Tips To Control the Possum Population around Your Home

Tips To Control the Possum Population around Your Home

Posted by Muzi On 14 Nov, 2017

Feeling like Melbourne's entire possum population is on a mission to make your life hell?
Think again, there's more to the story!

For every gardener or personal garden-loving home-owner in Melbourne, possums are those animals that represent nightmares. Even if you aren't someone especially inclining towards grooming a garden you're bound to be wary of having a possum infestation. They are creatures of the night that can be difficult to outsmart and can easily cause damage to your property.

And by property, I mean within your home, outside of it and of course your rations as well. Their control and removal is not easy thanks to their nocturnal habits and rapid movements, oh and not forgetting that they can quickly scurry off to a place you probably can't even physically get into.

Brushtail PossumThis is exactly why the pest control industry offers treatment to prevent their infestation from going rogue and causing you great damage and loss. The biggest hook to any possum community, no matter where you are located in Melbourne, is food.

From your garden vegetation, flowers, trees, to your home rations like cereal grains, pet food...oh they can be a real menace in devouring these things. They don't even leave your garbage can alone. That's right! These scavengers will be at work all night in search of food, and the next thing you know is that you are waking up to a yard strewn with garbage.

No more needs to be said to establish that possums are unruly pests that need to be controlled and removed from your premises. While insects are a nuisance and their infestation can destroy your property possums can cause a ridiculous amount of damage to your home interiors too. Their urine and feces stain walls, ruining your paint or wallpaper, not to mention the foul odor they give off.

Where are they coming from? And why are they in my home?

Oh well, to give you a history as to why possums have become a growing pest and resulted in infestations of full areas, let's talk about their habitat. Possums are actually meant to live out there in the wild. Previously there were a considerable number of Eucalyptus trees, however, several of them have been replaced by deciduous tress. This replacement has resulted in depletion in the population of the only known predator of possums - owls.

With hardly any predators around, these pests have become rampant thanks to their fearlessness and rapid breeding. Secondly, deciduous trees seem to provide food for them and in months when they can't do so the possums just flock on to residential and commercial property. Oh and if you've got deciduous trees on your personal property, well that’s double the trouble for you!

Can I just trap or kill Possums as a measure of control or removal?

Australian Brushtail PossumAbsolutely not! Unless getting jailed is one of the things to do on your bucket-list. They are a protected species in Melbourne. That means no matter how much of a nuisance they are or how badly you hates these pests, you've got to be wiser in this situation.

See that's probably the only silver lining of having an insect infestation, you can just summon pest control and have the whole lot wiped off, but with possums, there are a whole lot of factors you've got to consider.

Moving on, another big challenge with them is that most people are clueless about is, that they are territorial animals. Now why is this important?

This is an interesting and smart fact to keep in mind when devising a plan for their removal and control and here are 2 reasons why:

  1. The possum family that you actually see as a pest may actually be keeping other possums at bay on account of their territorial behavior.
  2. Merely trapping/killing won't help as you'll just be vacating the area for another one to take over.

Now think again, do you really want to tackle this possum infestation the way you previously would have?

So what can you do about it? Here are some expert tips to have in place.

Let's begin with surveying the problem once again. I know you're pretty sure that you want to do something about these pests control and removal but have you identified the pest's infestation correctly. Yes, it is quite easy to be deceived.

Check again, maybe it is not possum control you need but rat removal!

Many a time have professionals have encountered a situation where the havoc was actually being caused by rats and not by possums the way the home-owner thought so.

So here's how to verify this fact:

  • Take notice of what vegetation is being consumed. Possums do not like citrus plants and leaves as part of their food diet. Therefore, if you see fruits or vegetables that are sour, being attacked you might as well call for pest control for rats.
  • Another big pointer towards your pests being rats is that they only feed on the fruit and the vegetables, leaving behind the leaves and roots (which of course is absolutely cruel to anybody waiting to eat the fruit of their hard-work)
  • In fact if you observe these signs you should actually be happy as rat control using professional pest treatments is far easier than possum removal.

Now what if even after this inspection you realise that as you rightly suspected the problem is possums, here are a few things you can do:

