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On a number of occasions I’ve written about the “gang” of opossums that hang out in the backyard at night. The annoying thing is, if they’re disturbed by my opening the door or Blue going out to do his business, they freeze! So of course, Mr. Blue, aka the local sheriff, goes charging after them. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, not a good thing since they gave nasty, long teeth and nails.

Finally, fed up with checking the yard before Blue can go out and then hissing at them to chase them so they “un-freeze” and run away, I called Animal Control. Apparently, opossums are plentiful in this little ‘burb. The gentleman’s suggestion was to put pie plates out around the perimeter of the yard filled with ammonia. Apparently they don’t like the smell. It’s a novel but rather impractical idea.

How realistic is that solution when you have a nosy little Corgi who patrols the fence rimming the yard? Frankly, I wouldn’t mind sharing the front yard and common area of fenced off side yard with them. But no, that’s not enough for them. The hooligans what total access. Sure, they were here first but what about compromise?

Now, just to make it a bit dicier, Mrs. Opossum had a litter of pups. My neighbor saw them first and said they were “so cute”, no nasty teeth. All I could think of was Mama protecting the cubs with her fangs.

Two nights ago I saw two little critters trotting across the back yard. Blue was most interested…oh dear. Last night I found the Mama hunched over a fallen avocado that I missed. Hissing and clapping had no effect, the critter was engrossed in the avocado and totally ignored me. Poor Blue had to “hold it” for the night.

The neighbors who live in the other house on this property have the same problem. (They mentioned it at Easter when I was invited over for dinner with about a dozen of their relatives. P. noted that he heard it hiss. I chimed in that was probably me he heard which of course everyone got a kick out of.)

Luckily, should Blue escape my watchful eye and possibly (heaven forbid) tangle with one, he’s at least matched in weight. Their little four pound Pomeranian would be no match and of course the little guy thinks he’s the size of a German Shepherd…something that’s no help at all…silly thing is fearless.

Oh, the other solution suggested by Animal “Control” (which I often think is an oxymoron) was to use a “have-a-heart-trap” to catch them. Oh sure. The darn things must weigh about 20+ pounds. And if you catch one, who’s going to put it in whose car, drive up into the hills and release it? Not me! Did ask Animal Control but of course, they don’t offer that service. They will however, happily fine me if I don’t license my dog but beyond that, not much.

The neighbor and I have talked about it, but can’t come up with a solution since the wild ones are quite acrobatic, able to climb six foot vertical wooden barriers, trees and walk on the top edge of fences that are all of five-eigths of an inch wide! They’re almost as aerial as squirrels in getting about. Not sure if they’re light-weight enough to traverse phone and electric wires though.

So for the moment, we’re stymied. Neither of us wants one of our pets to chase one or hit a pan of ammonia. Anyone have any thoughts on this or solutions?

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