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UGA biologist offers tips for keeping opossums out of your yard

Wildlife biologist, Dr. Michael T. Mengak, recently provided tips on how to keep opossums away from your yard. Although opossums are not usually a major problem for homeowners, they can cause disruptions. They might dig in your yard for bugs or live under your crawl space, porch, or shed.

Mengak stated that opossums can be recognized by their living habits and physical signs. They prefer to live in existing burrows or spaces under homes, rather than creating their own dens. Homeowners might see the animal leaving its den or smell its feces and urine. The tracks of opossums, marked by their hind feet prints, can also be a clear sign.

Mengak advises homeowners to ensure the disruptive animal is an opossum before taking action. Other animals like armadillos, skunks, or birds could also cause lawn damage. Opossums are not typically responsible for extensive turf damage. A game camera can help identify the animal.

If an opossum is confirmed, Mengak suggests removing the food source and excluding them from the area. This can be done by securing garbage can lids, using sealed compost bins, and cleaning up fallen fruit.

Lastly, Mengak recommends reducing potential shelters for opossums. This includes removing brush and firewood piles, rock stacks, and securing crawl spaces with hardware cloth buried a few inches underground.

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