A closeup of a Common Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) on a winter day. It is snowing slightly, there is some snow in the background, and some snow on the Opossum’s fur.
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Identifying Possum Sounds and Noises

Possums are common in many neighborhoods, especially in suburban and rural areas. These creatures rummage through trash cans, dig up gardens, and even nest inside homes or buildings. 

While possums are generally harmless, they can cause a lot of damage and disruption if they become a nuisance or safety hazard.

Possums are mostly active at night, so strange noises from your yard or attic during the evening could indicate a possum infestation. Knowing how to identify typical possum sounds is important. 

Let’s look at some of the most common opossum noises to help you identify if they are causing trouble in your home.

Key Pest Points:

• Possums are active at night, so if you hear strange rustling or scratching noises from your yard or attic, it might be a sign of a possum problem.

• Depending on the situation, possums may make hissing, growling, and clicking sounds.

• You can deter possums from entering your yard by keeping it well-lit and putting lids on all trash cans.

The Different Types of Possum Sounds 

Possums are relatively vocal animals, and they make a variety of different sounds. Here are the most common possum noises you may hear:

Hisses and Growls 

Possums can let you know when they feel threatened by hissing and growling. It’s best to step back if this happens, as these animals may become aggressive if provoked, so taking the necessary precautions around them is essential.

Screeching

These nocturnal creatures can make loud, high-pitched screeching and possum screaming noises if attacked or threatened. This is usually a sign that the animal is in distress, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to remove the screaming possum safely.

A possum screech can also be heard during mating season. Male possums make loud screeching noises to one another to mark their territory.

Clicking Noises

mother possum will make clicking sounds when separated from their young. This sound serves as a way for the baby possums to locate their mother safely. 

Angry baby opossum hissing.

Choo Sounds

Baby possums will make a distinctive “choo-choo” or sneezing sound that can be heard if you are close enough. This sound of an opossum is usually caused by baby opossums communicating with their mothers.

By familiarizing yourself with these different sounds, you can identify if a possum has become a nuisance or safety hazard in your area. 

Do Possums Make Noise During Mating Season?

Mating season for possums takes place between early December through October. During this time, male possums will make clicking sounds with their mouth to attract female possums. This sound is usually heard at night when they are most active.

Male possums are territorial during this time, so they can become dangerous if threatened. That’s why keeping your distance is essential if you hear possums making noises during their breeding season.

How to Deter Possums From Your Property

If possums have become a nuisance, there are some steps you can take to keep them away from your property.

  • Keep your yard and home free of food sources like pet food, birdseed, or garbage. Possums are attracted to these items and can cause damage if they find a way into your yard.
  • Install motion-activated lights and ultrasonic sound devices to deter possums from nesting in your home. These items will make the possums feel scared or threatened. 
  • Set a humane trap for the opossum if it is causing damage or disruption. This can effectively remove the animal from your property without taking drastic measures.
  • Use natural repellents like hot pepper or garlic. These items can be sprayed or sprinkled around the area, and they will help keep possums away without causing any harm to the animal.
  • Call a wildlife removal expert if you cannot remove the possum yourself. They will be able to safely remove the animal from your property and provide advice on preventing future problems.

Familiarizing yourself with the different types of possum sounds and noises, you can take appropriate steps to keep them away from your home.

A large Virginia opossum bedded down in leaves and showing its teeth

FAQs

To help you understand these fascinating creatures even better, here are some commonly asked questions about them:

What sounds do possums make when angry?

Possums can make growling noises when they are irritated or angry. This is usually a sign that the possum feels threatened, so keep your distance if you hear these noises. 

What will scare a possum away?

Motion-activated lights and ultrasonic sound devices can be used to scare possums away. Repellents like hot pepper, ammonia, or garlic can also help deter possums from your property.

What attracts possums to your house?

Possums are attracted to areas with food sources like pet food, birdseed, and garbage. They can also be attracted to the smell of food in your garbage cans, so keep these items properly sealed. 

Do possums make noise at night?

Yes, possums are nocturnal animals. They can make various noises during the night, including “choo-choo,” clicking sounds with their mouth, and growling if they feel threatened.

Understanding what sound does a possum make can help you keep yourself and your family safe. Because even though opossums are not aggressive, they can become dangerous if threatened. 

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