Can Possums Climb Fences? Useful Tips to Prevent it

can possums climb fences

Possums are native to Australia, while opossums are native to North and South America. Because opossums and possums are nocturnal marsupials, they like to be in the dark. They sleep for most of the day in hollows or other safe havens, emerging only after sundown to scavenge for food.

They are almost the same size as an adult house cat. They have short legs that are extremely useful.

Can possums climb fences with their short legs? The sure can!

Their rear feet feature large claws and thumbs that help them climb timber fences, brick walls, and trees. Their powerful feet can grip the surface of a variety of surfaces, allowing them to climb efficiently.

Possums can use their prehensile tails wrapped around branches and other objects to keep the animals stable while climbing. The tail can also be utilized to transport things like nesting materials. They will occasionally hang upside down from a tree branch using their tail.

Opossums are noted for being excellent climbers and swimmers, especially when they are threatened. When fleeing danger, they can quickly climb up trees.

Can Possums Climb Fences?

Possums can, in fact, scale fences. Despite their tiny, stubby legs, they can easily scale a fence.

This is because their hind feet have large claws and even thumbs. This makes navigating brick walls, timber fences, and trees much easier for them.

Their feet are also fairly robust, allowing them to grasp onto a variety of surfaces. They are effective climbers on almost any surface because of their powerful feet.

They also had a prehensile tail to grab things if that wasn’t enough. They utilize it to assist grab branches and stabilizing themselves while climbing trees in particular.

The tail is also utilized to carry items like nesting materials to climb with their hands-free. You might even witness them using their tails to swing from tree limbs.

Common possum traits

Possums are nature’s garbage collectors. They will happily hunt for food in garbage cans, consuming carrion, small animals, insects, reptiles, eggs, plants, and debris, as well as enjoying the fruit that has fallen to the ground. This implies that they are free to make a mess in the yard. They can survive in a variety of harsh environments. The opossum is frequently spotted feasting on road kills, which, of course, puts it at risk of being hit by a car and killed.

Opossums, like all marsupials, carry their offspring in a pouch. After a 12-14 day gestation period, they give birth, and the young emerge 70-125 days later from the pouch. Opossums can have up to 15 babies at a time, which can rapidly become an issue for any homeowner if they decide to make their home there.

In search of food, opossums have lost most of their fear of humans and even enter a home through a pet door or an open window.

Risks

Opossums usually avoid conflict, but they will show their teeth, hiss or growl, and bite if confronted. To warn off predators or when they are threatened, they will occasionally emit a disgusting, pungent green fluid from their anal glands. Because they are at the bottom of the animal food chain, they will seek hiding places to keep themselves safe. Opossums do pretend to be dead. To fool predators, they will flop down on their side, close their eyes, and let their tongues hang out of their mouths. Collisions between pets and opossums do happen, and pets are frequently wounded as a result.

Opossums, like other wildlife, can carry diseases. When they scratch and bite, they can pass these on. Leptospirosis, coccidiosis, tularemia, TB, and toxoplasmosis are just a few of the diseases they can spread. Fleas, ticks, mites, and lice are commonly seen on them. Skilled and licensed workers should only handle opossums for these reasons.

Will possums attack you?

To fend off predators and humans, opossums will growl, hiss, and open their lips to exhibit their teeth, but they rarely strike or bite. When approached by a human, an opossum has two lines of protection. They will only attack rare occasions, or they will pretend to be dead to avoid confrontation.

What keeps possums away from your house?

Turn on additional lights.

Opossums are repelled by exterior house lights, floodlights targeted at the darkest sections of the yard, and lights attached to garden sheds and other garden buildings.

Do possums have the ability to scale walls?

Opossums have gray fur, a white face, and a long hairless tail. They are nocturnal animals with gray fur, a white face, and a long hairless tail. If an entrance is large enough, they can scale your house and enter your attic. Possums can eat through your attic insulation and leave behind droppings and stench.

Why would a possum be in my yard?

Opossums consume bugs — If you have a garden or take extra care of your grass, opossums can help keep pests away. This protects your home from insect damage while also keeping your garden safe. Because ticks are a regular part of their diet, possums are also crucial in reducing Lyme disease.

