Opossums are nicknamed as the living fossil because they are one of the world’s oldest living mammals. When scared or threatened, an opossum will feign death, and will look and smell as if it really is dead. Its lips will draw back, saliva forms around its mouth and it secretes a fluid from its anal glands which has a foul odor. This reaction is temporary and opossums can be injured by well-meaning humans moving them while in this state. They are transient animals that may take shelter under your deck for a short time. Removing opossums is not difficult, so trapping is not necessary.
Things You'll Need
- Wire mesh
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Encourage opossums to leave the space under your deck by removing what is attracting them. Often opossums are attracted to a location by food and potential shelter. Remove garbage and pet food stored outdoors.
Trim or remove dense hedges or foliage that provides cover for their hiding place beneath your deck.
Clean up any fruit that has fallen from trees and clear wood piles and other potential hiding places near your deck.
Look for access holes or damaged spaces it might have used to get under your deck. Opossums will leave their hiding place after sunset to look for food.
Stuff wadded up newspaper into the hole and sprinkle a light dusting of flour around any openings that the opossums may have entered through.
Check the area frequently after sunset. If the newspaper has been pushed out and you see tracks in the flour leading away from an opening but not back, the opossum has left.
Shine a flashlight beneath the hole to confirm it is empty. Opossums breed between October and December and sealing the entry during these months may trap babies inside so it’s important to confirm the space is empty. If it is, seal the entry using wire mesh or wood boards once the opossum is gone.