Are you wondering if you should let a possum live under your house? Possums have fascinating behaviors and defense mechanisms. Understanding them can help you make an informed decision.
This article explores possum behavior, reasons for choosing to live under houses, potential harm they can cause, and safe removal methods. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the pros and cons.
If you’ve seen a possum around your property, keep reading to decide what to do about these furry visitors.
- Possums play dead as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from predators.
- Possums are attracted to the food source found in trash and food scraps, which is why they choose to live under houses and sheds.
- Possums can cause potential harm by carrying infectious diseases, damaging gardens and lawns, digging holes, and getting into fights with dogs.
- Safe removal methods for possums include stopping the food source, using smells and sounds they dislike, trapping and rehoming them, or hiring a professional. Precautions should be taken before boarding up possum hiding places to ensure all possums have found a new home and to avoid harm or starvation.
Behavior and Defense Mechanisms of Possums
You should be aware of the behavior and defense mechanisms of possums when considering whether to let them live under your house. Understanding the psychology behind possums playing dead is crucial in making an informed decision.
Possums have a unique defense mechanism where they play dead when threatened. This behavior helps them appear as prey in the wild, fooling predators into thinking they’re no longer a threat. It’s important to note that when possums play dead, they’re fully aware and not unconscious. This tactic serves as their primary defense mechanism, as possums don’t possess physical strength or agility to fend off predators.
Having possums under your house can have both pros and cons. On one hand, possums are natural pest controllers, as they feed on insects, snails, and slugs. This can help keep your garden and lawn free from these pests. On the other hand, possums can carry infectious diseases that can infect humans and cats. They may also cause damage to gardens, lawns, and structures by digging holes or getting into fights with dogs.
Reasons for Possums Living Under Houses and Sheds
Possums are attracted to the constant food source found in the trash and food scraps under houses and sheds. These marsupials are natural scavengers, and the smell of household trash lures them to these locations. Every household generates a constant supply of trash and food scraps, making houses and sheds an ideal habitat for possums. They choose to live under these structures because they’re continually fed by the leftovers. The availability of such a food source makes these locations highly attractive to possums.
Possums, as scavengers, have adapted to capitalize on the resources provided by human habitation. They’re opportunistic feeders and can survive on a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, insects, and even carrion. This flexibility allows them to thrive in urban and suburban areas, where they can easily find sustenance.
Although possums may seem harmless, they can cause some problems when living under houses and sheds. They may carry infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets. Additionally, they can dig holes under structures, damage gardens and lawns, and get into fights with dogs. If their presence becomes overwhelming, they can become a nuisance.
Potential Harm Caused by Possums
The potential harm caused by possums living under your house includes the risk of infectious diseases, damage to your property, and potential conflicts with your pets.
Possums can carry infectious diseases that can infect both humans and cats. They may transmit diseases such as leptospirosis, tularemia, and toxoplasmosis through their feces, urine, or bites. It’s important to note that while these diseases are rare, the risk still exists.
In addition to the health risks, possums can also cause damage to your garden. They’re known to dig holes in search of food, which can disrupt the roots of plants and damage your lawn. Possums are attracted to gardens because of the abundance of fruits, vegetables, and insects. If left unchecked, their presence can lead to significant damage.
Lastly, conflicts with your pets can also arise if possums feel threatened. They may hiss, growl, or even bite if they feel cornered or provoked. It’s important to keep your pets away from possums to avoid any potential conflicts.
Safe Removal Methods for Possums
To safely remove possums from under your house, consider implementing effective and humane methods.
Possum relocation is one option to consider. If you want to handle the situation yourself, there are DIY possum deterrents you can try.
First, stop the food source and wait for them to leave. Possums are attracted to trash and food scraps, so removing these temptations may encourage them to relocate. You can also use smells and sounds that possums dislike, such as ammonia-soaked rags or loud noises, to coax them out.
Trapping the possums and having them rehomed by a local wildlife rescue is another possibility. However, it’s important to note that some regions may have regulations regarding trapping and relocating possums, so be sure to check your local laws.
If you prefer not to handle the removal yourself, you can hire a professional who’s experienced in safely capturing and relocating possums.
Finally, to prevent future infestations, consider boarding up the hiding places where the possums gained access. Just remember to take precautions before boarding up, such as checking for any living animals and ensuring that all possums have found a new home.
Precautions Before Boarding Up Possum Hiding Places
Before boarding up possum hiding places, make sure to thoroughly inspect every crevice to ensure the absence of these animals. Checking for young possums is crucial as they may travel through hiding places and can be difficult to spot. Young possums are more vulnerable and may not be able to find their way out.
It’s important to ensure that all possums have found a new home before boarding up their hiding places. If possums aren’t removed, they may starve and die under the house, causing unpleasant odors and attracting other pests.
Take the following precautions before boarding up:
- Use a flashlight to carefully examine all areas where possums may hide, such as crawl spaces, attics, and gaps between walls.
- Look for signs of recent activity, such as droppings, chewed wires, or nesting materials.
- If you spot any possums or their young, contact a local wildlife rescue or professional to safely capture and relocate them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Signs That Indicate a Possum Is Living Under My House or Shed?
If you suspect a possum is living under your house or shed, signs may include droppings, strong odors, scratching noises, and damage to property. To encourage relocation, remove food sources and use repellents.
Can Possums Cause Any Structural Damage to My House or Shed?
Possums can cause structural damage to your house or shed. They may dig holes, create nests, and chew on wires. Additionally, they can damage gardens by eating plants and fruits. Consider safe removal methods to prevent further damage.
Are There Any Specific Smells or Sounds That Possums Dislike and Can Be Used to Encourage Them to Leave?
There are various smells and sounds that possums dislike and can be used to encourage them to leave. Some natural deterrents include ammonia, garlic, and predator urine. Effective methods for possum removal include trapping and rehoming.
How Long Does It Usually Take for Possums to Relocate Once the Food Source Is Removed?
Possum relocation time varies based on factors such as available food elsewhere and the possum’s determination. Success rates can’t be guaranteed, as some possums may take longer to relocate or return if the food source is reinstated.
What Are the Risks of Attempting to Remove Possums Without Professional Help?
Attempting to remove possums without professional help poses risks. Without proper knowledge and techniques, you may harm yourself or the possum. Professional removal ensures safe relocation and prevents harm to both parties involved.