How to Scare Possums Away from your House

how to scare possums away from your house
You humanely scare possums away with strong scents such as garlic, onion, camphor, molasses, and predator urine. Bright lights, water spray, or sudden motion are also effective methods to scare opossums.

What will scare possums away?

Possums are attracted to homes to find shelter and food. Installing motion activated sprinklers or lights will startle possums. The spray of water from the sprinklers will be harmless but can be used as a scare tactic.

If you see an opossum on or near your yard, you can spray it with your garden hose to repel it. Possums are nocturnal animals that like the darkness, so lights will make your yard unappealing to them.

Any sudden motion or reflective light will scare possums. Reflective tape, balloons, and pinwheels are several items that may be effective. 

Some possums are not scared easily and if this is the case for your critter, you need to try other methods for repelling possums, such as using smells to repel them. 

possum on a decayed tree branch

What smells will keep possums away?

You can create natural repellents out of items you may already have in your pantry. The most effective repellents have strong smells and flavors, that way the possum is repelled by the taste and smell. 

Here are various ingredients you can use at home:


Garlic can be used in many ways to deter possums. Planting garlic cloves in your garden will prevent possums from eating your plants.

Another option is to use garlic oil. Spread garlic oil around any areas that you have noticed possum activity. You can also mix garlic powder or minced garlic with water to create a spray.

Spray the mixture on your garden and on the perimeters of your property. Minced garlic can be directly placed on a plate and left in an area to repel the possum.


The smell and taste of onions creates a burning sensation in possums that they hate. Just like with garlic, onions can be planted in gardens to repel possums. You can also peel an onion, slice it, and place the slices around your yard. 

Since possums hate onions and garlic, mixing them together creates an even stronger repellent. You can mince an onion and a garlic clove, steep them in water, then pour the water into a spray bottle.  


Camphor is a popular possum repellent because of its strong scent. It can be directly applied as a paste onto tree trunks, roofs, patios, and other home structures.

You can also create a paste by mixing camphor oil with petroleum jelly. Camphor should not be used on or around plants. 


Possums hate spicy smells, so using pepper as a repellent is effective. To make a spray, mix hot sauce, dish soap, and water.

This spray can be applied to gardens, crawl spaces, attics, and any other areas you are concerned about. Other spicy options include hot peppers and cayenne pepper. 


Molasses deters possums and can be applied to plants. For a DIY spray, mix molasses with water until it dissolves. Adding dish soap to mixtures helps the mixture stick onto plants longer. 

Predator Urine

There are some chemical repellents that can be purchased. Possum repellent can be purchased and applied to your yard and home structures.

Predator urine is an effective method for repelling wild animals since they will be tricked by the smell of a predator. Fox or coyote urine are two types of predator urine that can work for possum control. 

opossum in a yard near a rusty steel wheel

What keeps possums out of your house?

To keep possums out of your house, seal off any entry points with cement, wood, or steel wool. Any holes or crawl spaces on the outside foundation of your home should be covered. 

Cover crawl spaces under patios and seal entryways on your home’s foundation. Purchasing and installing a chimney cap is a good way to keep possums out of your home.

Possums and other critters such as raccoons are good climbers and can crawl up your house to find a warm, sheltered space within your chimney. The chimney cap blocks off entry into your chimney while still allowing you to use your fireplace. 

A way to keep possums out of your house is to make your property unattractive to them. Here are some suggestions:

  • Eliminate food sources
  • Tightly sealing your garbage cans
  • Keep pet food inside
  • Keep tree branches trimmed
  • Ensure fencing has no gaps
  • Keep your yard tidy and trimmed
  • Remove accumulated items and piles

Possums are more attracted to overgrown yards since it allows for adequate hiding places. Keeping your tree branches trimmed will make it more difficult for opossums to use trees to climb into your home. Possums are also attracted to yards with piles of items such as wood piles since they can hide within or near these piles.

It is important to take steps to eliminate possum activity because these marsupials can be dangerous due to the diseases they carry. The diseases they carry can be transmitted to humans and pets.

Possums can also be a nuisance to homeowners because they can dig through your trash and destroy your garden. As soon as you see a possum or see signs of opossum activity, you should take action.

opossum inside a wall

What attracts possums around your house?

Like most creatures, possums are attracted by food and shelter. Safe and warm den spaces such as patios, garages, and sheds are appealing to them. They will also find shelter under brush piles and hollowed trees. 

Possums are omnivores and will eat almost anything, so they may be able to find many sources of food around your home. The following items can all be viable food sources for possums:

  • Vegetable gardens
  • Fruit trees
  • Nut trees
  • Plants
  • Bird feeders
  • Trash cans
  • Pet food

If you have a possum infestation inside or outside your house, you can contact a pest control service. They can help you humanely remove and relocate opossums—an important animal which is part of our ecosystem.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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