Opossums are extremely beneficial for our environment. They eat bugs like ticks, and decaying organic matter like fruits and vegetables, keeping the areas they live cleaner. Their hissing and bared teeth reaction when approached is all for show – these animals are essentially harmless to people.

However, having an opossum as a frequent visitor at your NJ property can still pose several frustrating challenges, and it’s not uncommon to require the help of a trained wildlife control expert to address these issues.

Where Opossums Cause Challenges

Opossums are traveling animals and rarely stay long in the same location unless they are giving birth. They go from place to place to seek out food and sleep in a den during the day. But their behaviors can still cause challenges for homeowners. These include:

  • Denning Beneath Decks
  • Getting into Trash
  • Eating Pet Food
  • Eating Produce in Gardens
  • Dying on Your Property
  • Getting Caught Inside of Your Home

There is also a risk of disease among opossums in NJ. Illnesses like leptospirosis, spotted fever, and tuberculosis can be transmitted from an opossum to a person or another animal. Opossums are not aggressive – their biologic action when faced with a predator is to play dead – but there is still some risk as with all wildlife.

How to Handle Opossums in Your Yard

The recommended method for dealing with opossums in most cases is to let them be. An opossum will move on by itself within a few days. Instead, there are some steps you can take that will protect your yard and garden and make opossums less likely to visit in the future.

First, seal any trash cans. Locking animal proof trash cans will keep out opossums as well as other nuisance wildlife, like raccoons and squirrels, that are attracted by the smell of garbage. Also bring in pet food at night to prevent opossums from getting into it.

You can discourage opossums from getting into your garden by picking up fallen tree fruit and harvesting crops the moment they are ready. A fence will keep opossums out as well. It needs to be at least 4 feet high and floppy to keep the opossums from climbing it.

If you need to remove an opossum, contact professional animal removal services who can humanely capture the animal and return it to a more natural location. NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers works with property owners in NYC and NJ to address invading opossums and deal with the challenges they cause, and we are available for any opossum related issues you may be facing.