Did you know that opossums are one of the most common backyard pests in the United States? These mischievous creatures can wreak havoc on your property, damaging gardens, rummaging through trash, and even causing structural damage. But worry not, because we have the solution to keep them away, and the best part is, it’s all-natural!

In this blog,  we will explore a range of effective methods and home remedies that will help you create a possum-free environment without any harmful chemicals or cruel trapping. By implementing these strategies, you can protect your yard and maintain peace of mind.

10 Home Remedies to get rid of Opposums

If you’re dealing with opossums on your property and want to avoid harsh chemicals or traps, there are several home remedies you can try. These natural methods are not only effective but also safe for both you and the opossums that may be causing a nuisance.

1. Remove Food Sources

Opossums are attracted to food sources in your yard, so it’s essential to eliminate opossum food sources in order to control their feeding habits. By removing accessible food, you can make your yard less appealing to opossums and discourage them from staying.

One effective way to eliminate food sources is to secure your trash cans. Opossums are notorious scavengers and can easily find their way into improperly sealed or unprotected garbage bins. Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and use bungee cords or other secure fasteners to prevent opossums from gaining access.

eliminate opossum food sources

Another important step is to store pet food indoors. Opossums are attracted to the smell of pet food and can be drawn into your yard if it is left outside. Keep pet food bowls indoors or only put them out during mealtimes, ensuring that any leftover food is promptly removed.

Additionally, regularly inspect your yard for fallen fruits or vegetables. Opossums are omnivorous and will feed on a variety of plant material. If you have fruit trees or vegetable gardens, it’s crucial to pick up fallen produce as soon as possible to prevent opossums from feasting on them.

By taking these simple steps to remove food sources, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of opossums being attracted to your yard. Remember, controlling opossum feeding habits plays a key role in keeping them away.

2. Eliminate Water Sources

Preventing opossums with water control is an effective way to opossum-proof your yard. Opossums need water to survive, so by eliminating water sources, you can make your yard less attractive to these pests. Here are some steps you can take to eliminate water sources and discourage opossums from entering your property:

Inspect your outdoor faucets and pipes for any leaks or drips. Repairing these sources of water will not only prevent opossums but also conserve water and save you money on your water bill. Opossums are attracted to areas with stagnant water. Regularly check your yard for any areas where water collects, such as puddles or containers. Ensure that they are emptied, dried, or properly covered to prevent opossums from accessing water. If you have any decorative water features in your yard, such as fountains or ponds, it’s important to opossum-proof them. Install a mesh cover or netting over these features to prevent opossums from drinking from them. This will also protect your water features and prevent debris from accumulating.

preventing opossums with water control

By following these tips and eliminating water sources in your yard, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of opossums visiting your property. By making water scarce, you make your yard less appealing to opossums, encouraging them to seek water elsewhere.

3. Secure Compost and Trash Bins

Opossums are known to be attracted to compost piles and trash bins, as they provide easy access to food and shelter. To protect your yard from opossums and prevent damage to your compost and trash bins, it is important to take appropriate measures. Here are some effective methods to secure your compost and trash bins:

Make sure your compost and trash bins have lids that fit tightly. This will prevent opossums from easily accessing the contents inside. Opossums are notorious for tipping over bins in search of food. To avoid this, secure your compost and trash bins by placing them in a stable location or attaching them to a secure structure.

protecting yard from opossums

Opossums have a strong sense of smell, so using odor deterrents can help deter them from your compost and trash bins. Consider sprinkling peppermint oil or cayenne pepper around the bins to create a smell that opossums find unpleasant. Ensure that any spills or debris around the compost and trash bins are cleaned up promptly. Leftover food or scraps can attract opossums and encourage them to return.

By implementing these measures, you can effectively protect your yard from opossums and secure your compost and trash bins from opossum damage.

4. Use Motion-Activated Devices

Motion-activated devices can be an effective solution for deterring opossums from entering your yard. These devices are designed to detect movement and then activate a response, such as a sound, a spray, or a sudden burst of light. The sudden activation of these devices startles opossums, making them uncomfortable and less likely to stay in your vicinity.

