Sometimes living with possums can be a real pain whether you have them on your roof or in your garden eating things you do not want them to eat! The fact is we need to learn how to live with them, it was human destruction of their habitat that brought them into urban areas after all. Here is a look at what you can do and use as possum repellent to lessen the nuisance they make of themselves without hurting them.
What to do with possums on and in your roof
Hearing scratching noises on your roof? That must be a possum! But why do possums enter roof spaces? Because there is a lack of tree hollows in their natural habitat. When we removed the trees that provide them with a hollow space to nest and rest during the day they had to find an alternative. So we now have to share our living spaces with them but it is not the best situation for you or your roof so here are some ways you can try to get them to move on and find something more suitable in the wild.
- One option is to install a nest box in a suitable tree or area in your garden and let them move in there. If you are happy for them to live in your garden this is a good balance. You can find more information on nest boxes easily online.
- Then find their nest in your roof and move it when the possum is away foraging for food elsewhere and place their nest in the next box.
- To encourage them further to take a closer look at the new nest, place some fruit in the box that you know they will enjoy. Bananas and apples are something possums seem to like a lot for example. You should not feed them past that relocation stage though, they need to be able to feed themselves.
- Now you need to consider what possum deterrent to use to keep it away from the roof. This means removing overhanging branches from trees close by, putting collars on trunks that the possum uses to get to the roof and placing something like mothballs or camphor blocks on the roof itself. Choose one, not both, they act as a deterrent because they do not like the smell so won’t want to return there.
- You can also place lighting up on the roof and leave it on there for several days. They prefer the dark and the combination of the bad smell and too much light will act as possum repellent and make them consider your alternate nest site as more tempting.
- When you know the possum is no longer using your roof to nest in, you can block access points and use bleach to remove their scent so they no longer smell themselves up there too.
What to do about possums eating plants in your garden
Tired of them eating your precious plants and undoing all that hard work? Here are some things you can try based on smells and taste that repels them.
- Easy and affordable possum deterrents for affected plants and for seedlings and young plants is to net them at night with a shade cloth or bird netting. It prevents them from getting to those plants. You could even add in a scary cat face. Like a scarecrow that scares crows away, a cat face or two will scare the possums away.
- Bone fertiliser and blood around fruit trees and plants are another deterrent as they do not like the smell.
- Another smell they do not like is garlic. You can crush garlic and add it to hot water and leave it to steep overnight, then spray where you want to stop the possums from going. The smell acts as a possum repellent.
- Spicy things like English mustard mixed with detergent, watered-down Tabasco, and such can also work.
- Tea is something some people swear by. Make the tea, leave it to cool, and pour into a spray bottle and spray liberally in the affected areas. Re-apply in case of rain and then every couple of weeks.
- Quassia chips are the base ingredient in a popular commercial spray to repel possum but you can get them from a nursery and make your own spray, steeping them in water and then straining and cooling.
As well as the above options and steps you can take yourself you can also look at using a commercially available possum deterrent you can buy from a store which is all about putting down a bad smell the possum does not like and will avoid. You can also seek help from a local pest control service. They have a lot of experience, know how to ethically remove possums and know the best places to disrupt the possum’s routine so that they move elsewhere. Just remember that things are not instant when it comes to dealing with pests so be persistent.