How to Catch or Kill a Possum

Possums are nocturnal animals that often reach the size of house cats and are frequently found in yards and gardens. They are usually white or grey and have an elongated snout and a long tail. They eat a variety of food, including fruit, vegetables, table scraps and rodents. Possums can be a nuisance, sometimes nesting in an attic or crawl space. A recurring problem with possums may require catching or killing them.

On the fence
credit: erniedecker/iStock/Getty Images
A possum crawls over a garden fence.
Trapped Virginia Opossum
credit: chas53/iStock/Getty Images
A possum is trapped in a cage in the yard.

Set traps around your yard that are designed to capture possums. You can get small animal traps online or from home improvement stores. They are either cages that close once the possum enters them or devices similar to giant mouse traps that crush the animal on contact. Place the traps in areas where you have seen possums in the past. Use caution if you have house pets since traps do not discriminate and your pets could be at risk if they enter a trap. Keep pets away from them or use non-lethal traps that are small enough that your pet won't fit if you have a larger animal.

cat food
credit: axelbueckert/iStock/Getty Images
a close-up of canned cat food in a bowl.

Place canned catfood in the traps. Possums are often attracted to cat food and enjoy consuming it.

close up of opossum
credit: Alice Day/iStock/Getty Images
A close-up of a possum in a cage.

Check the traps every morning to see if any possums entered the traps overnight. You can then relocate live possums to a new area, or dispose of the bodies if the trap killed them. Disposing of dead possums consists of either burying them, if the laws in your area permit it, or contacting an animal disposal company to take the dead possums away.

Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.