Possums can certainly be an annoying pest, but their presence is an important part of a healthy ecosystem. Furthermore, killing possums in many regions of the United States may be illegal.
If you’re dealing with a possum problem and aren’t sure how to proceed, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to discuss the best possum trap products to help you get rid of problematic possums in your area safely, legally, and effectively.
But before we begin, let’s take a moment to try and understand this pest. Keep reading.
What Are Possums?
Possums are nocturnal marsupials related to koalas and kangaroos.
Also known as an opossum, a possum is the only marsupial in North America. Closely related to koalas and kangaroos, the possum is a unique and diverse pouched mammal known for raiding garbage bins, nesting in our crawl spaces, nesting beneath porches, invading our garages, and sometimes even dwelling in hollowed trees.
Though they can be destructive and sometimes even dangerous, possums play an important role in keeping our environment healthy.
Possums are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals, including deceased animals. For this reason, possums are beneficial decomposers, as well as an incredible form of natural pest control.
In fact, a single possum can take care of up to 5,000 ticks per tick season. They also eat rodents like mice and rats, and consume problematic insects like roaches. That said, though possums are generally harmless to people and pets, they can be problematic if they choose to nest in or around your property.
And this is where a good possum trap comes in.
Before Setting A Possum Trap – Tips For Recognizing Possum Damage
Possums are quite loud and relatively smelly creatures.
Because possums are nocturnal, it can be difficult to tell if the damage you’ve come across is caused by a possum or some other animal like a raccoon.
If you attempt to trap a possum when the real culprit is something else entirely, all your efforts could be in vain.
So, how do you know if you need to look into finding the best possum trap? Let’s go over some common signs of possum damage.
Like most pests, possums come around your property looking for a good source of food, shelter and water. Sometimes, you may accidentally be luring possums to your property by leaving out garbage bins or tossing old food outside.
Vulnerabilities in and around your home can also make your property more attractive to possums, especially if they are seeking a safe place to nest.
You can tell for sure if you have possums and need to find the best possum trap if you notice the below signs.
- Damage To Your Home Or Property
Possums are not necessarily graceful creatures, and when they get into your home, they can cause quite a bit of damage. This damage can range from torn shingles, broken gutters or eaves, disturbed gutters, and scratches or holes along your siding.
The most common places for a possum to nest in and around your home include your crawlspace or basement, beneath your porch, inside your walls, and sometimes even inside your chimney or attic.
- Strange Sounds
If you have a possum den in or near your home, you’ll know it. These animals are not quiet, and make plenty of strange sounds. If you hear hissing, scratching, ripping, clawing, scurrying, clicking, shrieking or lip-smacking sounds, you probably have a possum den nearby.
Possum dens usually house mothers and babies. If this is the case, you’ll need to carefully look into the legalities of how to get rid of a possum family safely and humanely either by contacting an expert or by using the best possum trap.
- Foul Odors
Another telltale sign of possum activity is a strong, foul odor. A possum den inside your home will often be surrounded by feces and urine, which is unmistakable, musky and strong. Along with this smell, possums have also been known to emit a foul odor when they are frightened. This odor is designed to deter predators, and is incredibly strong.
- Numerous Possum Sightings
Last but not least, if you consistently see possums around your home, chances are you have these marsupials living somewhere nearby. If possums are not causing damage or nesting near your home, you might consider leaving them be and simply putting up detterrents around your property to keep them at bay or from getting too close.
However, if the possums have already begun to cause problems in or around your home, it’s time to look into getting the best possum trap. But before you do, it’s important to understand the laws.
Know The Local Laws Before Setting A Possum Trap
Before setting your possum trap, make sure you do plenty of research and understand the legalities of trapping and relocating a possum in your region.
When it comes to pest control and managing a possum problem, many people might initially consider lethal traps or poisons. However, it is actually illegal to kill possums in the United States.
Remember, possums are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974.
In some regions, it is also illegal to remove or relocate nesting possums. To fully understand the laws in your particular region, it’s best to do plenty of research before investing in the best possum trap for possum removal.
