Having a pest of any sort under your mobile home is problematic, but possums may be particularly so. They have the potential to do damage to your home, and may also make a lot of noise, disturbing you and others. As possums are active at night, this is even more likely to be an issue.
Possums may look cute and cuddly, but they really don’t make great roommates, and while they may think the underside of your mobile home is the perfect crash pad, you probably feel otherwise. If that’s the case, you are going to want to find out why they’ve chosen you and how you can encourage them to move elsewhere.
As with any problem, it’s best to deal with possums promptly, not waiting for the situation to get worse. If there’s food around, you might find yourself dealing with more possums than you expected if you ignore them for too long. If you’ve got pets or young children, be extra careful to make sure neither gets hurt.
Why Is There A Possum Under Your Mobile Home?
It Provides Shelter And Safety
We aren’t the only species that think mobile homes are great. From a possum’s point of view, the underside of one offers a dry, warm, dark and sheltered space which they can easily wriggle into or out of. There are also less likely to be other animals around, due to the presence of humans, which makes it an ideal spot for these furry critters.
There Might Be Food Around
When thinking about why a possum has honored you with its presence, consider whether you’re also offering other unintentional benefits, such as an easy source of food for the possum. If you feed pets outside, hang up bird feeders, or regularly toss out food scraps, you’re probably accidentally encouraging the possum to hang around.
How To Get Rid Of A Possum Under Your Mobile Home
Call Pest Control
It’s always best to get professionals in when you’re dealing with animals. You don’t want you or the possum to get hurt, and you also don’t want to end up accidentally breaking any trapping laws. It helps if you can show the professional where the animal enters and exits from so they know where to set the trap.
Set A Trap
If you can’t get pest control in for some reason, this may be the next best option. Make sure you thoroughly familiarize yourself with any capture-and-release laws which apply in your local area before approaching this.
Possums can bite, so wear some very sturdy gloves when near them. You can bait your trap with almost anything, as possums aren’t fussy about their food.
Make sure you use a secure cage, and place it somewhere that other animals aren’t likely to get caught in it. Check it regularly for as long as the trap is active; you don’t want the possum stuck in there for long!
Once you have caught the possum, you can look at relocating it; do some research to find a safe space where it can continue to live happily, away from you and other people. It may help to cover the trap with a towel to keep it calm while traveling. Don’t keep it in the trap for long; you should aim to release the possum as quickly as possible.
Close Off Its Entry
If you aren’t able to catch the possum, you might find it easier to seal off its entryway. However, this should be done with caution; you need to know that the possum is definitely not under your home, and that it doesn’t have any little buddies or babies which could still be inside. You don’t want to risk trapping live animals under there, so be careful.
This method will probably take some persistence; the possum may keep trying to return. You will need to use steel mesh to stop it from chewing through to regain access.
How To Prevent A Possum From Going Under Your Mobile Home
Get Rid Of Food Sources
Possums may like the dark, safe space they can access under mobile homes, but they’ll likely be attracted in the first place by food. It’s very difficult to keep them out of garbage cans and trash because they are clever and determined. Make sure bins seal with tight lids, and are metal rather than plastic.
If there is no food around, you are a lot less likely to be bothered by possums or other unwelcome visitors. This may mean you have to stop feeding birds/stray cats for a while.
Install A Light
Possums don’t like bright lights; they are nocturnal, and want a dark, cozy space to hide in. You could install a light under your mobile home to make it a less appealing hideaway for the possums (and any other potential invaders). They won’t feel safe if it isn’t dark.
This strategy should be used with care, however; bright lights can get hot and pose a fire risk. Before installing any lights beneath your mobile home, make absolutely sure you know how hot they will get, and insulate them from any flammable materials. You should also make sure the lighting is outdoor-safe and protect it from any chewing teeth.
You could add a motion sensor to reduce bills and prevent the light being on full time; this is likely to startle away any unwelcome visitors.
Introduce Unpleasant Odors And Sounds
Again, use caution because you don’t want to bring unpleasant smells into your home. You can use ammonia to discourage possums from hanging around under your mobile home. Put ammonia-soaked rags around the edges and underside of the mobile home, and you’ll find they aren’t so keen to move in. After all, would you be?
You can add to this by putting a portable radio in and turning up the volume. This should deter possums, which prefer quiet and secluded spaces to noisy ones. If you think a possum is eyeing up the space under your mobile home, taking quick action and making it an unappealing spot is definitely easier than having to trap or get rid of one.
Board The Underside Of Your Mobile Home
Making it harder to access the space is another good way to prevent possums from taking up residence. Regularly inspect the skirting around your mobile home and repair any damage promptly. You can use mesh if the proper boarding is out of your budget, but make sure it’s strong wire the possum isn’t going to be able to chew through.
If your home is going to be in one place for a long time, consider digging wire mesh into the ground to prevent anything from tunneling in. You can also sprinkle chili around, but this will need refreshing whenever it rains.
Should You Let The Possum Live Under Your Mobile Home?
The short and easy answer is no. Although possums are cute and it may be tempting to let them chill in your space, they can be quite destructive. They might chew through wires or cables, or even into your mobile home itself. They can do surprising amounts of damage, and shouldn’t be allowed to stay.
Possums also pose a potential risk to any pets you have, or to children. They may fight with cats for food, and could bite curious fingers if provoked. It’s best to remove them from your vicinity as soon as you can.
One caveat is that you should be particularly aware of possum activity during the breeding season. If you think you have possum babies under your mobile home, it may be best to leave them until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
At this point, the family may leave of their own accord, solving the problem. Extracting a whole family of possums could be tricky, and mothers are more likely to be aggressive when defending young. They are also unlikely to survive if relocated to a strange space.
Will Possums Attack You?
Possums aren’t aggressive creatures, but if you frighten or corner them, they could attack you. They have sharp teeth and claws, and any bites could introduce bacteria to the wound. It’s important to note that they can carry some pretty nasty diseases as well, so exercise plenty of caution if you are within biting-range.
Always wear protective clothing if you have to handle a possum, even if it’s in a trap and you don’t think it will have an opportunity to bite you. Good gloves and thick clothes, particularly on your arms, are a must. You should also wear shoes while near them.
Having a possum under your mobile home doesn’t need to be a huge source of concern, but it is something which you should address promptly to avoid further problems. You can discourage possums from taking up residence in the first place, and either call for a professional or remove them yourself if you’re feeling confident.
Keeping the skirting of your mobile home in a good state of repair and minimizing the amount of food available are key steps to discouraging possums from becoming your neighbors. Noise, light, plenty of activity, and distasteful smells are also your friends in keeping them away or encouraging them to move out.