Possum Repellent Tips
Spotting a possum in the yard just naturally kicks in an instinct to find a good possum repellent with which to get rid of the creatures. Of course, you're not apt to see one in your yard during the daytime as possums are nocturnal creatures, and rarely venture out during the daytime hours due to a fear of predators, of which there are more than a few. Yet, if your garbage has been messed around with, or there has been a raid on your vegetable garden, the possum is apt to get the blame, although there are plenty of other critters around that more than likely are the real culprits.
Maybe it's because to some the possum looks like a big rat. It's about the size of a house cat and has a long tail, plus it's rather narrow features do somewhat resemble a rat. The possum is not really a beautiful animal by any means, though it is not as ugly as some would have you believe. There is even a national Opossum Society dedicated to the well being of the possum, North America's only marsupial.
So, what is it about the possum that is so bad, and causes us to seek out an effective possum repellent? The animal itself is really quite harmless. Unlike some other wild visitors, the possum rarely carries rabies or distemper. If approached and it can't get away it may hiss at you and show its very sharp teeth, but the possum is not aggressive, and prefers flight to fight, or if all else fails, will "play possum".
This little creature probably does a lot more good than harm. It eats insects, small rodents, carrion, and snails. It will sometimes feast on something in the vegetable garden or eat overripe fruit that's fallen from a tree. It won't get in the garbage can unless the lid is off and it has easy access, and unlike the raccoon, the possum won't dig holes in the lawn. For the most part it leaves few traces of any nighttime activity. If you have a cat that spends the night outside, it may be make friends with a possum, or at least they will peacefully coexist. A possum is no threat to a cat and a cat is no threat to a possum. With dogs it's a different story. From the possum's perspective, a dog is a predator to be avoided at all costs.
Anything That Smells Bad - If you simply must get rid of possums, it's usually not too difficult. One seldom becomes infested with possums in the same way we can be infested with rats or mice. A good possum repellent is almost anything that has a smell the possum doesn't like. The smell of garlic is said to keep the possum away, and urine from a predator, be it a dog, bobcat, or coyote, will do the same. Ammonia is very effective. If you know where possums den or hang out, a bowl or two filled with ammonia and containing a cloth to provide a wicking action will often do the trick. Another smell the possum doesn't seem to like is brewed tea, which can be sprayed on vegetation, something you don't want to do with ammonia and perhaps not with animal urine either, especially on plants in the vegetable garden.
Mothballs work as well and a combination of bowls filled with ammonia and randomly scattered mothballs in the yard or garden is almost guaranteed to keep possums away, and will probably keep other animals, neighbors, and in-laws at a distance as well.
Trapping - If there are not too many possums to contend with, setting live traps will often work. Traps that kill or maim should not be used. Being the harmless creature the possum is, it seems pointless to want to injure or kill one. Besides, if you trap a possum you can study it up close and personal, and will probably find it's not so ugly or ferocious after all. Take it across town, preferably away from an area of heavy traffic, and release it. It you just take it down the street it will soon be back.