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Opossums favour sheds and porches very much because they provide cool, safe and undisturbed shelter for them. They would comfortably stay there all day and only come out at night to search for food. The advantage of having them around is that they would keep your yard free of snakes and rodents, but they would also leave their faecal material everywhere and damage your outhouse structures with their activities.
Opossum infestations are accompanied by a myriad of other problems and the need to get them out from their nests becomes more real quickly. Achieving this is not hard because opossums do not possess the resilient smartness of some other rodent pests. They may be excluded or trapped without much hassle, but killing by poisoning or lethal trapping should be avoided.
Live capture trapping
This is a highly effective way to get opossums out from under a shed or porch. Live traps will not kill opossums, but will trap them so that they can be taken away from that location and released elsewhere. Get the cage traps from pest control shops and set them near to the porch or shed in question, along the path of the critter.
The location of the trap is important to its effectiveness. It should also be baited with fruits, vegetables or small animals that can easily attract the opossum.
There are several types of opossum repellents that can be used for the purpose of chasing the rat-like mammal away from your porch and outhouses. Opossum repellants basically aim to drive the animal away from your yard by using its sharp sense of smell against it. The common repellents are predator urine, moth balls, ammonia, etc.
Soak a rag in ammonia and toss it under your porch or leave in the corners of your shed. You may do likewise with a handful of mothballs, or pour small quantities of predator urine around the structure.
It has been observed however, that opossums with time, will overcome their aversion for the pungent smell where survival is at stake.
Leg hold traps
As the name implies, these traps are designed to hold the leg of critters caught. They are not designed to kill the opossum, but to hold it down until it is set free. However, the opossum caught by this trap may end up sustaining injuries as it struggles to be free.
After successfully removing the opossums, endeavour to keep your garden clean from dirt and make sure there are no foods or garbage around that can attract new animals.
Opossums are the only marsupials found in North America. Due to deforestation, they are gradually leaving their natural habitats and are now living near humans inside attics, under sheds, porches etc. Even though they are rarely aggressive nor directly harmful animals, they do constitute a huge nuisance when they do this. They make annoying sounds, litter their environment with stinky droppings, steal pet food and produce unwanted odours. They also carry parasites and these can easily be spread to humans and pets.
Sometimes, a homeowner is not very sure that what they have under their shed or porch is an opossum. In order to tackle the disturbance, it is important to know what you are dealing with, so here’s how to know if you have an opossum on your property:
Look out for the droppings. Opossums can be very dirty creatures, they defecate in the same place that they eat and sleep. The appearance of the droppings is usually dependant on the food that they have consumed, but they usually appear large.
Opossums are nocturnal animals and most of their foraging activities to find food take place at night after pets and humans must have retired for the night. They steal pet food that is left outside and climb trees to eat the ripe fruits on them. Any sign of these activities may signify the presence of an opossum on your property.
Dogs are natural predators of the opossum, so if there is an opossum on your property, your dog (if you have one) would bark continuously at night once it sights or sniffs the critter. Note where the dog directs its barks at night or sniffs at during the day and you are likely to find an opossum in hiding.
Opossums also have a characteristic odour that can help to detect their presence by an experienced wildlife practitioner. Get help if you are not sure.
While any of these pointers may signify the presence of opossums under your shed, they may as well mean that another critter apart from the opossum is in residence under your shed. This is especially so if you have not had experience dealing with wildlife pests. As always, when in doubt, get help.
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