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This is my first post here, and I'm so glad to have found this forum. We have a problem I need to share to ask if anyone has any advice -

Two dogs, one an older Cockapoo, Bernie, and Jack the Malt, 2 years old now. They have a doggy door so they have free rein to go in and out of our securely fenced back garden.

Well, we live very near a creek, and we've been having nightly possum visitors. The dogs will bark their heads off, but not attack - my dogs are so gentle, they just want to play with any visitor. But the possums can look quite scary, when they bare their teeth, hiss and then keel over in a seemingly dead faint.

I was frantic, thinking my dogs might be bitten or hurt, especially since the possums were getting bolder, going not only along the top of our fence to rummage in our compost pile, but then actually scampering around on the ground.

So I rented a Have A Heart trap, and we baited it with wet dog food. The first two nights, somehow the possum managed to eat the food, trip the trap mechanism, but NOT GET TRAPPED. So I exchanged that trap for a larger one, and we tried that one last night. But nothing - they didn't even eat the food. It seems to be more than one possum - the ones I've seen have definitely been different sizes.

I have learned that possums do not carry rabies, but they certainly carry other diseases, and any wild animal will attack under the right circumstances. Has anyone here ever dealt with this problem? And if so, what did you do about it?

Thank you so much in advance,

Goodsister
 

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Hi and welcome to SM!! We use to live on a farm, not to far from a creek. We also tried the live trap baiting and got NOWHERE!! We started putting chicken leg 1/4's in the traps and caught those little devils!! They have a passion for chicken!!
They are quite mean when cornered, I would be worried too if I were you!! Can you enlist the help of your local Animal Control people?? If they cannot help you, ask them and they might know of someone or some agency that can help. Watch that doggie door and I would not put any food on the floor around it, they can smell that stuff a mile away!!
 

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I would lock your doggy door at nite so your babies cannot get out,until you have the problem taken care of.If they do want out at nite ,I would not let them out without me going out with them.WE live on the Mississipppi river and I always go out with the babies at nite and we also have a fenced in yard.There is always too much wildlife roaming around after the sun goes down for it to be safe for them to be out by themselves. WELCOME TO SM
 

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My grandmother has lots of outside cats and possums and skunks. Neither has really bothered the cats except for eating their food. The possums hiss and run, just like the cats. That is my only experience. We have had a few possums in our yard, but no major probs with them. They're just nasty, ugly things!
 

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Originally posted by sheila2182+Apr 22 2005, 05:59 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Kallie/Catcher's Mom
@Apr 22 2005, 04:55 PM
I'm not "up" on this sort of problem, but I'm curious how the possums get in to the yard, since its fenced?
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Possums and racoons can climb the fence without a problem.
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[/B][/QUOTE]

Since I have a fenced area also.... can they climb a wooden shadow-box style fence, also? Or just a chain link? Aren't possums only out at night?
 

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i saw this thing on tv for a fence to keep coyotes out of a chicken coup. and the fence had this roller thing on the top so that if they try climbing over---its like those lumberjacks on logs and they cant get over.

i hope someone here knows the name for that....and if that would work for possums. call a local fence compnay and see if they have something to keep those animals out.
 

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Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom+Apr 22 2005, 05:26 PM-->
Originally posted by [email protected] 22 2005, 05:59 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-Kallie/Catcher's Mom
@Apr 22 2005, 04:55 PM
I'm not "up" on this sort of problem, but I'm curious how the possums get in to the yard, since its fenced?
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=55455

Possums and racoons can climb the fence without a problem.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=55458

[/QUOTE]

Since I have a fenced area also.... can they climb a wooden shadow-box style fence, also? Or just a chain link? Aren't possums only out at night?
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[/B][/QUOTE]
I think they could climb most anything ,they have very long claws.Yes normaly they are out at night.If you were to see one out in the day time,it is sick and diffenitly stay away from it.And call animal control in you area.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for all your replies! We are blocking off the dog door at night now until this is resolved, don't worry. I was terrified the possum might carry rabies, but then I learned that possums usually don't get rabies - they're extremely resistant to the rabies virus. But they do have fleas and other diseases., and I don't want them biting my dogs!

It is the Have A Heart trap, where the animal steps on a lever to reach the food at the back of the cage, and that shuts the door. But we can't imagine how the possum took the food out without being trapped - TWICE. Then, last night, he didn't even come out to enter the larger trap we got. I am worried he might be too smart to be caught.

I've learned a lot about possums in the last week, and I guess we're just lucky it's not raccoons we're facing. Raccoons are much more vicious and troublesome. But possums are bad enough! They are nocturnal, can climb fences or trees, or enter underneath fences and decks, for that matter - we see them disappearing under our deck.

When they're frightened, they'll hiss, bare their teeth and drool scary-looking saliva, but they won't run away. They're possums, so they PLAY POSSUM. They'll freeze, drop down and play dead. In severe cases, the tongue will hang out of their mouth and they'll empty their anal sacs and emit a foul-smelling, greenish diarrhea. Oh, GREAT. Just what I want to encounter in my back garden, full of blooming roses and jasmine. I understand their heartbeat slows, too, and pulse rate - but I'm not about to check it.

So then, after hurriedly getting my dogs back in the house, there's a waiting period until the possum will 'wake up' and leave, and Jack won't rest until I've taken him back out, on the leash of course, so he can investigate the entire yard to make sure the intruder is gone.

I am so tired.

All we know for sure is that there are more than one, they are coming one each night, and I don't feel safe letting my dogs out again until we've resolved this issue.

