I have an old trailer house that is for storage, but its in poor shape
and I intend to demolish it this summer. Actually the roof is fine, but
the crappy particle board floor is just falling apart. I'ne replaced
parts of it over the years, but rather than constantly fixing that floor
which seems to be an endless job, I just built a pole shed which will
get a concrete floor. this summer. I ran out of decent weather last
fall, and didn't get the shed finished.
Anyhow, I went in the old trailer house to get some stuff, and expected
to find some mice, which have done a lot of damage in there. But I was
not expecting to come face to face to a hissing opossum.
I can see there is another bad spot in the floor (hole), so I know how
it got in, but before I nail something over that hole, I need to get the
This is a farm, so I can shoot it, but I'm not the best shot for one
thing, and I only have a single shot 22. I could borrow a better gun,
but I dont want to shoot inside the building, for several reasons.
First I'll damage the stuff stored in there, second, there are aerosol
cans of spray paint and other stuff that could explode if I hit one of
them. Plus I'll be making more holes in the building.
So, I'm looking for another method to get rid of this opossum. I'd like
to do it as humanely as possible, but will do whatever I must, since
it's already done a lot of damage by knocking things over and crapping
Any suggestions on what to use? Such as poison????
I do have a live trap (made for raccoons), so it's the right size. But
I have no idea what to bait it with for an opossum. But I'd really
prefer to use poison, because I dont really want to deal with a hissing
critter in the trap, which I'll have to somehow kill anyhow.
(There may be more than one of them too, but I did see one, and as soon
as I did, I got the hell out of there). Just the thought of going in
there to set a trap or something is making me uncomfortable. I'd rather
deal with a raccoon, they will usually run away, (inless they have a
nest of babies), but an opossum will attack a person any time.
Thanks for all suggestions.
On Tue, 10 Feb 2015 03:58:52 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
They're actually pretty amazing creatures and generally do more good
than harm - they eat critters that do cause harm. But I wouldn't want
one inside pooping around so try mothballs - that works with some
On 2/10/2015 4:58 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Peanut butter seems to work for all critters from mice to raccoons.
This is groundhog size trap and can only catch smaller raccoons so you
do need a big trap.
Last time I put it out, I got a skunk, which is a whole other story.
Make sure you can open the trap from several feet away if this happens.
On 02/10/2015 03:58 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If you are going to demolish the house this summer, just leave the dang
thing alone. Even if you get rid of it, some other critter is just going
to get in there.
Years back I live trapped and relocated a whole hell of a lot of
squirrels and though my yard was empty for a week or so...before too
long I had more new ones than ever.
( I did at least get the holes in my eaves patched with sheet metal and
they did not get inside.)
They roam at night. I wonder if you could just
wait until late at night and block the hole.
Failing that, put broccoli and peanut butter
in the trap. There's no need to kill it and there's
no need to get near it. Just plug the hole once
it's out, then, if it's in a cage simply open the
gate and walk away. The opossum will leave the
cage eventually, after you're gone.
When I was invaded by an opossum one night, it did not seem very
aggressive. I laid a plastic trash can near it, and shooed it into the
can with something like a fly swatter.
It stuck its nose out of the can when I picked it up, but retracted it
when I patted its nose with the fly swatter. I carried it outside and
laid the can on its side. The next day the opossum was gone.
Looking back, this approach might not be a good idea if it happened to
Possoms don't get rabies nor most other diseases. Their body
temperature is too low. Also, they have opposable thumbs on their feet
as well as their hands, so if that's mostly what makes us human,
they're twice as human as we are.
I'd heard about possums and probably saw them in zoos but I never ran into
one in the wild until I was working a contract in Fort Wayne. Sure enough,
it hissed, drooled, and played dead when I wasn't impressed.by the threats.
I put them right up there with blue heelers. God made the animal, looked at
the results, and said "Let's try that one again."
King snakes use the same tact. First they do a good impersonation of a
pissed off rattlesnake. If that doesn't seem to be working, they launch into
the dead snake act. King snakes are a lot prettier than possums though.
