Tag Archives: get rid of opossums

Opossum Control

opossum remival

As the supervisor of a large apartment complex, I take care of a lot of things, from leaky toilets to cleaning the streets to fixing air conditioners, but opossum control is a new one on me.

I got a call from one of my favorite tenants.  Mrs. Hernandez is a sweet older widow who always takes the time to say “hello” to her neighbors and remembers details about their life.  “How is your sick puppy, Rocco?” she asks the oldest Johnson boy.  Or, “How was your job interview?” she asks Brandon Thompson.  But, she never goes on and on about her own life or pulls out pictures of her grandchildren without being asked.  She even organized an apartment-wide barbeque a couple of weeks ago, and got more people to come than I had expected.  She has a special way about her that just makes you love her.

She rarely calls me with any needs, because she told me she doesn’t like to impose.  I’ve insisted that it is not only my job to fix things in her apartment, but it is my pleasure to help her out.  But, she still hesitates, so I like to stop by and check in on her every week to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

So, I was surprised when she called me this morning.  I was doubly surprised when she said, “I really don’t know how to say this, but I think I need opossum control or a plumber.”  Confused, I decided to investigate it myself before calling a professional opossum removal service or a plumber, and grabbed my ever-ready tool bag and thick gloves.

When I got there, she looked embarrassed as she led me back to her bathroom and directed my attention to her tub.  A tiny opossum baby was actually stuck inside the drain.  Its hind legs had slipped in between the large drain holes.  Every time it struggled to free itself, its tiny paws would just slip on the wet tub surface, and it would slip down just a little further.

Mrs. Hernandez said she had no idea where the mother was or how the opossum even got inside her apartment.  She and I agreed it probably got separated from its mother and then crawled in through her open window.  This was definitely a first for me, though.  I considered doing my own opossum control, by putting on the thick gloves, pulling the animal out of the drain, and popping it in the tool box to safely take it outside.  But, what would I do with it once I got it outside?  If I just released it, would it die alone?  Would it be easy prey for other animals?  Mrs. Hernandez had obviously considered this, too, and she was mortified at the idea of a helpless baby opossum.  Partly to ease my own conscience and partly to appease sweet Mrs. Hernandez, I agreed to call a professional opossum removal service.  Mrs. Hernandez even made me some ice tea as we waited for them to arrive.

Opossum Removal

I’m a fair-minded landlord, so I wasn’t too harsh on the animals when I had to conduct opossum removal.  I remodeled the large vacant home I bought into four separate apartments, and had no problem renting them out once the remodeling work was complete and all the permits and licenses came through.  The place is a good location, not far from a mass transit station and within walking distance to a shopping center.  But, I managed to keep the private, inviting feel of an old home.  It was easy to get tenants quickly.

I live in the upper-most apartment, so no other tenants were aware of the scrabbling, rustling noises coming from the empty attic just above my head.  I assumed it was an animal or bird that had gotten lost in there and would find its way back out the next morning, but the noise persisted over the next couple of days.  Finally, I felt I had to do something.  I crawled up there one morning and poked around, my nose wrinkling at the nastiest smelling animal droppings I’d ever had the displeasure of seeing or smelling.  Then, over in the far corner, I spotted the two animals, and knew the time had come for opossum removal.

I called a professional opossum removal service, and they quickly came out.  But, I was adamant.  I didn’t want them to take the opossums away.  I wanted to relocate them under the pergola in the yard.  I thought they were sweet and cute, even as they bared teeth at the opossum trapper.  He looked at me kind of funny, but obliged.

I didn’t tell the guy who did the opossum removal that I had a problem with voles on the property.  It may have been what attracted the opossums in the first place. My tenants didn’t spend any time in the yard, since there was a nice park nearby, so they weren’t aware of the vole holes and tunnels in the yard.  I’d tried to trap the voles myself, but it felt like there were three or four more for every one I caught.

So, I thought, if I had to have opossums removed out of the attic, I might relocate them into a safe place in the yard.  That way, they could hunt down and feast on the troublesome voles as long as they stayed out of the attic and didn’t keep me awake at night.

It kind of worked for a time.  There were several times, though, that I had to go out early and pick up the garbage cans they’d knocked over and rooted through.  Then, there was the night that I heard hissing and growling.  It’s possible they had a run-in with one of the local cats.  But, the vole population started to decline, so I thought I was brilliant for removing opossums out of the attic and relocating them under the pergola.  One night, however, one of my tenants had decided the pergola was a perfect, romantic place to take his girlfriend.  His girlfriend screamed nice and loud when they startled the two opossums, and soon everyone was aware of our backyard vole-eaters.  This time, I had to have opossum removal done for good.  They were taken off the property, never to be seen again.  I had the same service get rid of the voles, too, while I was at it.

How To Get Rid Of Opossums

“Honey, I’ve got to go.  Cameron’s teacher’s ready for me . . . yes, yes, I called this afternoon to find out how to get rid of opossums and they’re sending someone out first thing in the morning. . .  I honestly don’t know, hon, I haven’t heard any more banging around in the attic, but opossum are usually active only at night, so we won’t know for sure until tonight . . . I hope so, too, because I can’t stand the mess, I can’t stand waking up all night listening to something scrabbling around above our heads , I just can’t! . . . You’re right, I’m calm.  I’ll let you know how the parent/teacher conference goes.  Love you . . .”

“Come on in, Mrs. Seely, thank you for coming to meet with me tonight.”

“Thanks, Miss Jackson.  Cameron talks about you all the time.  He just loves having you as his kindergarten teacher.”

“Oh, I’m happy to hear it!  He’s a really good kid to have in my class.”

“That’s a relief.”

“Cameron is doing very well in the class.  His word recognition skills have really improved.  I think his favorite subject is art.  In fact, this is something he painted today.  I’d like to ask you about it with you, though.  I can’t seem to understand what he painted.”

“Oh?  May I see?  Oh, yes.  Um, well, what did he say it is?”

“Well, he said it was raining in his bathroom.”


“Uh huh.  But then he said it was raining bugs.”

“Oh crap.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry.  It’s just . . . we think we have an opossum, maybe more, that got into our attic.  Maybe they’re dead, I don’t know.  I called a wildlife removal company this afternoon and they’re sending someone out in the morning.”

“Oh, I see.  I’m so sorry to hear that.  And the fleas?”

“I don’t know for sure, because I just can’t seem to get up the courage to get into the attic to see for myself, but, oh, it’s just awful.  Fleas, fleas are raining down in our bathroom through the recessed light.  It’s the grossest thing I’ve ever had to deal with!”

“Oh, ew!  That’s just awful!  I’m glad you’re getting someone out to take care of it, for your sake.  I have to say I am happy to know that Cameron’s creativity doesn’t extend to horror.”

“Yes, it is like something out of a horror film.  Poor kid, I hate that it’s worried him so much that it’s coming out in his art, though.  Hopefully we’ll get it all squared away and cleaned up tomorrow morning so he can go back to being the happy budding artist he normally is.”

“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be just fine.  He loved telling the other boys about it.”

“I don’t doubt it!  I’m sure he’ll love telling them all about how we got rid of the opossums in the next couple of days.  So, how are his math skills?”