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Even though opossums play a major role in the natural control of other household and yard pests like mice, roaches, frogs, and snakes, their visits to residential houses and yards can hardly be described as friendly.
Like many other wildlife pests, they are foraging animals who are attracted to your space when there is food available for the taking. They regularly raid garbage cans for food at night, as well as any pet food or scraps left outside. They usually leave a big mess in their wake, littering the yard with the contents of the upturned trash can.
The best way to keep the opossum away from your garbage can and yard is to make sure that the following measures are in place:
- Don’t leave trashcans and recycling bins outdoors. As much as possible, they should be kept indoors or in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse.
- And if you must leave your garbage can outside, ensure to use animal-proof lids. Opossums can be quite adept at opening easy trash cans. Purchase a heavy metal trash can. This is less likely to be torn apart or pushed over by hungry possums.
- If your garbage can is not the animal-proof type, you can still secure it by tying the lid down with a bungee cord. Thereafter, place a concrete block on top of the lid to hold it in place.
- Bring pet food dishes inside at night to avoid attracting wildlife. As long as there is something to eat, they’ll keep visiting.
- Keep your yard clean. Don’t leave out any eat-out leftovers or litter.
- Pack up any potential attractant in sight; this would include birdfeeders and fruits fallen from trees.
- Eliminate cover like brush piles and wood piles. The absence of hiding places on your property will serve to discourage the nocturnal animal.
Another way to keep opossums at bay is to spray a repellent substance around your garbage can. These include ammonia and predator-based solutions. Repellents will however prove ineffective where attractants are not eliminated, because as long as there is food to eat, the opossum will keep coming back and will eventually adapt to the repelling substance.
If you have tried all and the opossum problem persists, you may want to call in a wildlife professional in your area for expert advice and implementation.
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