Virginia opossums, commonly known as possums, are found across the eastern seaboard of the united states. Often mistaken for large rats because of their thick tail, their markings and indeed their behavior is closer to that of the raccoon. Yet they are not rodents but in fact, marsupials and are often found scavenging in gardens, garages, attics, and yards. While possum damage to gardens is slight, a possum in the attic is a real nuisance. However, if you want to know how to get rid of possums naturally or scare possums away, then we have you covered. We have all the possum repellents that you will need.
Possums are good climbers and will seek out dry warm shelter to give birth. Attics often provide the perfect environment for raising possum young, and if you have a possum in the attic, it most likely female with its young.
However, in the winter possums will congregate in dens. If you have a possum infestation over the winter, it may be an adult group.
The most obvious sign of possums in your attic are:
- Noise: Possums are larger than rats, and are much slower. They are actually reasonably quiet but the noise of a possum in the attic is of a heavy animal when on the move.
- Smell: Possums produce large ‘dog sized’ feces which are spread around the attic. The feces have a pointy end making them easy to identify. The smell of possums is quite overbearing and it is usually the smell that people notice first.
- Time: Possums are also nocturnal, so expect possum noise at night. Also, possums are attracted to attics during May and June to have babies, and again in the winter months to keep warm.
- Scratching in walls: Possums babies frequently fall down the gaps between walls and are left stranded in the walls to die. Scratching accompanied noise from the attic is evidence for possums.
- Possum Damage: Possums will nest in attic insulation, ripping it to form bedding. They can also make holes in plaster walls and damage ducting.
- Scare with Motion-activated Devices
As soon as a possum crosses the sensors, these devices are triggered and will scare possums away. Motion-activated sprinklers are usually more effective than the lights.
- Spread Cat or Dog Fur
One of the smells that repel possums is that of a predator. Possums will avoid areas where they smell predators.
For this purpose, spread the fur of your cat or dog in areas where possums are active.
You can collect the fur after brushing your cat or dog. Place this fur in mesh bags and them around the areas where possums are found.
A roaming pet in your yard will also scare possums away.
- Get Rid of Outdoor Cover
So, if you want to keep possums out of your yard or garden, you should clear your garden or yard of cover. 
Mow all tall grasses, particularly those around your home and any other building. Get rid of grass clippings, piles of wood and other debris.
- Use a Live-holding Cage Trap
With a live-holding cage trap, that you can capture a possum without killing it. They are preferred over the quick-kill traps as they do not hurt possums. 
Also, in some municipalities and states, it is illegal to use quick-kill traps to get rid of possums.
Before setting a cage trap, check local laws on trapping possums: certain cities require a permit. 
Also be aware that there are laws concerning the release of possums into the wild and who is allowed to do this.
- Cover all Vents
One of the easiest home remedies to get rid of possums in the garden and at home is by covering the vents. Open vents are often where possums enter the home. 
So, block possums from getting into your home by covering all vents with slotted metal covers.
- Trim all Tree Branches
Trim down all tree branches so that they are at least 10 feet away from your roof. Also, make sure not to place any climbing plants near your home, especially not close to the eaves.
- Use Mothball
If you are looking for smells that repel possums, mothballs are your best and cheapest option.
Mothballs have a strong smell which is unbearable to the possums. They can be used to evict possums from closed areas such as under decking or a porch.
Get mothballs from your nearest store now. Place these balls in all the areas where possums usually hide.
- Electric Fence
If there are no over-hanging trees, an electric fence of only a few feet will suffice. The wires need to be closely meshed to allow no gaps.
Place a fence around your yard or garden to keep possums away.
- Ammonia possum repellent
If you are wondering how ammonia can help get rid of possums, then it is because of the horrible smell. The strong smell of ammonia repels possums and most small animals.
Add ammonia to an old soda can and stuff an old rag into the opening. Make sure half the rag is immersed in ammonia in the can, while the other half is exposed to the air outside the can.
