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  • Memphis Educational Article of the Month - How to trap opossum

How to trap opossum

Possums (sometimes called opossums) are nocturnal marsupials that rummage for food. They are found in the Western Hemisphere and act dead when approached. They are known as scavengers so they end up visiting human houses for the food supply. In order to get their fill they tend to go through garbage cans and other containers which have food in them or left over of the food. They are also in the habit of eating grass so gardens of the houses are also not safe from them. Opossums create problems for the owner and one need to trap them in order to get rid of them. To trap a possum, the given steps should be followed:

Step 1: Make sure you understand and have analysed the situation thoroughly - is it a mother opossum with babies in the spring or summer? How many animals are there? Have you properly identified the intruding animal as a possum?
Step 2: Buy a large steel cage trap, at least 32x10x12. Many manufacturers make traps of the above size. Before you purchase a trap, make sure it's legal, concerning your local laws for wildlife capturing. If it is, Purchase a possum trap from your local farm supply store. Or a wire cage that is 12 inches by 12 inches by 30 inches (30.5 cm by 30.5 cm by 76.2 cm) can also be used for trapping possums. Space between the wires must not exceed 2.5 inches (6.35 cm). The cage should have a slanted door that allows easy access and restricts the possums' exit.
Step 3: Set the trap in the correct location - on flat ground, and make sure the trap doesn't sway. Set it in a cool and shady spot, so that the possum, once trapped, is not suffering from the suns heat. Place it in the location where opossums are believed to visit often. Place the trap in the attic, near the centre of the area, if you've seen a possum in this area. Position the trap under the porch, near the edge, if the possum is frequently seen near the porch. Set the trap at the entry of your home's crawl space if the possum has been in your basement frequently. Put the trap close to the location of your other pets, if you've seen the possum near them. Possums are attracted by feed left out for other animals.
Step 4: Bait the trap - what is a feasible bait to trap this wildlife? Opossums being omnivores, they tend to rummage, and they are not picky at all. However, they really seem to prefer meat-based bait with a strong odour, so that will work best. Put the bait at the entry space of the trap to lure in the possum. Set more bait at the back of the trap so the possum fully enters the trap.
Step 5: Check the trap frequently, twice a day. You don't want the possum suffering in there for a long time.
Step 6: Empty the trap when a possum is caught.

Contact the wildlife control authorities. The wildlife control authority experts will remove the possum from your trap if you live within city limits. The wildlife control authorities are trained to deal with possums and other animals.

But if you want to relocate the animal yourself, then take the trap to a wooded area. Wear gloves as you handle the trap. Release the possum into the forest. The possum will probably act dead as you are going to put him out of cage. Leave it in forest and move away. Check your local wildlife laws first though, some localities do not allow for relocation of animals in which case you need to either release it, or kill opossum in proper manner.

Possums are not aggressive or quick at reacting, but they will (sometimes) defend themselves. Sometimes they will just act dead. Anyway, they have these long, scaly, prehensile tails. The tails are strong, and you may have heard that hanging from his tail is an opossum characteristic. Well, they can, although they almost never do that in the wild, as there have no reason for it. Still, the fact here is that you can hold them by the tail without harming them. If you have cornered the opossum and want to catch it using your hand. Follow these steps.

  • Step 1 - Find the possum.
  • Step 2 - Approach it cautiously. Does not matter if you creep up or strut confidently.
  • Step 3 - Put a pair of thick leather gloves if you want safety.
  • Step 4 - Wave one hand around in front of the opossum's face in order to distract it, and then hold the tail with your other hand. Now lift, holding the animal away from your body.
To learn more about our animal trapping services, visit the Memphis wildlife trapping home page.

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