It sometimes happens that you are woken at 4:30 in the morning by strange sounds, and you discover that they are being made by a possum1 on your dresser. In these situations, there are some steps that you should consider if you intend to remove the aforementioned possum from your house.
Possums do not confine themselves to dressers. They can turn up in your bathtub, your living room, your kitchen cabinets, skittering across your feet while you are sleeping, under your bed, in your trash, dressed in your clothes, or line dancing. If you see one in any of these places, the following steps will also help you.
Possums are nocturnal, so they will probably show up at times when you really don't want to see them, like the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep. In addition, they have been known to carry rabies and fleas.
Catching your Possum
If you are a squeamish type, and you have a room-mate of some kind, wake them up. Tell your room-mate there is a large rodent on your dresser and ask them to make it go away. Ask frantically. Then go into another room and sit on something high, like a recliner, with your feet off the floor while they follow the remainder of these instructions.
Wander around for 20 minutes with gardening gloves on your hands trying to find something to poke the possum with and to catch the possum in. Some possibilities are a pasta fork and a tall trash can. Another poking implement that has proven to be effective is a toilet brush. Bear in mind that possums can bite.
Come up to the possum, and don't be too scared. The possum is probably terrified. Poke its behind with the pasta fork/toilet brush while holding the trash can in front of you. It should run or fall into the strategically-placed trash can. If it doesn't, poke it harder. You could even jab it. If it has rabies it might not want to be poked and prodded into a trashcan. So please be very careful!
It is rumoured that if you shine a light into a possum's eyes, it freezes, thus improving its pokeability. At least, that is what they do in night-time traffic. It's probably worth a try.
Drive the possum out to a faraway place. Far, far away. Then let it free to roam and run. Don't let it out just outside your house. It will come back in.
You have successfully expelled a possum from your house. This is good. Unfortunately there will probably be many more. Possum litters can be as big as 12. That's a lot.