If you have a hunch – or know for a fact – that a possum or two might have made their home in your roof, then we can help you deal with this problem.
Fair warning, though, that it is not the easiest of tasks.
Possums are territorial, and they like to live in roof cavities. If you remove one, another one will eventually replace it. And you can’t relocate or kill it either.
The best course of action would be to rehome them somewhere nearby.
DIY method to drive possums out:
1. Step one, confirm that it’s a possum, and not some other creature like a mouse or a rat, or maybe some larger animal. A simple method to do that is to throw flour near the hole and look for footprints. The footprints should be about the same size as a cat’s.
2. The next step is to find out where to relocate them: in the garden, or a tree, etc. You’ll need to get a nesting box. Many places sell nesting boxes perfect for possum, or you could make your own.
3. If it’s possible, reach inside, and find out where the possum has built its nest in the roof cavity. It’s advisable to relocate the nest yourself – to encourage the possum to go to its new shelter.
4. Persuade it to explore its new abode by placing food inside or around the box. Pieces of fresh fruit, like apples, pears, or grapes, will do.
5. If you decide to rehouse the possum in a tree, locate a suitable one in your garden, and secure the nesting box at least 4 metres above the ground. If you use a nesting home, make sure that it’s high enough to protect the possum. The case should be out of reach of domestic cats or dogs, or any other large creatures.
6. Figure out how the critter gets into the roof space by observing it around dusk. At that time of the day, possums usually leave their homes to scavenge.
7. Next, you repel the animal from your rooftop by using Quassia chips (you can get them from hardware stores), Naphtelene, or Camphor.
Important note: please do not use combinations of these products.
To further encourage the possum to leave the roof cavity, leave a torchlight on in the manhole for three days and nights. Possums like to sleep in the dark. So, the light combined with the smell is likely to drive the possum out quickly.
- Once the possum settles into their new home, its best to fill in the cavities on the roof, you can use chicken wire or wood and trim away any overhanging branches. It’s ideal to do this at night when you are entirely sure the possum is not there and out hunting.
- In case the possum returns, repeat the 6 & 7 steps.
You could alternatively use a trap. You can hire one from Kennard’s Hire or the local council. Some pest control companies also loan out traps. Even if you use this method, you will still need to figure out the animal’s entry point and secure it.
Important note: you cannot catch possums without a licence; that is illegal. The permit for trapping possums is issued without charge, so it’s not difficult to get your hands on one.
Securing the Roof:
It’s crucial to close up the hole, no matter which method you use to drive out the animal out. You see, once you rehouse a possum, another one will eventually replace it. Also, if there are trees close by that allow access to the roof, you should snip those away.
Releasing a possum:
If you use a trap or the first method, either way when you free the possum, please remember that you cannot relocate a bush-tail possum 150 metres away from its capture site – that is illegal. If, instead of making a new home for the animal, you release it into the wild, make sure you do it near the base of a big tree or a tall fence – something it can climb. Possums should be released just after dark when they usually go hunting.
Bushland areas don’t have many vacant territories. If you release the possum in another location, it would need to compete against other possums for shelter and food in an unfamiliar area.
Possum removal services:
It is possible you’re unable to take care of the possum problem for various reasons, such as an inability to carry out any of the steps mentioned above or having difficulty in encouraging the possum to leave; you can call pest control services in Brisbane. Professionals who are licenced in trapping and removal of possums will quickly do it for you.