Opossums are primarily nocturnal animals that enjoy stealing food from gardens and eggs from coops. The only way is to prevent them from entering your property by physical measures or applying scents they can’t stand.
The first step is to determine what smells do opossums hate and then use them against these annoying marsupials. It is enough to drive these menaces off your property without hurting them since they are no physical danger to your family.
Smells Opossums hate
|Peppermint essential oil|
|Dad’s hottest sauce|
|Quassia chips spray|
|Vicks Vapour rub|
Reasons to Repel Opossums
Scientists recorded more than 100 opossum species worldwide, including the smallest pocket-sized pygmy opossums. On the other hand, Virginia opossums, the only marsupial native to the New World, can be pretty sizable.
Opossum types in the Americas
|Trait||Common opossum||Virginia opossum|
|Color||Pale peach face and black and yellow body||White face and grayish-brown body|
|Length||12 to 20 inches (30.5 – 51 cm) with a tail length of 24 inches (61 cm)||14 to 37 inches (35 – 94 cm) with a tail length of 11 inches (28 cm)|
|Weight||3 to 12 pounds (1.4 – 5.4 kg)||1 to 15 pounds (0.4 – 6.8 kg)|
|Habitat||Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago||Central and North America|
These primarily nocturnal animals can be a significant problem because they:
- Make a mess wherever located and destroy possessions
- Enjoy eating fruit and grains from gardens
- Attack kids and pets and even kill chickens
- Spread diseases
If you want to prevent opossums’ presence, avoid things that attract them. For instance, never keep filled-up trash cans next to the house for a long or leave pet food and rotten fruits around.
You can be sure that you have an opossum infestation when noticing the following:
- Exterior damage on the house
- Mysteriously vanishing cat food
- Unusual sounds, scuttling, and scratching at night
- Fecal odors in the attic or basement
What Smells Do Opossums Hate?
There is no need to hurt opossums, and it is even forbidden in some countries, including Australia. However, you should find a way to keep them away from your home. Thankfully, they hate some scents, and their strategic use can deter these marsupials from your property.
1. Peppermint essential oil
Since opossums despise the peppermint smell, only a few drops dissolved in water make an excellent natural, homemade repellent. Pour a mixture into a spray bottle to spritz your home, or let a bowl filled with the solution sit on a countertop.
2. Black tea
Interestingly, opossums don’t like the black tea smell. Therefore, make a repellent of four tablespoons of quality Lapsang Souchong tea boiled in 0.55 gallons (2 l) of water. Strain it after cooling and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray a solution directly onto foliage and regularly reapply the procedure twice a month and after every rain.
Opossums hate molasses’ sweet smell, making this product an excellent repellent. Make a water solution of a cup of molasses and 0.3 gallons (1.1 l) of water, stir until dissolved, and spray over plants.
If you want to keep its smell longer, add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture. In this case, avoid applying the solution over plants since some can’t stand this chemical.
Garlic emits specific scents opossums can’t stand because such a sharp odor makes them feel unsafe. The most effortless options are to place garlic cloves in your garden and apply the oil around the house. Mix two tablespoons of smashed cloves with minced garlic, add 0.3 gallons (1.1 l) of water, and spray that solution outdoors.
Planted onions deter opossums from gardens, but you can also combine garlic and onion for a double deterrent effect. Slice onion and crush garlic cloves before arranging them along the garden fence.
6. Cayenne pepper
Opossums find this spice unappealing, so sprinkling it over plants can keep these annoying animals away.
7. Hot peppers, tabasco sauce, and hot sauce
Hot peppers, tabasco sauce, and hot sauce can burn the opossums’ senses, so you can successfully use them to get rid of these marsupials.
Boil a cup of water, add any of these ingredients, strain it after cooling, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Then, apply it in the yard and garden to protect your property.
