Does an owner have to remove possums from the roof?

Some older properties have had possums inside the roof for many years.  Peter the Possum Man does not think this is a good idea and it is surprising that when someone buys a house, the property pest inspection report very rarely makes any reference to evidence or damage due to possums inside the ceiling.

Remove possums from the roof
Remove possums from the roof

Rather than a pest inspection, action to remove possums is usually triggered by noises that disturb the human occupants’ sleep. However there are other reasons to evict possums from inside a building.

Possums will pee and poo in a ceiling, the urine can run down internal walls and over time create a strong smell. Possums will also chew wires and wood when they are in their way. They often chew holes in ceilings and walls and just sit there peering out the hole at the residents inside. There have been reports of fires caused by possums damaging wiring; and leaky water pipes in a ceiling can be an expensive disaster.

Around Brisbane, houses often have roof insulation which the possums will tear apart and may use to make nests but they will also cover the insulation material with urine and faeces. After a few years with possums living in the roof space, it acquires a very distinctive smell that cannot be removed without replacing all the insulation.

In addition to urine and faeces, possums will create unpleasant smells by introducing leaves and food scraps including nuts, into the roof space. We have seen several Brisbane house ceilings which were partly covered by a thick layer of macadamia nuts, a favourite food of rats and possums. These foods scraps certainly attract rats to the property as they will happily live alongside the messy possums and scavenge for any left-over possum food.

So in the longer term possums attract rats, destroy insulation, may damage wood, water pipes and electrical wiring. They will certainly cause noises that may disturb your sleep. So yes overall there is a significant set of reasons to evict them.