Pest Issues

How to Make a Possum Repellent? What Smells Possums Hate

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Are possums causing you problems? Stealing fruits and eating flowers from your garden? Making a mess in your garage or roof and scaring the living daylights out of your pets at night? Or maybe running along the fence just to mock your helplessness. If you experienced any of this, you probably really want them out of your property. We know a trick or two that can help you get rid of possums in a natural way by using homemade possum repellent with ingredients you might already have at home.

Table of Contents:

Natural possum deterrents

Natural possum deterrents affect differently their senses, and the most effective ones repel because of their smell, taste or both. Sometimes, but less often, they work because of how they feel (food texture). You can use natural deterrents in the garden to stop the possums from eating your plants and fruits, or in roof cavities or other closed parts in your home, where the possum might be hiding.

Possums are protected species in Australia by Wildlife Act 1975! Harming them or interfering with their natural habitat is illegal. Which means the deterrents you use can be used only on your property and never directly on the animals.

Smells that possums hate

Possums can’t stand pungent smells. So the stinkier, the better! Smells prove to be a more effective repellent than something that tastes bad. Why? Because to know it doesn’t like the taste of something, the possum needs to bite it first. A half-eaten plant is better than no plant at all, but we can probably agree that’s not the most desirable outcome.

Here’s what smells you can use against possums:

  • Mothballs
  • Camphor
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Animal-derived fertilisers*
  • Fish smell

*For example, you can spray blood and bone meal around flowers.

Tastes that possums hate

Possums are most definitely not picky eaters. They would eat anything if they’re hungry. They might not like it, but if they’re starving, they’ll eat it. Sometimes, you might successfully repel a possum using specific food, only to find out later it’s no longer effective. Acquired taste we might say.

Possums hate the taste of:

  • Molasses
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Hot peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Mustard
  • Quassia chips
  • Black tea
  • Fish oil

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Homemade possum repellent recipes

After we’ve learned what smells and tastes possums despise, here’s how to use them to your advantage – make homemade possum repellents. The reason you should try to make your own is that even the ones you can find over the counter are yet to be proven effective. Some might even damage your plants by drying them out!

The advice here uses the information provided by DELWP’s (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Australia) in their Possum Repellent Fact Sheet.

Garlic possum repellent

You will need 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and 1-litre hot water. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit overnight. After that, strain it and pour it in a spray bottle. We recommend you to use it in the garden by spraying it on foliage that possums eat. Re-apply it two times per week or after rain, Of course, you can try using it inside, but you risk repelling your family too.

Quassia chips repellent

Boil 1 litre of water and steep 50 grams of quassia chips (South American tree bark) for an hour and after that strain it. You have the option to add 1-2 teaspoons potassium-based detergent to make the solution stickier. Now you have a concentrated repellent. Before using, dilute it with water with proportions 1:4. Use it to spray around in the garden.

In some cases using detergents on garden flowers or other plants has shown to improve their development. In other cases, when the detergent contains harmful chemicals, can affect their normal growth. Here’s more on horticultural soap and how to use it.

Molasses repellent

Grab the molasses jar from the pantry, we’re making the easiest repellent. Mix a cup of molasses with 1 litre of water, stir until the molasses dissolves. Now pour it in a spray bottle and spray onto foliage. You can add 1-2 teaspoons potassium-based detergent or natural dish soap to the mixture, which will make the solution stickier and last longer. But use with caution, some plants might not react well to it.

Mothballs against possums

If the possum is hiding somewhere in your roof or garage, you can place mothballs around the place. Their smell is unbearable to the possums, which makes the place no longer desirable. There’s a bonus benefit – no moths either.

But even if the process seems straightforward, there are a few steps on how to ensure it’s successful. Here is how to use mothballs against possums:

  1. Locate the hiding place of the possum. We’ve explained how to do that in this post.

  2. Wait until the possum is out. Since they’re nocturnal creatures, that would be at night.

  3. Place the mothballs in key places – near the entrances, corners, suspected hiding spots.

  4. It would help if you seal the entrances while the critters are away. Double precaution is better.

  5. Monitor the activity. If you still notice damages, you might have another type of rodent at home. Call a pest controller to inspect the place,

Tired of this battle with possums? We can take it from here

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Other ways to keep possums away

The presence of cats and other animals usually keeps possums at bay. Don’t have a cat? No problem, you can try one of those scare-cat silhouettes Place them around the garden – in the bushes, up in the trees or right there in plain sight on the lawn. They’re usually made out of metal, painted black with reflective glass eyes which. It might not seem like much, but for the nocturnal possum, seeing shiny glass eyes staring from behind the bushes is probably scary enough not to return.

