Tips To Handle Possums

Tips for Removing A Possum From Your Roof?


Possums are an iconic Australian fauna. They are a small nocturnal marsupials benefiting from their silky smooth fur and leather.


There are 23 known species in Australia, and of those there are two mostly likely to be running along your roof at night.

Bushtail  Possum

These are a nocturnal, semi-tree dwelling marsupial. They are indigenous to Australia and are the size of a domestic cat, they are the second biggest possum in Australia.

The Brushtail Possum has a pointed face and a pink nose with long oval ears and a bushy black tail. In Tasmania there are three colour variations: silver grey, black and gold. Possums that inhabit denser wetter forests tend to be darker in colour.

Ringtail Possum

They are an Australian marsupial. They live in various habitats and eat a variety of plants, flowers and fruits. They are the size of a small cat and mainly grey with white fur on the tip of its tail, behind its eyes and on its belly. They have orange brown tinges on its tail and limbs.

They can be grey to dark grey in colour and havr red or orange tinged legs and belly. The underside of its coiled tail is naked, but furry on top.

A female possum is called a ‘Jill” a male is called a ‘Jack” and the young are called ‘Joeys” A group of these possums are called a passel.


How to Get Rid of Possums

  • Remove Any Food Sources
  • Cut Back Trees Near Your Home
  • Use Possum Deterrents e.g. Sprays, Spikes and Spotlights
  • Build a Possum Box
  • Trap the Possums and Seal Up Entry Points


Use these instructions for removing the possum yourself.

  1. First, make sure it is a possum and not a rat or mouse – sprinkling flour near the manhole and checking the footprints will determine this – possums are the size of a cat.
  2. Next, set up an alternative home for the possum. You will need a nesting box – buy one from wildlife rescuers or build your own.
  3. Where possible, get inside your roof and locate the possum’s nest. The nest, which has the scent of the possum, should be placed in the new possum house to encourage the possum to its new home.
  4. Encourage the possum to investigate his new home by putting pieces of fresh fruit in or near the nesting box.
  5. Locate a suitable tree in your garden to site the box, securing it at least 4 m up.
  6. Find out how the possum is getting into the roof space by observing it at dusk when it will leave to forage.
  7. Repel possums by sprinkling the roof cavity with quassia chips (from hardware stores), or naphthalene or camphor (Note: do not use a combination of products) and putting a light into the roof cavity and leaving it on for three days and nights. The combination of the light and the smell should drive the possum out of your roof and hopefully into the possum house you have provided.
  8. After you are certain the possum has moved into its new home, block its access into the roof by filling the hole with chicken wire or wood and trimming any overhanging branches. Night time is the best time to block off the access points as the possum will have left to forage for food.
  9. If the possum returns, there is another access point you need to find.


How to Get the Possum out of Your Roof

  1. Find out where he’s coming in: They normally enter from trees or bushes that are close to the house. Keep a close eye on the accused spot until you can verify the possum’s presence.
  2. Wait until night: Bushtails are nocturnal, so wait until nightfall. Once they leave for the night, place some repellent inside the cavern.
  3. Shine a Light: Possums like to sleep in the dark. If he isn’t leaving, shine a light in there. That’ll get him out. Keep the light in the cavern inside your roof to keep anyone from coming back.


Simple Scare Tactics

These harmless scare tactics will startle any possums that come into your yard so that they’ll be unlikely to return:

  • Tie helium balloons around your yard to sway in the wind and startle the possums away.
  • Place pinwheels, found in party supply stores, in the soil around your plants. The pinwheels will spin in the wind.
  • Set up an oscillating fan in your garden with an extension cord. Tie a few ribbons to the fan so that they stream out when the fan is running. The sight and sound of the fan should scare the possums away.
  • Play a portable radio in your yard. The noise will scare away the possums, but check with your neighbors to ensure that they aren’t disturbed