There are several types of motion-activated devices that you can consider using:

  •  Motion-activated sprinklers can be set up in strategic locations around your yard. When opossums come near, the sprinklers are triggered, spraying water and surprising the animals. Opossums do not like being sprayed with water, and the experience can deter them from returning to your yard.
  • These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to opossums. The ultrasonic waves produced by the sound emitters are inaudible to humans but are irritating to opossums, causing them to seek shelter elsewhere.
  • Motion-activated lights can be an effective deterrent for opossums. The sudden illumination can startle them and make them feel exposed, prompting them to leave your property in search of a safer environment.

By utilizing motion-activated devices, you can create a hostile environment for opossums, making them think twice about invading your space. It’s important to strategically place these devices in areas where opossums are likely to enter your yard, such as near fences or around trash bins.

Remember, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using these devices. This will ensure that they are set up correctly and maximize their effectiveness in opossum control.

5. Predator Urine

Opossums are naturally wary of predators, so the scent of predator urine can deter them from your yard. By using predator urine as a natural opossum repellent, you can make your yard less attractive to these nocturnal creatures.

Commercially available predator urine products, such as coyote or fox urine, can be purchased online or at garden supply stores. These products are designed to mimic the scent of predators and create a deterrent effect. They are typically packaged in small bottles or spray bottles for easy application.

To use predator urine effectively, it is important to strategically place the repellent around your yard. The goal is to create an environment that simulates the presence of predators and makes opossums feel unsafe. You can use the following tips to maximize the effectiveness of predator urine:

  • Identify areas frequented by opossums, such as garbage cans, compost bins, or areas with food sources.
  • Apply a few drops of predator urine near these locations to create a scent barrier.
  • Reapply the urine periodically, especially after rain or heavy watering, to maintain the scent and effectiveness.
  • Consider using a deterrent spray bottle to apply the urine in a more targeted manner, ensuring the scent is concentrated in specific areas.
  • Rotate the use of different predator urine scents to prevent opossums from becoming accustomed to a specific scent and ignoring it.
Predator Urine Products Price Usage/Application
Coyote Urine $15 Apply around garbage cans and compost bins
Fox Urine $10 Place near food sources and known opossum areas
Bobcat Urine $20 Use in combination with other natural repellents

6. Ammonia Soaked Rags

Opossums dislike the strong smell of ammonia, making it an effective natural deterrent. By utilizing ammonia-soaked rags, you can create an environment that opossums find unpleasant and avoid.

To use ammonia for opossum control, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a few clean rags or towels that you don’t mind getting saturated with ammonia.
  2. Pour ammonia into a container. Ensure it is enough to fully soak the rags.
  3. Submerge the rags in the ammonia and let them soak for a few minutes. This will allow the rags to absorb the strong smell of ammonia.
  4. Wring out the excess ammonia from the rags, but make sure they remain damp.
  5. Strategically place the ammonia-soaked rags around your yard, focusing on areas where opossums are commonly seen or where you suspect they may enter.

Be cautious when handling ammonia, as it can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested or inhaled. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use gloves or protective clothing when working with ammonia.

By implementing this simple method, you can effectively use ammonia to deter opossums from your property. Pairing it with other natural remedies and preventive measures can help ensure a possum-free environment.

7. Natural Repellents

There are several natural repellents that can effectively deter opossums from your yard. These homemade opossum deterrents utilize scents and tastes that are unappealing to these nocturnal creatures, making your property less desirable for them to inhabit.

One natural repellent option is a peppermint oil mixture. Opossums dislike the strong scent of peppermint, so creating a spray using peppermint oil can help keep them away. To make the mixture, combine 1 part peppermint oil with 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Shake well to ensure thorough mixing. Spray the solution around areas where opossums are known to frequent, such as garbage cans, garden beds, and entry points into your yard. Reapply after rainfall or every 2-3 weeks to maintain its effectiveness.

Cayenne Pepper

Another natural opossum repellent is cayenne pepper. Opossums are sensitive to the strong taste of cayenne pepper, making it an effective deterrent. To use cayenne pepper as a repellent, sprinkle it directly on the ground or surfaces where opossums visit. Avoid placing it near edible plants or areas where children or pets play. Reapply the cayenne pepper every few weeks or after rainfall to maintain its potency. Keep in mind that it may need to be reapplied more frequently in heavy rain or if there is significant foot traffic in the area.

