If you have a garden, there’s a good chance you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. Unfortunately, gardens and yards are often a primary target for opossums searching for food and shelter. However, maintaining your garden, installing a fence, or repelling them with smells they don’t like, are great ways to keep these pesky pests out of your flowers and veggies.
What are opossums?
There are dozens of species of opossums, however, the pests wreaking havoc on your garden are either the Virginia opossum or the common opossum. The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic and is the only marsupial found in the United States.
What are signs of opossums in my garden?
If you have an opossum problem in your garden or yard, you’ve probably noticed at least one of the following signs:
- Trash outside of the can
- Scratch marks on the outside of garbage cans
- Foul odors. Opossums don’t spray smell like skunks do. However, they do emit a smell when they play dead. Playing dead is an involuntary reaction from fear or fright.
- Nesting materials inside holes, brush, cracks, logs
- You’ve seen them. Opossums are between one and four feet in length and can be anywhere from one to fifteen pounds. They have silver and black fur and long, skinny, hairless tails.
How do I keep opossums out of my garden?
Opossums are nocturnal animals that come out at night looking for, like most other pests, food. You want to do your best to keep opossums out of your garden and yard because they can cause a serious mess and carry disease. You can prevent an opossum infestation with the following tips and tricks.
Get rid of food sources.
Food is the main reason opossums are in your yard in the first place. This is why it’s important to scour your backyard for items like garbage cans, pet food, bird feeders, compost piles, and garden produce. Keep your garden clean by discarding overripe fruit or vegetables and never add animal products to your compost.
Remove their hiding spots by keeping your garden clean.
Keep shrubbery, hedges, and tall stands of vegetation thin and clean. Get rid of leaves or stacks of wood and put away garden equipment.
Install electric fencing or woven wire around your garden to keep opossums out. Make sure that the fence is at least four feet high.
Scatter pet fur around your yard
After brushing your dog or cat, put their hair in a small mesh bag. Hang or scatter these bags around opossum-infested areas. The smell of potential predators often scares the pests away and may deter them from coming back.
Keep them away with smells they don’t like
Opossums are extremely sensitive to smell. A few of the smells that repel opossums include:
● Mothballs. Place a couple mothballs in a sealed container, poke holes in the lid, and then put the container in your garden.
● Ammonia. Pour a small amount of ammonia into a container with a lid. Cut a hole in the lid and bring one end of the rag through the hole. The rag will act as a wick to disperse fumes. Place the container in your garden.
● Garlic. Place garlic anywhere in your yard that you want the opossums to avoid. Crushed garlic is better than whole since more of the scent is able to escape.
Opossums can cause damage to your garden, carry disease, and even be aggressive with your pets. So, if you’re experiencing an opossum problem, it’s important to rid your space of them quickly. If you’ve tried the tips above but you can’t seem to get them out of your garden, get in touch with Varment Guard today! We can opossum-proof your yard and get rid of them safely and efficiently!