Is it Illegal to Trap an Opossum?

Opossums are crazy looking little marsupials that smell quite unpleasant. It is not uncommon to find one in an area that it doesnt belong. With their natural habitat shrinking, humans are running into them more often. 

The proliferation of the world wide web has made it easy to simply log on and look up trapping techniques. However, its probably a good idea to look up state and local ordinances as well.

Opossums typically dont require any special management techniques from the federal government. However, state and local laws may differ. Ordinances can even vary across counties within a state. If you arent sure, then call your local wildlife management facility and they will relay the laws specific to your locality. 

Steps to Discourage Opossum Activity

The best way to deal with an opossum is to discourage them from hanging around. If they dont find adequate shelter or an abundance of food, they will leave. Opossums are opportunistic animals. 

It is best to trim back any branches from trees that hang near the roof top. This will prevent them from accessing the attic area because they are good climbers. It is also a good idea to critter proof underneath decks and porches. This is easily done with fencing material. 

If trash can be brought in at night, it is very helpful. Store in in a container with a secure lid and bring it into the garage at night. Youll also want to bring in any pet food at night. Opossums will even eat compost and food from bird feeders. 

Eliminating Opossum Activity

Opossums typically just want to be left alone. However, if there is opportunity for them to shelter from the weather and find food, they wont leave on their own. Some localities have scheduled seasons where it is legal to hunt opossums at the right time of the year. This helps keep their numbers down.

If you have taken all the steps to discourage their activity and you still have a nuisance opossum hanging around, it is best to call a professional. Wildlife Management can usually put you in touch with a licensed nuisance wildlife operator.  

There may be times when you find it necessary to set an opossum trap yourself. If you find yourself in this position, it is necessary to take precautionary measures for your safety and the safety of the animal. 

Opossums have sharp claws and teeth. While they are known for playing dead, they will protect themselves if they feel threatened. 


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