In recent months, we have had a number of tenants report disturbances in their home as a result of possums inhabiting their rooves. Living in Queensland, interaction with possums is largely unavoidable and is part of our day-to-day lives. The Common Brushtail, Common Ringtail and Mountain Brushtail possums are native to Australia and are a protected species.
It is important to appreciate the nature of our co-habitation with possums, whose natural habitat has been increasingly encroached upon with the rise in urbanization. As suburbia exponentially grows, these marsupials have no choice but to adapt to find new places to live and sources of food such as tree bark, leaves, shrubs, fruits and vegetables, flowers, fungi, and lichen.
We do understand, however, that living with possums in your ceiling or roof cavity, or your vegetable patch becoming a possums delectable dinner can be frustrating. Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 which holds that 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 but not relocated more than 25 meters from where they are captured.
Below we have compiled a list of home remedies you can use to deter possums from residing in your roof cavity.
1. Clean the location
Removing unnecessarily litter including dead and dropped leaves and ensuring rubbish bins are kept away from the house can deter possums being attracted to your house.
2. Use mothballs
The smell of mothballs are unbearable to possums and are a cost-effective method of deterrence.
3. Cover the vents
Possums can enter your house through loose ventilators, gaps in roofing and chimneys. Blocking entry holes with rocks can be an effective method in blocking a possum’s entry.
4. Cut down long branches from trees
Make your home unfavorable for them by cutting all the branches and bushes that impede upon your house.
5. Use ammonia as a deterrent
Place ammonia strategically throughout your garden and outdoor areas as it smells horrible to possums.
6. Install a sprinkler in your yard
Install sprinklers in the places where you suspect that insects and possums will make their shelter.
7. Sprinkle spice around your house
Sprinkle some chili powder around your property as they cannot resist the strong odors. You can also make a paste of it and spread it. Quassia spray is also used for this purpose, mix 100 g chips to 2-liter water and heat it for one hour, also add one tablespoon of detergent and spray it. You can get Quassia chips from nurseries.
8. Use cat or dog hair
The hair of cats and dogs helps a lot in removing possums. Collect your pets hair after brushing them, put them in small bags and hang them around the suspected areas. The smell of their hairs is the best trick to fool possums into thinking that there could be a killer animal near the house.