Possum Trapping

possum trapping


09.30.2003 - Here's one of the nuisance critters that I commonly deal with. It's the Virginia Opossum. These animals are common in Florida. They are nomadic scavengers, though they will set up homes in and around human structures. Females will commonly live in attics in the late spring and summer, if they have young. I've dealt with many such cases this past season. However, in the autumn, they are most just scavenging about, stocking up on food for the winter. Even though it doesn't get cold down here, it's still an instinct.

This opossum was living under a pool deck at a home in Longwood. It drove the dogs of the house crazy every night, and the homeowner was worried that the dog might attack the possum, or vice versa, and was tired of the noise. He tried many tactics to get the animal to leave, such as using mothballs, but it didn't work. The opossum stayed for several weeks, so he called me out, and I trapped and removed it. The key to possum trapping is to set the correct sized cage, such as the large 32" Havahart trap you see in the above photo, make sure the trap is flush to the ground, and bait it with almost anything, though smelly baits often work better for opossums. Generally, they're not too hard to trap.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
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The opossum, (Didelphis virginiana) is a nocturnal animal that lives in North America. It is a marsupial, which means that the females give birth to tiny young, who grow in a pouch. These young eventually cling to the mother's back and drop off when they are large enough. Opossums are unique for many reasons. They have opposable thumbs, prehensile tails, 50 teeth, and several other unusual features. They are omnivores who eat almost anything, they have excellent immune systems, and they rarely live more than 2-3 years in the wild. They are most commonly considered a nuisance species when they live in an attic or other structure, such as under a shed, or steal pet food or threaten animals.

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How to capture a possum that lives under your house - Things that go bump in the night – this is a pain isn't it? Especially when the thing bumping around is a wild animal that is driving you nuts as you sit and listen to it all night. The only problem with your house is that it often attracts many wild animals, and the poor possum is just one of those things! Luckily for you, there are more than a couple of ways that you can amend the situation with your pesky possum:

Firstly – you can try to catch the creature yourself. This will take some research, and although may be cheaper than hiring a professional, is almost guaranteed to take you longer, especially if you know nothing about the topic already. You are going to need to learn about the various traps – kill traps and humane traps, as well as the various baits, and even what to do once you have caught the creature. I advise a large size cage trap, and almost any bait will do.

Secondly, you could try poison but this is not advised. You could accidentally kill other wild animals; the wrong ones, and even your own pets, as well as endangering small children. You will also have the worry about where the animal is actually going to die, which could leave you with a nasty smelly problem!

Thirdly, and the best out of all of the choices, is to just a call a guy that knows what he is doing. There are plenty of pest and wildlife control professionals that you can call to give you a hand, and although this might be more expensive than the other options, at least you can guarantee that the job is done properly.

Do you have possums in your yard or property? They will need to be removed, and so trapping is the obvious solution. Here's how to remove them and keep your home safe.

Why Possums Get into Your Home

These days, possums are finding their way into urban areas. It's easy to see why, as they usually feed on plants and insects, but aren't averse to eating trash. With so much being abundant in an urban area, they will happily move in.

They'll also like the fact they're safer from predators in your yard or home. If they have more protection there, as well as easy access to food, then they're not going to want to leave of their own accord.

Why Remove Possums?

Many would argue that you should leave possums alone if they've started to move into your property. There is some argument for this. As they eat insects, they keep more insects out of your house. They're excellent scavengers, so a neighborhood with them is often cleaner than one without.

The problem is they may come into your home to find food, or to raise their young. While a possum won't stay in one place for too long, you still don't want them indoors. They can be carriers of several diseases. Rabies is always a concern with wild mammals, and possums are prone to toxoplasmosis, Chagas disease, tuberculosis, and more. It's better to convince them to leave the property, to keep you and your family safe.

Trapping Possums

When it comes to possum removal, it's often better to trap them and release them elsewhere. Firstly, many species of possums are actually endangered, so you won't be legally allowed to use lethal pest control methods. If you have possums, you'll need to look up your area's laws to see what you can do. Secondly, as possums are beneficial to the ecosystem, it's much better to simply trap them and release them elsewhere. The easiest way to do this is to call on a pest control service, who will handle the trapping and releasing of the pests for you.

If you want to do it yourself though, you can. Most possums aren't too wary of traps, so it's not too hard to do. The trick is to get the right bait. Fish flavored cat food often works well but runs the risk of attracting cats. Instead, try raw eggs, or overripe fruit such as melon, grapes, or bananas. Place the trap along a known route of travel for the possum.

Once you have the possum, be careful as you handle the trap. Use gloves, and take the trap as far away as possible for release. This ensures that the possum won't find its way back to your home.

Now you know how to trap a possum, you can easily remove one if you find it on your property. Use the right location and the right bait, and it'll be easy to move it on. If you need help, you can always call on a pest control expert to help you.

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