That said, live trapping and relocating a possum is generally the best course of action. The best possum traps are going to be large enough to catch the possum and include two entry points. These traps are often metal wire traps that have smoothed edges so as not to harm the possum, and include a handle at the top for safe relocation.
Some possum traps even capture more than one possum at a time, though many are ideal for just catching one. If you have a possum with babies, you may need to contact a professional for possum removal help.
How To Get Rid Of Possums Using Live Traps
Trapping a possum takes the correct type of bait and patience.
As we’ve established, the best possum trap is going to be a live trap suitable for larger animals like possums, racoons or feral cats. In order to properly use a possum trap, these traps should be baited and left out at night where you have noticed the most possum activity.
Here are a few steps to follow when working on how to trap a possum using a possum trap.
Bait The Trap
You can use a number of different kinds of baits to lure a possum into the possum trap, including apples, fish, or even canned pet food. If you don’t have any of these foods laying around your home, don’t worry. Other types of foods will work. Just remember, the smellier the food is, the better it will work to attract and trap the possum.
Set The Trap
When you set the trap, do so in areas where you have noticed the most possum activity. In order for this trap to be most effective, experts recommend leaving a trail of food from the possum den (if you can locate it) to the trap.
Check the Trap Frequently
Check the trap frequently, or at least twice a day during the morning and evening. Leaving a possum in a trap for too long can cause it to die, which is inhumane and even illegal.
Release The Possum At Least 5 Miles Away
Once you have trapped a possum, relocate it at least five miles away from our property to ensure it will not be able to find its way back.
Before Trapping A Possum
Make sure using a possum trap or traps is legal in your region, and be sure that you are not accidentally trapping a mother possum and relocating her without her babies. If you do have a den with a mother possum and babies, it may be best to contact a professional for removal tips or help on relocating them as a unit.
This video talks more about how to use a possum trap to get rid of possums.
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Now, let’s move on to some of the best possum traps available for safely, humanely, and effectively trapping and removing problematic possums from your home.
Havahart Large Animal Trap
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Havahart products make a plethora of animal traps, but we like this possum trap best for larger pests because it is designed to catch the possum without harming him. This trap includes one entry door and is spring-loaded.
The edges of this possum trap are rounded so as not to harm the possum, and this trap can also work to catch problematic raccoons, groundhogs, feral cats and even armadillos. It is rust resistant, easy to clean, and designed to reduce escapes while increasing the successful catch rate.
Havahart Two-Door Possum Trap
This is another possum trap we like by Havahart because it is a two-door trap designed for possums, armadillos, feral cats, raccoons, and groundhogs. Again, it is a spring-loaded trap that reduces escapes and has a higher catch rate. It has rounded edges to reduce the chance of injury to the possum during relocation, and the top even includes a covered handle for your safety.
This trap is large enough to catch possums of different sizes, but small enough that it is easily portable.
Faicuk Collapsible Possum Trap
If you live in a region rich with wild animal activity, it may be a good idea to have a possum trap on hand that is easy to store and then reassemble as needed. For this very situation, we have included the above collapsible possum trap by Faicuk. This trap folds flat and is simple to store, but easy to put back together again for quick use.
It is made of galvanized steel, which makes it wonderful for outdoor use as it is rust and corrosion resistant. This trap is also escape proof and trigger loaded, quickly catching the possum so you can effectively relocate him.
Like the other humane possum trap products on this list, the above trap has smooth internal edges to reduce the chance of injury to the possum, and a covered handle for safe relocation.
OxGord Live Animal Trap
Last, we have the OxGord Live Animal Trap. This is the ideal possum trap for those dealing with consistent possum problems or any small, wild animal problem on their property. Along with possums, this trap can help you safely and humanely trap rats, chipmunks, groundhogs, gophers, racoons, skunks, porcupines, and more.
It comes pre-assembled and ready to use, and is made of durable material that is perfect for outdoor use. You can also order it in a camouflage green color to better camouflage it from clever pests. This trap is escape resistant and designed to reduce injury to the possum during the relocation process.
