rspca

Possums Nesting in My House!

Wildlife Posted Jun 2, 2020
Many households are fortunate enough to share their property with one or more possums, however they can become a nuisance if they nest in roof spaces/guttering etc. If you have possums residing in your dwelling, you should provide them with an alternative home before attempting to evict them.

Possums are our wild and furry counterparts who frolic in the trees and on the rooftops of our homes. Possums may not be suitable pets, but that doesn't stop people from bonding with their unexpected residences and becoming attached.

Each year the RSPCA receives over 30,000 calls to our Animal Emergency Hotline. One of these calls was about a family of possums living on the roof of a property. Unfortunately, one of the baby possums fell down a drain pipe and got stuck. Thankfully, the property owners called the RSPCA and our Rescue Officers were able to carefully remove the baby possum and reunite him with his mummy, unscathed. 

With their family back together, it is pretty safe to say that the possum family would not be going near the drainpipe again! If you have some furry residents at your house, why not try making them a possum box, so that they are encouraged to nest in trees and not in potentially dangerous spots like rooves and drain pipes? Check out our tips below on how to make your own possum box!

If you see a sick or injured animal, call our 24/7 hotline, 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Possum fast facts

Brushtail and ringtail possums are both native marsupial species that have adapted well to urbanisation and are commonly found dwelling in Australian gardens.

Ringtail possums are a social species that build nests of bark and leaves called ‘dreys’ in which they usually dwell as a family. Brushtail possums are larger, more territorial possums that usually reside in tree hollows. Both species of possum may occasionally take shelter in house rooves.

Both species of possum may occasionally take shelter in house rooves.

Many households are fortunate enough to share their property with one or more possums, however they can become a nuisance if they nest in roof spaces/guttering etc. If you have possums residing in your dwelling, you should provide them with an alternative home before attempting to evict them.

Constructing a possum box
  1. You can use ply and other recycled wood materials to construct your box.
  2. See image for dimensions of the finished box.
  3. Fix mesh inside the box so the possum can crawl back out.
  4. Drill 3 evenly spaced holes into the base of the box for drainage (5mm in diameter).
  5. Secure the possum box to your tree at least 4m from the ground and ensure it can hold a possum’s weight

Possum proofing your home

You can build your own (see above), or purchase a pre-made possum box.

  1. Place a possum nest box in a sheltered area of your property.
  2. If possible, locate the possum’s nest inside your roof and place this in the possum box - to encourage the possum to move in. You can also put fruit near the box (half an apple or banana to encourage investigation of the possum box.
  3. Take action to make the roof space unattractive to the possum.
  4. This can be done by spreading quassia chips in the roof space (alternatively place blocks of camphor in the roof cavity). Place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on.
  5. When the possum has relocated to its new home, locate their entry point to your roof space and block-off access. Make sure none of the possums or any of their babies are residing in there at the time. Prune any tree branches that give possums direct access to your roof.

Tegan Watson
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