I share my garden and rooftop with possums. A family of possums. A tribe of possums. Not surprising with the Merri Creek behind me and the 21 km of parkland and bush trail. Perfect for our little furry friends. Nowhere near perfect for me. But I’m the interloper, the possums were here first.
Devour and Conquer
There are some things that I just don’t plant anymore. The possums have eaten, overnight, bushells of tomatoes, kegs of peas, barrels of beans and chewed the tops off carrots. They continue to gorge themselves on my ornamental ginger and tree dahlias. Even my herbs aren’t safe from these little terrors. Possums like parsley! Who knew?
I’ve tried netting over the garden bed and chicken wire over my pots. Didn’t work. The possums removed the restraints. Bringing heavy garden pots inside overnight soon became too onerous for me and now I have nothing that won’t grow in a small pot anymore but many a time I forget to bring them in. I’ve yet to try swathing my backyard in tulle.
What can I do? Nothing. Except to share my little backyard and offer a welcome. You don’t want them at your house? Here are some suggestions for banishing possums. Best of luck!
How to get rid of possums
Firstly, you can’t. But you can lessen their impact and gain some ease of mind.
1. Secure your Roof
Make your roof impossible to enter. You’ll need a sturdy young person to climb on your roof and check that there’s NOWHERE offering entry to a possum.
Excessive development has removed the number of trees habitable by owls, the only natural predator. We don’t have a possum problem, we have an owl deficiency.. You can get fake owls with beady eyes from hardware shops but you have to move them around every couple of days. Possums aren’t stupid, they quickly learn that the beady-eyed object is harmless. Same for the cat-shaped silhouettes.
3. Blood and Bone
Blood and Bone is essentially ground up dead farm animals. To possums it smells a lot like, well, dead animals, and any sensible possum will back off. You can stuff a handful of blood and bone into an old sock and tie it up in your fruit trees, or wherever you want to deter possums. Simply give the ball a squeeze every week or so to release the aroma.
4. Garden Lights
Motion activated lights scare possums – flashing fairy lights that cycle through a series of different flashing patterns really scare them! Hang them in the trees or along the edge of your roof. However, some possums get irate at these lights and on two occasions my fairy lights have been chewed through.
5. Get a Possum Nest
You’ll never beat them so give them a home and the settled possums will repel other possums.
Remember, it’s illegal to trap possums, to poison possums, or to kill them in any manner. Trapping possums and relocating them means a sad death for the relocated possum. Possums are territorial creatures and will fight off newcomers.