How To Prevent Future Possums Using Repellents
You can avoid dealing with future possum problems by using quality possum repellents.
Once you’ve relocated the possum or possums causing you problems, your next focus should be on prevention. There are plenty of prevention tactics you can use that include home remedies (which we’ll discuss below) as well as products you can purchase.
For now, we have listed a few of our favorite products you can use to safely and humanely repel possums and keep them from returning to your property.
Natural Armor Animal Repellent Spray
The above spray is a safe and humane way to repel not only possums, but also skunks, raccoons, mice, deer, rats, and other pesky pests. It uses natural ingredients like peppermint to repel pests without harming people, pets or the environment.
The product comes in a ready-to-spray container that is easy to use and simple to apply. It can be used both indoors and out to keep pests at bay, and covers up to 1,000 square feet. Once applied, the product becomes water-resistant and can protect your home and property for up to 90 days.
Vboer Outdoor Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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Ultrasonic pest repellers can be a safe and effective way to repel pests and keep them from inside of your home, but there are also repellers you can use to keep possums from coming around outside as well.
One of our favorite ultrasonic pest repellers for outdoor use is the above solar powered pest repeller by Vboer. This pest repeller includes a motion sensor that activates a light when a pest is nearby. It is a safe, chemical-free, and humane way to protect your property from possums, raccoons, rabbits, and even other animals like coyotes, fox, bears and mountain lions.
It may sound strange, but using predator urine like the above coyote urine product can help keep problematic possums far away from your property. It can also help repel other pests like raccoons, feral cats, and rodents.
However, predator urine may attract large predators like coyotes, so you may not want to use this method if you have small pets who frequently go outside at night.
Otherwise, this product is safe to use around children and pets, it’s gentle on the environment, and keeps a number of pests away by making them think a coyote is nearby.
How To Repel Possums Using Home Remedies
Cayenne or crushed red pepper can help repel possums and keep them from returning.
Even the best possum trap will only work temporarily, especially if you do not continue using repellents like those listed above. Of course, you also have the option of creating your very own home-made possum repellents using products you likely already have on hand.
Take a look!
- Cayenne Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper
Cayenne or crushed red pepper pepper are two of the easiest methods you can use to keep possums from becoming a problem again in the future. Once you have managed to remove possums using the best possum trap, go into your spice cabinet and get the cayenne or crushed red pepper.
Sprinkle a generous amount of the spice around the perimeter of your home, around garbage bins, your home’s siding, and around vegetation and hollowed trees that could potentially make an ideal possum home.
Cayenne and crushed red pepper are safe alternatives to using poisons and chemical repellents because they are fine to use around people, pets and the environment. They will also repel the possum without harming him, as they only irritate the nose and eyes.
And while cayenne and crushed red pepper are safe to use around people and pets, we should note that, just as they can irritate the eyes and nose of a possum, they can also irritate the eyes and nose of your pet or child. With that in mind, use this method carefully around youngsters and pets.
- Molasses, Water, and Dish Soap
Possums are deterred by the scent of molasses, so you can make your very own DIY molasses possum repellent once you’ve managed to capture and relocate your pesky possum with a possum trap.
- 1 Liter of water
- 3 Tbsp of molasses
- 3 Tbsp of liquid dish soap
- 1 Large container for mixing
Combine the above ingredients in a large container and spread it along trees, your home’s siding, and anywhere else you have noticed possum activity. This smell and mixture will deter possums without harming them. You will need to repeat this process after it rains to ensure it works.
Mothballs contain a chemical called naphthalene, which produces a strong odor pests like possums hate. Along with possums, mothballs can also deter other pests like rodents, racoons, bats, squirrels, and even insects like roaches, spiders, and ants.
To use mothballs effectively, place them around any area you have noticed previous possum activity. This includes in your garage, crawlspace, near outdoor garbage bins, along trees, and even around the siding of your home.
However, while mothballs are commonly used for pest control, we should note that naphthalene is a chemical that can be toxic to people and pets if ingested.