Possum at Night

  • Use of enclosures or netting: netting can definitely be used to protect your vegetations from possum attack. This will definitely control the damage they would have otherwise done. However, if you're opting for temporary netting do ensure you take it down before the leaves fall off or you could land up damaging the tree later on. As for permanent netting, although a much better option, you need to constantly keep check that these critters do not find any small holes to enter in by.
  • Alarms: being specifically designed to track possum activity, these alarms are sensitive to any motion and the minute they sense movement they are designed to either a flash-light on the intruder or trigger a high-frequency sound. This can either scare the creature away or cause major discomfort causing it to evacuate the area. However, for those of you with furry family members, a.k.a pets do ensure that these alarms do not cause trauma to your pets. Within the alarm range you have the option of selecting those powered by electricity or solar-powered ones for those who would like to save on their electricity bill amounts.
  • Electric fencing: out of all the options these really have the most amount of success, making them extremely suitable to solve your problem. But mind you, they aren't budget-friendly. Available in solar-powered mechanisms as well, electric fences will rid you of your problem but of course you need to be ok paying for it.
  • Garlic & chilli sprays: now this is a rather questionable solution as many a time possums have devoured entire chilli plants, although you can definitely try it and see if it works. They are available commercially and can also be made at home. Since they obtain their powers from nature's elements, they are believed to ward off the pesky creatures. The only drawback is that this isn't a one-time solution and you have to keep reapplying it especially after rains, etc.
  • Blood and bone: this particular treatment is made from ground up dead farm animals. The smell itself will paint a disturbing picture in the mind of the visiting possum, alarming them to scamper off before it is too late. Being a short-term solution, you need to keep scattering it around your yard or can even tie it up in an old sock/cloth and hang it on the branches of your tree, squeezing it whenever you need to revive the smell.
  • Feeding the critter: yes you read right! Think about it, these night critters are in search of food which is why they're feeding on your beloved vegetation or attacking your ration. By that logic if they get food from elsewhere they're naturally going to leave your food alone. Do consider, collecting your food scraps and placing them somewhere at a good distance from your premises to distract them from coming onto your property.
  • Use of CD's and other shiny things to cause distraction: naturally as these shiny things reflect light they startle possums causing them to think they've been flashed upon and need to hurry off to safety. This might work for awhile until they figure it to pose as no real threat. Additionally, this method also ruins the beauty of your yard.
  • Stuffed toys with big beaded eyes: again these create the illusion of alarm and make them think that there is a predator nearby. However, you need to keep causing these hung stuff toys to move in the wind so that they don't think it is safe to start scavenging.
  • Garden light: now here's a way to rid yourself of this menace in a pretty way. Do set up garden lights but not the ones with predictable movement. These bring about a sense of alarm as well and hey your garden becomes a pretty sight. Remember at all times, these techniques work best when they are unexpected, once the critters realize it is only to scare them off they will just roam around fearlessly.
  • Dogs: yes dogs are deterrents to possums. However, you do need to ensure your pet's safety too. Apart from that, the breed plays an important role. The wrong dog might just annoy you with its barking whereas the right dog will actually help you scare them off. Do remember not make too many enclosures or you may land up with a situation where the dog is unable to reach the area where the critter is attacking your food.
  • Cut off access: understand the landscape of your outdoor area and look for ways the possum might be moving around. Majority of the times, they avoid scampering across the ground and make use of tree branches or long vegetation, etc. pruning off these large ends could actually prevent them from entering the places you don't want them to, thereby, restricting their access.

If somewhere into the above list you questioned how it could be that there are so many solutions for control and removal and yet these critters seem undefeatable, it is because they aren't fool-proof.

In fact what works for one home-owner's control and removal attempts and one property may not at all work for another one’s attempts at control and removal. These tricks are to alter their habit off of feeding on your vegetation. Although if you avoid cultivating the vegetation you wouldn't have this trouble in the first place.

Also here's a word of advice on what not to spend money on to get rid of these critters as these methods will be nothing but a frustrating experience and equivalent to money down the drain.

  • Do not purchase cat and owl silhouettes; over time the critters learn that since these silhouettes never move they're fake, making the them fearless.
  • Avoid use of Possum traps. For one, they need to be let back into the wild but run a threat of being devoured by the possum living in that area. This will only vacate your premise for another one to take over (remember they are territorial). The second reason is that if you don't let them off at a good distance from your home they might just venture back. Lastly, and most importantly you're taking a huge risk because if the possum happens to die in the process of being trapped, you'll have some grave legal trouble.
  • Spikes may be marketed to be deterrents however, they are far from helpful. In fact these creatures use them like highways and successfully land up reaching where they were headed anyway.

The best bet for control and removal is handing the matter over to professionals and here are 7 reasons why:

Baby Possum and Mother

  • Same day service: Why wait to get help when you can get it the very day you discover you have a problem and need control and removal solutions.
  • Specialised division to study pests: This means the professionals understand possum behavior in-depth, which in turn fine-tunes the treatment and methods they employ, making them highly-effective. Moreover, the professionals would know how to rid your property of these creatures without landing you in legal trouble.
  • Guarantee: While other over-the-counter treatments are a gamble and will only tell with time whether they can and have solved your problem that's not the case with professional treatment. And better yet trusted professionals even offer to repeat the treatment if the problem recurs.
  • Years of experience: Oh yes that makes so much of a difference because knowledge combined by solid experience practically eliminates all chances of being unsuccessful.
  • Effective and safe treatments: Here's an important thing to consider, everything used to get rid of pests might not be safe for you, your loved ones, your pets and the environment, but professionals ensure that isn't the case with their treatments.
  • Certified professionals: Hands in the air if you're someone who gets reassured knowing that the person solving your problem knows what they are doing. (I'm pretty sure everyone reading this raised their hands) And that's exactly what it is to have certified professionals take care of the matter - you can trust them blindly because they and their methods for control and removal are certified by the government.
  • Use of the finest technology: With the changing times, mind you, pests too have learnt to survive through grave attacks. The use of technology helps keep your treatment and method one-step ahead of the critters in defeating them.

So do you still need a strong reason to entrust the professionals with your infestation problem?

4/11 Cooper Street, Campbellfield,
VIC 3061, Australia

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Phone: 1300 486 149, (03) 9449 4244
Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
ABN: 46098709472