Living with Possums – Making a possum box
Removing a possum from your roof
Steps to successfully and safely remove a possum from your roof;
Provide an alternative home for the possum by constructing a sturdy weatherproof possum –house
Where possible, get inside your roof and locate the nest. The nest, which has the scent of the possum, should be placed in the new possum house.
Securely fix the possum house to a tree in or near your yard. Place it at least 4 metres from the ground so the possum will be out of reach of domestic cats and dogs.
To encourage the possum to investigate its new home, put half an apple or banana in or near the possum house.
Trim any branches that over hang the roof to remove access to your roof
Place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on for three days and three nights. The combination of light and smell should drive the possum out of your roof and hopefully into the possum house you have provided.
Block off the access points to the roof with timber, chicken wire or both to prevent a possum returning.
If this does not deter the possum, you may need to have the possum trapped.
Possums are protected fauna in NSW and catching possums without a license is illegal in NSW. Contact and we will refer you to a licensed possum removalist. Please see a plan provided by Department of Environment and Conservation for making your own possum box
Marine ply at least 12mm in width is recommended for making possum boxes. Chipboard is not suitable as it disintegrates rapidly outdoors.
Drill four 5 – 7mm holes through the floor of the box near each corner to allow any water that might get in to drain out. Hinge the roof/lid to allow easy access.
Opossum Repellent Natural Home Remedy
When there are opossums on your property, you will want to take the necessary steps to get them off and keep them away. Repellents should theoretically accomplish both of these goals at the same time, discouraging new possums from entering your yard and encouraging the current ones to leave. Unfortunately for those who think repellents are a miracle cure, they are not always effective and are frequently a waste of time. That being said, they can sometimes work with a bit of knowledge.
Consider Safety And Environmental Impact
Before you get too far into considering a particular repellent to keep opossums off your property, you should consider whether it contains any chemicals. The vast majority of repellents sold commercially will contain some sort of chemical and there is no telling what it will. Aerosol repellents in particular tend to be rich in these harmful substances. When chemicals are part of the repellents, there are a few important risks to consider. What happens if your child or pet gets close to the repellent and accidentally ingests some? This would be easily possible if they touch the area sprayed with the repellent then put it in their mouth. You also need to think about the environmental impact as aerosols can harm the planet and any repellent containing chemicals can lead to these ingredients running off into the ground and water supply.
Things To Consider About Scents
You will notice that a large number of the repellents that claim to work for opossums are scents, whether in a spray, liquid, granules, or other format. Scents have a unique set of disadvantages that you need to consider. First of all, the smell will fade over time naturally so you need to reapply it every few weeks for as long as you want the possums to stay away. You will also need to reapply the scent after every single rainfall as it would be washed away. Don’t forget that opossums can also get used to smells over time, meaning that a repellent which was once effective may not remain that way.
Scents To Try
A quick online search will show you a long list of home remedies that theoretically work as possum repellents. One of the most commonly suggested is predator urine, which you can either buy in the store or even get from your pet dog. You may also see recipes that include ingredients like peppers. Looking at the options for sale will show you another long list of ingredients and scents that promise to produce results. The common theme, however, is that none of them actually do. In most cases, people who see success with these repellents were just lucky.
Another type of repellent that is commonly suggested but won’t likely produce results is an ultrasonic sound machine. These machines are designed to operate at a frequency that humans can’t hear but animals do. The idea is that the possums and other wildlife will find the sound annoying and leave your property. In reality, the animals typically ignore the sounds. In some cases, humans may even hear them, meaning you become an annoying neighbor. Considering these machines are costly and would theoretically need to be on 24/7, plugged in the whole time, they are a big waste of money.
Caring for possums
These guidelines are for the Top End subspecies of brushtail possum, as this is the species most likely to come into care. Rock ringtail possums should only be cared for by experienced carers. This information should be used as a guide only. You will need specific information to properly care for injured or orphaned wildlife.
