This article will answer the question, ‘do possums eat oranges?’ we’ll also look at how you can prevent possums from destroying your orange tree and what other fruit and veg possums are likely to eat.
Possums may look cute, but they’re a menace if you’re trying to grow fruit and veg. Possums are tree-dwelling rodents that will have a nibble of an orange while it’s still on the tree. They like all kinds of fruits and will also eat apples, mangos, and cherries, amongst others. If you have an orange tree in your yard and you’ve been wondering who or what has been taking bites from the fruit, it’s most likely to be a possum.
There are many other rodents, including rats and mice, that can also eat oranges. However, possums are larger and able to cause a lot more damage. They are also a lot more likely to climb trees to reach the fruit. If you have lots of fruit that’s been nibbled while still on the tree and some of the leaves are also chewed, a possum is the culprit.
What do Possums Eat?
Possums mainly come out at night and are very active. To sustain their energy levels, they require plenty of food and aren’t fussy about what they eat. Basically, anything that’s edible to a human a possum will eat. This includes fruit from your trees and vegetables from your veg patch. Possums will eat garden fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, mangos, and vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers. They also eat the leaves and flowers or plants, shrubs, and trees.
Possums are also annoying if you keep chickens as they will eat the eggs. Their diets also consist of slugs, worms, and seeds. Possums can cause significant damage to fruit trees. While other rodents can eat oranges, if there’s lots of damage to your tree, it will definitely be a possum.
Where are Possums Commonly Found?
Possums are native to many countries globally, including America, Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia. They are a very adaptable species and can thrive in cities and the countryside. Much of the possum’s natural habitat has been destroyed, and they have had to learn to live alongside humans.
Possums often live in areas surrounding urban areas and human settlements. They are nocturnal, which means that they will hide and sleep during the day while becoming very active at night. Night is the time when possums feed, and they often scavenge for food. They have successfully minimized their contact with humans by looking for food when people are asleep.
In rural areas, possums live in hollows that they’ve created in trees. Urban dwelling possums have had to improvise and make their homes in roof spaces, attics, or basements. Sometimes they will even end up living in old stationary cars.
Your neighborhood likely has a resident possum population as they seem to be everywhere. If you grow orange trees, your oranges and other fruits or vegetables are at risk of being stolen by a possum whether you’re living in a rural or urban location.
How to Stop Possums Eating Your Oranges
Now that we know, yes possums do eat oranges, what are we going to do about it?
The good news is that there are ways to repel possums. These rodents are scared of dogs, so the best thing to do is collect dog hair if you own a dog and put it around your orange tree. You can collect hair after washing or brushing your dog and put them in an old sock, which can then be tied in your fruit trees. You can also attempt to get your dog to rub against the tree’s trunk as this will put possums off and stop them from climbing the trees.
If you don’t have a dog, you can ask a friend, neighbor, or even the local vet to save some dog hairs for you. The smell of dogs will encourage possums to go somewhere else to look for food.
You could also try making a scarecrow to frighten possums away. Ensure you move your scarecrow every few days, as this will stop sneaky possums from figuring out that it doesn’t pose a threat.
Related: Are Mangoes Citrus?
Conclusion: Possums do eat Oranges
Possums love to eat oranges, other fruits, and vegetables. They will also eat the leaves of orange trees. If your orange tree has recently suffered from extensive damage, it was most likely caused by a possum or even a whole family of possums.