What Attracts Opossums To Your House?

If you keep hearing noises like fast screeching or hissing coming from your garbage can, then it’s likely to be an opossum or one of many other small wild animals. You can frequently find opossums in urban areas as they are used to seeing humans.

Under normal circumstances, opossums will occasionally meander through the yard in search of food and water, before moving on somewhere else. This is how they end up in your house. Typically, these animals don’t stick around for too long, unless the female makes your home her home for her newborn babies.

Opossums are nocturnal creatures that come out shortly after sunset. This is why you may encounter one, or more of them in your house at night. But that’s not always the case as sick opossums can sometimes be seen in the afternoon as well. Anyhow, these mammals are typically bad news for homeowners and gardeners.

However, opossums are not likely to make their way into people’s homes unless there is an easy entry point and a good reason for them to come in, that is, food, water, and shelter.

Food and water sources are the same reasons why they come indoors as they come to your yard. These are scavengers that like to go around in constant search of food and water, and they will pay return visits to places that offer them what they need. They have an acute sense of smell and are able to pick up the smell of food from far away. So they’ll go around sniffing until they find the source. Therefore, remember not to make your living spaces inviting for opossums.


There are a few things that will attract opossums to your house:

Filled Up Garbage Cans
These can definitely attract opossums to your home. A trash can that’s stuffed with all kinds of discarded food is an invitation for opossums to come over. The marsupials will have very easy access to the contents of the bin, if it’s not sealed properly.


Pet Food
You will definitely attract them to make their way indoors if there is a bowl of water and pet food beside the front door. If you’re someone who feeds your cat or dog at the door or outside, then it’s highly possible that an opossum will sniff out the scraps at night.

As these pests lead a nocturnal lifestyle, if the leftover food is not consumed quickly by your pet, or even worse, if it’s left to sit out overnight, you may find that it’s missing by the morning.


Partially Rotten Fruit
Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and they feed primarily on various plants, insects, and carrion outside, but they will also eat fruits and flowers indoors.

Sweet fruits such as berries, pineapples, or mangos, are their favorites. You might have a bowl of partially rotten pieces of fruit left out on the kitchen table. If you don’t throw them away in time, these little scavengers can pick up the smell and come.

They could have a take on your fragrant pot plants at home, too.

How To Get Rid Of Opossums In Your House?

Once you have identified the culprit, you can now start getting rid of them. If you realize that the opossum is overstaying its welcome on your property, there are some methods to eliminate the problem.

First of all, seal off all entry points, and remember to close and secure pet doors at night. Make sure they don’t find their way inside.

To keep opossums out, turn on the radio or TV, or hang wind chimes. These animals are scared of unusual noises, particularly when they are not sure of the source. But it’s crucial to change the radio or TV station once in a while, and alternate between the wind chimes and radio stations.

Another good way to deal with the opossum on your own, without harming them, is to sprinkle chili powder in various areas of your house. Opossums clearly don’t like the smell or taste of chili powder and will stay away.

Finally, an effective way to get rid of opossums is to set up live traps in and around your house. However, because the trap can only take one animals at a time, using traps to remove this wildlife is only effective when you’re dealing with a single animal. Since opossums are slow creatures that can’t see very well, placing traps around your property makes it easy to get rid of them.

It’s also important to remember that they possess a special skill, which is their ability to play dead. That’s why you should be extra careful when approaching a captured opossum. Even though they don’t usually attack people, opossums are riddled with transmittable diseases, such as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, coccidiosis, or toxoplasmosis. As such, they can be dangerous if they manage to scratch or bite you, or if you make contact with their urine or feces.


If you’re not someone to face an opossum in your house, it’s best to hire a wildlife control expert to handle that for you. The professional will know exactly what to do as they have a lot of experience eradicating wildlife of all sorts.

So don’t hesitate to call your local Westchester Wildlife team, and someone will come out and help you remove the critter. We safely and humanely trap and eliminate wildlife in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, NY, as well as in Fairfield County, CT.