When there are opossums on your property, you will want to take the necessary steps to get them off and keep them away. Repellents should theoretically accomplish both of these goals at the same time, discouraging new possums from entering your yard and encouraging the current ones to leave. Unfortunately for those who think repellents are a miracle cure, they are not always effective and are frequently a waste of time. That being said, they can sometimes work with a bit of knowledge.
Consider Safety And Environmental Impact
Before you get too far into considering a particular repellent to keep opossums off your property, you should consider whether it contains any chemicals. The vast majority of repellents sold commercially will contain some sort of chemical and there is no telling what it will. Aerosol repellents in particular tend to be rich in these harmful substances. When chemicals are part of the repellents, there are a few important risks to consider. What happens if your child or pet gets close to the repellent and accidentally ingests some? This would be easily possible if they touch the area sprayed with the repellent then put it in their mouth. You also need to think about the environmental impact as aerosols can harm the planet and any repellent containing chemicals can lead to these ingredients running off into the ground and water supply.
Things To Consider About Scents
You will notice that a large number of the repellents that claim to work for opossums are scents, whether in a spray, liquid, granules, or other format. Scents have a unique set of disadvantages that you need to consider. First of all, the smell will fade over time naturally so you need to reapply it every few weeks for as long as you want the possums to stay away. You will also need to reapply the scent after every single rainfall as it would be washed away. Don’t forget that opossums can also get used to smells over time, meaning that a repellent which was once effective may not remain that way.
Scents To Try
A quick online search will show you a long list of home remedies that theoretically work as possum repellents. One of the most commonly suggested is predator urine, which you can either buy in the store or even get from your pet dog. You may also see recipes that include ingredients like peppers. Looking at the options for sale will show you another long list of ingredients and scents that promise to produce results. The common theme, however, is that none of them actually do. In most cases, people who see success with these repellents were just lucky.
Another type of repellent that is commonly suggested but won’t likely produce results is an ultrasonic sound machine. These machines are designed to operate at a frequency that humans can’t hear but animals do. The idea is that the possums and other wildlife will find the sound annoying and leave your property. In reality, the animals typically ignore the sounds. In some cases, humans may even hear them, meaning you become an annoying neighbor. Considering these machines are costly and would theoretically need to be on 24/7, plugged in the whole time, they are a big waste of money.
One method that may work temporarily is motion-activated lights. These are exactly what they sound like: lights for the exterior of your home that turn on when they sense motion. Since opossums prefer to be active at night and hide in the dark, they will try to avoid the well-lit areas, theoretically staying off your property. Of course, the animals typically realize eventually that there is no danger other than the lights and will come back.
If you ask a wildlife expert, they will tell you that the only repellent they see work occasionally over a longer period of time is motion-activated sprinklers. These are like the motion-activated lights but will instead spray water. Since the possums don’t want to get wet, they are likely to learn to avoid the area.
The Best Method Of Getting Rid Of Possums
Since most of the possum repellents you will find, both online and in stores, are ineffective, you should rely on other methods. If there are already opossums on your property, you should consider trapping and relocation. This way, the animals will have a chance at a long life far away from your house. A wildlife professional can take care of this process for you.
Keep Them Out In The First Place
Of course, the best situation would be keeping the possums away in the first place. That way, you never need to use repellents. Do this by making your yard unattractive, taking away their food sources. Put away pet food, clean up spilled bird seed and fallen fruit, and make a general effort to keep your property clean. You can even build a fence around specific areas to keep them out. It will need to be buried a foot or more underground and rise several feet above at a minimum.