I think I have a possum in my roof. What can I do?

A possum in the roof is usually a Brushtail-possum, although occasionally Ringtails may take up residence. Here are some steps you can take to safely remove a possum from your roof:

Firstly, find out where the possum is entering your roof. This will probably be under the eaves and perhaps close to a tree or bush that rests against the house and provides access. Once you have found the likely spot, you will need to monitor it just after dark to see if the possum exits. Once you are sure the possum is using this spot to gain entry to your roof, and he/she has left for the night, you need to seal the hole. This can be done with timber, or solid sheeting of some sort. Chicken wire is not suitable as the possum will be determined to get back in and can quite easily pull off the wire with its strong claws.

To encourage the possum out of the roof, place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on for several days and nights (this may deter the possum as they like to sleep in the dark).

Alternatively, you can hire a possum trap from Kennards Hire. Some local councils also have traps for hire. If you use this method of capture, you still need to find the place of entry and seal it. If you just release the possum – and note that to relocate a Brushtail possum more than 50 metres from its capture site is ILLEGAL – and don’t find and seal the point of entry, another possum will soon take up residence in its place. If you use a trap, release the animal after dark and at the base of a large tree.

If possible, provide an alternative home for the possum by constructing a sturdy weatherproof possum box (for Brushtails) or providing a possum drey (for Ringtails). (See websites below for instructions on how to build a Brushtail possum box or a Ringtail drey). Securely fix the possum box or drey to a tree in or near your yard. Place it high enough from the ground so that the possum will be out of reach of domestic cats and dogs.

Place some fruit (apple, pear, grapes), near the box or drey as a way of encouraging the possum to investigate its new home.

If there are any branches that allow access to the roof, trim or cut these away.

If you are unable to find the possum’s point of entry, or encourage it out of the roof, you may need to have the possum trapped by a licensed professional. Call us at Sydney Wildlife for the name of a reliable and trusted service.

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