possums
Photo: Pixabay.

If you’ve ever had a possum living above your ceiling, you’d know about it. They’re known to be noisy while they walk along your roof cavity. Here are a few tips to help you keep the critters at bay.

What’s the deal with possums?

Possums may decide to nest in your roof void and will leave droppings and urine around the nest. They’re also territorial so the smell of that urine can be particularly potent and could permeate ceilings. Much like rats and mice, possums will gnaw on just about anything that comes their way – and that includes easily accessible electrical wire and circuits.

You might have a problem with possums if… 

You hear them scratching or scurrying around in your ceiling. Possums are nocturnal creatures, so if they’re around they’re most likely to make noise at night. It’s important to note that the presence of rats can also be identified by scratching and scurrying, which can make it had to distinguish between the two. Another thing to look out for is possum droppings which will typically be larger than those that come from a rat.

Why are there possums in and around my house?

These adaptable (and usually unwanted) house guests are highly attracted to human houses. Possums like to make their nests in ceilings and wall cavities. Urban possums seem to like human-built structures like houses – even choosing them over a hollow tree. One single roof can be a great space for cohabiting possums, but when raucous disputes occur you’ll hear it. People often describe a ‘thump, thump, thump’ noise while possums make their way across the roof cavity, combined with screeching, crashing and scraping sounds throughout the night. Some people don’t mind having possums around, but for most, they’re considered a pest because of the noise and damage they can cause.

Steps to take against possums 

Once you’ve had a possum removed from your property, there may be a need to take some preventive steps to ensure it does not return. This could involve sealing all possible possum entry points in and around your building. Remember, trees that overhang your rental property can also be an issue because they provide easy access for opportunistic possums looking for shelter in your roof.
Make sure your rubbish is covered properly around your house and that any pet food is kept inside where possums cannot access it.

Are landlords or tenants responsible for a possum infestation? 

If a structural problem within your property has allowed the possums to enter the house, your landlord is responsible for dealing with the situation. If you suspect (or know) you have a possum problem, document photos of damage/holes, times you hear the possum noise and send this to your landlord or real estate agent.
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