Opossums (or possums) are nocturnal creatures that are generally good and beneficial to have in your garden! They help to get rid of ticks, cockroaches, snakes (even venomous ones), slugs/snails, rats, mice, and insects. Opossums will generally stay away from your garden as they prefer plants that are starting to rot, so they can actually a benefit in your garden by cleaning up the rotting fruit or vegetables! Many people get intimidated when they hiss, but they’re generally not violent and this is only their defense mechanism. They will typically just fall over to the side and play dead when they get too scared. Be sure to keep them away from your household pets (more for their safety than your pets though!).
How to Attract or Encourage:
- First off, make sure that you do not use any pesticides in your garden! This can harm your beneficials as well as your pests.
- Set up a bowl of food to attract an opossum. This could include cat/dog food or fruits.
- Opossums like to sleep in a safe place that is quiet, dark, and warm. Try a nesting pouch or digging a trench to mimic an underground burrow or den.
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Opossums are very abundant in the neighborhoods of the Los Angeles region with the most overgrown landscapes, because of all the RATS! Yuck! The rats are not often seen, but the opossums are. They remind us that the rats are a problem.