Possums are omnivorous marsupials common in Australia and New Zealand where they’re regular home invaders in many urban, suburban and rural regions. Because they’ve been pretty good at adapting to human environments, possum homeintrusions are a common issue – with possums either intruding into a property or even into the interior of the house.
While at your property, possums will make a nuisance of themselves by causing a racket as they go about their business, they’ll annoy your pet, they could damage your items and furnishing; and could even drag with them smaller pests such as worms, fleas, and ticks that could harm you and your pet.
For these reasons, it’s important that possum infestations are controlled as soon as they are noticed to ensure they don’t translate into more serious problems down the road.
How do you know you have a possum intrusion?
Before you take any action, the first thing you will need to do is ascertain that you actually have a possum infestation and not any other pest. There are several signs to look out for. These are:
- Disappearing food. If your pet’s food keeps disappearing or you keep finding your garbage rummaged, you might have a possum problem in your hands. It could also be your neighbour’s pets so keep vigilant.
- Poop and urine. You might find or smell possum faces in areas where possums have picked to build their nest. Possums themselves also produce an unpleasant odour that you might smell.
- Damaged home exterior. If you’re hearing noises inside the house, check the exterior to find openings or damaged sections where animals could have gotten into the house.
- Noises inside the house.When inside your house, possums will inevitably make noises as they go about their business. Identify where the noises are coming from and investigate further.
- The actual possum. Conduct a thorough inspection of your house and make sure to check areas where you’ve heard noises coming from. Common areas where possums could take shelter include attics, basements, garages, crawl spaces, and under porches and decks.
The possum itself is about the size of a small dog or an average adult cat. They have a pointed head with a pink nose, hairless pointy ears, and a long, hairless tail.
How to trap a possum with a trap
Trapping is one of the best and most humane ways of getting possums out of your property. If properly done, you can easily and quickly get rid of possums without causing any harm to either yourself or the animal.
First, find out the number of possums you’re dealing with – if it’s just one or an entire family. Then, decide the number of traps you are going to deploy. The more traps you deploy, the faster the results.
Make sure the traps you purchase are specifically designed for possums, strong enough and will actually fit where you want to deploy them.
Once you have the traps, set them in locations where the animal visits frequently or where you have noticed they’re causing damage. Place a good proportion of bait inside the trap – this could be canned dog or cat food or fish, possums love these things. You can entice the possum to get into the trap further by leaving a small trail of bait that leads up to the trap.
Make sure to check your traps at least once a day (ideally twice) to ensure humane treatment of the trapped animal. Once you catch the culprit, you can relocate and release the possum some kilometres away from your home. Make sure to check with your local wildlife authority before you trap and relocate the animal.
Risks associated with possums
When they scratch and bite or through their excretes, possums are capable of transmitting a number of diseases to humans and animals including leptospirosis, lyme disease, and rickettsia. Additionally, they can harass pets and even cause them physical harm.
Because of their fur, possums can also introduce pests from their bodies such as fleas and ticks to your home, affecting both you and your pet companion.
Why do I have possums in my property?
If you don’t solve the root of the problem, then you’ll keep having to trap and relocate possums frequently – which can be annoying. You, therefore, need to find out the actual reason why you are having a possum infestation problem. There are two main reasons why possums are choosing to move into your property:
- Attractants. By leaving out food and water in and around your property, you might be unknowingly calling out to possums to move into your home. Possums are natural scavengers and will intrude into properties in search of food and drink.
Keep your property clear of food items, protect any water sources that animals can access and make sure your rubbish bins and compost bins are covered.
- Easy access. Possums will regularly wander into your home or property if there is no barrier to keep them out, or if your houses exterior is damaged. Inspect your house and repair/cover gaps and holes to keep possums out. You could also put up a fence around your property if animals are common intruders.
Also, low spaces such as under-decks and crawl spaces should be screened to ensure possums and other wildlife do not nest there.
Possums breed quickly, with a female being able to produce up to 20 young per litter. This means that a possum infestation could easily escalate and get out of hand in no time. For this reason, it is important that you take action to control a possum infestation as soon as you identify it, as failure could lead to escalation, increased damage to property and other complications.
By using possum traps to control possum infestations, you ensure that your property is kept pest free without causing harm to wildlife. Possum traps offer a safe, effective and humane possum-control solution that can be deployed either independently or in combination with other humane possum control methods.