Ok, here's my possum story. Two actually. I live in NYC and have a
small backyard, 18" by 50" which tends to get very overgrown by
August. I have it fenced in, with fencing curving in at the top, so I
can let my cats roam around without them getting out. One August I'm
trying to find Espy, a cat with a mostly white face and a pink nose. I
pick up a bit of an evergreen so I can look under it, and there is a
whitish face with pink nose, but the nose is way too long. Yikes.
I get a stick, lift up more evergreen, and whatever it is is lying on
its side looking dead, and drooling. I panic a bit, fearing that it
might have harmed Espy, but I find him elsewhere and rush him inside
and then call Animal Control. Much to my surprise, Animal Control only
deals with cats and dogs. Anything else has to be sick or wounded.
Well, I tell the nice lady, I think it might be dying and it's
drooling. Yes, she replies, it's playing possum. Oh. That's what it
So she tells me to call an animal trapper and I do so. But he tells me
that possums are fairly common in the backyards, and that they do more
good than harm and tend to move on after a few days. For $50 he'll
collect it and drop it in a rural area, but why don't I just let it be
and see what happens. After all, he says, it eats all the grubs and
insects that do actual harm. Well, I don't want it huting my cats, but
he tells me that it's probably been back there with the cats for a few
days, and they generally leave each other alone.
So that's what I did. Nothing. After a few days it was gone. It had no
problem climbing over the fence that kept my cats in. Of course, my
cats really don't want to roam but the possum does.
A year or two later, I'm working on the computer and see two of my
cats sitting in the hallway looking down at something. Oh oh. Whatever
it is doesn't look like something that belongs in my hallway. It's not
a bird, and too big to be a mouse, yet not a rat. Oh. Baby possum. I
pick it up with paper towels and it moves. Not dead. I take it outside
and it bites my hand. Stop that. I stick it through the chainlink
fence into my neighbor's yard. As it goes through the fence, it grabs
the fence with its rear foot. That's when I realized that they have
opposable thumbs on their hands and feet. Very cool.
Then it dropped into the groundcover and wandered off. Twice more that
day I had to rescue a baby possum from one of my cats. One was running
around the yard with a possum in its mouth. But none of them were
harmed by the cats, which is sort of unusual since cats are pretty
much hard-wired killers.
A week or two later I spotted a half grown possum on a neighbor's
steps, so at least one of the graduating class made it that far
Possums have a tough life and they're really pretty interesting
creatures. Marsupials (sp?), like the kangaroo, bearing live young who
then live in a pouch. The only Marsupials in North America.
So when I read about folks that want to kill possums, I try to put in
a good word for them.
On Fri, 13 Feb 2015 15:45:38 -0500, Stormin Mormon
I had around 15 2x4s, around 12 feet long, in the garage. I'm going to
be moving in a few months so I put them out in front of the house the
day before garbage pickup, and they all were gone a few hours later.
That's the best way to recycle. In my neighborhood, if someone doesn't
take whatever you put out, it really was crap.
I liked that about NY too. LIved in an apartment so I didn't put
trash out, but I took plenty in. One day I needed a yardstick and
planned to buy one next time I was near a hardware store. Within an hour
I found nice heavy wood one on a garbage can. I still have it.
Another time I was bicycle riding around Riis Park, the end of Flatbush
Avenue. When I got back to King's Highway, I left the big streets and
took small ones. Found a 9" TV on top of a garbage can. All I had was
the little "luggage rack" they put on 10-speed bicycles. This one had a
U piece that was spring-loaded, but still not enough. While I was
looking at t he TV, the lady of the house came out with rope so I could
tie the TV to my bike, and that way I got all the way back to Clinton
Hill (just south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard)
She told me she thought it was just a tube, but -- and this was the only
tv I've ever dealt with like this - it was just a fuse, even easier.
A couple years later, I was in the hospital to remove a bony growth on
my arm, and I called the TV guy to rent a TV. He came up and said "You
already have one." but it was faicing the guy on the other side of the
room, away from me. The nice guy said I could come over any time I
wanted and watch tv with him. ;-) So since I had to move my car to
the other side of the street anyhow, I went home, got the little TV and
a pair of pajamas and came back to the hospital.
I still have it, but haven't been using it.
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