'Possum in My Yard... What Do I Do?

The last few weeks, my Setters have been acting positively nuts, trying to climb my privacy fence, and this morning it was worse than usual. I brought them inside, but left them out about a half hour later. That’s when I saw it… a HUGE opossum sitting on top of my privacy fence. The thing is enormous, and hissed & snarled like crazy at us. I got the dogs in, but now I have a possum problem.

It cannot life in my yard with the dogs, it just can’t. Will I have to live trap it? If it’s been brave enough to be here with 2 85 lb dogs after it so far, I can’t see it leaving. I don’t have the money to call an exterminator.


Well, if you live in an urban area, can’t you just call your local animal control? Opossums are pretty nasty and can carry diseases, so any animal control agency will take the time to relocate it out of the city limits.

I had some invade the attic of a house years ago. Not only were they dangerous around my pets but they were so flea ridden that by the time we got them all out of there and patched the hole they got in through and repaired the floor damage we had to move out for a few days to have the whole place fumigated. If I were you I’d call animal control right away. If they won’t trap it themselves they should at least be able to provide you with a trap.

I just called animal control and left a message… I have to leave for work before they open and don’t get off till after they close. This sucks. I can’t even leave my dogs out in their own yard now. The dogs are going crazy in the house, they are used to having a place to run and play and till this thing is gone, that won’t be happening.

It’s always something.

Why do you think the animal will want to co-exist with two 85 lb dogs?
I’ve got two 15 pound American Eskimos and they cornered a possum behind the wood pile once. I got them away from the animal and it left never to be seen again.
I seriously doubt that if your dogs were a threat (which I’m sure they are) that this possum would want to remain in your yard much longer.

How do you like possum pie?

Ha! The only reason my dog doesn’t have a possum to tree anymore is that I moved away from my parents’ house. That bastard wasn’t moving for love nor money. It was HUGE and mean and had a million teeth. It didn’t mind being treed, thank God - I’m sure it could have killed the hell out of my dog. It just climbed up the fence and showed us every one of its teeth, maybe once every two weeks or so.

I’m not a “country” person by any stretch, but GypsyBoy is. So in the interest of my own education, I called him at work to ask him this exact question.

After wondering why I was asking him this, he replied, in his typical southern drawl-y it’s-WAY-too-early-for-you-to-be-calling-with-random-questions tone:

“Possum + .22s = stew.”


He was kidding - as far as I know, he’s never eaten possum stew (I hope). Anyways, possums (?) are OK with being up trees, but if they are stuck grounded, they’ll eventually move. But you need to keep the dogs and other pets away. They’ll keep in hiding if they feel threatened. But be careful - they’re sometimes mean and have been known to attack housepets.

I don’t know about you, but I feel very informed. :smiley:

Sometimes mean? SOMETIMES? So, there are nice, sweet, tractable possums hanging around somewhere with their godawful nasty tails and their not-having-enough-fur-to-go-aroundness? Because that is the kind of possum I have never had the pleasure of meeting.

Anyway, Dad says if you really want to eat him you should catch him and feed him bread and milk for a few days to “clean him out”. Dad has eaten possum.

Possums are really greasy. Just shoot him and bury him. Not worth the cooking required.

Do not eat the possum! They are frequently infested with ringworms tapeworms and hookworms, plus they are very greasy. Here is what you do:

  1. Trap it
  2. Take a picture of it
  3. Post a Found Cat ad on craigslist


My Grandmother had to cook many unusual things when she worked at a rice farm. “Greasy” is exactly how she described cooking a 'possum although she included “nasty” as well.

I am sure some will disagree but here goes. DO NOT call animal control. Depending upon where you live, Animal Control’s job is to control domestic animals, not the wild ones. They will punish you if you hurt the opossum and they will quarantine your dogs if they believe your animals have interacted with the opossum in some way, because of the threat of rabies. No interaction with animal control is ever good.

Just one story: My 13 year old son calls me at work one day; the dog is acting up and he sees what looks like a bat in the back yard, on the ground. I tell him to call AC. They tell him to CATCH THE BAT IN A BOX! I kid you not. Which he does by placing a laundry basket over the tiny bat laying on the ground. AC finally shows up but the bat is gone; it was tiny and must have slipped out one of the holes. So they forced us to quarantine our dog for 6 weeks, which means he couldn’t leave the yard and we were not allowed to have people or animals out our house! The only up side is that we could ignore the latter part but if we had gotten caught walking him we would have been in trouble.

My advice would be to cover your trash cans and any other source of food and shelter. We have had the same thing with racoons and opossums and that solved the problem. The dogs will be enough to discourage critters if there is nothing drawing them there. There are services that will “take care of the problem” that can work with the local authorities.

Possums are scavengers like buzzards and crows and stuff and such. They eat dead critters so they don’t stink up the world. There are a lot of them so a few lost to death is not so much an impact on life as we know it. You will not make them extinct. Live trap with cat or dog food as bait and relocate or waste a .22 shell on it and dispose of properly. (throw it out in the woods for the buzzards) (if noise is a problem with neighbors{in the city} use a bow & arrow, a crossbow and bolt, a pitchfork, sword, garrote)


You have two big dogs and a live possum? Huh… My daughter called me up all frantic because her little 40 pound dog had just slaughtered a big old possum in her back yard and she wanted to know what to do–I’m such a big help, I asked her if she had a pitchfork. :stuck_out_tongue: She ended up shovelling the nasty thing into a trash bag & dumping it in the bin–the poor dog was so upset, she had this look like “What, I show it to you and you dump it? Damn, I was gonna eat that! You suck…”

Possums I don’t worry about, but the raccoons we get around here could probably put a big hurt on either of my dogs, I worry about them tangling. My malemute used to go bananas whaling on the fence trying to get the raccoons when they’d get up my cypress trees out back, she just hated them.

This post is making me a bit queasy. Possum is greasy? Where’s a barfy smilie when you need one?

How common is it for possums to carry rabies? I’ve heard that it’s dangerous for any domestic animal, including humans, to approach raccoons because they are frequently rabid.

I don’t see a problem of dogs contacting opossums considering dogs are required to get rabies shots for encounters with wild animals.

There is a good chance the opossum will not show up again. Don’t worry about it unless it continues to show up. They do a lot of roaming for food.

Particularly the guts, which tend also to be grimy and take the form of great green gobs.

You’re thinking about gophers there. And don’t get me started on the monkey meat.