What attracts possums to my yard?

They are drawn to overflowing or odorous garbage cans, unprotected compost piles, and other outdoor containers. They prefer to build their home near water or in wet regions. You’re more likely to observe opossums on your property if you live near a pond, drainage ditch, or sewer.

What is the difference between a possum and an opossum?

Possum and opossum are both correct terms for the Virginia opossum, which is common in North America. Possum is a widespread term in everyday usage; opossum is favored in technical or scientific situations. The first syllable of the word opossum can be vocal or silent. It’s adorable.

Where do possums live?

Trees are a favorite of opossums. They’ll climb a tree and try to stay as high as possible. They live in burrows made of dried leaves and even shredded paper. Opossums are solitary creatures, but they share space with other animals or seek protection in abandoned burrows, tree cavities, and another deep cover. They will stay in one place as long as food and water are plentiful.

They commonly hide under steps, porches, and garden tool sheds in urban and suburban locations. Opossums will construct their homes in attics and rooftops on occasion. They strew wood and everything else they may find into an untidy nest. Opossums prefer to live close to water sources such as ponds, marshes, and drainage ditches.

Should I let a possum live under my house?

To a possum, the crawlspace beneath a house appears to be an ideal location for establishing its own home. A home’s crawlspace has the same attributes as a possum’s natural den: it’s dark, ground level, and shielded from the elements. On the other hand, the majority of homeowners would rather not have a possum residing beneath their property.

Where do possums go during the day?

They spend the day in hollow tree trunks, rock crevices, underbrush piles, or burrows and are primarily nocturnal. They are both excellent climbers and swimmers. Opossums also spend a lot of time lazily strolling around on the ground, making them vulnerable to traffic collisions.

Can possums chew through walls?

Once they’re in the attic, they can try to eat through the walls. If they can get to any insulation, they might try to escape by chewing through the walls. Opossums will also chew on water plumbing in your attic, causing a huge mess and damage. Suppose they get into an area where there is live electricity running into an outlet or junction box. In that case, they will try to chew through electrical cables.

How do you tell if you have a possum in your yard?

Look for fence openings with a diameter of at least 3 inches. Opossums might gain entry to your yard through overhanging trees. Examine the bark for scratch marks. It’s not an opossum if it looks like an animal has dug its way into the yard.

What do you do if there is a possum in your house?

If you have an opossum in your home, please contact a professional wildlife removal service right once. Leptospirosis, TB, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease are all diseases carried by opossums.

What is the best way to get rid of opossums?

It is feasible to keep Opossums away for an extended period by following a few measures. Opossums have successfully acclimated to human environs, and in urban and suburban situations, they can quickly become nuisance animals.

While digging through rubbish, they frequently disturb pets and make a racket outside. If you want to keep opossums out of your yard, make sure you pick up pet food at night, keep garbage can lids on, and close any potential entry points.

Odorous garbage cans, open compost piles, and other containers that may be left outside attract opossums. Possums can only jump around 1 meter and cannot scale sheer walls; therefore, a 1.5-meter tin fence will keep them out.

Other improvements, on the other hand, can prevent Opossums from going over existing fences. Some electric fence adaptations have also proven to be effective protective strategies.

You can cut the lower branches and cover the trunk with heavy plastic sheets attached with duct tape to keep Opossums out of fruit trees. The animal will be unable to ascend as a result of this. It will also work with a cut-up plastic trash can.

During the mating season, opossums may be looking for safe, dark, and warm areas to raise their young, in addition to probable food sources. Cavities in cellars or attics and places under a porch, deck, or shed will be investigated. Make sure the firewood is firmly packed, with no substantial gaps ideal for a den or hiding place.

The most efficient technique to limit the damage caused by opossums nesting in a roof hollow is to prevent access. Sheet metal or wire netting should be used to block all possible entry points to the roof or attic.

Remember that opossums’ claws can easily pull apart various fabrics. If you’ve observed a possum enter via a specific hole, you’ll have to wait until after nightfall to close it. Sprinkle a smooth layer of flour just before the entrance point to ensure that the unwelcome animal has left. You can then track the animal’s footprints. You’ll hear a possum’s loud attempts to flee if you’ve trapped one inside.