8. Plant Deterrents

Certain plants have properties that repel opossums due to their smell or taste. They can be used as natural deterrents to keep opossums away from your plants and garden. Here are some plants that opossums dislike:

  1. Lavender
  2. Rosemary
  3. Mint
  4. Marigold
  5. Eucalyptus
  6. Garlic
  7. Onion
  8. Chrysanthemum
  9. Daffodils
  10. Geranium

You can strategically plant these repellent plants around your garden to deter opossums. The strong scents and tastes of these plants are unpleasant to opossums, making them less likely to cause damage or feed on your plants.

In addition to using plants to deter opossums, there are other natural ways to repel them from your plants. Barriers can be created using wire mesh or fencing to physically prevent opossums from accessing specific areas. Repellent sprays made from ingredients like hot peppers or garlic can also be applied to plants to make them less appealing to opossums.

By incorporating these natural deterrent methods, you can protect your plants and garden from opossum damage without resorting to harmful chemicals or methods. It’s important to create an environment that opossums find unattractive and inconvenient, encouraging them to seek alternative food sources elsewhere.

9. Fencing


Installing fencing around your property can create a physical barrier that prevents opossums from entering. By utilizing opossum-proof fencing, you can effectively keep these unwanted critters out of your yard.

When choosing fencing to deter opossums, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Height: Opt for fencing that is at least 4 feet tall. Opossums are skilled climbers and can easily scale shorter barriers.
  • Material: Select sturdy materials such as metal, wood, or vinyl. Avoid chain-link fencing, as opossums can squeeze through the gaps.
  • Ground Defense: To prevent opossums from burrowing under the fence, consider burying the bottom portion or attaching a mesh skirt that extends into the ground.

Once you have chosen the appropriate fencing, it’s essential to ensure proper installation and maintenance:

  1. Secure: Ensure that the fencing is securely installed, with no gaps or loose sections that opossums can squeeze through.
  2. Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect the fencing for any signs of damage or wear. Repair any issues promptly to maintain the effectiveness of the barrier.
  3. Vegetation Clearance: Trim any overhanging branches or vegetation near the fence that could provide opossums with a way to bypass the barrier.

10. Keep Yard Tidy

Maintaining a tidy yard is crucial for opossum prevention and control. By following a few simple steps, you can create an environment that is unappealing to these unwanted visitors.

Regularly mow your lawn to keep it well-groomed. Opossums prefer to hide in tall grass, so keeping it short will discourage them from making themselves at home. Remove any debris or clutter from your yard, such as piles of leaves, branches, or unused equipment. Opossums are attracted to these areas, as they provide ample hiding spots and potential food sources.

Trim overgrown vegetation, especially near the perimeter of your property. Opossums use trees, shrubs, and bushes as entry points into your yard. By keeping them well-maintained, you can reduce the likelihood of opossums invading your space. Remember to secure any outdoor pet food or bird feeders. Opossums are opportunistic eaters and will seize any available food source. Store pet food indoors and bring in bird feeders at night to avoid attracting these nocturnal creatures.

By maintaining a tidy yard, you can significantly decrease the chances of opossums taking up residence in your outdoor space. Remember to regularly mow your lawn, remove debris, trim overgrown vegetation, and secure any outdoor food sources. These simple yet effective measures will help protect your yard from opossums and ensure a peaceful coexistence with these wildlife neighbors.

FAQs on how to keep opossums away

What are some home remedies to get rid of opossums?

Some effective home remedies include using molasses, creating a spicy mix, using quassia chips, placing mothballs in strategic areas, and installing motion-activated sprinklers.

How can I remove food sources to deter opossums?

To eliminate potential food sources, secure trash cans, store pet food indoors, and promptly pick up fallen fruits or vegetables.

What motion-activated devices can deter opossums?

Motion-activated sprinklers, sound emitters, and lights can startle and repel opossums when they enter your yard.

What natural repellents can deter opossums?

Peppermint oil mixtures and cayenne pepper can be used as homemade repellents. These scents and tastes are unappealing to opossums, making your yard less desirable for them to inhabit.

How can I use plants as deterrents against opossums?

Certain plants have properties that repel opossums due to their smell or taste. You can use barriers or repellent sprays to protect specific plants from opossum damage.

How can I utilize fencing to keep opossums out?

Installing fencing around your property can create a physical barrier that prevents opossums from entering. Different types of fencing can be used, and it should be properly secured to keep opossums out.