An animal-free garden is every gardener’s dream. However, the reality is usually an endless battle with animals invading the garden. And a usual culprit is the gentle North American marsupial: opossum. Possums are omnivores, and they love to search the earth for insects, worms and grubs. They also have a taste for fruits and vegetables, which is why they can be bad news in the garden.
If you have a persistent possum problem in your garden, here are some opossum prevention tips to help you win the battle.
Keep the yard as clean as possible
Opossums, and animals in general, are attracted to places where they are very likely to find food, water and shelter. And an opossum will only come to your garden in search of food, if they find it, then they will keep coming back and eventually move in. whether you intentionally or unintentionally leave out potential food sources in or around the yard, it will attract possums and other small animals. If you want animals to stay away from your garden, ensure that you always have a clean and tidy garden. Keeping your yard clean would also be top priority, fallen fruits should be promptly removed, fruits and vegetables should be plucked as soon as they ripe, and the trash cans should always be shut with a tight lid.
Remove potential hiding spots
Opossums will occasionally visit several places and pass through many gardens, but they will only make their den in a place that they find conducive. Beside abundance of food, the other thing that would keep a possum in your garden is a hiding spot. If you have piles of wood, open burrows, low-hanging tree branches, overgrown shrubs, piles of debris, and lots of clutter that can act as a hideout, then you’re indirectly invading animals to move in. And trust that they would very willingly accept the invite.
On the other hand, a very tidy and well-maintained garden will be unattractive to opossums, and you won’t find one living there.
Getting rid of possums in the garden
If you already have an opossum living in your garden or under your house, there are a couple of actions to take in order to force the animal out. For instance, inspect your garden and identify what might be the major reason why possums find it attractive. You should start by cleaning out the garden and striving to make a neat and clutter-free garden. Next, identify the possum den and seal it. If the possum is living in a burrow, or under the house, find a way to lure the animal out and seal the entrance. You may have to get expert help here, or hire A-Team services for professional opossum removal.
Protect your garden with a fence
A fence around your garden is a very effective physical barrier that prevents animals like possums from getting in and attacking your plants. A fence that efficiently excludes opossums should be at least 4 feet into the ground and 4 feet high above the ground. Woven wire mesh and hardwood are excellent materials for creating a strong barrier to keep possums out. If you construct a possum-proofing fence, also ensure that there are no trees with long or low-hanging branches around because they can act as a bridge over the fence and into the garden, which defeats the purpose of the fence.
Trap and relocate them
Battling with a reoccurring animal problem in your garden can be very distressing, and a solution that many gardeners resort to for complete possum removal is trapping and relocation. Opossums are generally very gentle creatures and would really cause you no harm. Here is a great resource at getridofpossums.com to learn more about other methods of opossum trapping.
But if there is a recurring problem with a possum in your garden which is causing a lot of damage to your plants, then live-trapping and removal may be the best option for you. You can get a live trap and follow the instructions below for a DIY opossum removal
- Step 1: Identify where the possum frequents regularly because you’ll have to set the trap around there. Also note that the trap should be set in a concealed way, preferably under a shade and concealed with plants, leaves or cut branches.
- Step 2: Find a good bait for the trap. You can bait the trap with apples, fish or canned pet food. Wait for the animal to get caught, and ensure you check it every morning.
- Step 3: To relocate the possum, gently carry the trap with the animal in it and drive far away from your property, at least 3 to 4 miles. Gently open the door and back away to let the animal escape.