Tag Archives: possum removal

Possum in the Gym

opossum remival


The screams of a team of fourteen- to sixteen year-old girls bounced around the gym walls.  No, we hadn’t just won a game.  No, no one had made an amazing shot from halfway across the basketball court.  These were terrified screams, and it took me a good ten minutes to calm everyone down to the point where I could figure out just what had happened.  There was a possum in the gym under the bleachers.

Our high school’s girls basketball team is really good.  These girls aren’t the type to worry over whether they’ve broken a nail, or jump on a chair if they see a spider on the floor.  These are strong, hard-working young women who work hard at practices so they can win regionals.  This is not a wimpy basketball team.  And, I love being their coach.

So, you can imagine how surprised I was to hear all the screaming and running when I ran back to my office to get something.  I’d left the team captain in charge of warm ups and drills, as I usually do.  But, the screeching had me tearing back through the nearly-empty high school halls back to the gym.  I was ready to do battle with whatever was terrorizing those girls.

Apparently, what had happened was they were all warming up and stretching for practice.  They’d run laps around the gym and then got into formation to stretch out leg muscles.  One of my forwards saw a glint of something in the darkness under the bleachers right in front of her, and she stopped stretching and got closer to find out what it was.  Some of her teammates joined her to figure it out.  Then, one of my girls reached her hand in between two rows of seats, and touched something furry that let out this horrible sound and stench, and showed a row of gleaming ugly teeth.  That’s pretty much when the screaming started.

I calmed everyone down, and cautiously approached the bleachers where they’d made “contact.”  I hate to admit it, but my heart was pounding hard in my chest, and I struggled to maintain my composure.  I knelt down in front of the bottom bleacher and let my eyes adjust to the darkness underneath.  I pulled out my keychain with a small flashlight, and clicked the light into the gloom.  Hopefully not a single girl on my team noticed me jump when the tiny light showed a grey-ish animal, teeth bared and eyes gleaming, backed up against the wall.  Then, I realized, it was only a possum in the gym.

I knew it wouldn’t hurt us, as long as we left it alone.  I made the girl who touched it go wash her hands, which she did willingly enough, and left a message for the building maintenance crew to get someone to get rid of the possum in the gym.  We still held practice that night, but my girls had a tough time keeping an eye on the ball when they were too busy eyeing the bleachers to make sure the possum stayed under there.

Possum in Closet

opossum remival

I tugged on my rubber snow boots, grumbling, as my husband spoke-whispered something about a possum in the closet.  What on earth?  My husband and I had been married a total of thirty-two hours, and already we were dealing with some middle of the night crisis with a wild animal.  This wasn’t exactly the honeymoon I’d dreamed about since I was a teenager.  Sure, I gave up the idea of lazing around in a bikini on a Caribbean beach, and I had decided it was okay to forego a Mediterranean cruise, or even a railway trip through Europe.  I’d fallen in love with a man who loved nature and being in the mountains, and so I came to terms with a romantic remote mountain cabin as our honeymoon destination.

The cabin belonged to his uncle, and my husband had spent several weeks a year up here.  When we got married, his parents and brothers had chipped in and bought it from his uncle, who had wanted to sell it anyway.  They gave it to us.  For my dear husband, this was the best honeymoon destination ever.  He could share his love of nature with me, and create new memories with his family over the years.

Yesterday, we’d tramped along some of his favorite trails.  The fall air was chilly, but perfect for the gorgeous changing leaves.  We had bundled up together when we got back to the cabin, drinking hot drinks by the fire.  An Italian beach would have been nice, but this was so much better.  It was more intimate, and I loved how much my husband was enjoying sharing this with me.

I felt different when he woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to come quietly to the kitchen, that there was a possum in the closet.  I had never seen one, and really didn’t care to see one right then, especially indoors.  But, I tugged on my boots, gathered a warm blanket around me, and tiptoed as quietly as one can tiptoe in snowboots.  When we got to the kitchen, he quietly opened up the closet door and gently pulled out a mostly empty bag of dog food.  His uncle had always brought his dog up here, and we hadn’t cleared out the closets when we got here.

The bag had been chewed open at one of the bottom corners, so my husband carefully pulled the bag up and into a nearby plastic bin.  He opened up the top of the bag and shone his flashlight in.  I peered inside.

Sure enough, there was a baby possum asleep, or playing dead, inside the bag.  I was fascinated.  I’d never seen anything like that before.  Greyish, white, with a long head and odd ears.  Its eyes shone, and it popped up.  Quickly, my husband put the lid on the bin and took the whole thing outside to let it go.

A few thoughts went through my head then.  I was happy I had a husband who knew how to handle things like a possum in the closet.  I was very tired.  I wondered where on earth the mother possum was hiding.  I really would have been very happy on a Caribbean beach.

Opossum Problems

It’s unbelievable, this opossum problem we have in this home!  I mean, I’m the alpha dog here, the top Chihuahua, and this, this opossum comes strolling into my home again and again and helps himself to the fruit lying on the counter.  I’m not even allowed on that counter top, how dare he?!  And I have fleas now, thank you very much.  I’m an extremely clean dog, and this flea-ridden opossum walks right in, and now I’m infected.  It’s awful.  The itching is so bad I’m scratching and biting myself just to make it stop, and my people have to put special medicine on me, and it’s all the fault of this big, toothy creature.

So, how did he get in here in the first place?  He was digging up against the kitchen wall to make a den and just kept digging.  He must have thought he’d hit the mother lode.  Warm home, plenty of food, my water bowl.  Turns out he preferred hanging out in the cabinet under the sink, next to the dishwasher, of all places.  That’s where all the canned foods are kept, including my dog food!  He just comes out, helps himself to whatever he can find on the counter or the floor, and then retreats to his little cabinet.  Never mind the fleas, never mind the fact that this is my home.  He’s the worst uninvited house guest ever!

Oh, and the poop.  That is the biggest, smelliest stuff I’ve ever had the displeasure of sniffing, and believe me, I’ve sniffed plenty.  It’s the worst part about this opossum problem.  Big Rufus down the street ain’t got nothin’ on this thing.

I got blamed for some of the mess, at first, which was just unpleasant.  I would never behave so atrociously, so horrifically.  I’m house-trained, a proper dog, a clean dog, and still I got blamed.  Fortunately, my people figured it out pretty quick.  They called a service, a real professional wildlife removal service, and they came out and set a trap.  My people are lucky to have me, because I showed them right where the worst opossum droppings were, and barked at the cabinet long enough for them to realize that would be the best place to set the trap.

The night they set that trap, I was so excited.  I just knew we’d finally be rid of our opossum problem and be able to go on with our lives.  I curled up at my people’s feet and dreamt of taking the house back.  First thing the next morning, well, I took care of my business.  That’s what a trained house dog does.  But, the second thing the next morning, I was down in the kitchen, and barking my head off.  It had worked!  That sucker was stuck in the trap under the cabinet, sure enough.  The trapper was coming to remove it and I was getting my house back in order, the way it should be.

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?”