5 Critical Steps for an Opossum-Free Property

If there was ever a reason to get on top of your property inspections, wild animal invasion is it. If you already dealt with a wild animal problem, such as mice or rats, you are at a higher chance of being hit by other animals, including opossums. They are one of the laziest wild animals going, choosing to steal the holes and nests of other animals rather than create or build their own. What this means for you is that they will deliberately look out for and then attack any areas that you have neglected. All of those mouse/rat holes you didn’t see and seal will then be hit by opossums, and potentially other pest critters, too.

You can ensure that your property is wild animal-free, but it’s a long process, and not one that you should be cutting corners on.

1 – A Proper Property Inspection

You should perform at least one, preferably two, property inspections per year. Your home — yard included — will be hardest-hit during the spring, when most animals are giving birth to their young, and then again towards the end of fall and heading into winter. The latter will be when the animals are looking for somewhere warm and dry to hang out and wait for winter to be over … just like many of us.

If you do not know how to perform a proper property inspection, hire someone to do it for you. It is not just wild animal invasions that you can prevent by keeping up with regular and routine maintenance; you will also prevent floods, damaged roofs, structural damage, and even potential future hotspots, which will save you a small fortune in repair costs further down the line. (If you’ve ever needed to call an emergency plumber or electrician, you’ll appreciate the expense of these call-outs.)

The internet is a great resource if you fancy a weekend DIY job and saving a few bucks, and you can use it to get a full view of where wild animals are going to target your home. If you are heading up onto the roof, make sure that someone else is around for health and safety reasons. The last thing you’ll want is to fall off the roof and not have anyone around to help you out. (We hope it doesn’t happen, but DIY accidents are far too common in the United States.)

2 – Taking Control

Once a thorough and proper inspection has been completed, you then have a full overview of what needs to be done on your home to keep it safe. Broken siding or eaves can be repaired, as can vents or screens that have been broken or torn off. We recommend looking into the kind of animal you’re up against and where they target the most on a residential or commercial building. Different animals will have different skills, and will, therefore, be able to target different areas of a man made structure.

For opossums, the invasion spots are plentiful and often include:

  • Broken or loose vents, the animal getting into the house via the pipes or vents
  • Loose lattice or trellis work allowing the animal to get underneath the home, and then potentially inside the home
  • Areas where the soffit and roof meets, or external walls/points meet
  • Chimneys
  • Under tiles/broken tiles
  • Broken or ripped/loose screens for windows, doors, etc.

Once you know what needs to be done, you can make a plan to actually do it. You can hire professionals to do the work that you cannot do, or would rather not do. This even includes feces and waste removal, which is a vital component of a wild animal removal operation. In some cases, the wildlife removal expert or technician will incorporate the cleanup into the full price or quote you are given.

3 – Spotting the Signs

Not only will a proper property inspection help you to find the vulnerable spots of your home, it will also enable you to see things that you may not have had the opportunity to see yet. Feces, for example, it’s often overlooked when it is hidden in a place such as the attic or crawl space. A thorough-enough inspection will unearth these physical infestation signs, and will give you the opportunity to clean them up. Not cleaning them up will be detrimental, not just giving off an awful stench, but attracting flies and maggots into the mix, as well as rats, mice, and other scavengers that sniff out a potential meal.

Some homeowners aren’t aware of the animal infestation they have until they notice poop in the attic one day, whilst grabbing the Christmas decorations. That infestation could have been there for some time before it was discovered, the animals left to wreak all sorts of havoc and destruction which you will then be liable to repair.

Not spotting the signs will get very costly, very quickly.

4 – Making Life Difficult

No, we don’t mean making life difficult for you; we mean make life difficult for the animal that you’re up against, in this case, an opossum. In order to make life difficult enough to get them to leave, you need to prevent them from gaining access to the things they want the most. It’s usually food, water, or shelter (/protection from predators).

You will need to start by removing all food sources. This can be something as easily overlooked as pet food on the porch, chicken feed left out in the run, or seeds and nuts in a bird feeder. Sadly, the birds are going to need to suffer for a while, or you’ll need to find a way to stop the seeds and nuts from dropping to the floor. And prevent potential physical opossum attacks. They can climb, so a bird feeder on a tree branch is not a smart move.

Once all food sources have been removed, you will then need to look at the other things that an opossum would be looking for, on your property. Water is quite difficult to protect, of course, but you can make sure that your backyard is clean and tidy, thus eliminating any potential hiding spots which could be used as a nest or burrow. You will also be more likely to unearth a hidden burrow that you hadn’t already discovered when you start rummaging around in your own backyard. Opossums are well-known for stealing the abandoned burrows and dens/nests of other animals. If you leave them where they are, without filling them in or sealing them up, they will be taken advantage of by other, passing pests.

5 – Staying Ahead of the Game

There are plenty of property and land modifications that you could put in place to make life difficult for the opossum, but the trick is keeping everything well-maintained. Even the best barriers need a little maintenance and routine work from time to time, and whether this is reinserting fence poles, re-sealing holes, or re-repairing patches of damage, avoiding and ignoring the job will prove much costlier, further down the line.