How To Scare Possums Away From Your House (5 Ways To Do It!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Possums have recently gotten a little bit of meme fame on the net, and we can see the appeal. They are creepy, albeit fairly cute at the same time. While they are adorable from afar, they are not the type of creatures you want to bring to your home. Trapping them can hurt them, so the better question to ask is how you can spook them away from your home.

Possums are fairly easy to scare away since they can be frightened by both light and sound. This means that adding these items near your home can help:

  • Helium Balloons
  • Pinwheels
  • Fans With Ribbons Attached To Them
  • A Radio

For the most part, having a family of opossums near your home should be treated as a nuisance rather than a major threat. With that said, knowing how to keep them at bay can be pretty handy. Here’s what you’re going to need to know…

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What’s The Best Way To Scare Possums Away From Your Home?

If nothing else, possums are pretty skittish creatures. After all, they’re known for “playing dead” in the presence of predators and will do whatever they can to avoid getting near creatures they don’t understand. They are also pretty blind. The good thing about deterring possums from your home and yard is that you can use their bad eyesight in your favor.

By nature, possums won’t go near items that they see moving and that appear to be foreign. This means that you just need to focus on adding a little movement into your home. Installing almost any item in your yard that makes noise or moves on its own will be enough to scare possums away. Or, at the very least, this will work for the short term.

How Big Of An Issue Are Possums?

Having possums in your yard is generally not that big a deal. In fact, they tend to eat mosquitoes and other pests that can cause a far more serious problem for you and your family members. This is why it doesn’t make sense to get too upset about possums, and why most pest control companies will not exterminate them.

If you have a garden, then you may find them to be a bit annoying—particularly if you grow berries or leafy vegetables. Thankfully, they can get scared away pretty easily and there’s no need to harm them.

Do Possums Attack Pets?

While this might be an issue if you had bobcats or alligators in your yards, this is not an issue at all with possums. Possums are docile, timid creatures that look scary, but don’t really hurt anything. The only creatures they really prey upon are insects like ticks, termites, and mosquitoes. As a result, you shouldn’t worry about your pets near possums in most situations.

With that said, there is a slim chance that a possum could attack a pet. However, this is only a likely issue when the pet attacks or corners the possum first.

What Are The Best Long-Term Possum Deterrents?

It’s possible for possums to acclimate to moving items like balloons or pinwheels, especially when they notice that these items don’t move far away. Thankfully, there are methods that can always work for both long and short periods of time. These below are the most popular.

Motion-Sensor Sprinkler Systems

Motion-sensor systems are one of the best deterrents for possums, not to mention other animals like deer and skunks as well. No one likes to be surprised by getting sprayed with water! While it may not work as a termite treatment, it’s safe to say that this is a fairly foolproof way to ensure that you won’t be bothered by possums anytime soon.

Obviously, this is best in areas that have balmy, warm-ish weather year-round. If you live in an area that is usually snowy, you might not be able to use this day in, day out.

Barriers To Food

Do you have a vegetable garden? If so, then you probably will have a hard time keeping possums away from your home. A good barrier will make it easier to prevent possums from staying around for too long. Here’s what you should do:

  • Start off by fencing off your garden. You will need to do this using chicken wire that’s at least four feet high. To make sure that possums and other critters can’t climb up the fence, grease the bottom with oil and turn the fence outward.
  • Add a netting on top of the garden to deter them. If you have critters that somehow manage to clamber over the fencing, you may have to add netting. Unlike fences, there’s not much animals can do to overcome netting.
  • Double-check the garden’s barriers once a week. Sometimes, things can come loose. If you notice things getting loosened up, secure them.

Lock Up Your Trash

Both raccoons and opossums are known for being big fans of eating garbage. In fact, many homes only have a pest problem as a result of garbage that isn’t properly secured. Possums have fairly strong senses of smell, so keeping garbage tied up and odor-free is a good turn. If you want to deter them from your home, lock up your trash.

Make A Stink About It

The fact that possums have a fairly strong sense of smell is a good thing to know, especially when it comes to deterring them from your home. As it turns out, they (like most other living creatures) do not like to smell foul odors. One of the most common tools you can use in the fight against possums is ammonia. Here’s how to do it:

  • Get a bottle of ammonia and some dirty rags. There’s no reason to waste clean rags on pest control, so you might as well just use ones you used to remove excess stain from that woodworking project you did.
  • Soak the dirty rags in ammonia. You might want to do this outside since ammonia stinks to high heaven.
  • Drop the rags in strategic points around your house. We suggest putting the rags around the corners of your yard, near a garden entrance, as well as near garbage bins. These are the areas that possums like to congregate, after all.
  • If you want to avoid having random cloths laying around your yard, put the rags near potted plants or hide them behind trees. This keeps things out of sight, but still brings them low enough to make sure possums smell the stink,


If you have a dog that occasionally spends the night outside, then you probably already noticed that possums (and most other wildlife) will not go near your pups. That’s a fairly common reaction for wildlife, especially when you are working with animals that are more likely to be prey than a predator.

Most of the time, having a dog that spends the night outside in the backyard is enough to keep possums, as well as most other critters, away for good. With that said, you should keep an eye on your dog’s safety and comfort as well. If you live in an area that’s known for high heat or icy cold weather, keeping your dog outside at night is just cruel.

Should you choose to keep your dog outside, make sure that he has appropriate shelter from the elements (like a dog house) as well as access to clean water. It’s the least you can do to make sure that he’s comfortable!

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Related Questions

Do possums attack cats?

While possums tend to look a little creepy, they rarely ever pose a threat to any pets that may be wandering your yard. In fact, most possums will just pretend to be dead when in the presence of a predator. However, it is still possible for possums to strike at pets if they are cornered and being attacked.The only time a possum will seriously attack pets at random is if it’s rabid. Since possums rarely have rabies, this is a wild exception rather than a rule.

What animals do possums eat?

While possums have been known to munch on leaves and dig through gardens, most of the time, they are carnivorous. Don’t be afraid of them, though! Possums are huge fans of eating cockroaches, ticks, termites, and even somewhat larger pests, like mice. If it’s an insect, they probably will eat it.That’s why many homeowners are totally fine with letting a family of possums live near them. They often end up getting rid of the pests that actually cause serious damage to homes, pets, and people.

What plants do possums hate?

For the most part, possums will not want to go near any plants that are particularly pungent. This means that plants like onion and garlic will usually be enough to make these furry night-walking friends back away. Other options include eucalyptus, lavender, and mint.Though virtually any heavily-scented plant can keep possums away, many studies note that the most effective plant for the job seems to be garlic.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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