The Most Efficient Ways to Keep Possums at Bay

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australian possum

Someone’s got a bad case of the Mondays…

Some people consider possums cute and harmless. Others see them for what they truly are – shady, grim-looking, disease-ridden little monsters. who exist for no other reason than to inconvenience you. We, at Fantastic Pest Control Melbourne see them as a delicate problem that needs to be handled with care and proficiency.

Possums can threaten your pets, spread disease, cause structural damage, destroy anything you keep in the attic or basement, harm your kids, and a lot more. They are difficult to handle and there are laws protecting them, because we assume they’re very well-connected. This means it’s illegal to kill or harm them! That is why handling this threat becomes a lot tougher than dealing with other pests. It’s best left to professional possum control technicians. However, if you insist on handling the problem on your own, we’ll show you how to scare possums away. There are several very important points you should know about.

Possums Are Protected by the Law

brushtail possum

It’s like it’s mocking you and you can’t do anything about it…

No, we’re not talking about Judge Dredd. Since they are native animals, possums are protected by the Wildlife Act 1975. It is illegal to interfere with them. However, the Brushtail Possum can be controlled (if you can identify it). Still, even then you need to be extremely careful. There are certain specifications you need to follow if you want to exert your own brand of inter-species justice. Specifications are as follow:

Specifications are as follow:

  • If a Brushtail Possum is inhabiting your property, it can only be trapped by you, a family member, building manager or a member of the maintenance staff. Or a certified possum controller. You can’t just call your hunter friend Bob to handle it for you. It’s a delicate matter.
  • If you’re going to trap them, you must ensure the cage won’t cause an injury.
  • The next one sounds almost like some druidic ritual. If you’ve caught a possum, you need to release it on the day of capture. That should be done after sunset and no more than 50 metres from the capture site.
  • If by any chance, it’s unreasonable to release them back into your property, they have to be humanely put down by a licensed veterinarian at the trapper’s expense.
  • If you’re going to trap a possum, make sure it’s safe from direct sunlight, rain, wind, your pets, or other danger to its well-being.

Failing to execute any of the above will lead to the most expensive possum control you’ve ever paid for. A fine of up to $5,000! You can read more about the law here.

How to Scare Possums Away and Keep them at Bay

common brushtail possum

“Catch me… If you can!”

Prevention, as they say, is the best cure. There are a few things you can do in order to make your property a less desirable place for possums. And maybe other such despicable vermin. The key is to ensure they don’t get harmed. We don’t know about you, but we can definitely think of better ways to spend $5,000. Here’s how to scare possums away and keep them at bay:

Method 1: motion-activated sprinklers and/or lights.

This sounds like something coming straight out of a Mission Impossible movie. Sadly, it’s not nearly as exciting as having lasers all around your backyard. No, but you can still purchase motion-activated lights and/or sprinklers. Every time they walk into the activation field, possums will be put into the spotlight and/or sprinkled with water. If you decide to use only lights, be advised some possums (actually most possums) are quite pertinent. They won’t be scared off that easily. However, they get startled when they get sprinkled. Which means water is the more efficient method. You can’t go wrong with both, though.

Method 2: predator scent.

This one may seem a little creepy, but it totally works sometimes. If you know where possums frequently reside on your property, you can try scattering dog, cat, or whatever potential predator hair you can get your hands on. It’s important to note it’s not a good idea to leave your dogs or cats handle the intruders. They might get injured and you might have a problem on your hands if they kill a possum.

Method 3: strong scent.

Because they’re apparently vampires, possums tend to avoid the stench of garlic. And ammonia. And mothballs. So go ahead and scatter those around where you think possums might hang out. Garlic works best when it’s crushed, apparently. If you decide to use ammonia, be careful! This stuff can be really dangerous for you. Try at your own risk! You can use a container with a lid (such as a coffee cup) and put a rag through a hole so it acts as a medium.

Method 4: use a possum repellent.

We know “possum repellent” sounds like something a backstreet sleazy peddler with a toothpick in his mouth is trying to sell you, but they are actually pretty effective in many cases. Simply spray it around where you’ve noticed possum activity or around possible entry point. Read the labels carefully, though. If you’re allergic to some of the ingredients, you might harm yourself inadvertently.

Australian possum on a branch

“Nice place you’ve got here… It would be a shame if… Someone were to move in uninvited…” Source: Wikimedia; Licensing: Attribution

If none of the above helps, fret not. There are still a few other things you can do, such as making your property a bit less hospitable to vermin. This means trimming the trees, putting up fences, patching up holes, cutting the grass (you’ve been meaning to do that for weeks, anyway), not leaving rubbish or food lying around, moving the rubbish bins further away from your home, and more. Actually, pretty much what you need to do if you want to rodent-proof your home. If the problem still persists, it might be a good idea to ask for professional help.

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