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Opossum Control & Removal

Opossum Info: Opossums are common in central Florida. They are unique for several reasons. They are the only North American marsupials. This means that females have a pouch on the belly where the young, up to 13, are carried and nourished for a time after their birth. Opossums also have a prehensile tail, from which they occasionally hang. They are also known for "playing possum", or feigning death, as a defense tactic. Adult opossums are typically about two feet long and about ten pounds. They are omnivorous, and will eat almost anything, including carrion and garbage. Opossums are excellent climbers, and have a very strong immune system. They are nocturnal, and if you keep an eye out at night, you might spot one crossing the road.

Nuisance concerns: The opossum complaints I receive are usually due to one of five reasons:

1) They have taken up residence under a porch or shed.
2) They are stealing garbage, pet food, or harassing pets.
3) They have taken up residence in an attic and had possum babies.
4) They have invaded a home, under the floorboards, or in the walls.
5) An opossum has died under the home or in an attic, causing odor.

I frequently deal with opossums in attics, a fact which surprises many people. Here are some photos showing the kind of damage that comes from opossums in attics, due to the large amount of droppings that they leave behind. Opossums can also carry various parasites and diseases, as well as fleas that can be transferred to your pet. They are not the cleanest of animals, and carry a strong odor. The worst odor, however, occurs when an opossum dies in an attic or when an opossum dies inside a wall of your home. You definitely want to have it removed, because the odor is unbearable.

It might help you in identifying if a possum has been in your yard, if you can identify opossum feces by looking at photographs.

Click the below photographs for examples of opossum control jobs that I've done:

I grabbed a female with young on her back

An opossum trapped in the attic in a cage trap

An aggressive opossum in a cage trap

Snaring an opossum that fell down a wall

As you can see in the above photos, I know of several strategies for solving opossum problems. Sometimes, like in the first picture, you can simple grab an opossum by the tail. Be sure you don't grab the wrong end, because as you can see in the third picture, possums have a lot of sharp teeth! In the second photo, I've trapped an opossum in a cage trap in an attic. Opossums are one of the few animals that will enter a cage trap in an attic. However, it's usually better to either use an exclusion door or set traps outside, where the catch rate is higher, and you can easily see the trap and remove the animal before it succumbs to heat stroke. In the fourth picture, I've cut a hole in a wall and am using a snare pole to grab an opossum that was living in a customer's wall! Despite the many possible methods of possum control, in most cases of existing possum problems, the best method is trapping and removal. Please read my How to Get Rid of Opossums page for various strategies of opossum control and removal.

What kinds of possum traps are there?
There are many different types of possum traps that you can buy, but they generally fall into three categories. There are kill traps, like connibear body grip traps that will quickly and (hopefully) painlessly kill the animal, just as the name suggests. There are leg holds that will grip the animal tightly in place until you can then go ahead and either kill or release the animal, taking it to the local wildlife experts, or releasing it where it is safe and legal to do so. Then there are cage traps, which work just as you would think they do – a door will shut behind the animal once it is safely confined within the cage, and you can go ahead to release it when you are ready to do so.  The best cage trap is a large size, at least 12x10x32, raccoon sized.

What kind of bait should I use?
When it comes to bait for possum traps, there are many things that you can use so there really aren’t right and wrong ways of doing it. Meat is a good thing to use, but you might want to avoid this when using kill traps at night to avoid catching animals that you don’t want to catch, so fruit might be a better idea, such as apples or kiwi fruits. Cat food is another bait that many people have had good luck with.  I prefer marshmallows, so I don't catch non-target animals like stray cats.

What should I do with the possum once I have caught it?
It is sometimes not wise to release your possum into the wild – firstly, in some states it is actually illegal to do so, and unless you release it far enough away, it will only end up coming back.  If you relocate the animal to an area with many other possums, it'll get out-competed and will suffer and die. You can encourage it to use a nest box in the bottom of your yard perhaps, but this isn’t a good idea if you have other household pets and kids. Your best bet is to take the possum that you have caught to the local wildlife guys, or give them a call to come and pick it up – problem solved, because they have the knowledge to deal with the animal in the correct manner.


Are opossums a threat? I don't consider them to be. Like any animal, they will defend themselves, but they are generally docile. Read more about Do Opossums Attack Pets. 24/7 Wildlife Removal operates in the Greater Orlando area of central Florida. This is a specialty wildlife removal business. Wild animal control is all I do - I do not spray poison for insect control. I provide opossum trapping and removal for possum control. I do not run an exterminating business or a pest control business, I run a nuisance wildlife business. I do not provide extermination of opossums, but humane trapping and relocation. If you want to get rid of your opossum problem once and for all, give me a call!

PHOTOS: For great pictures of opossum trapping and removal, click on my: Opossum Photographs gallery.

Learn more about opossum through my informational articles.

Learn more about basic opossum biology. Find out about opossum mating habits, and about their natural diet. Find out why they play dead and if they make good pets. Learn how to identify opossum tracks and how bigopossums grow to be. There's also fascinating information about the opossum tail and what it is used for. Learn, too, whether opossums live in urban areas or wild areas.

Find out about how well opossum can climb and if they in fact live in trees or if they burrow underground. I have advice about what to do if you've been Bitten By a Possum and whether an opossum that is active during the daytime sick or rabid. I also have a complete list of diseases that they can carry in general, as well as in their feces - and whether or not it's dangerous to touch or breathe opossum feces. Read all about the symptoms of a sick opossum. Find out if possums hiss and whether or not they hibernate. Read about how dangerous opossum can be to humans or to cats, dogs, or other pets.

Find out how to keep opossums out of your garden and your garbage cans, and away from your pets. Learn what to do if you find an orphaned baby opossum wandering about or a nest of baby opossums. Read more about if you should feed a baby opossum you found.

Learn what attracts opossums and how to get rid of opossums in the attic and what kind of damage they can do there. I have advice about whether or not it is legal for you to trap an opossum as well as what to do with a trapped opossum after you caught it. Learn the best bait to trap an opossum and whether or not it is safe to handle an opossum with your bare hands. I also have advice about how to find and remove a dead opossum. Read my thoughts on if you should ever poison an opossum. I highly recommend reading all about How to use one-way exclusion funnels to remove opossums without trapping them.

I have advice on ways to kill an opossum in your yard as well as humane ways to kill an opossum in a cage. Learn wither or not the city or county animal services will help with an opossum problem, whether a pest control company remove an opossum, and my thoughts on whether you should hire a pro or remove opossums yourself. Find out what wildlife rehabilitators do with opossum.

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