Possums may look cute and cuddly, but we all know they are a bit of a nuisance. Possum proofing your roof can be done relatively quickly and easily, and with little danger to the possum if you are doing it correctly. But they are witty little animals, so don’t be surprised if they outsmart you if you don’t know the basics.
However, if you simply just want it gone, you will need to capture and release the possum somewhere else. On top of the difficulty of capturing it, there’s a couple of laws that dictate exactly how you can capture a possum, and what you can do with it afterwards. We’ll be covering how you can remove them, but also what you should do with them once you have caught them.
1. Is it actually a possum?
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that it is definitely a possum that’s causing all the ruckus. A lot of the time people assume that all that noise is a possum, but it may just be rats or even a rowdy cat.
Possums are nocturnal, so generally they will be making most of their noise at dusk and dawn; they are usually more quiet at night, but can cause quite a stir in the early hours of the morning after a big night running around. You will want to keep an eye out during these times.
They also leave poop around, which is usually cylindrical, but will vary in colour and shape due to their diet, it’s also much larger than most of the critters they’re often mistaken for.
2. Where are they getting in?
Once you’re positive that it’s a possum, you need to figure out exactly how it’s getting into you roof and where its nest is. Here’s a few ways to go about this:
• Keep an eye out for it just after night fall.
• Follow any tracks or droppings back to the source.
• Check around the eaves, these are common entry points.
• Check for any overhanging tree branches that might allow for the possum to access your roof.
After you find the gap in your roof, or whatever methods the possums might be using, you need to seal it. Don’t use week material or chicken wire, as they can rip it out without a second though. Instead, board it over with a hard substance, and keep some kind of light on in your roof for a few days. The boarded-up entry combined with the new, harsh light might scare off the possum for good, and if you’re lucky, this will stop the problem immediately. However, there’s still a good chance that it will return in some other way.
3. Getting rid of the pesky possum
If getting rid of their access was unsuccessful, or there’s simply too many ways to access your roof due to its design, you can try a few deterrents. Possum deterrent pellets and sprays do work, but they’re not perfect.
Bright lights, particularly the motion-sensor ones (make sure the sensors catch small creatures scurrying about) around the entry passage will also be a good deterrent for any possum planning on staying over for the night. Also, motion-sensor sprinklers will give it a fright that it won’t forget, without being too cruel.
Alongside deterrents, you can take a few steps to make your house less homely for the possums. Start by removing outside bins, any tall grass, or other covers from the area. It will make your home feel a lot less appealing for the possum to crash the night.
Relocating the possum
It’s illegal to relocate a possum more than 50m away from its capture point without having some kind of accreditation, which makes it tricky and not really worthwhile if you don’t hold that accreditation. Instead, you should pursue small changes to keep the possum away from your exact vicinity, we have outlined a few below.
Capturing the possum
There are a couple good ways to go about this. One, with a humane possum trap (you can find these at most hardware stores), and with a DIY possum home.
When buying a trap, make sure that they’re not in any way compromised with wire, as possums tend to throw themselves at the bars to try and escape, leading them to hurt themselves.
Place your trap at the entry points you’ve already discovered with some bait, and check on it daily. Once you’ve captured the possum, board up the entryway so that another doesn’t take its place, and then relocate it to a possum home.
Possum homes are very easy to make, and its very easy to make a possum happy with their new home. All you need is some kind of weatherproof box made out of wood, which can be hung just about anywhere.
If you can find the possum’s nest in your roof, then add it to the new home alongside some new fruits; this will help the possum associate it with home.
It must be noted that possums are protected fauna around much of Australia, and catching possums without a license is illegal in some states. If you require tree branch removal to remove access from your roof, make sure to contact a licensed tree arborist so that all branch removal is completed safely.
Lastely, if you need/want to have the possum removed by a professional, you’re in the right place. Get in contact with us now for a free quote! Oz pest control has been in the industry for over a decade, keeping our homes safe and out of reach of rodents and all sorts of pests. Give us a call today and we’ll be able to look after you.