Have you been startled by an opossum in your yard? Did you even know what it was at first glance? Most people are not that familiar with the opossum. And if there is one in their yard, they certainly want it gone.
But the slow-moving lifestyle of the opossum doesn’t lend itself to anything quickly.
It starts at night with a rustling sound in the backyard. The dog is going crazy, and you are wondering who or what is in the backyard. Then you see it, that animal called the opossum must be the one bothering your dog.
Although they are slow-moving, opossums can make a real mess of your yard in just one night. They will rummage through your trash cans, turn up your flower pots, and tear up ductwork and insulation.
On the other hand, you may not want the opossum removed after all. You see, they can be a good thing to have around if you aren’t too alarmed by the sight of the critter. Many people think the opossum is related to the rat, and that is just not true. In fact, they are related to the kangaroo and the koala. They are marsupials; that is, they carry their young in a pouch.
So, never fear! It is not a giant rat roaming around in your yard or even a cousin of the rat. However, if you still want the opossum removed, call your local wildlife removal experts to get the job done safely and humanely.
The Good of Having an Opossum in Your Yard
We understand that if any wildlife is causing a problem in your yard, you want it out. But it is not all bad to have an opossum roaming your yard. Why? Because they are a source of natural rodent and insect control. And they help keep the world clean. Let us explain.
According to the Opossum Society of the United States,
“Whether rural, residential or in the wilderness, opossums are a benefit to any area they inhabit. Their diet includes all types of bugs and insects including cockroaches, crickets and beetles. They love snails. They also eat mice and rats. The nocturnal opossum is attracted to our neighborhoods by the availability of water, pet food left out at night and overripe, rotting fruit that has fallen from trees. The opossum in turn helps keep our neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents, which may carry diseases. The opossum has earned the title of ‘Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineer.'”
So, you can see how they would benefit a large yard, garden, or farm. If they can take care of fallen fruit, mice, and harmful insects, then you may just want to invite them in!
Additionally, opossums are not really a danger. In defense, they could bite. But not usually. In most cases, they will just roll over and play dead or “play possum.” Then, when you turn your back, they will run as fast as they can to get out of harm’s way.
Why Would the Opossum be in Your Yard?
The simple answer here is that opossums look for food, water, and shelter wherever they go. And since they are omnivorous, they are also opportunistic feeders. They prefer to scavenge for food others have left behind, rotten fruits on the ground, and insects in the grass or garden. Here are some of the reasons they may be attracted to your yard, in particular.
- If you have fruit trees, they will surely smell out fruit when it hits the ground.
- When there are mice somewhere in your yard, you may have an opossum stop by.
- Do you keep lids on your trash cans? If not, the opossum may not be the only critter looking for your leftovers.
- Do you leave pet food and water bowls outside for pets? The opossum does not mind sharing, one bit.
- Perhaps you have a raised home or a deck? That is the perfect hiding and nesting spot for the opossum.
- Or maybe you have some overgrowth of thick bushes on the property. Those are excellent hiding spots for the opossum in your yard.
So, now that you know what might be attracting the critters to your property; let’s figure out what to do about it.
What To Do When There is an Opossum
The best way to get an opossum to leave your yard is to simply remove the attractors listed above. Then you have a chance, and they might just go and look for a place with better accommodations. Otherwise, the task can be a real challenge. Not to mention, getting these areas of the yard cleaned up will discourage all sorts of pests like flies, rats, mice, snakes, raccoons, and more.
If you are bound and determined to get rid of the opossum in your yard, here is what we recommend. Try this three-step process to remove the critters safely.
- Exclusion: This is where you keep them out purposefully. Place fencing or lattice under a raised home. Do the same for raised decks and porches—Block entryways to sheds, garages, and anywhere they can get in and hide. If you have a garden, place chicken wire around the perimeter.
- Trapping: Trapping is not all that difficult. You will need a trap of the right size and a bait. Fish-flavored cat food will do just fine. Or place some rotten fruit in the trap.
- Control Methods: Another way to control the critters is to use motion-activated sprinklers to frighten them away.
Then the question remains, what do you do with it once the opossum is trapped? Since it is illegal to transport the opossum without a permit, you’ll either need that permit or a professional.
If you want someone else to remove it right away, call on the professional help of a wildlife company like Covenant Wildlife Removal.
Preventing Opossums from Entering Your Home
Now, once you have determined the cause for the opossum attraction to your yard in the first place, you can avoid them in the future. When the opossum has been chased out or removed, make sure you clean up the following attractors:
- Bring pet food in at night.
- Secure pet doors so at night so they cannot enter the home.
- Pick up fallen fruit from the garden or yard.
- Cover trash cans with a good lid.
- Clear all hiding spots from the yard.
- And secure all hiding spots with fencing and door locks.
Covenant Wildlife Removal is Here for You.
With our years of experience removing all kinds of critters from people’s homes and yards, you cannot go wrong when you call Covenant Wildlife Removal. Our team has seen just about every animal you can imagine and has removed them successfully.
For service, you can trust, contact our team 24/7 for a timely response. We are reliable and guarantee our work. With a focus on customer service, we often are called back again and again to remove the various animals that invade large properties and those of their neighbors.
And, if the animals get into your home, we are ready to not only remove the pest but remediate the area, deodorize and sanitize as well.
We are a full-service Alabama wildlife removal company with the exact equipment and knowledge it takes to perform these services professionally and effectively. Covenant Wildlife Removal offers many removal services, from structural damage restorations to exclusion and prevention services. We can fix, clean up, and repair any damages caused by unwelcomed wildlife.