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Scratching in the walls/ceilings

Baretta11
Super Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

If you're unfortunate to have some sort of access into your roof space, then possums will undoubtedly get in through a broken eave lining for example but you must get professionals immediately to get them out and a carpenter or DIY the access point because as RickyH suggests, the possums will reak havock in your roof!!
If on the other hand, you find you have rats and it's easy to find out which rodent you do have by the size of the droppings, again there will be access points that need to be sealed up.
With rats obviously, the holes will be smaller and they will eat bait but they will probably die in your roofspace and also make a serious smelly mess of your roof insulation.
Access into your roof might be as easy as the rodents climbing up a tree but they can only get in if there is an opening unsealed in some way during construction or after a reno. Rats often get in through an underhouse manhole as once in there, they can scurry up into the walls and into the roof, so sealing off the manhole completely can be a huge benefit.
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Andy_Mann
Former Community Member

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

I'm sure you'll have the critters spellbound if you were to wear fishnet stockings, & say Gooday, while wearing Dame Edna glasses. : P
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dob80z
New Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

Don Burke (remember him ?) reckons the little lollies you find in male urinal troughs are quite good at repelling possums - apparently they don't like the smell.

 

he recommended throwing a few up in the roof space

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

Thanks for joining in the discussion @dob80z and a very warm welcome to Workshop. It's great to have you join the community. I hope you find plenty of great tips, advice and information here. It looks like you also have some great knowledge you can share. I'm looking forward to reading about your projects and plans.

 

Do you know where people might be able to buy those "little lollies"? I certainly wouldn't recommend procuring used ones!

 

Jason 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
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darylhewston
Super Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

Mum had this problem in Upper Ferny Grove. We found that the possums had gotten down the cavity walls of her brick-veneer home and had literally scratched through the gyp-rock wall. We sprayed the ceiling space with eucalyptus oil and water (can't remember the ratio) over a few days. I believe this did the trick however I am told they have returned, so re-applying the eucalyptus mix is a must. It is important that all entry points are blocked off as well.
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JP_Finlay
Established Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

My parents had possums in their roof and it took Dad and I over 6 months to get rid of them and it was one hell of a battle.

 

Being nocturnal they are dormant during the day and awake at night to go out and feed and what ever else they they feel like doing I guess. They would make quite a racket when they woke and left the house and it was waking Dad up every night. I think due to lack of sleep and delirium he declared war on the Possums.

 

He first tried all the anti possum sprays known to man including some random wood chips purchased off the internet that you soaked in a bucket and used the water to spray as a deterrent. They all smelt pretty bad but none had any effect on the possums as he had pumped gallons of these liquids into to the roof with a weed sprayer and they still remained. He even directly sprayed some Poss-Off on one that was perched on a down pipe and it did not even bat an eyelid.

 

Next he tried light. After reading about their nocturnal habits it was suggested that flooding the roof with light would drive them out so he set up numerous spot lights in and on the roof. Again the Possums were not deterred at all and Dad nearly burnt the house down because on of the halogen flood lights had a melt down and did not trip the circuit breakers.

 

After the failure of driving them out he decided to try and keep them out and enlisted my help in trying to seal up the house. After doing a little Internet research we discovered that they marked their main entrance with urine when coming and going so we were able to locate it so that we could try and lock them out. After watching one scale a brick wall and disappear through a very small gap between the bricks and eave lining we knew we had a huge task ahead.

 

We spent weeks sealing up every possible place that they could get into the roof through the eaves. Where we could we used timber but the best thing we found was chicken wire as you could crunch it to any shape to suit the need. We also used solid wire mesh sheets to seal some areas as it could be screwed into position. We sealed up everything bar their entrance where we made a simple gate which Dad closed after they departed in the night.

 

Again we failed as they were still in the roof the next night. But how? It took a few weeks to work it out but one night when Mum was awoken by noises on the roof she went out on the balcony and watched a possum disappear down the ventilation pipe for the kitchen exhaust fan.

 

So we sealed the all the exhaust pipes and the chimneys and again left the main entrance as the only way out and Dad stayed up to see them off. Out they went and he sealed the gate and this time success. We had sealed them out and they could not get back in. This did not stop them from coming back though and I believe they kept trying to get back in for quite some time but eventually they move on.

 

VICTORY!

 

I have been told that you can get traps from local councils or hire people that trap them for you but once released they will find their way back to their nest eventually. 

 

From our epic saga (sorry for the length but that was the short version) I learnt a few things. These were WA possums but I would assume that this should apply to any suburban possum.

 

1) light, sprays and sound (I forgot to mention Dad did try an ultrasonic doodad) do not bother them

 

2) They can fit through holes the size of tennis balls so block everything.

 

3) Find the main entrance (should be marked with urine and smell bad)

 

4) Stay up late and watch said entrance until you see them depart and block it.

 

5) Job done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andy_Mann
Former Community Member

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

JP_Finlay, your post is the epitome of learning through observation & persistence.
You walked me through the adventure in an entertaining manner, so a huge thumbs up from me.
The fact that we have never had possums here, is of little consequence, I'm sure that many Workshoppers will gain from your experience.
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Baretta11
Super Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

@JP_Finlay

Absolutely agree this is a great read and better still success!!!

We live in the country but we have never had possums on our property. I don't exactly know why, glad of course but all our neighbours talk of them. It's a mystery. Perhaps our dogs deter them!!

I remember those ultrasonic thingies, we tried them in our hay shed for mice, biggest joke ever, cats were far more effective ha-ha

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JP_Finlay
Established Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

@Andy_Mann @Baretta11 I am glad you both enjoyed the tale of the two possums! We certainly learnt a lot along the way.

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Ozmango
New Contributor

Re: Scratching in the walls/ceilings

I had a very persistent possum who kept removing a particular roof tile to come live in my ceiling space.  

Said possum was caught and removed elsewhere and the roof tile was properly fixed down to discourage further squatting.

So, yes - they DO come indoors if they can.

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