop feeding them. With this in mind, you should try to avoid feeding them unintentionally too. In order to do this, you need to keep your garden as clean as possible. Opossums are attracted to fruit, so remember to clean up any fallen fruit on a regular basis. Also remember to get rid of any overripe vegetables and fruit.  Make sure to keep your garbage can lids tightened and place any compost inside a container. If your pets eat outside, make sure to bring the food indoors at night. Make sure to clean your grill and if you have bird feeders, avoid the seeds from falling to the ground - seed catchers are perfect for this purpose.  Install Fences If you want to keep opossums out of your yard, exclusion fences are a great option. To keep them out, your fence should be around 4 feet high and extend to 4 feet below the ground. Your fence can be constructed with concrete, hardwood and woven wire. Try to stay away from softwoods as opossums can chew through this.  So, how do you keep them from climbing the fence? Make the top of the fence point outwards and away from the garden, so opossums aren’t able to get over it. Electric fences are also highly effective. 

Scare them off Opossums will flee at any sign of danger and there are many ways you can use this to your advantage. You can brush your cat or dog's hair and place the fur around the garden. Just the smell of a pet can send opossums running. You can also install motion devices that are designed to scare pests off, including a motion activated sprinkler.  Repel them with scents Opossums have a strong sense of smell and are easily repelled because of this. Ammonia is a scent that is particularly effective when it comes to repelling opossums. You can pour some ammonia into a container and close it off using a lid. Cut a hole into the container and place a rag through the hole. Make sure the rag is sticking out of the container. This will disperse the scent further and repel any opossum. Place the container in the garden, especially at points of possible entry. Other smells that are known to send opossums running include garlic and chili powder.  If you find yourself having to deal with these pesky and dangerous pests, contact the Twin-Boro pest control experts today.