Each year Council receives numerous calls for help to remove brushtail possums. The brushtail possum is protected in Queensland and a permit is required to trap or remove an animal.
Here is some advice on ways to solve the problem of brushtail possums sheltering in houses to help avoid harming the animals.
Know your adversary
Are you sure it’s a possum?
Rats are also common invaders in the roof and are noisy at night whereas possums normally leave the roof after dusk and return around dawn.
Check what droppings are around – possum droppings are much larger than rats.
Tips for removing possums
In the roof
A bright light in the roof will deter possums and also show up their entry point e.g. a broken tile or hole in the eaves.
Moth balls in a sealed container with holes in the lid can be very effective as possums do not like the smell.
Stop them getting in
Trim branches so that they are at least 2m away from the house.
Place a thin sheet metal collar at least 60cm off the ground around the trunks of trees near the house.
Place an 80cm diameter disc over telephone wires to the house – for electrical wires, make sure you use an electrician!
Help them get out
A thick rope or knotted sheet will help possums climb out of tricky spots such as drain pipes and chimneys.
Give them peace and quiet – they won’t try to get out while they hear threatening or frightening noises or while dogs are present.
How to keep possums off fruit trees
• Spray diluted dog urine around the plant (not on the leaves)
• Spread blood and bone fertiliser around the base of the plant (hint – keep the dog away!)
• Spray garlic spray on trees and vegetables
• Use POSSOFF spray (available at some hardware stores)
• Place sheet metal or hard plastic collars around fruit tree trunks
• Grow vegetables in an aviary or use wildlife-friendly, white netting over fruit trees
TRC does not provide possum traps or advocate possum trapping or relocation.
National Parks and Wildlife Service regulations state that possums must not be relocated any further than 50m from where they are trapped. Relocated possums usually die from stress or attack from other possums whose territory they have been released into.