Opossum Traps: How Do They Work?

Opossum traps

Have you ever encountered an opossum in your backyard and wondered how to handle it? You’re not alone. Many homeowners find themselves dealing with these surprisingly resilient creatures, often resulting in a need for reliable opossum trapping services. But how do opossum traps work? 

In this article, you’ll learn not just about how opossum traps work, but also about opossum behavior, the different types of traps available, and alternatives to trapping.

Understanding Opossum Behavior

Before diving into how opossum traps work, it’s helpful to understand the behavior of these creatures. Opossums are marsupials, meaning they carry their young in a pouch, just like kangaroos. They’re primarily nocturnal, so you’re most likely to encounter them at night. They’re also opportunistic omnivores and will eat almost anything, which is often why they end up in our yards and homes.

Opossums are not aggressive animals but can be defensive when threatened. Understanding their behavior can help you predict their movements and improve your trapping success rate. For instance, if you notice that an opossum regularly visits your garbage cans at night, you can strategically place a trap near this area for a higher chance of capture.

Understanding that opossums are generally solitary creatures can also inform trapping strategy. Once one opossum is trapped, you may not have to worry about others in the immediate vicinity. However, this does not mean that another opossum won’t find its way to your property eventually, especially if it offers an easy food source.

Different Types of Opossum Traps

Now that you understand opossum behavior, let’s explore the different types of traps available. The most common type is the live cage trap. These are metal cages that trap an opossum without injuring it. The trap is baited with food to lure the opossum, and when it walks into the cage to get the food, a trigger mechanism closes the door behind it.

Another type of trap is the coated wire trap, which is similar to the cage trap but made from coated wire rather than metal. These traps are often more lightweight and portable, making them easier to position. However, they may not be as durable as their metal counterparts.

Finally, there are also body-gripping traps, which are generally not recommended for opossums. These traps can cause injury or even death to the animal, which is not the goal of humane trapping. Body-gripping traps are more typically used for larger, more aggressive animals.

How Do Opossum Traps Work?

The question at the heart of this article: how do opossum traps work? As mentioned, most opossum traps are live cage or coated wire traps. These typically work by baiting the opossum with food. When the opossum steps on a pressure-sensitive plate while attempting to reach the bait, the door of the trap closes, and the opossum is safely contained inside.

The effectiveness of these traps depends largely on the placement and bait selection. Opossums are attracted to a variety of foods, but some proven effective baits include canned pet food, fish, and fruit. The trap should be placed in an area where opossums are frequently seen or near a known food source.

Remember, the key to successful trapping is patience. It may take some time for an opossum to enter the trap, especially if it is wary of new objects in its environment. 

Alternatives to Opossum Traps

While trapping is a common method of opossum control, it’s not the only option. Some homeowners prefer to use deterrents instead. These can include motion-activated lights or sprinklers, as opossums usually prefer darkness and may be scared off by sudden light or movement.

Another alternative is to make your property less attractive to opossums. This can involve securing your garbage cans, not leaving pet food out overnight, and sealing any potential entry points to your home. By removing food sources and potential shelter, you reduce the chances of an opossum choosing your property as its home.

However, these methods may not be as effective as trapping, especially if you already have an established opossum problem. If you’re dealing with a persistent opossum, trapping may be your best option.

Hiring a Professional to Trap Opossums

If you’re uncomfortable handling opossums or if your trapping efforts have been unsuccessful, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Wildlife removal specialists have the training and experience to handle opossum problems effectively and humanely. Most importantly, it is illegal in many parts of the country to trap opossums yourself. This means that hiring a professional is virtually required for some people.

Professional trappers will assess your opossum problem, implement a trapping strategy, and ensure the safe release of the animal. They can also provide advice on preventing future opossum problems. While this option does involve a cost, it may be worth it for the peace of mind and the assurance that the opossum will be handled humanely.

Conclusion: The Effectiveness of Opossum Traps and Responsible Trapping Practices

In conclusion, opossum traps can be a highly effective approach to dealing with unwanted opossums on your property. However, it’s essential to trap responsibly and legally, ensuring the opossum’s safety and well-being. 

If you need help with wildlife removal from a licensed source, Freedom Wildlife Solutions is here to help you keep opossums off of your property. Reach out to us today to get started!

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