Takeaways

  • You can deter possums by using smells and tastes they hate.
  • Deterrents that rely on how bad they smell prove to be more effective.
  • One method can work on one possum, but not on another.
  • They might start eating the bad-tasting stuff too.
  • Whatever method you chose, never use deterrents directly on the animal.
  • Harming possums is not only inhumane, but it’s also illegal.
  • If the possum keeps coming back, contact a professional possum remover. We also offer gardening services for those who are most affected.

Don’t want to lose the battle with the possum?

Time to call in the professionals to make your garden possum-free.

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
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Akuna Pet Resort
Akuna Pet Resort
3 years ago

Hello. Thanks for such a helpful and informative article. I will definitely try all your advice. I have been fighting with possums for a long time and the victory was clearly not on my side but on the side of the possums. The last straw was that late at night I heard a terrible howl and screams in my yard, it turned out that they were possums who just attacked my poor dog. It was a shock for me. It’s good that my dog was not severely injured, but still, it was a lot of stress for my dog. Then she didn’t even go out for a week in the backyard.

Arena
Arena
3 years ago

Put your dog inside at night like a responsible, considerate person would do. How do you think the possum felt about your dog being in its territory??

Mr man
Mr man
2 years ago
Reply to  Arena

That is wrong. Dog’s territory was invaded by the possum.

Angry resident
Angry resident
1 year ago
Reply to  Arena

The dog has more rights in its back yard than these possums. The property DOES NOT belong to the possums.
I have both brush and ring tails in mine.

Lindy
Lindy
1 year ago
Reply to  Arena

Arena
For many people possums are destructive pests.
In urban areas they occur in much greater numbers because we provide them with abundant food and shelter.
When possums occur in high densities they spread a facial fungal disease which can kill them by attracting the attention of blowflies.
It is better not to encourage them to build up high numbers.

firstfall
firstfall
3 years ago

I’m reading the article to see what I should avoid tossing out at night for the opossums to eat. So thank you!

Arena
Arena
3 years ago

No one should be trying to remove or deter possums. They were here well before us. We are invading their habitat. It’s disgusting to be thinking they are a pest or to be encouraging removal which will end in death because they don’t relocate and survive. They are very territorial.

Lisa
Lisa
1 year ago
Reply to  Arena

Well you come get them cause clearly you like living with them

Sickofidiots
Sickofidiots
6 months ago
Reply to  Arena

There’s always one isn’t there…

Trixie
Trixie
2 years ago

I had to race a couple of opossums last night because they were coming after a momma cat 9and her kitten. Can I mix garlic powder crushed red pepper and a fresh onion in a spray bottle and spray around my yard

Last edited 2 years ago by Trixie
Trixie
Trixie
2 years ago

I do bring my cats and dogs in at night just to let everyone know because I care more about my babies than anything. They are my life they eat before me if need be.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago

Why are you misspelling opossum?

Gratsiela Borisova
Admin
Gratsiela Borisova
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

No, possum is a correct term to refer to the shy Australian marsupial. 🙂

Sue
Sue
1 year ago

Definitely NOT shy!! Happily eats all my plants and just looks at me if I go outside to shoo it away…

matilda
matilda
1 year ago

did you know they love sun light and they hate climbing trees

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  matilda

You may be thinking of bunyips or dropbears …
… QLD possums definitely avoid any kind of light
including the sun and rocket up trees for fun,
while snickering at humans.

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

We as humans have crushed their habitat with our houses and roads etc , for someone who lives in a house and uses those roads I find them a tad hypocritical to complain about people wanted to remove them from their property .. Ur already onboard the “ Let’s Stuff Up Nature “ Train , embrace it and other people’s opinions , if a person is annoyed by the irritating activities of possums in their roof etc they have every right to do something about it , possums ain’t on the endangered list , there’s millions of em everywhere

Karen
Karen
9 months ago

last night sitting on my steps reading my phone at 3 a.m. or so I saw movement out of my right eye peripheral and before I could even focus after looking up, it was sitting on the concrete his face 4 inches from my toes just looking up at me in the eyes. I was kind of whimpering, screaming softly I guess trying to stand and turn the know behind my back to get in and he was growling at me. OMG out of nowhere and now I’m afraid to go out to read at night.. The back porch light is broken right now but I’ve been doing this for over a year and that has never happened nor did I ever even give it a thought.

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