Possums Dig Up Your Yard

Will Possums Dig Up Your Yard?

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Possums are intriguing creatures that often coexist with humans in urban and suburban areas. However, their presence can sometimes lead to concerns about potential damage to yards and gardens. In this article, we will explore the behavior of possums, their potential for yard damage, and effective strategies to prevent and address such issues.

Possum Behavior

Nocturnal Animals

Possums are primarily nocturnal, which means they are most active during the night. They have adapted to this lifestyle, possessing excellent night vision and hearing capabilities.

Natural Habitat

Possums typically inhabit wooded areas with access to water sources. However, due to urbanization, they have also adapted to living in close proximity to humans, often finding shelter in attics, sheds, or under decks.

Foraging Habits

Possums are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet consists of fruits, insects, small vertebrates, and even carrion. While they prefer natural food sources, they may resort to scavenging in human-occupied areas if food is scarce.

Yard Damage

Digging Behavior

Possums have a natural instinct to dig. While they primarily dig for food, such as insects or plant roots, they may inadvertently cause damage to yards and gardens. Their digging behavior can result in upturned soil, damaged plants, and disturbed landscaping.

Factors Influencing Digging

Several factors contribute to possums digging up yards. These include:

Food availability: If possums find a consistent food source in your yard, they may dig more frequently to access it.

Shelter: Possums may dig to create burrows or nest sites, especially if they feel threatened or need a safe place to raise their young.

Seasonal variations: During certain seasons, possums may dig more to search for food, particularly when their usual food sources are scarce.

Preventing Yard Damage

Secure Fencing

Installing sturdy fences around your yard can be an effective deterrent for possums. Ensure that the fences are at least 4 feet high and buried a few inches underground to prevent the possums from burrowing underneath.

Remove Food Sources

Eliminating potential food sources can discourage possums from frequenting your yard. Securely store garbage cans, remove fallen fruits, and trim overhanging branches that provide easy access to their desired food.


There are various repellents available that can deter possums from entering your yard. Natural options include vinegar or garlic sprays, while commercial repellents often contain predator urine or other strong scents that possums find unpleasant.

Live Trapping

Proper Trapping Methods

If possums persistently damage your yard despite preventive measures, live trapping can be an option. Use humane traps designed for capturing possums and consult local regulations before attempting trapping. Once captured, possums can be released in appropriate wooded areas away from human dwellings.

Relocating Possums

When relocating possums, it is essential to release them in suitable habitats where they can find natural food sources and shelter. Always follow local guidelines and regulations regarding the relocation of wildlife.


Possums, with their nocturnal nature and foraging habits, may occasionally dig up yards while searching for food or creating shelters. Understanding their behavior and implementing preventive measures can help mitigate yard damage. If necessary, live trapping and responsible relocation are viable options to address persistent issues with possums. By taking proactive steps and maintaining a harmonious coexistence, you can minimize the impact of possums on your yard.


Do possums dig during the day?

Possums are primarily nocturnal animals, so their digging activity is more common at night. However, they can occasionally dig during the day if disturbed or searching for food.

Are possums attracted to specific types of plants?

Possums have a varied diet and may be attracted to certain plants, especially fruits and vegetables. It’s advisable to research the types of plants that possums find appealing in your region and take appropriate preventive measures.

Can possums cause damage to underground structures?

While possums may dig near underground structures, such as foundations or utility lines, they typically do not cause significant damage. However, it’s still important to monitor their behavior and address any potential issues promptly.

Will possums leave on their own if they find no food?

If possums cannot find a consistent food source in your yard, they may move on to other areas. However, their departure is not guaranteed, as they might continue searching for food or return when a new food source becomes available.

Should I handle possums myself if they invade my yard?

It is best to contact local wildlife professionals or animal control agencies for assistance with handling possums. They have the expertise and knowledge to address the situation safely and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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