Oh, and I did contact the local Wildlife Rescue, plus assorted private folks that'd trap and relocate them for a staggering fee. But it was my vet who gave me the best advice, to rent the trap from our local feed store. If we do succeed in trapping any possums, a boy there has offered to relocate them for me; his family has 200 acres here.

Thanks again for the advice and support. The whole thing is creeping me out, not to mention wrecking our calm and happy family routine.

Goodsister
 

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Originally posted by sheila2182+Apr 22 2005, 05:59 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Kallie/Catcher's Mom
@Apr 22 2005, 04:55 PM
I'm not "up" on this sort of problem, but I'm curious how the possums get in to the yard, since its fenced?
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=55455
Possums and racoons can climb the fence without a problem.
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=55458
[/B][/QUOTE]

We have a rabbit coming in ours and racoons too. We also have a fence.. it doug a whole.
The rabit is biger then our dogs
but at least he is no trouble.. except fot he poops.
We are scared of the racoon
 

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Originally posted by Goodsister@Apr 22 2005, 06:15 PM
All we know for sure is that there are more than one, they are coming one each night, and I don't feel safe letting my dogs out again until we've resolved this issue.

Goodsister
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Good Sister,

I must say please don't let your babies out at night even after you have caught these specific creatures. At night a great number of animals that could claim your little ones for there dinner are out. Just a couple of weeks ago there was a story on here or the other site which told about a baby being killed going out alone. Owls are night creatures and will pick up our little ones in a blink of an eye, or cyotes, or even neighborhood cats...we have small little ones that really are not able to defend themselves like a bigger dog would.

They really need us to care for them in the face of danger.

S
 

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We have possums coming in our yard too from time to time. They are very clean. We don't mind because Alex does not go out at night and seldom during the day. Normally possums come out only at night. But we have seen them during the day in stormy weather or mom possum with the babies hanging on her back and loocking probably for water. The dogs are more dangerous to the possums then the possums to the dogs. My neighboor's dogs killed a baby possum, she got between them too late. The raccoons are more trouble and they can do damage. It's the first year we have ever had raccoons in our yard. They ripped appart one of our ventilator's on top of the roof.

 

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Possums aren't so bad. They're just kind of ugly, and they've got that skinny naked tale, so they look like giant rats.

Goodsister - I got a kick out of reading your latest post. You're going along, talking and talking about how much trouble they are, and then you just stop and say, "I am so tired." I couldn't help but think, "Aww, bless 'er heart!"


I hope your little visitors will leave so you can start getting some sleep and peace of mind again!

MalteseJane - I love the picture of your nighttime gentleman. It cracked me up!!


We had a family of little field mice in our garage last fall. They somehow got into the bottom of our in-garage refridgerator (not in the cold part, in the part where the motors and wires are), and made a little nest near the motor because it was warm there. They'd filch bits of kibble from the 50lb. bags of dog food we had sitting out there. Those mice were really livin on easy street, let me tell ya.

I like when spring comes, cause we get little white-tailed bunnies. They hang out and nibble grass, and do cute things.

Ah, another fun Texas critter -- we've seen our share of Armadillos! They turn up at night time, and dig through the flowerbeds in front of our house, looking for bugs.

Here's a cute one, eating some watermelon.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Aw, look at those two prehistoric critters! The pictures of the possum and the armadillo are both fabulous. I guess I grew up so protected in suburbs and cities that wildlife is just alien to me, and I haven't encountered too much of it up close and personal.

Just to offer an ongoing update, we've baited the larger trap for the night, blocked off the dog door, and am hoping hard that we catch a possum tonight.

Thanks for all your caring comments.

Goodsister
 

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WE CAUGHT ONE!

Just now. I was sitting here finishing up, about to shut down, and I heard the trap snap shut in the backyard. Now, I'd heard this twice before this week, only to find an empty trap the next day with the food gone from inside it. So I half expected to find an empty trap again.

I went downstairs and slipped out quietly, so as not to wake my already-sleeping dogs. Wearing my son's camping headlamp since I couldn't find a flashlight, I crept out to the back garden to check the cage, and

There it was; a possum in a cage. There's actually a wild animal in a cage in my back yard! Tomorrow we'll have to call the young man who promised to pick him up and release him for us. And then re-set the trap, in which I have a renewed confidence, to capture any remaining relatives this possum may have. They'll all be released in the same area, so they can reunite and continue their possum lives in a better place than someone's back garden with two small dogs.

Goodsister
 

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Originally posted by Nichole@Apr 22 2005, 05:52 PM
We had a similar problem a few years back.  We had raccoons in our attic!
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we had that about 5 years ago.. except ours was a bit more complex.

there was a tiny hole in the roof that a raccoon went in. my dad saw that, waited til she left, and then sealed the hole up. problem solved, we thought..

until it turned out she'd given birth to four little babies up there! the next day we started hearing cries from our sealing, which was a little spooky. my dad reopened the hole, but the raccoon mother did not return.. and the hole in the roof was too small to get the babies out.

so what did my smart dad do?! cut a hole in our CEILING and took the babies out one by one
they were sooo cute. we gave them to the local wildlife expert, who raised them and then set them free on her 10-acre property.
 

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For those who use a doggy door I saw the coolest thing on "It takes a thief". They are these locking doggy doors. The only way they open is by a magnetic collar your pet wears. So then ONLY your pet can go in or out.
 

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Originally posted by Goodsister@Apr 23 2005, 02:25 AM
WE CAUGHT ONE!



I went downstairs and slipped out quietly, so as not to wake my already-sleeping dogs. Wearing my son's camping headlamp since I couldn't find a flashlight, I crept out to the back garden to check the cage, and


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Hahaha ,I can so just see it

Well Done!!
 
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