You can get the same effect with some other ingredients, like:
- Hot chilies
- Hot mustard
- Dad’s hottest sauce
- Dragon’s Health pepper
- Trinidad Moruga (scorpion) pepper
- Bhut Jolokia (red ghost) pepper
Adding a few drops of dish soap enhances these ingredients’ effect, but be aware that some plants are sensitive when applying it directly to the leaves.
8. Blood meal
A powdered blood meal is a byproduct of slaughtered hogs and cattle that most farmers use as an organic fertilizer packed with nitrogen. You can take advantage of their smell which is highly disturbing for opossums.
Even though this natural repellant is efficient and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, its odor may attract wild carnivores. Therefore, you can be aware of your surroundings before choosing this option.
9. Fish oil
Besides blood meal, you can use smelly fish oil for the same purpose. Combine half a cup of fish oil and 0.3 gallons (1.1 l) of water and spray the solution in the garden. It is harmless for plants but highly awful for opossums. The only downside is the necessity to reapply it after every rain.
10. Pet fur
Taking advantage of natural and non-toxic animal fur when you want to get rid of opossums is an excellent idea. Even though your cat and dog are not typical opossum predators, you can toss their fur outside your home and let their scent keeps opossums away.
Placing mothballs in your attic, basement, or garage is an efficient way to repel opossums from your home because they hate the smell. Besides deterring these marsupials, you will get a home free of moths as a bonus. Be aware that this product is toxic to humans and animals when ingested, so keep it away from your kids and pets.
Bleach odor efficiently keeps opossums at an acceptable distance. Therefore, mix bleach and water in a 1: 10 ratio and pour it into a spray bottle. Spritz the solution over strategic areas in your yard but be careful since its smell may cause breathing problems.
Even though you probably hate the ammonia odor, it can successfully deter opossums from your property. Carefully mix equal amounts of ammonia and water and spray the solution in sheds and hidden corners, around garbage cans, and under decks.
Remember that it is not recommended solution for gardens, yards, and areas where your kids and pets spend time. Besides, never use it inside because this chemical compound is toxic when inhaled and corrosive to the skin.
14. Predator urine
Besides containing ammonia, urine has a predator smell that signals danger to opossums. Believe it or not, you can buy fox and wolf urine online and spray it around your garden’s perimeter.
Be careful with this method when having small pets and chickens since you can confuse them with the smell and attract wildlife to your yard.
Opossums hate camphor, commonly used as a healing agent in lotions and oils. Although highly beneficial to humans, you can use this substance with the potent menthol scent as an efficient repellent for these nocturnal marsupials.
Mixing a few drops of camphor oil and petroleum jelly to get a paste is the best option. Then, create barriers by applying a paste on tree trunks, pavers, and roof shingles, but avoid using it near your gardens.
16. Quassia chips spray
In this case, you should boil 0.3 gallons (1.1 l) of water, add 1.75 ounces (49.6 g) of quassia chips, and cook it on medium heat for about an hour. Strain the mix and add half to one tablespoon of potassium-based detergent for a stickier texture. Dilute it with water in a 1: 4 ratio before every use, fill the spray bottle, and spritz the area.
17. Vicks Vapour Rub
The best thing is to mix this quality natural opossum deterrent with Vaseline and apply it to those plants opossums consume. Another option is to use this mixture and grease the fence to prevent these intruders from entering.
Additional Helpful Options
Besides deterring opossums from your yard with scents, you should find a way to make your home inadequate for them. Only that way can you expect these marsupials to find another place to live.
- Eliminate food sources and regularly empty trash bins
- Remove debris from your yard and garden
- Install water sprinkles
- Deter opossums with bright lights, motion-activated alarms, and ultrasonic sounds
- Make coyote decoy
If there is no way to deter opossums from your yard, your last chance is to call a pest control service to solve the problem.
Opossums are harmless to humans and can be beneficial since they feed on pest insects, including aphids and ticks. However, they can destroy your garden and attract other wildlife to your home. The best way to get rid of these animals is to use scents they hate, like garlic, onion, camphor, molasses, or ammonia.