How to trap opossums: expert tricks and opossum traps

opossum trap
The best way to trap opossums is to set up a trap, either a live cage or snare trap, in an area where you’ve seen them active. The best bait for your opossum trap is fish, apples, or canned pet food. A live trap is preferable so you can capture and releasing the possum without harming the animal.

Opossums are the one and only marsupials found in North America and are brothers of the Australian kangaroos. Despite their look, opossums can pose a danger to your house, so you must think about how to trap them once you notice them in your yard.

One of the main reasons you need to remove them from your property, is because their burrowing and digging activities can affect your home’s foundation.

What’s more, Opossums’ ferocious appetite means they will eat just about anything, including your fruits, chicks, garbage cans, grain, and dog and cat food. This guide will teach you everything you may need to trap opossums.

What is the easiest way to trap a possum?

If you see a domestic-sized mammal with a long hairless tail, a long snout, black beady eyes, and a pink nose, chances are you have a possum.

Available traps come in various styles and sizes, including types that you can place near burrowing and high-activity areas. Before setting the trap, consult your local game commission to ensure you’re authorized to do so.

Importantly, avoid trapping possums in early summer and spring to prevent separating mothers and their pups.

The easiest way to trap a possum is to use the best baits, such as apples or fish. A portion of canned pet food also does the job; the smellier the better.

Always smear the bait in, on, and around your trap.

mother opossum in a tree with three babies on its back

What size trap do you need for a possum?

It’s important to note that possums can grow to be around the size of a large cat, around two to three feet long and approximately four to fifteen pounds. Therefore, you’ll need a large steel cage, generally known as a raccoon cage.

Experts advise purchasing a cage around 30-40 inches in length and around 12 inches high. You can purchase the trap cage from your local hardware store. Most of the traps are either in one or two-door models.

It’s advisable to buy the one-door model that provides better bait protection and is also ideal for catching larger animals.

What is the best bait for a possum trap?

Although possums are not essentially picky eaters, the best bait for a possum trap is apples or fish.

Baiting opossums with canned pet food is also a great way to trap them. While there are varying options regarding the best opossum bait, all expert trappers agree that the smellier, the better.

If you don’t have access to fish or apples, don’t worry, as nuts and other sweet-smelling fruits attract opossums.

opossum on the ground surrounded by dried leaves and brush

How do you make homemade traps?

Possums are scavenging omnivores that can turn your garden or home upside down while looking for food. When cornered, an opossum can fool you by playing dead.

Some of their favorite hiding spots include attics, under porches and decks, crawl spaces, between buildings, barns, and tree hollows. To resolve opossum problems, you must build opossum traps with only a few materials at home.

Here’s how you build a homemade trap:

  1. Get a long stick that’s strong enough to hold up a sizeable box without breaking.
  2. Tie a string to the stick’s end and leave two inches below the stick where the string is tied.
  3. Attach a hot dog as bait on the other end of the string to attract the opossum.
  4. Locate the opossum activity area and prop up a wooden box with the stick
  5. Place the hot dog under the box and tighten the string.
  6. Move the hotdog briefly to test the trap. Once the hot dog is moved, the box will fall on top of the trapped animal.

How do you trap a possum at home?

Now that you know how to set up the possum trap, you can trap possums at your home. Capture more possums by relocating the trap and catching other small animals such as beavers, skunks, coyotes, feral cats, raccoons, groundhogs, and so on.

One of the best, most effective methods of controlling possums is preventing access to structures using exclusion methods. You can also use an animal repeller to keep away critters and insects, which is a safe animal control method.

opossum climbing on a fence

What is a snare trap?

Snare traps are popular as they are easy not only to use but also to make at home. Snare traps are cable or wire nooses that are anchored to a point.

When an animal such as an Opossum runs over the trap, the noose will tighten around the neck, a limb, or body of the animal, preventing its escape or strangling the animal.

How far do you take a trapped possum?

A live trap is ideal for catching and releasing a possum without harming the animal.

Once you’ve caught an opossum, you can relocate the animal. In this case, you should take it around five miles from your property to prevent it from returning. Release the animal in the woods where it will keep moving.

Opossums tend not to return to the same spot once they lack food. So, to repel them, you can keep the lids on your garbage cans tight, secure your property with a mesh wire, and don’t leave pet food in bowls.


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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