Can I hire cages to trap possums?
No. As with all native wildlife you need the correct type of wildlife permit before you are allowed to trap or handle any native animal, including possums. So possum cages must be set by someone with a licence.
Do you fix the possum holes?
Yes, fixing the entry holes, which we call proofing, is the only way to exclude possums from your roof as under all wildlife permits any possums removed from your building must be released nearby; they will certainly try to get back in again. So our servicemen specialise in finding how possums are getting in and also blocking off any other potential holes. When we let them go, they will come back and check the roof, realise they can’t get in and move on. We can also install possum boxes if you would like to give your possum a new home. From radio tracking studies we know most possums will move straight to a another den they already know about nearby.
What damage can they do?
Having a possum living in your ceiling or between floor cavities can often be very noisy however possums can also do other damage if left to reside in the cavity. Possum pee stains on your ceiling, chewing to make holes bigger to enter and exit through (or the timbers in your roof) and chewing on any electricity type cables to make the area they are residing in more comfortable also regularly occurs.
How much does it cost to get possums out?
Our Servicemen will inspect your property and provide you with a written quote to block off the entry points. That way we can provide you with an accurate price to complete the job. A free service period of 12 months is usually applicable to proofing work completed. Sealing off the entry holes is the only way to rid your home of unwanted visitors.
Why possums cant be relocated
Research by government wildlife agencies has demonstrated that a very high percentage of relocated possums will die because they cannot find a safe place to hide. When placed in a new location they are vulnerable to attack by cats and dogs as well as predators (snakes, hawks and owls). They may be unable to find enough food in an area that they are not familiar with and any possums established in that area will attack them, defending their territory. The result is a very high percentage of relocated possums will die.
How long does it take to do the job?
After completion of inspection and acceptance of the quote our Serviceman will return to do the building repairs. The repair time will vary depending on the complexity of the job. Any possums inside will also need to be removed. We must ensure no possums are left trapped in the cavity, this may require a number of visits to your property over several days.
What can I do about possums on top of my roof?
They are good climbers and can jump from trees to roofs as well as walk along power lines. If possums are moving across your roof, trimming back trees around the roofline can often reduce the traffic. However, to stop them jumping you will need a gap of at least 2 metres between the trees and your roof. They are usually looking for food such as mangoes, macadamia nuts and the fruit, leaves or flowers of native trees. You should also listen for noises that might indicate they have found a way to get inside your roof.
What laws protect possums in Queensland?
As with any native animal, you must have a permit to be “in possession” of a native animal. There are different permits for different purposes. Setting cages to trap a possum requires a permit. The laws in other states of Australia are different. A summary of Queensland Government advice on possums can be found here.
The main legislation relating to wildlife is: the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the regulations that control permits and licenses are in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management)
Regulation 2006 which can be found if you click here.
Will lights or chemicals keep possums out of a roof?
In our experience mothballs, camphor chips and lights in the roof space only have a very temporary effect at best. Possums may not like certain smells or lights (because they are nocturnal) but if they know a roof space is warm, dry and safe from predators, they will tolerate a lot of disturbance.
Do possums carry fleas and disease?
The American Opossum does carry fleas and diseases that are a problem for humans but the Australian possums are not known to cause disease problems for humans. In theory it is possible for them to carry fleas. We have not found any Brisbane possums with fleas. Possum droppings have been found to include the common Enterobacteriaceae including Salmonella and Ecoli as well as intestinal protozoans including cryptosporidium. These are organisms that can cause stomach upsets and contaminate rain water collected from roofs. In New Zealand they have the introduced disease, Bovine tuberculosis that can infect a variety of animals including the New Zealand possums but they type of TB does not exist in Australia.
In November 2011 two Tasmanian women were infected with Tularaemia after being scratched by possums. According to NSW Health this is a very rare disease caused by bacteria entering the skin through cuts and scratches. In the same way, there is always a risk of tetanus infections due to bacteria Clostridium Tetani getting into the skin from bites and scratches. So it is always advisable to handle any animal, dead or alive with care and consider wearing protective clothing and gloves if there is any suggestion an animal is aggressive or sick.
Do possums bring other animals into roof?
Possums tend to be solitary but around Brisbane there are increasing numbers of houses with two possums and it is not unusual to even find four in one roof. Possums will live alongside rodents and they may attract rats due to their messy behaviour and food scraps. Both possums and rats will attract pythons that like to eat them.
Is it ok to feed possums?
All animals benefit from a balanced diet so generally native wildlife are best not fed. There is good evidence that a serious infectious dermatitis of possums is related to overcrowding and fighting; so feeding may cause disease problems by encouraging fighting in competition for easy food. In addition some owners have had possums entering the house through “cat-flaps” and windows to look for their next feed. Too much fruit and high energy foods cause digestive upsets in possums. Remember that like koalas their normal diet is mainly relatively low energy leaves from native plants.
What is a possums diet?
They will eat plant matter, fruit and meat such as insects and any small animals they can catch. They are omnivores. Their natural food is the leaves, flowers and fruit of native trees supplemented with a few insects. In urban areas they have adapted and will scavenge food in any way possible. Certainly bowls of tasty dog and cat food are very attractive. Their natural food includes eucalyptus but they don’t eat the new shoots with pink stems and pink leaves because they have high levels of toxins which can kill possums.
What is possum dermatitis?
Some possums suffer from severe skin infections and research shows a wide range of bacteria are present in the wounds. There can be severe hair loss and the eyes may become infected. Australia Zoo vets have found it is difficult to return the animal to full health. It is most common in male brushtails when they have been fighting over territory and is probably made worse in urban areas where there is a lack of suitable holes and places to hide.
Will possums eat rat bait?
Yes and they will die usually inside your roof. So it is important to possum proof your roof space before laying any rodent baits or you must ensure any rodent baits are placed inside plastic bait boxes that possums cannot get into.