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Do Possums Eat Pumpkins?

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Possums are interesting animals that are often found in yards and on farms. They can be both beneficial for the ecosystem and destructive to your plants if you have a garden. Possums can eat tons of plants and fruit and can wipe out your otherwise successful garden.

Do possums eat pumpkins?

Possums do eat pumpkins. These animals love pumpkins just like you.

Ripe pumpkins are delicious for possums and they will always come back to your garden for more if you give them the chance. Possums can also eat other plants and fruits in your garden, so you want to take measures to keep them out of your garden.

Cute Opossum Animal Sitting on Tree and Peeping Out from Pumpkin Vector Set

Are Possums Eating My Pumpkins?

How to Recognize the Presence of Possums in Your Garden

Aside from possums, other animals may be eating your pumpkins. You can only use the best technique to get rid of possums from your garden when you know for sure that there are possums in your garden.

The best way to tell that the pest destroying your pumpkins are possums is when you see the possums. If there are possums in your area and your pumpkins are missing (or partially eaten), you can draw that conclusion.

Here are ways to tell if possums are in your garden or not:

  • Check for Openings in the Fence: Possums can dig through wooden fences. If you see a hole of 3-5 inches (or more) in your garden fence, it could be an indicator of the presence of possums.
  • Scratch Marks in Tree Bark: Carefully observe the bark of trees around your garden. You should see some recent or recurring scratch marks on the bark of trees if possums are around.
  • Absence of Holes in the Ground: There are so many ways to tell if possums are present in an area, but the presence of holes in the ground is not one of them. Possums do not dig holes in the ground nor actively transport through underground tunnels, so if there are holes present in your garden, the culprits may be other animals and not possums.

If you have confirmed that possums are responsible for the destruction of your pumpkin plants and fruits, you can use the right measures to get rid of them.

Opossum or Possum Mother with Joeys riding on her Back

How to Get Rid of Possums in Your Pumpkin Garden

There are many ways to get rid of possums. Here are some recommended tips for you:

1. Do Not Feed the Possums

You should cover and secure your trash or waste bin and do not give possums access to any food that might attract them to the garden. When feeding your pets, feed them indoors or away from the reach of possums.

Compost bins usually attract possums and other pests into your garden, so you should use concealed compost bins (with tiny holes that possums cannot pass through) instead of open compost bins.

The bottom line is that there should be no regular supply of food in your garden for possums or they will continue to return.

2. Scare Them Away

This method is a fun and safe way to scare possums away. One common way to scare them away is by using motion-activated sprinklers. These sprinklers will spray your possums with water when they detect their movement.

You can also use motion-activated lights, but the possums will probably get used to them in a few days. Setup the motion-activated sprinklers or lights close to the fence (and other access points) of the garden.

3. Garlic or Ammonia

Possums hate the smell of garlic and ammonia. You can buy garlic powder from any local store and ammonia from a garden shop. Spread the powder (or spray the liquid if the ammonia is in liquid form) on the edges of your garden to repel the possums.

While decomposing, the garlic powder will provide your plants with nutrients. Ammonia, however, can burn plants when too much of it is used. When ammonia breaks down, it is converted into nitrate, which is the most important nutrient for plants.

Just make sure that you do not use too much ammonia so that the leaves of your plants do not burn.

4. Set Live Traps

You can use live traps to catch the possums. Before getting the traps, make sure that you check the local guidelines to know if you can use traps in your garden.

While many guidelines accept the use of live traps, quick-kill traps are usually prohibited. When your trap catches a possum alive, you should take the possum far away from your garden (5 miles or more).

5. Use Chemical Repellents

Some products available in garden shops can get rid of mammalian pests such as possums by repelling them. Most of these products use scents that possums commonly hate.

Since many chemical repellents are inorganic, you should consider other options before you use them.

6. Prevent the Possums from Getting In

Do not give wild possums access to your garden. Cover the lower parts of your garden fence with a wire mesh.

If there are trees near your garden, you should prune any branch that grows towards (and into) the garden. Also, you can protect your pumpkins with a wire mesh.

7. Use Dog or Cat Fur

Guess what? Possums are afraid of dogs and cats and will run away when they detect the presence of dogs and cats. If you have dog or cat fur, spread it on your pumpkin plants and the lower parts of your garden fence. The fur should keep the possums away for some time.

Rabbit bunny cute on the grass outdoors.

Other Animals That May Be Eating Your Pumpkins

What if possums are not the only pests that are after your pumpkins? Here are other wild animals that you should watch out for:

1. Rabbits

In the history of rabbits, only pet rabbits are friendly to humans. If they are not your pets, rabbits are pests that can change the look of your garden from everything to nothing.

Rabbits are destructive to almost every garden plant, especially pumpkins, and will eat the fruits, leaves, stems, and other parts of the pumpkin plant. Watch out for wild rabbits.

2. Squirrels

These little guys are less destructive than rabbits, but they do cause their own havoc. For example, squirrels can collect more seeds and nuts than they can eat. They will usually bury any uneaten pumpkin seeds so that they can eat them later.

Well, the bright side is that they sometimes (actually most of the time) forget the location of the buried seeds and the seeds germinate into plants and trees.

This means that with squirrels around, every pumpkin plant in your garden may not be planted by you.

3. Deer

Deer love pumpkin fruits and seeds. They can kill pumpkin plants by eating them or stepping on them. It is usually easy to prevent deer from reaching your pumpkin plants. Just use sturdy garden fences and do not give them any access to your garden.

There are even more animals that can eat your pumpkins, but the aforementioned are the most common.

Final Thoughts

Possums can eat pumpkins and you definitely want to take measures to keep them out of your garden. They can be disastrous to the plants.

Possums can eat pumpkin fruits and leaves as well as other parts of the pumpkin plant.

Some ways of getting rid of possums include using garlic powder, ammonia, scaring them away with motion-activated sprinklers, etc.


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