The rags will act as a wick, allowing ammonia to slowly diffuse into the air. The fumes work better in an enclosed space, so this is a great remedy to get rid of possums under your shed, or decking.
Place as many cans as possible to scare the possums away.
- Chilly pepper
There are certain smells that repel possums and the strong odor of spices is one of them. Because spices are readily available in every kitchen, they are a great home remedy to get rid of possums.
Get your hands on any spice available and sprinkle into the possum’s favorite places. You will soon begin to notice how the possums slowly evacuate the area.
- Go for Quassia Chips
Quassia is a South American tree available at almost every garden centers in a chipped bark form. The bark of this tree is a popular ingredient in most of the possum deterrent sprays sold in the market. 
Instead of buying these commercial repellents, you can prepare one at home.
Take 4 ounces of Quassia chips and mix in it half a gallon of water. Heat the mixture over low flame for about an hour just like you are making tea.
Now, strain the mixture in a squirt bottle and add some dish soap in it. Use this to spray on the young plant leaves to keep possums away.
- Predator Urine
Take a piece of newspaper and soil it with your pet’s urine. Place it in your garden to scare the possums away.
Alternatively, scoop out some cat litter from your pet kitty’s litter box and spread it in your garden.
However, if you want to know how to scare a possum away, fox urine can be used as a possum deterrent. It can be purchased commercially and is widely used to scare possums and other small animals.
- Chicken wire
So, it is important to cover these structures with a metal barrier.
First place possum deterrents under the decking to evict the possum that may present.
Then dig a trench one foot deep around the structure and place chicken wire in the trench. Fill in the trench, burying one side of the mesh securely in the ground.
Nail or fasten the other side of the chicken wire to the base of the shed, deck or house.
This should create an impassible perimeter to keep possums away.
- Try Molasses
Molasses can be used to get rid of possums.
Mix a cup of molasses in one liter of water. Mix the solution well and store it in a spray bottle. This solution can serve as one of the best possum repellents ever.
You can also add some liquid dish soap as this can help the solution stick to plants. Spray the mixture on your favorite plants to avoid possums from eating them.
Don’t forget to check the molasses-coated plants every day to see if they require any fresh application.
- Sounds that annoy possums
Using sounds that annoy possums is an obvious deterrent strategy. Commercial ultrasonic devices are available to keep possums out of your yard.
Ultrasonic is outside of the frequency range that humans can hear, but possums and many other small mammals, not only hear in this range but communicate to each other in it.
The sonic devices transmit an intense noise that is expected to cause pain, disorientation, and fear in the possum.
Evidence for their effectiveness is limited though. Studies on Australian possums showed limited effects and that if the food source was especially attractive, the animals would overcome their dislike of the noise to continue feeding.
- Homemade Possum Poison
We are not a fan of poisoning because more often than not, the wrong animal (or child) takes the bait.
However, the fact that the possums will often root through the trash makes it easier and safer to lay poison for them. There is, however, no commercially available possum poison so homemade possum poison is the only option.
In this regard, antifreeze is an effective solution to get rid of possums as only a small amount is needed to kill the possum.
It is also sweet tasting and will not be rejected by the possum.
Possums eat most things but are particularly fond of kiwifruit, apple and carrot which you can use for possum bait. Soak the fruit in antifreeze and place in your garbage to lay the trap which is safe for cats and children.
- Always use a 1/4-inch grid screening to cover up a crack, hole, or any other open space
- Do not forget to place barriers in your chimneys and attic vents
- Remember to repair holes in deck lattices or the screens of your doors or windows, if any
- Use a wire cloth to cover the open space below the trailer if you are living in a mobile home
- Be careful while releasing a possum from a live cage as they may get aggressive 
- Do not leave pet doors open at night
- Stop your pets from going into the garden if it is inhabited by possums
- Do not let possums enter your trash by covering all the trash cans properly