How to Trap Opossums

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Opossums love to rummage through trash, pet food and even chicken coops. Normally, by removing these temptations from the opossums, you'll be rid of them in 2 to 3 days. Sometimes though, they just won't go away. So trapping the opossums may be necessary. These steps will show you how to trap live opossums in a humane way.

  • Purchase either a "cat trap" for smaller opossums or a raccoon trap for larger adult opossums. The size of the trap is important. If it's too large, the trigger mechanism may not work when the opossum goes in for the bait; he'll steal the food and leave.

  • Place the trap in a location where you've had problems with the opossum. Try not to put it too close to your house, dog kennel or other areas with frequent noise (it will scare off the opossum).

  • Anchor the trap to the ground to prevent the trigger from being tripped by other curious animals.

  • Put some bait behind the trap's trigger (not on the trigger). Also place some bait close to the entrance of the trap to guide the opossum in. This may prevent him from removing the food from outside the trap (and possibly prematurely setting off the trigger). The best bait to use is canned pet food.

  • Call your local county service extension for suggestions on what to do with the trapped opossum.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prevent opossum problems, store your household trash in a tightly-covered receptacle, one that cannot be turned over easily. Do not leave pet food outside overnight.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and leaf piles to a minimum to reduce the chances of an opossum hiding in your yard.
  • Encourage your neighbors to take care of their trashcans, pet food and yards so the opossums will not have any place to rummage.

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