Brushtail possums are one of the most common native animals in Queensland's cities and towns.
They are nocturnal marsupials which usually shelter in the hollows of trees during the day, however we have all probably heard a possum thumping across corrugated iron roofs or sheltering in the ceiling.
When this happens they may cause concern to the human residents.
Brushtail possums act as a house inspector and only gain access to roof cavities that are in disrepair or have unﬁnished work.
The most effective way of keeping a possum out of your ceiling is to ensure that they cannot gain access in the ﬁrst place.
By taking a few simple steps you can ensure that you don’t come into conﬂict with the brushtail possum and will be able to enjoy a link with a beautiful member of Australia’s native wildlife.
If a possum has already taken up residence in your roof, following are some simple steps that may encourage the unwelcome visitor to ‘ﬁnd a new home’.
- Locate the entry points where the possum is gaining access into your roof cavity.
- If you are unsure where the possum is gaining access, place some loose wads of newspaper into any suspected entry points.
- After dark the possum will push out the paper to leave for a night of foraging.
- Block all access points except for one - this should preferably be the main entry.
- Wait until the animal has left the roof cavity (This is usually between 8:00pm and 10:00pm) and securely place something over the access.
- A wooden patch or chicken wire nailed over the entry would sufﬁce.
- Possums don’t like the smell of moth balls so scatter some small hessian bags of moth balls into the ceiling space.
- Possums mark the entries to their dens with their scent glands. If you don’t destroy the scent they will try to re-enter the ceiling space. Liberally splash any entry points with a strong smelling substance such as disinfectant. The strong smell which possums find repugnant will deter the possum from trying to re-enter and also cover the scent.
- Try to provide alternative housing for the possum in a nearby tree. Wooden hanging nest boxes can be built or purchased.
- Catching possums yourself and relocating them is illegal. Possums are protected native animals.
- A permit is required for their removal. The permits are issued by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
- A possum cannot be relocated more than 25 metres from the capture site. They are territorial and if they are moved further than this it is likely that they will impinge on another possum’s territory and run the risk of being killed.
- If you are unsuccessful in encouraging a possum to ﬁnd a new home in your garden instead of your roof, you may need to contact a Pest Control company who is licensed to remove and relocate the possum.
For further information on brushtail possums and Damage Mitigation Permits please visit the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) website at www.ehp.qld.gov.au.