Trapping for Opossum

Possum in the attic or crawlspace? Outside the home problems?
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How To Trap For Opossum

Equipment     Most jobs where an opossum has entered an attic or crawlspace require the animal to be trapped for. It is relatively rare when the animal can be immediately snared or grabbed by hand. When trapping, you will need a large animal trap. The model we use is the Havahart 1079. This is the standard large animal trap we use for everything from raccoon to armadillo.

This large trap will work okay for smaller opossum, but ideally rodent traps would be used as well. If are trapping for juvenile or baby opossum, use a combination of large traps, squirrel-size cage traps, and rat snap traps.

Bait     Just about any type of food will work fine for bait. People often think that the secret of trapping successfully is using the right bait, but this is incorrect. In general, Wildlife Patrol baits for opossum with marshmellows, cat food, dog food, tuna fish, or a combination of the above.

Where To Set     There are 3 choices for trap location: at the entry point, on the ground near the point where the animal climbs on the roof, or inside the attic. The best location is at the entry point, see this raccoon page for an example of setting a trap at an entry point.

Some entry points cannot be trapped at and so the next best move is put the trap on the ground near the tree or screen that the animal is using to climb to the roof.

Setting the trap in the attic is a good move as long as you can check the trap twice a day to see if its caught. Getting the trap as close to where the animal is heard in the ceiling is ideal, but just having a baited trap in the attic may solve the problem.

Use 3-4 traps     If the entry point cannot be trapped, then use multiple traps at once to expediate the process. In cases where juvenile opossums are present use an additional dozen snap traps and 3-4 rodent size cage traps.
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The differences between trapping for raccoon and opossum:    
  • possums will not enter a trap to rescue their young; you cannot set possum babies for the mother as you can with raccoon
  • raccoons rarely enter crawlspaces - if you hear an animal underneath the home, its almost always possums or rats
  • possums are much easier to catch in baited traps in the attic; raccoons will not seek food when they are resting in the attic

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