Opossum in House - What do Do
Precautions Before You Try And Remove The Animal
How To Remove An Opossum Inside Your House - There are many different ways that an opossum can find its way inside your house, whether it follows the scent of food through an open door or it finds a hole or space to get in through a garage or cellar, but dealing with it once it gets inside the house is a delicate business. Although an opossum is generally quite a peaceful animal that tries to avoid contact with people, if you encounter it in the home it can often feel as though it is cornered as the animal won't understand how to escape. One of the opossum's defense mechanisms is to release a foul smelling fluid from its anal glands, which will definitely stick around once the animal is gone, so it is best to remove it without startling it if possible.
One of the important things to remember is that you shouldn't go straight in and try to catch the opossum bare-handed, as the animals can bite and scratch when confronted, while they can also react aggressively if they cannot see an escape route. It is important that you make sure you wear appropriate clothing such as heavy jeans and a sweater, along with gardening gloves to protect your hands. When it comes to trying to usher the animal outside, it is best to use a broom or similar implement to try and guide the animal, rather than using your hands where possible, and look to use the easier options where the opossum leaves of its own choice before trying to catch the animal.
Guiding The Opossum Outside
This should usually be the first step when it comes to trying to remove an opossum that has found its way into your house, and the best case scenario is that it is in a room where the door leads directly to the outdoors. If not try and close off all other routes, and leave a path for the opossum to follow to reach the outdoors, and it is here that you can try to use the broom to gently usher the opossum on its way. If the animal is still struggling to understand how to get back to the outdoors, or is showing a reluctance to leave, try to leave a trail of food for it from the room where it is leading to a larger bowl of pet food, meat or fish that is left outside. Give the animal time and peace to follow this trail, but if it is still not moving you may need to look at other ways of removing the animal.
Using A Snare Pole Or Trap To Catch The Opossum
A snare pole is a good way of removing the animal without ever having to come into physical contact with the opossum,although as it is quite a specialized piece of equipment, you may need to ask if you can borrow one from your local animal welfare department. Essentially, this is a long pole with a noose on the end, and once you slip this over the animal's head, you can tighten it so that you can guide the animal outside without harming it.
The other option is using a cage trap, but this will generally take more time as the opossum will actually see you placing the trap in the room, and may be reluctant to enter, however tasty the bait inside will be. While you can place the trap near the opossum, bear in mind not to get too close, as it may still scratch or bite.
Calling A Professional To Remove The Animal
If you are still struggling to remove the opossum having tried to use the methods above, the next step is to call a wildlife removal expert to deal with the problem for you. Some states will have services that can help to remove the animal, but in most cases they will refer you on to a professional company to provide the service. With the right expertise and equipment, once they arrive they will usually be able to remove the opossum fairly quickly, and either arrange for it to be released or humanely killed depending on state regulations.
What To Do Once The Opossum Has Been Removed
Cleaning up after an opossum can be quite a challenge, particularly if it has left droppings in the room, or particularly if it released some of the foul-smelling fluid that is a part of its defense mechanism. Make sure you are careful, and wear appropriate clothing while removing any contaminated material, while you will then need to repair any damage. If carpets or other furnishings have been damaged, you may need to replace them if they cannot be cleaned, although those that are lightly soiled can be treated with a disinfecting solution.
Go back to the main Opossum Removal
page for more information about opossums in your house. How do you get a opossum out of your home? What to do if you have opossums in your house.