Chicken wire along the whole perimeter of your yard is another preventative step to keep Opossums away. The only issue is that it will need to be roughly four feet tall, which may be a pricey endeavor. Setting up motion-activated sprinklers or lights has shown to be effective in keeping possums away. They are usually startled by these.

The best thing to do if you have a possum invasion in your yard is to call on a wildlife control company or professional. There are legal means to control Opossums, and the methods are similar to those for skunks or raccoons. Some regulations can prohibit the relocation of this wildlife. Check to ensure there are no municipal or county restrictions pertaining to the removal of these animals before taking action.

Repellents

For repelling diverse wildlife species, a variety of chemical products are marketed.

Repellents work by impairing one of the animal’s senses: taste, smell, or hearing. The fragrance of a natural enemy will trigger fear. Electronic repellers use a flashing light, sound, or water to deter animals.

To keep possums away, predator urine repellent can be purchased. Natural fox urine is effective, but avoid contact with your hands because the odor will linger for a long time. Establishing an undetectable odor barrier is best sprayed to plants or to a specific location that needs to be protected from possums. A repellent placed at the base of a tree may warn the possum not to climb it.

Traps

Opossums aren’t afraid of traps, so this could be an excellent approach to get rid of them. A box or cage-style trap can readily catch them. These can be placed along well-traveled paths. Canned cat food with a fishy flavor works well as a trap bait, although it may trap cats or other animals.

Raw chicken eggs, jam, or peanut butter spread over bread can also be used as an alternative. Overripe fruit, such as grapes, bananas, and melons, can also be used as bait. Keep in mind that even if your trapping is effective, you’ll still have to deal with the difficulty of getting rid of the animal.

Maintain a clean garden

Pruning overgrown trees and shrubs are necessary. Brush piles and other rubbish should be cleared away. Fruit that has fallen from trees should be kept clean.

Garden snails, flies, insects, and snakes are all favorites of possums. They’re all hiding in your filthy garden.

Use a lidded garbage can

Garbage can lids should be secure, and pet food should not be left out overnight. After dusk, make every effort to close the lid carefully. This will not only keep opossums away, but it will also keep other rodents away.

Pet food left outside the house will attract other animals, such as possums. So it’s best to close the lid properly and store them in the garage if possible.

Make use of additional yard lighting

Possums are nocturnal creatures. That is to say, they only emerge when it is dark outside, and they use the shadows to conceal and protect themselves.

Using motion sensor lights near the garden compost and garbage can will easily repel this rodent at night. The opossums’ favorite spots are these two.

What smells do possums hate?

Household ammonia, mothballs, and naphthaline chrystals are all unpleasant odors for possums. The unpleasant odor emitted by such objects bothers these creatures. To be successful, a somewhat high concentration, as well as a regular application, may be required. Because of their tendency to build up toxins in the soil, such therapies are not authorized or encouraged by many authorities.

Possum repellant is provided in the form of granule shakers. Ingredients such as black pepper, peperine, and capsaicin (hot pepper extract) are used in this form of repellant, which is also safe to use around pets and children. These grains give the possum an unpleasant odor as well as discomfort if the repellant is trodden on.

When should you contact animal control?

There are, however, more aggravating scenarios that can occur. If you have a chain-link fence, a possum can become stuck between the links when climbing or crawling through it. The animal may become agitated if it is unable to flee. If a possum appears unable to free itself, call an animal control department rather than attempting to aid it yourself. When threatened, possums often act dead, but they may lash out if you try to touch them. Professionals are trained to safely and humanely handle wounded or violent animals.

Final thoughts

We hope you found this information to be useful.

Possums may readily scale a wall or climb a wooden fence in pursuit of food.

Unless they dwell in your attic or basement, removing all food sources from your backyard will keep them out.

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Emma Olsen
I’m a gardener and blogger with over 20 years of expertise writing about and cultivating fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I have extensive experience in organic and sustainable gardening, perennials, annuals, and sustainable and urban farming. I’m a nature freak and I enjoy bird watching and swimming with sea creatures.