How to Get a Possum Out of Your Garage: Essential Techniques and Tips

Learn effective and humane strategies to eliminate the problem of a possum residing in your garage.

Possums are nocturnal creatures that may occasionally find their way into your garage, turning it into an unwelcome living space. While they are generally harmless, their stay can become a nuisance due to the mess they create.

Getting a possum out of your garage safely involves a combination of techniques, such as using a trap, encouraging it to leave on its own, or seeking professional help. This article will guide you through these methods in detail, ensuring that you can reclaim your garage space without causing harm to the animal or yourself.

Keep reading for an all-inclusive guide on how to efficiently and humanely handle this situation.

Key takeaways:

  • Nocturnal activity: Look out for movements or rustling at night.
  • Identifying signs: Disturbed trash, food scraps, tracks, and nests.
  • Safe removal methods: Use a trap or discourage entry points.
  • Trapping techniques: Place trap along walls, use bait, and release safely.
  • Natural repellants: Garlic-chili mix, mothballs, ammonia, and possum-resistant plants.

Understanding the Behavior of a Possum

 Possum in Garage

Possums, nocturnal marsupials by nature, may often be found scavenging under the cover of darkness, seeking shelter in confined spaces such as your garage. Keen on leftover food or accessible trash, they can be drawn to human dwellings. Although they prefer trees, possums aren’t picky and will inhabit spaces close to a steady food supply. They exhibit non-aggressive behaviors, often seen “playing possum” or feigning death when cornered, adding to their unique characteristics.

Here’s how to decode them:

  • Nocturnal Activity: Look out for movements or rustling sounds at night.
  • Food-Driven: They can be attracted by pet food, trash, or spilled birdseed.
  • Non-Aggressive: Tend to run, hide, or “play possum” when frightened.
  • Nest-Markers: They often leave behind small, damp piles of leaves or other materials.

Remember, understanding these behaviors can significantly aid in your possum removal journey, making the task safer and easier.

Identifying Signs of a Possum in Your Garage

disturbed trash cans garage

Often, the first step to dealing with this issue is to recognize the signs that an unwanted guest has moved in. Visibly disturbed trash cans or bins may indicate the presence of these scavengers. Food scraps, particularly fruits, veggies, or pet food left out, often mysteriously disappear.

More subtle signals include the presence of tracks, which are unique for this particular creature. The hind footprints look like little human hands with a distinctive opposable thumb.

Possum droppings or feces, which are typically similar in size to domestic cat feces, could also be found in the garage or nearby vicinity. Be sure to handle these with care, as they can carry infectious diseases.

Finally, possums tend to nest in quiet, dark locations and may gather leaves, grass, and other debris to make a comfortable spot. Finding a nest, or the debris from one, may be the most conclusive sign that a possum has indeed taken up residence.

Remember, these marsupials can be elusive, and might choose nocturnal hours to forage for their food, making it crucial to keep an eye out for these signs.

Safe Methods for Possum Removal From Garage

Safe Methods for Possum Removal From Garage - Fruit Bait

The catch and release strategy is the most humane and environmentally-friendly method of possum removal. This involves strategically placing a baited possum trap in your garage.

Choose a commercial trap designed explicitly for possums. The bait could be fruit, vegetables or canned cat food- essentially, anything with a strong aroma. Once the possum enters the trap to snack on the bait, the door will shut.

Remember, it’s vital to check the trap regularly (at least twice a day). This will avoid unnecessary distress to the possum. Release any trapped possums well away from your home to prevent them from returning to the garage.

Fencing off entry points in the garage, like under doors or any holes in your walls, can also help discourage possums. Metal mesh works well for this purpose. Keep the garage clean and free of food scraps, which may attract possums. By addressing these attractants, you can make your garage less desirable to our marsupial friends.

However, should the possum appear injured or sick, or if there are babies involved, you should refrain from handling it yourself. Mobbing them with brooms or other tools can cause more harm than good, leading to aggressive behavior. In such cases, professional intervention might be required. Use caution when dealing with wildlife to ensure safety for both you and the animal.

Using Possum Traps for Effective Removal

wear gloves for protection possum

When capturing a possum, ensure to do so humanely, using a live trap. Always wear gloves for protection and to avoid leaving human scent, which may deter the possum.

Crucial elements to effective trapping include correct trap placement and bait selection.

