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How To Get Rid Of Possums

As adorable as they are, possums aren’t the ideal house pet. Here in Australia, there are two types of possums you might be likely to see around or maybe even inside your house. The brushtail possum is the more common of the two and is typically around the size of a cat with a big, bushy tail. Contrastingly, the ringtail possum has – you guessed it – a long, thin curled tail, sometimes with a white tip.

But did you know that there are 27 different types of possums in Australia? And that Australia has more endemic possum species than any other land mass on Earth?

Did you also know that possums can cause serious property damage when left to their own devices? This includes damages like holes in your roof that can then result in costly water damage. This is what makes possum removal a highly sought-after pest control service here in Australia.

If you want to know how to get rid of possums that may be getting too comfortable in and around your property, then today’s pest control guide will help point you in the right direction.

How To Get Rid of Possums

Though possums are not generally dangerous or aggressive, they can be a nuisance if your sleep is disrupted by their active behaviour at night, and they can also cause damage to the structural integrity of your building if choosing to build a nest inside the cavities of the roof and walls.

To a possum, your ceiling is a home to them as much as it is to you. So most small deterrences will have little effect in keeping them away once they’ve already decided to settle in. The best idea is to prevent them from moving in in the first place.

Read on to find out our expert tips on keeping possums out of your house, and what to do if they’re already there.

Easy methods to get rid of possums include:

  1. Remove nearby sources of food
  2. Cover openings to your home
  3. Fill cavities in your roof and walls
  4. Use repellent scents
  5. Try a nesting box
  6. Use spotlights or motion-activated possum sensors
  7. Set out traps
  8. Call in the experts

1. Remove nearby sources of food

Possums plan to set up camp where there’s easily accessible food. Remove the appeal from your house by ensuring your rubbish is securely contained, feeding pets inside and making sure all food is removed from your garden after BBQs and outdoor meals. This will also help keep out other pests such as rats and mice.

If you have fruit trees, it can be a good idea to pick the ripe fruit before possums have a chance to get their claws on them. Equally, consider covering your compost or allotment areas with chicken wire or heavy bricks so that they can’t knock off the lid.

2. Cover openings in your home

If a possum can’t get into your house, then it definitely can’t stay there. So it makes sense to block all openings to any parts of your house to prevent them from accessing it in the first place. Have a look at possible entry points, for example, gaps in your tiles, open chimneys, attic vents or cat flaps. Droppings and footprints might be indicators that possums are entering your house this way. Cover, fix, or block them, and trim any tree branches that lead near or onto your roof.

3. Fill cavities in your roof and walls

Once you’ve blocked off the entry points, make sure there’s no way for the possums to get back in. Don’t underestimate their determination either! Possums will claw their way through weaker materials to get back to their nests, and they can be pretty incessant when they want to be. So use heavy-duty substances such as metal sheeting rather than plaster or light wood.

hole in wall that needs to be filled to prevent possums

4. Use repellent scents

There are some smells that possums do not like, so by making possum-repellent spray for your house and garden, they’ll have even more reason to stay away. A concoction including mothballs, garlic, vinegar, onion, peppermint, ammonia or red peppers should do the trick, but you can also buy chemical sprays in hardware stores.

In addition, possums are prey animals, so if they catch a whiff of your dog or cat, they’ll know a predator is in the area and want to steer clear of it. Finally, a benefit to all that pet hair!

5. Try a nesting box

By providing your possum family with an alternative home, you won’t have to worry about damage to the interior of your house or irritating, eerie sounds coming from within your walls, whilst still being able to enjoy watching them at nighttime. Pop a nesting box somewhere a few metres above the ground, such as in a tree that doesn’t hang over your house, and away from direct sunlight.

You can buy timber boxes in hardware stores, or brush up on your DIY skills and find a guide online to help you make one from scratch.

6. Use spotlights or motion-activated possum sensors

Possums don’t like bright lights since they’re nocturnal creatures. Setting light fixtures to shine on the trees you see them hanging about in will deter them from coming back. You could also try keeping garden, garage or basement lights on around dusk or nighttime when they are likely to be emerging from their nests.

Motion-activated sensors could trigger lights, sprinklers or sounds that will startle the possum when it crosses it. This alone may be enough to send your possums packing, letting them know they could be in danger.

7. Set up traps

Did you know that it’s illegal to hurt or kill possums? Unlike some of Australia’s other most common pests, there are laws protecting these furry creatures, so you have to be very careful when choosing a trap to make sure it won’t cause the animal any injury – including when it inevitably tries to escape. That’s why preventing possums from getting into your home in the first place is ideal.

If using traps does become necessary, make sure the one you select is humane. Small wire mesh boxes are recommended and you can use red apples or pet food as bait. Cover the trap to prevent the possum from scratching or biting you, and release it within 24 hours.

8. Call in experts

Sometimes, seeking professional pest control services can be the best course of action, especially with all the rules surrounding possum trapping and release. If you’ve tried the above steps with limited success, or have been cohabiting with a family of possums for a long time, getting an experienced individual or team to remove them might be the only way to guarantee you’ll get them out – and staying out.

High-quality pest control services normally offer a warranty or guarantee, so you can sleep safely at night undisturbed by the pattering of tiny feet above your head, or the worry that they might come back!

hospital pest control

The Final Word

Possums are adorable, but not when they’re your housemates. If you’re fed up with sharing your living space with these small furry creatures or if you want a professional expert to take care of the whole malarkey for you, we can help. Contact our team by ringing 1300 361 646 or filling out our web enquiry form to discuss a quick and efficient plan to get rid of your possums in a humane and fuss-free way, once and for all.

Dealing with other home invasions from pests you can’t seem to shake? Have a look at our expert tips for removing other pesky intruders:

Avatar for Matthew Behman

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As the founder of Pestline Pest Control, Matthew has over a decade of experience conquering pests in homes, gardens and in commercial settings. Matthew is dedicated to providing affordable and comprehensive pest control services to all.

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