There are two species of possum in the NT, the rock ringtail possum (Petropseudes dahli) and the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Both species are nocturnal marsupial mammals.
Rock ringtail possum
The rock ringtail is found across the Top End. It lives in tight-knit family groups, where parents and the young from previous breeding care for the new young. These possums are found in rocky terrain with trees and foliage nearby. These animals rarely come into care. When they do, they should only be looked after by experienced carers.
Common brushtail possum
There are two subspecies of the common brushtail possum in the NT. The subspecies Trichosurus vulpecula vulpecula lives in isolated populations in the southern part of the Territory and is endangered in the NT. If you encounter this species, report it to Parks and Wildlife immediately.
Possums should be kept in a quiet, secure location away from family pets and excessive noise. This includes general household noise, traffic, domestic animals and construction.
For many Victorians, sharing your property with possums is a fact of life. The trees and gardens around our houses provide a modified woodland similar to their natural habitat. A possum in your roof or eating your flowers can be very frustrating, but people and possums can live together successfully.
Do not feed possums. Human food can be dangerous to possums and cause serious dietary imbalance. Possums eat the leaves, flowers and fruits of a wide variety of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The Common Brushtail Possum may also eat grass, fungi, bird’s eggs and baby birds.
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is about the size of a cat. It has large pointed ears, grey fur and a bushy black tail. Brushtail possums have a single young born in autumn or spring. The baby spends around six months in the pouch, one to two months riding on its mother’s back until it is weaned and leaves the maternal den at 7–16 months old.
The Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is much smaller than a brushtail, about half the size of a cat. Ringtail possums have round ears, a grey back with rusty sides and a curled tail with a white tip. They have one to three young, mostly twins, born during autumn or winter. Ringtail possums usually build a nest of twigs and leaves, called a drey, several metres above the ground. They rarely enter house roofs.
Possums living within buildings
Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Possums must not be harmed in any way or kept without approval from DELWP. It is illegal to harass or interfere with possums. However, common brushtail possums living within buildings, municipal parks and municipal gardens may be controlled.
Homeowner’s Guide to Possum Removal
Why Remove Possums?
Possums are gorgeous animals but if they’ve gotten into your roof, you’ll know how annoying they can be – thundering around making lots of noise and disturbing your sleep for one! This isn’t just the only problem though. Possums can cause significant amounts of damage to your home’s wiring and to the roof itself and these problems can end up costing big dollars to fix.
Removing Possums from Your Home
Possums are surprisingly crafty at getting into the roof of your home, so you or a professional will need to take a look around the roof and seal all of the obvious entry points. The sealing will need to be done with suitably strong materials so that the possums don’t just get back in again in the future. If you currently have possums, the professionals will install one way exits on the common possum access point – the possums will be able to get out of your roof but not back in! Once all possums have left, the entry points are sealed. In rare cases, where the possum just won’t leave itself, the professional may need to catch the possum inside your roof using a special possum cage. The possum is then released onto your property (possums generally don’t survive relocation and it is illegal to move them from their home).
As well as doing all this, the possum removal professional will also check the ridge capping, the gables and the eaves, and seal these as necessary (such as through re-pointing). They’ll also make sure there are no loose spots on your roof or any broken tiles that can give access. Also, you may be surprised to learn that if you have possums in your roof, you may also have rats, so rat baiting is commonly done when the possums are removed. Never bait for rats while possums are still present.
Provide an Alternative Shelter for the Possums
If you like possums but don’t like them in your roof, an easy way to stop them from going back into your roof again is by providing them with an alternative shelter. A possum box is ideal for this and you can install it in a tree, or even on a pole. While you can’t keep the possum as a pet, hopefully the possum will be attracted to your possum box and use it as a home
Who Removes Possums?
If you have possums in your home, you’ll need to call a possum removal company. These are the best people to use as they will humanely move the possums from your roof and block up all the entry points so that they can’t get back in