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How to deter possums from your roof

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Prevent possums from your roof.png


Possums can take shelter in a roof space and cause damage and noise.


Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent possums from entering your ceiling cavity, deter them from calling it their home, and live in harmony with the cute critters. 


Possums in New Zealand are introduced pests, but please note that in Australia they are protected native animals. How you manage them should be different. Native species are governed by wildlife conservation laws and illegal trapping or harming possums could lead to prosecution. Seek further information from local wildlife authorities or licensed pest control experts.


Understanding possum behaviour


Before delving into prevention methods, it's important to understand possum behaviour. Possums are nocturnal and adaptable, and can sometimes seek refuge in roof spaces when there is a lack of other options. Possums are also highly territorial, have a keen sense of smell, and are skilled climbers. Understanding their behaviour can help develop effective deterrents. 


While possums might seem harmless, their presence in a roof cavity can lead to damage, noise disturbance, and even health hazards. Preventing possums from entering your home's roof space will typically require multiple proactive measures and regular maintenance. You might also sometimes need professional assistance. 


Proactive measures 


Ensure possums cannot gain accessEnsure possums cannot gain access

Possums are resourceful creatures, but with preventative measures such as regular inspections of your home's exterior, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of them entering your home's roof space. 


Look for any signs of damage or openings that possums could use to gain access. Even small gaps or cracks should be addressed, as possums can squeeze through surprisingly tight spaces. Use durable materials like wire mesh or metal flashing to block entry points effectively and replace or repair timber fascia. 


Removing access routes


Ensuring possums do not have easy access onto your roof is also important. Keep foliage trimmed back from the perimeter of your home with a pole pruner, especially branches that extend over the roof. Possums are agile climbers and can easily scale trees and bushes.


Consider installing physical barriers, such as metal sheets around the base of trees adjacent to your home, to prevent possums from using them as launch pads. 


Possums can also use powerlines as access routes to your roof. While guards are available, their installation can be dangerous. Seek the assistance of a professional to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.


Keep your garden tidy


Possums are more likely to seek shelter in unkempt areas where they can find ample hiding spots, so keep your yard clean and free of debris, clutter, and overgrown vegetation. 


Secure your garbage bins and avoid leaving pet food outside overnight, as they can be attractive food sources.


Making the roof space inhospitable 

Motion-activated lights can help deter possumsMotion-activated lights can help deter possums

Ensuring your roof space is an unwelcoming environment is key to deterring them from settling in.


As nocturnal animals, possums prefer dark, sheltered spaces during the day. Installing bright lights around your roof or in the roof space itself can deter them. Consider using motion-activated lights, as sudden illumination can startle possums and encourage them to seek refuge elsewhere. Remember to enlist the services of a qualified electrician for installation.


You can also place ultrasonic devices in your roof space that emit high-frequency sounds unpleasant to possums and other pests. These devices are generally safe for humans and pets but can effectively discourage possums from staying near your home. 


Possums have a keen sense of smell, and certain scents, such as peppermint oil, citrus peels, or sprayed repellents, can also help to deter them from entering your property and accessing your roof. To maintain their effectiveness, reapply these repellents regularly, especially after rain. 


Removal from the roof space


When preventative measures fail, trapping possums may be necessary. Local councils often offer resources and guidelines for humane trapping and relocation outside the roof. Ensure compliance with local regulations and apply for relevant licensing before attempting trapping. 


If trapping proves challenging, consider hiring a licensed professional who can safely and effectively relocate the possum. Understanding wildlife protection laws is crucial, as possums are protected species in Australia. 


Harmonious coexistence

Possum nesting box designPossum nesting box design

While possums may pose challenges to homeowners, fostering a harmonious relationship with these native creatures can be achievable and help preserve your local ecosystem's delicate balance. 


Consider installing nesting boxes, which offer possums an alternative to your roof space. A nesting box can provide refuge for resting, breeding, and raising young. Choose designs specifically tailored to possum needs, with ample space and ventilation. Position them in elevated locations such as tree branches or rooftops to mimic their natural habitat and minimise disturbance. 


How to protect your plants from possums


Possums can also do significant damage to your garden. Get expert help for How to protect your plants from possums with our comprehensive guide.


Need further help with possums? Don't hesitate to ask the Bunnings Workshop community for advice.

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