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How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

Posted by bumblebeez (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 13, 08 at 18:33

Nearly everyday, I find a raccoon/and/or opossum dropping outside my garage or on our front walkway. I had a hunter id them for me once.
I don't keep the garage door open or keep water outside where they can get to it, other than the birdbath in the back of the house. The trash cans are in the garage and we are neat and clean.
Is there anything I can do to keep them from coming around? Or are they good?
I had to catch and release a small snake in the garage today. :(

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

Do you or a neighbor keep a bird feeder?

Opossums are transient and do not have an established territory. If they are not raiding the garbage, what is the problem? The droppings?

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

I disagree that all possums are transient. We have had a family living near us for years. Like raptors and geese most all of these birds fly away when the seasons change, but there are a number of these critters that stick around.
Wild animals need a number of things, food, water, shelter and a place to raise their young. Apparently your neighborhood has all of these available. Appaarently you have a bit of a wildlife freeway going on where you live. They are using the same commute route everyday and marking that route. It does not matter how clean your place is at all, it just means you are living between home and dinner and a drink.
Im not certain why this is bothersome to you. These animals do their travelling at night (unless they have rabies in which case should you see a critter outside in the late morning or early evening, you should call the humane society to have them trapped and humanely distroyed) Yes they do carry fleas and that can be troublesome if you have animals. Apply frontline or advantage and that should take care of any wayward fleas. You can also have the yard treated if necessary.
These wild animals have a very important role in the natural world. They eat a myriade of insects keeping that population down. You can use a set of rubber gloves to use with a paper towel to dispose of the feces and you can hose down the area afterwards if you feel you need to.
Have a pest control person come out if you need, just make certain that these critters are not denning up in your home. Raccoons can cause a tremendous amount of damage to a home, pulling out insulation etc. Once you have your house inspected (sometimes done for free) you can rest assured these critters are just walking by on the way to living their lives.

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

I don't like finding the droppings on the walkway each morning and sometimes when I haven't closed the garage until I go to bed (because one of the dogs stays outside, his choice, until bedtime) they come in the garage and poop.
It's not a big deal as I live in a rural area so I know they're around but I wish they weren't so right in the garage. We have lots of woods for them to live in.


Oh anyway, thanks for your replies! I should have said that first as I appreciate your time.

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

I did an internet search on Oppossum because we tend to get them here. They are very beneficial. They eat things that bring other pests to your home, so you should have fewer mice if the 'Possum are around. They can cary rabies, but do not tend to carry it as much as skunks do. They do have a LOT of teeth, and that combines with their white faces and their naked tails to make them look gruesome. Then there is the growling and hissing! LOL! Not a friendly Disney-animatron by any means. But they will eat that extra fallen fruit in your neighbor's yard when the apple tree overproduces. Unlike other pests, they do not tend to burrow under your shed or patio. They come, they eat, they go on their way - unless your dogs corner them.

Toby was so proud this spring when he caught a half-grown 'Possum. You should have heard DH yelling when he saw what Toby was trying to bring into the house! I got Toby to "Leave it" and I carried young 'Possum to the edge and gently tossed him onto the mulch on the other side of the fence. He was back the next night - caught by Toby again! He was the same size as Toby's favorite toy - the stuffed 'Possum from Target's AKC line of dog toys. We are just lucky we realized it was not his stuffed animal that he was trying to bring into the house.

Unlike Racoons, who will live in the house with you if given a chance. 'Possum are nomadic and do not tend to 'den up' unless it is a mother with young. They come and visit for a little while, wreak their havoc on your nerves and on your dog's psyche, then move on.

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

We had a possum problem last year...our issue is they are carriers of fleas...and flea eggs that ultimately end up on our animals inside the house...So still seeking deterrents to keeping them away.

RE: How to keep opossums and raccoons away from my house.

Well, I myself am wondering the same question: How do I keep possums from coming into the house? That's right, you read correctly. For the past week and a half, a possum has been coming into the house constantly. Being unaware of how it comes in, I can't really keep it from returning. The first time we saw it, we managed to run it out of the front door. It came back. The next time we saw it, we grabbed him with a thick towel and carried him off to the edge of the woods. It came back. The next time, we managed to grab him again with a thick towel by the neck and we drove him maybe 2 miles up the road and put him in the woods. He came back. I'm not sure if it is the same possum all along, because I don't think he ran after the car. (NOTE: These things are returning in less than 24 hours each time.) The next time we saw the possum, I put purple nail polish on him to identify him rather than trap him in the house or kill him, and grabbed him by the tail and threw him out of the back door. It managed to find its way in again yesterday, but did not appear to have nail polish on him. While trapped in the bathroom, I managed to paint half of his tail bright orange with some more nail polish, and trapped him in the trash can he was sitting in, snacking away. Should I put him out again, or do you think this is a mother possum and her young are living very close by? While heart wrenching, the only other option I know is to kill them. It did not break skin, but one of the possums bit my mother's toe, too. What should I do about this whole situation?!?!? Thank you!

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