Opossum in a Trap with green grass in the background.

How to Trap an Opossum

Opossums are like uninvited guests that crash your garden party! They come when they want and take away whatever food is left behind. But unfortunately, not only do they make messes, but their presence can also be dangerous to our health.

Keeping possums away from your property can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Taking the right steps to trap and remove them is key. Below are some tips that could help make sure possums don’t stick around.

Key Pest Points:

•  Using a live trap is the most common and effective way to capture an opossum. Make sure the trap is big enough for the animal to fit inside.

•  Place bait such as cat food, fish, or apples in the back of the trap so that they can reach them easily.

•  Set the trap in an area where possums have been seen, like near a garbage can, garden, or flower bed.

Reasons for Trapping an Opossum

Even though possums are usually not dangerous, they can cause some trouble for humans. Here are a few reasons why we may need to trap them:

  • If possums are up in your attic, watch out! Your insulation and wiring could be at serious risk of getting ruined.
  • Opossums might raid your vegetable garden and eat your produce.
  • Opossums are carriers of diseases such as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, and spotted fever, which could endanger people if not treated properly.
  • Fleas, mites, and ticks are pests that possums can carry.

Trying to trap an opossum may be in our best interest. But it’s important to remember that these critters are valuable players in the animal kingdom.

They feast on pesky insects and ticks, helping keep their ecosystem healthy for everyone else around them. In other words – leave them alone unless they’re causing real trouble.

Preparing for Trapping

Opossum traps seem intimidating, but you’ll set them up like a pro with the right tips. Let’s go over some ideas on how to capture these critters effectively:

  • Choose the right type of trap: If you find an opossum prowling around, three trapping methods can keep it at bay – live traps to lure them in, box traps for possums, or cage traps if you want a sure hold.
  • Check the laws in your area: Knowing the law when handling opossums is important. In many states, trapping and moving them is punishable unless you have special permits.

Being prepared is the best way to ensure your trapping efforts succeed. Once you have the supplies and know what type of trap to use, it’s time to set it up.

Rabid opossum in a metal cage

Setting the Trap

Once you’ve prepared for trapping, you can set the trap. Here are some tips:

  • Set the trap in an area where opossums frequent. This could be near a garbage can, compost pile, or garden.
  • Ensure the trap is secure and safe from predators or other animals getting into it.
  • Bait the trap with something opossums like to eat, such as fish or canned pet food.
  • Check the trap regularly and remove any animals captured by mistake.

It’s essential to stay safe when handling wildlife. Don’t be afraid to call the experts if things get out of hand.

Storing and Transporting the Animal

If you think possum trapping is a walk in the park – guess again. It takes more effort than it looks. To keep them safe, we must be extra careful when transporting and storing them until they can be released back into their habitats.

Here are the best ways to handle these mammals:

  • The trap should always be in a shaded area with proper ventilation and water supply.
  • It’s essential to quickly free an opossum from a trap since it can suffer if held too long. Being confined in the same area for more than 24 hours causes major stress and a lack of hydration. So make sure you release them right away before they are harmed.
  • It’s best to release the animal at least 5 miles from the trapping site to avoid re-capture risk. 

Opossums are essential members of our ecosystem and deserve to be treated humanely.

Releasing the Animal

Once you’ve trapped the mammal, it’s time to let them back out into the wild. Make sure they go somewhere with plenty of room to roam and enough food sources like fruits, bugs, or even other small animals.

Finding a safe spot away from busy roads and ensuring no people or other pets are around is also important. If you startle the animal, it could get scared and run away in a frenzy.

If you’re too scared to do it alone, reach out to an animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitation center, they’ll know the best way to handle these critters.

Taking Precautions

Wild animals like opossums can be exciting but also dangerous. To make sure you stay safe when coming across one, here’s some helpful advice on how to correctly trap and handle them:

  • Protect yourself when handling critters by wearing gloves. Don’t be a hero and risk getting scratched or bitten.
  • Don’t attempt to pick up or handle an opossum without proper training or assistance from a professional.
  • Do not approach the animal if it appears aggressive or distressed.
  • Kids and pets should stay far away from the area to ensure they remain as safe as possible.
  • Possums are nocturnal animals, so if you encounter one during the day, it may be injured or diseased.

Trapping animals like raccoons, foxes, and opossums can be tricky, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can do it safely. Just remember to follow the laws in your area and call professionals if necessary.

Opossum Walks Across a Picket Fence

How to Prevent Opossums from Entering Your Property

The best way to keep opossums away from your property is to ensure they have no food sources or shelter areas. Here are some tips for preventing opossums from entering your area:

  • Securely cover garbage cans and compost piles with lids.
  • Trim vegetation near the home and keep it cut back.
  • Remove sources of standing water from the property.
  • Purchase motion-activated lights to deter them from coming into your yard.
  • Get rid of hiding places like stacks of wood or piles of junk so you don’t have to worry about possums sneaking around.
  • Use repellents like fragrant plants, sound machines that make scary noises, or motion-sensor sprinklers.
  • Don’t let opossums have free reign over your pet food. Keep it indoors or in tightly sealed containers to ensure that they don’t get their hands on any.

If pesky opossums still hang around your home, you’ll want to call in the experts! With a bit of help from wildlife professionals and some effort on your part, it’s easy to keep these animals away so they stay safe.


What is the best bait for catching opossums?

Possums are easy to please when it comes to food. Fish and apples make for tasty treats, but if you want a sure-fire way of attracting them go with stinkier options like canned pet food.

What do possums hate most?

Possums don’t like stinky smells, bright lights, or being wet. They hate strong odors like ammonia, garlic, and naphthalene which you can find in mothballs. If a possum senses these things, it’ll quickly run away.

What attracts possums the most?

Opossums hang around garbage cans, containers left outside, and uncovered compost heaps looking for something tasty. They also like moisture, so they live near water.

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