Do Possums Nest?


possum nest
Possum Nest

We’ve all seen possum boxes that people put up in trees to create a safe place for possums to sleep during the day. These boxes are designed to mimic nests, but do possums make nests in the wild?

possum box
Possum Box

In Brisbane, two most common possum species are the brushtail and the ringtail.

Brushtail possums are solitary creatures that live in tree hollows, and are generally more adapted to living in the urban area, often making their homes in the roofs of houses, decks and garages of the human population.

Ringtails possums are the more social of the two species and live in small groups. The ringtails are less likely to take up residence in human habituated areas preferring the comforts of nature.

Of these common species of possums, only the ringtail possum builds real nests.

Ringtails make a type of nest called a drey. Dreys are mostly found in the crook of thick branches or in hollows of native trees and are commonly made of bark and sticks that are lined with moss and leaves. If ringtail can’t find a suitable tree, they will make their nests in roof overhangs and occasionally in the roof itself.

Dreys are commonly shared by several ringtails who come and go to the drey when they forage for food.

Sometimes a ringtail may find themselves caught out without a nest, so they will find somewhere small and safe to curl up during the day. Common places are behind air conditioning units where the warm air coming out of it keeps them warm, or in a hanging basket pot, which resembles the shape of their drey.

Brushtail possums, on the other hand, don’t really make nests, but will sometimes bring leaves into their sleeping area to snack on during the day. While a small amount of them may get the urge to make a nest out of leaves, the majority are more than content curling up in sheltered cavities in trees and buildings, including large, elevated drainpipes.

If a brushtail is living in a roof, it is very unlikely that they will build a nest of leaves in the ceiling as they will happily do without or sleep on the ceiling insulation for warmth.

If you think there is a possum nesting in your roof, contact us for a free quote and building inspection, to remove your furry roommate and stop them from moving back in.