Possums eating your garden plants?

Nobody is permitted to relocate possums to a different property because they are protected native wildlife and taking them to a new location is often a “death sentence” for the possum. That is because in the new location, they do not know where to hide or find food and the possums that are already in that space will attack them as intruders.

Possums eating your garden plants
Possums eating your garden plants
 

Unfortunately, possums in your garden is not a situation where we can help as we specialise in evicting possums permanently from inside buildings by fixing the access holes, releasing them outside the building but very near to where they are caught.

Possums are omnivorous, meaning they will try to eat anything so they will investigate any new plants in your garden. They often eat different herbs and rose flowers and seem to prefer the homeowners favourite plants! It may be possible to discourage possums from entering the garden with effective fences, providing other nearby gardens are also attractive! One option is to add a flexible piece to the top of the fence that flops down when a possum tries to climb over it but then springs back into place. In practise however, possums can easily jump from tree to tree and by-pass most fencing options. Although several companies sell powders and sprays that are supposed to deter possums from eating a plant, Peter Possum has not found one that works effectively and they are easily washed off by rain!

If your herb garden is under attack, one method is to place some short posts at each corner and hang bird netting over the plants ensuring it reaches all the way to the ground. The netting should be heavy duty made of thick twine because the cheaper lightweight ones will tangle and trap any birds or bats that land on them. The possum could easily use his teeth and claws to break inside but we have found in practise this does not usually happen. This method will not work however if the possum has a well-established habit of feeding on the plant you have covered.

The only reliable practical method to stop the behaviour is to build a strong barrier that can resist their teeth and claws. The ideal would be a lockable greenhouse but a cheaper option is to use metal stakes or a wooden frame with metal mesh firmly attached that has a maximum hole size of one inch. You will need to make a doorway for your own access, constructing it in a way that cannot be pushed open by a possum. If you can make it difficult for the possums to get at your plants, they will find an easier option in another garden.