Place the trap along the walls of the garage, as possums typically traverse through these routes. Bait-wise, opt for fruit, vegetables, or canned pet food – these are favored by possums.

Maintain the trap site for a week, checking it daily. If a possum is captured, cover the trap with a cloth to minimize stress on the possum. Release it within a mile from your place in a natural environment, respecting local wildlife laws.

Remember, trapping should be considered the last resort, after exhausting all other removal techniques.

Natural Repellant Options for Possums

Natural Repellant Options for Possums - Garlic and Chili

To deter possums from your garage, utilizing natural repellant options can be both safe and effective. One such option is creating a garlic and chili concoction. Possums detest strong odors and will steer clear of the pungent smells emitted by this mixture.

Mothballs, known for repelling various pests, can also be used. Strategically place them around your garage, focusing on entrances and corners. However, keep in mind that mothballs can be toxic to household pets and humans.

Another commonly available repellant is ammonia. Soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in suspected possum hideouts will surely drive them away but handle it with care as it can irritate your skin and eyes.

Integrated pest management recommends planting certain possum-resistant plants around your garage, such as rosemary and marigolds, which are known to be disliked by possums due to their potent fragrance. Furthermore, always maintain cleanliness in and around your garage as a clutter-free environment deters possums.

Post-removal Steps to Prevent Future Possum Intrusion in Your Garage

cleaning garage floor

Once the unwanted visitor has been safely removed, precautions should be taken to keep them from returning.

1. Regular Clean-up: Keep your garage clean. A clutter-free area is less appealing to possums as it provides fewer hiding spots.

2. Food storage: Ensure food items are properly sealed and stored. Rodents typically invade homes in search of food.

3. Seal Entries: Check for holes, cracks, and other possible entry points. Seal these areas with steel mesh or a solid filler.

4. Lights and Radio: Possums are nocturnal and preferably stay in the dark, so keeping lights on at night could deter them. Similarly, a radio left on could emit human voices, thus further repelling these creatures.

5. Regular Maintenance Checks: Regular checks will reveal if a new possum has made your garage its home. If so, start the removal process immediately to prevent a full-blown invasion.

Remember, prevention is always the key. Following these steps could be the difference between a possum-free garage and a recurring possum problem.

Recognizing When to Seek Professional Help for Possum Removal

Professional Help Repair Garage Worker

Should the situation persist despite the deployed deterrents and efforts, it might be time to call in wildlife control professionals. These experts have training to handle such situations safely and humanely, causing minimal distress to the animal. Some indicators that professional help is warranted include:

  • 1. Multiple possum sightings: Seeing more than one possum could suggest a nest. Handling a single possum is difficult enough, dealing with a family requires professional help.
  • 2. Baby Possums: If you find juveniles, don’t attempt to remove them yourself. Professionals have the requisite knowledge to ensure their survival while relocating them.
  • 3. Repeated Intrusions: If the possum continues to re-enter your garage even after implementing repellant measures, you might be dealing with a stubborn or desperate animal. Professionals can determine and address the root cause.
  • 4. Damage to property: Possums are generally harmless but can sometimes cause structural damage. If you notice chewed wires, insulation, or wooden structures, a professional can assess and rectify the level of infestation.

Remember, safety should be the priority for both you and the animals involved. Whenever in doubt, reach out to a wildlife control service.


How do you get a possum to leave?

To encourage a possum to leave your property, use natural repellents such as vinegar, garlic, onion, peppermint, or camphor due to their strong odors that possums tend to steer clear of.

Will opossum leave on their own?

Yes, opossums will generally leave on their own if there is little or no food available to them.

How do possums get in your garage?

Possums can gain entry into your garage through various means such as holes, loose window screens, chimneys, and drain pipes.

What brings out possums?

Possums are drawn out primarily by food sources such as pet food, fallen fruit from trees, and food scraps in unsealed trash cans.

What are the most effective possum deterrents for your garage?

The most effective possum deterrents for your garage are sealing any openings, using possum deterrent sprays or devices, and removing food sources.

Which measures can prevent possums from entering your garage?

To prevent possums from entering your garage, secure the doors with weatherproof seals, cover all possible entrances with hardware cloth or metal flashing, install motion sensor lighting, and keep the area clean and free from food scraps.

How do you safely remove a possum from your garage without causing harm?

To safely remove a possum from your garage without causing harm, use a catch-and-release trap baited with fruit or vegetables and then release the animal in a suitable outdoor area, following local wildlife guidelines.