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 ‘drays’ 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 the roofs of houses.
Many households are fortunate to share their property with one or more possums however they can become a nuisance if they nest in roof spaces. If you have possums residing in your roof you should provide them with an alternative home before attempting to evict them. The key steps are:
- Place a nest box in a sheltered area of your property
- If possible, locate the possum's nest inside your roof and place this in the new possum-house to encourage the possum to move in. You can also put fruit near the house (half an apple or banana) to encourage investigation of the possum-house.
- Take action to make the roof space unattractive to the possum. 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.
- 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 in your roof before blocking off access.
- Prune any tree branches that give the possums access to your roof.
If these steps are unsuccessful and you need further assistance to remove and relocate the possums you will need to check the legal requirements for possum trapping with your state or territory government (see below). In some states and territories a license or permit is required. The following links will take you to the relevant State/Territory government website for information on managing possums: