People are often quick to exterminate opossums because of the belief that they will destroy a lawn with digging or burrowing. While you may have some lawn damage, and may have opossums on your property, there’s no connection between the two.
Opossums are not digging, burrowing animals. In fact, they don’t spend a lot of time on the ground at all! Opossums are mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling) creatures and tend to stick to tree tops for safety. An opossum’s nails are made for climbing, and not nearly strong enough to withstand digging up lawns.
You might have seen an opossum appearing to dig in your yard (or someone else’s) at some point, but this isn’t what it looks like. Opossums will do a little bit of superficial foraging in grassy areas to look for things like bugs and snake eggs, but they do not root deep enough into the soil to actually create damage.
So who’s to blame for those holes in your yard? Depending on their size, shape, and location, they could have been dug by foxes, groundhogs, skunks, chipmunks, raccoons, or even a neighbor’s dog. Often, the best way to deter a digging animal is to use things like noise, motion-activated lights, bitter and spicy repellents, and scat mats. Trapping an opossum, the wrong animal, isn’t the answer and won’t help.