Opossums are omnivorous and are a nuisance to many people, mainly due to their scavenging traits. The animals are not harmful but rather act as carriers of bacteria, virus and fungus. Their droppings are particularly lethal for horses as they cause EPM, which is a neurologic disease. An interesting thing is that, frightened opossums usually “play possum” which involves them lying still on the ground, with their eyes closed, as if they are dead. Furthermore, when pursued, the animals run-away. There are several ways of getting opossums out of people’s homes. These methods include the following:
Opossums like scavenging and thus denying them of all possible food sources undoubtedly acts as a good deterrent. The first thing to do is ensuring that pet food and water are not easily assessable to the animals. Next, use garbage bins that are will be difficult for the opossums to tamper with. In addition, take measures to reinforce outside catering equipment, such as barbeque grills, to limit the animals' access to food crumbs.
Opossums have a unique ability of climbing trees, and thus; it is advisable to put rings on trees, as these will prevent the animals from climbing the trees. Furthermore, make sure to pick fruits, as soon as they are ripe as these are a favorite of the animals.
Denying them suitable shelter
Opossums are adept at taking residence in any abandoned den. They also like dark, clustered and uninhabited places. It is, therefore, beneficial to remove unnecessary objects on the lawn that could provide shelter to these animals. Because of their excellent climbing skills, the opossums can live on top of trees and attics. This means that you should take the appropriate steps to deter them from accessing such places easily. For trees, rings pose a formidable challenge to the animals while in the case of attics; make sure to place seals to prevent the opossums from climbing them.
Other possible shelters for the opossums are the following: underground vents, porches, and sheds. The erection of steel barriers is a robust solution in the prevention of infestation of opossums in the aforementioned places. However, monitor the area on a regular basis and take up of necessary corrective measures.
Just like skunks, opossums are normally nocturnal animals; operate mainly at night. Therefore, any activity, such as putting on the lights and installing water sprinklers that are sensitive to motion will interrupt them is an effective way and frightening them. Having dogs within the compound will also act as a good deterrent as they are normally afraid of dogs.
Use of traps
Use of traps is an effective method of preventing the spread of opossums. The animals are also comparatively easy to trap contrary to other small mammals. Make sure to place the traps strategically to maximize the success rate. It is necessary to use traps that inflict as little harm to the animals as possible. Once captured, the animals could be transported to areas that pose a minimal animal – human conflict, and thus, ensuring harmonious existence.
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