opossum problems

cynthianovakJuly 5, 2011

I h ave melons in my garden but I've only gotten leftovers.

Seems these clever creatures know the seeds are ripe before I know the melon is ripe.

Any suggestions? I have a dog but apparantly he's sleeping on the job. He did kill a young 'possum but obviously there are friends/

Up until now, I thought they were strangely adorable.

that will teach me!

c

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copingwithclay

Option #1 : Let the critters eat anything of interest that you grow...... Option #2 : Compete to eat.....When each newly arrived opossum leaves evidence showing that they are here, out comes the rusty, old, experienced wire trap.It measures about 10" wide, 10" tall, and 2-1/2 feet long and has a foot pressure trigger at the back end. Opening up a can of salmon, I will be eating the fish, but the salty, smelly water can be poured into a bowl. A slice of toast bread will soak up the fishy liquid. Before nightfall, I will place the bottom of the trap on the ground,a side of the trap against a wooden fence or wall and the back of the trap will also be up against a fence or wall. This will reduce the critter's access to the 'wonderful food smell' from 5 wire barriers to only 2. Sometimes I place a short, heavy board on top, as well as one against the remaining uncovered side of the wire trap, thus restricting the critter access to only the trapdoor side. I want it to walk right in w/o having to waste time figuring how to get through the wire holes. I lay the big chunk of fishy toast in the back of the trap, and I break off a few small fish-smelly pieces to make a bread crumb trail leading to the trap door. Sound familiar? What's wrong with copying a good idea? Actually, a dozen fish-smelly Cherios also make a good trail. Of course, smaller night munchers may enjoy the snack and never close the door. Neighbors' cats can be released in the morning, with or without a shower (just kittying). I release the opossums far away in a wooded area where they can compete for the food there.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:57AM
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bossjim1

I do about the same thing that Copingwithclay does, except, I bait the trap with a dab of peanut butter on a small piece of cardboard. Works every time, and I don't have to deal with the neighbor's cats or the smell.
Jim

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Rusty

Yes, traps are definitely the answer.
If you don't own one,
And don't want to invest in one,
Check with your county Animal Control office.
Here we can rent them for a small deposit.
And they will come and empty the trap for you, too.

Cheap sardines work well as bait.
So does smelly cheese,
Such as Limburger.

But the sardines seem to be the cheapest.

I only caught my neighbor's cat once,
And it doesn't hurt them at all.
(Neither the opossums nor the cats) ;>)

Rusty

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:47PM
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linda_tx8(8)

I wish my most serious critter problem was the possums, I really do! The worst critters here are the armadillos, which dig and dig and dig. I've tried trapping, so far no luck. Second, the raccoons...they're the worst at ruining or eating peaches and figs, not to mention other damages. I'll list the wild hogs as third, but only because they can at least be fenced out, otherwise they'd be first. Very destructive creatures! I think the possums are scarce because of predators here.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:30AM
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copingwithclay

Although armadillos enjoy quite a favorable rating among Texas non-gardeners because they are 'cute' and 'interesting', many of the gardeners do not dig them at all.When an armadillo's super-sensitive nose leads them to dig a hole under the chain link fence to reach the just- watered, mulched fruit tree beds here to dig them up, I guess it's about like me driving on the downwind side of a Mexican restaurant that is discharging exhaust smoke from sizzling fajitas on the hot grill. I want to turn around and go eat there right now! Their being drawn to the moist mulch is especially true during hot, dry summers. Sometimes they return on consecutive nights through the same new hole if there is no better place to tear up, so I will use the same trap. I place it on the ground with the trap door facing the tunnel where the dillo will emerge. There is no bait in the trap. I will use a couple stakes in the ground to prevent the dillo from easily pushing the trap out of it's path. I place concrete cinder blocks or standin-on-end heavy boards beside the trap and that butt up against the fence to make a channel to direct the dillo directly to the trap's entrance. As a final step I thoroughly water down that spot to get the soil aromas activated for a hungry critter guided by scent. That is, moist soil to dig up worms and grubs. I'll stick with the fajitas........Another idea: maybe a stinky, rancid, sweaty shirt with 48 hours of accumulating stench could be placed on top of the trap to attract armadillos. What?? Many years ago during summer National Guard field training in Arkansas, this stinky, unshowered, tick-infested weekend warrior was on night guard duty in a forrest. Sitting still on the ground with back against a tree, I was all ears for any sound in the very-dark night. I perked up as I heard something stirring up dry leaves on the ground and slowly came ever closer to me. I could barely even see my feet due to the absence of light from anywhere. The noise maker ended up being an armadillo that marched all the way to me and bumped into my boot. I jumped. It jumped upward a couple feet high...and then scooted away. Maybe he was sure that he had discovered a huge pile of decaying, fermented fruit.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:03AM
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