Possum Trapping - Trap Opossum
If you have a problem with opossums on your property or living in your house, merely setting traps to catch and remove them will not necessarily solve your problem. In the case
of possums living in your house, attic, or walls, trapping alone probably won't cut it. However, you're at this page to learn how to trap opossums, so I'll give you the
information that I know.
Click here for a nationwide list of 100's of professional opossum trappers serving all 50 states.
Step 1: Make sure you understand the situation first - is it a mother opossum with babies in the spring or summer? How many animals are there? Have you properly identified the culprit as a possum?
Step 2: Buy a large steel cage trap, at least 32x10x12. Several manufacturers make traps of at least this size. Before you buy a trap, make sure it's legal for you to trap wildlife in your state.
Step 3: Set the trap in the right location - on flat ground, and make sure the trap doesn't wobble. Set it in a shady spot, so that the animal, once it's trapped, doesn't suffer in the hot sun. Set
it in a place the opossum frequently goes.
Step 4: Bait the trap - what is the best bait to catch possums? Opossums are omnivores, they scavenge, and they are not picky. However, they really seem to prefer smelly meat-based bait, so that'll work best. However, be aware that you
might catch a stray or your neighbor's pet cat, in which case you might want to use bread or marshmallows for bait.
Step 5: Check the trap frequently - you don't want the animal suffering in there for a long time.
When you've trapped it and it's time to relocate the animal, be careful handling the trap. Don't stick your fingers inside the cage. The animal will probably poop in your truck bed or
car trunk, so put down a tarp or newspaper first. When you open the cage door to let the possum go, it'll probably just sit there. Blow on it to encourage it to run out of the cage.
Even though I wrote this guide, I've gotta be honest, simply setting a trap will rarely solve your opossum issue. If you have trouble, you may want to hire a wildlife specialist from
my list, who has seen a wide variety of opossum situations. And finally, please be humane to these animals. I think opossums are good animals. They have nice
drown one or cause it to suffer, please.
You may want to read some of my other opossum articles:
possum removal -
opossums in the attic -
photos of possum poop -
types of possum problems -
possum trapping -
how to catch a possum -
pest control of possums -
possum in the wall -
possum in the house -
possum in basement -
possum repellent -
types of possum damage.
I have discovered that May is a tricky month for Opossums trapping. This is because the young are starting to drop and move on their own, yet they tend to stick with the mother
for a few weeks. When I trap a mother opossum earlier in the spring, I often catch all of the nursing young along with her. In summer and autumn I catch only single opossums,
whether adults or first-years. However, in the month of May I must deal with the situation in a special manner. I must prepare to capture the young, up to ten of them, separately
from the mother. I learned this the hard way. I would catch a mother, and then deal with an angry customer claiming that the young were running amok. Or sometimes, I'd set a
large trap for the adult, and end up catching just one baby or more often, having my bait stolen by the young. I quickly learned to set a large trap with difficult to steal bait
(such as a lure scent that permeates into the ground) and higher pan tension. I then several, up to ten, small cage traps for the young. I would usually find that I'd caught the
mother and each of the babies, who hung around her and entered the small traps for food. Any small cage trap meant for squirrel or even chipmunk sized animals is fine. I personally
prefer the Havahart 0745. The solid metal top keeps spring rain from washing bait away. Setting extra traps for the young may seem tedious, but it is necessary - and you can charge
for it. Set your prices as you like, but I usually charge about a third of the cost of an adult for baby captures. You'll easily pick up all the young, so there is definitely money
to be made.
Opossum Situation: Sorry for the previous blank email. I've read enough of your site, found by accident while looking up "nose of black, get back Jack" you could add that to your coral snake page sayings...So I appreciate that there are things that you appreciate about opossums. I didn't find on your site what you actually do with the trapped ops. As VP of the National Opossum Society, I obviously am opposed to trapping opossums in most situations and instead offer counseling that encourages living harmoniously with wildlife. You are a smart guy and I know that you know that many wildlife vs homeowner situations can be resolved without your services. But what I'm writing about is another unique aspect of the opossum. While they are very resistant to viral infections (rabies, distemper) they are very vulnerable to bacterial infections which they do not pass to others. Injuries suffered in unattended traps can easily become a death sentence for them, as infants, juvies and adults are all susceptible to sepsis, a systemic bacterial infection The opossums in many of your photos have nose and jaw injuries, and in fact, as I'm sure you know, an opossum can absolutely ruin their jaws and teeth in a trap. I wanted you to know, and hope that you care. Regards, Paula
My Response: Paula, Thanks for the letter. I love opossums. They might be my favorite mammal that I work with. I now almost never trap them. I educate callers about preventative techniques. I also tell them that opossums are nomadic, and will move away on their own, if the caller is willing to be patient. When I do deal with a case of them living under decks or in attics, I use one-way exclusion doors, which work very well. I use exclusion for almost all jobs now, and rarely trap. On the rare occasion that I do trap them, only a few a year now, I'm very conscious about releasing them from the trap immediately, and I only set traps in the shade, etc. There are many wildlife control operators out there - citizens are going to call them and hire them, no matter what - it is my goal to be the absolute most humane of any wildlife operator in the country. I avoid trapping at all costs. If someone is going to call a "pest" company about opossums, for the animals' sake, I hope it's me!
Article topics include: How to trap an opossum, possum trapping tips and techniques, how do you trap a possum, opossum trap