Keep Opossums Out Of Your Garden With An Unexpected Kitchen Ingredient

Opossums, although they sometimes look a bit scary, are generally beneficial for gardeners. These marsupials like to snack on rotten produce more often than not and will eat rodents, such as mice or rats, that might be pestering you. They also consume a variety of insects that are harmful to your plants, such as slugs, snails, and aphids. If you struggle with ticks in your yard, opossums will be a great help in eliminating them. But sometimes, they'll also eat the food growing in your garden. Opossums like to munch on carrots, peas, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and fruits that are close to the ground.

Though they generally eat decaying vegetables and fruits, if these animals are going after your garden, garlic is a great way to deter them. Opossums are disgusted by the smell of this flavorful kitchen staple, and growing garlic will discourage them from going near your precious veggies and fruits.

How to deter opossums with garlic

If planting garlic doesn't seem to fix the problem, dropping a little garlic oil around your garden, which is more concentrated and has a stronger scent, should help. You can also try combining minced garlic and water in a spray bottle and applying it near the plants that need protection. Placing small dishes of minced garlic, either fresh or from a jar, around your yard is another way to prevent these omnivores from eating your fruits and vegetables. Since garlic isn't toxic to these animals, it will not harm them.

Opossums will sometimes make themselves at home under your deck, inside your crawl space, or in other dark, dry, and hidden areas. If you know where the opossums are living, you can try placing garlic oil or your spray mixture in these areas to get them to leave. Opossums don't usually stay in one place for prolonged periods of time, but the scent of garlic will motivate them to move on sooner.

Why garlic keeps opossums away

The simple answer as to why opossums are driven off by garlic is that they hate the scent. These nocturnal animals have poor hearing and eyesight, forcing them to rely on their sense of smell to locate food sources. While the scents of your trash, compost, and garden might draw them to your yard, the garlic smell will overwhelm them, and they'll search for a meal elsewhere.

Garlic will also help keep rabbits, moles, and mice from munching on your produce, but you may have to continually reapply it to your garden so the smell doesn't fade. If it's recently rained, the strong scent will likely diminish, and you'll need to treat your yard again. This kitchen staple is also effective for deterring certain pesky insects, such as mosquitos, caterpillars, aphids, mites, beetles, flies, cutworms, and mites. If you're struggling to keep opossums and other pests away from your plants, garlic is an easy and affordable option.