Just as cayenne or mothballs deter possums with a strong odor, so does ammonia. Ammonia may also give off the scent of predator urine, and can help deter a number of other pests including racoons, rodents, bats, and a number of pesky insects.
When using ammonia, you can simply soak cotton balls in the substance and place them in and around your home. Replace these cotton balls with freshly soaked cotton balls once every three days.
- Cat or Dog Fur
Cats and dogs can deter possums because they smell like their natural predators. Possums are intelligent animals and will stay away from areas they deem unsafe. They are also less likely to den in areas with dogs or cats nearby.
To help discourage possum activity around your home, you can use dog and cat fur. This should be easy to collect, especially if you have pets in the home that shed frequently. Simply collect the fur and sprinkle it around your home, or leave it in your crawlspace, basement, or attic to deter possums.
When A Possum Trap Doesn’t Work – When To Call A Professional
Professionals with a better understanding of possum removal may be needed, especially if you are dealing with a possum family or a possum den inside your walls.
Sometimes even the best possum trap will not be effective enough or even appropriate for possum removal. There are some instances where you will need professional help to remove possums, and these instances could include finding a family of possums nesting in or around your home, uncovering a possum den inside your walls, or discovering a dead possum inside your walls.
A professional pest control expert generally charges between $250 and $500 for possum removal, and will use humane methods to remove any live possums they come across. Remember, this price can vary depending on your location, the number of possums in or around your home, and the area in which the possums are nesting.
Upon removing the possum or possums from your home, make sure to do thorough cleaning. This is especially true if you have located a dead possum in your walls. Remnants left behind by nesting or deceased possums can cause a number of health issues as well as exasperate other pest issues, so do not skip this step.
Professionals may also be able to safely help you locate the source of entry and show you how the possums got in. Once you have managed to remove the possums from your home, your next focus should be on prevention.
Tips On Preventing Future Possum Issues
You can help keep possums at bay by following a few simple tips and tricks.
Preventing possums from coming around is often easier and less expensive than using a possum trap to remove these animals once they have become a problem.
For your convenience, we have listed some tips and tricks for how to prevent a future possum issue below:
Remove Common Possum Food Sources
Since possums are omnivores, they can eat quite a variety of foods. To help better deter them from your home, avoid giving them reason to come around. Avoid putting garbage outside until trash day, and pick up any fallen fruit from fruit trees. It’s also a good idea to harvest any veggies from vegetable gardens once they are ready. You can also use a common pest control, insecticide, or organic form of insect deterrent to remove insects that could attract possums and other pests.
Landscape and Tidy Up Your Yard
Possums are attracted to properties with overgrown grasses, trees, and vegetation as this type of environment provides them with shelter and safety. You can make your property less habitable to possums simply by keeping up with routine landscaping.
Trim back dead branches, remove fallen logs, stumps, or dead trees, and keep your lawn mowed. You might also consider removing any debris around your home like overturned buckets, tires, old vehicles, wood piles, etc.
Doing this will also help reduce other types of pests as well including rodents and insects, which could further entice possums to come around.
Invest In Pest-Proof Trash Cans
Garbage bins are one of the most common attractants to possums and other pests like rodents, insects and raccoons. To better reduce your chances of winding up with a possum problem, store your garbage in pest-proof trash cans.
These trash cans generally seal closed, helping to reduce odor and making it difficult for pests to get into the trash.
Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance
Possums are most destructive when they get into your home. To protect your home, family and wallet from a possum den inside your walls, crawlspace, chimney or attic, make sure you reinforce your home’s siding, roof and foundation.
Keep up with routine home maintenance by ensuring you repair any loose roof shingles, gaps along your foundation, vulnerabilities in your crawlspace, etc.
Continue Using Possum Repellents Year-Round
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to continue using a possum repellent year-round. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways of dealing with potential possum problems, and could save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Of course, we also suggest you hold onto that possum trap, just in case.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to use a possum trap and the best possum trap products available. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you ever dealt with a possum problem in or around your home before?
Which tips did you find most helpful from experts? Share your thoughts on possum traps and possum prevention in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.