Fighting Opossums Around Your Yard
They may only be the size of a house cat, but the simple reality is that the opossum can be far more destructive than a stray cat wandering your yard at night. In a residential setting, they’re willing to den under your steps, beneath your porch, or deep under your deck. They’ll even happily invade your garage or attic if they can get in, and the result is a nasty pile of sticks and whatever else might be available, right by your house. They’re not afraid of you, and while not aggressive unless you’ve got them cornered, they’re still not a pest you want around.
Understanding the Damage They Can Cause
There are a number of real problems with allowing opossums to hang around your house. One of the biggest is that they may actually try to make their way into your home to nest in it, which can create its own difficulties. They bring food back to the nest, use it as their toilet, and much more, which can contaminate your home and the space around it. There are other problems, though. If you garden, they can feed on and trample many of your plants. They may also make quite a mess in your yard, rummaging through garbage cans, stealing pet food, and making other messes. Additionally, opossums can bite pets, as they have a mouth packed with fifty very sharp teeth, and that’s a serious health hazard.
What You Can Do
The single best way to prevent opossum problems is to understand exactly how they work. In the wild, they prefer wooded areas, so they’re looking for abandoned spaces that mimic tree crevices and brush piles. They’re nocturnal, so it might be tough to actually catch them in the act, but you’ll see some telltale signs around if you have one in your yard like droppings, tracks, and damage to your plants. Once you notice those signs, it’s time to act fast. Trying to get rid of them on your own can be a bit dangerous, so you’ll likely want to consult a professional pest control company for help.
The Best Defense . . .
Creating an unfriendly environment for opossums is the best way to deal with them, and there are a few things you can do to make that happen. If you garden, you may want to consider installing some fencing that will help protect it from opossums and other wildlife. Woven wire or electric fencing is the best option, as it can help to prevent them from climbing over. Go with something that is at least four feet high. Additionally, eliminate brush piles, and regularly prune those trees and shrubs. If you have fruit trees, keep the fallen fruit cleaned up. Use tight-fitting lids on your garbage can, and don’t leave pet food out at night.
An opossum invasion is very preventable, but it’s up to you and your pest control company to make it happen.