How to Prevent Possums in Your Roof

5 Tips on Possum Prevention and Removal

How to Prevent Possums in Your Roof

If you’ve noticed strange noises coming from your roof at night, chances are you have some uninvited possum guests! While they are typically harmless, having these nocturnal mammals living in your roof can cause damage and be a nuisance. In this article, we’ll discuss why they’re attracted to roofs in the first place and some tips on how to humanely prevent them from invading your home.

Why Possums End Up in Roofs

Possums often find their way into roof spaces for a few key reasons:

  • Shelter – The spaces between roof tiles or shingles provide warm, dry shelter ideal for nesting and raising young. These animals are especially drawn to older, dilapidated roofs with more access points.
  • Food – Roofs provide proximity to human homes, where possums can potentially find food sources like pet food, unsecured rubbish bins, and fruit trees. They may even hunt for rats and mice that are attracted to your attic.
  • Access – Possums are great climbers and can scale walls, fences and rooflines with ease if there are enough handholds. This gives them access to roof cavities through damaged tiles, gaps, and unscreened vents.
  • Travel route – Roof spaces allow possums to move safely from one tree to another in urban areas. They will often use your roof as a ‘possum highway’ to get around at night.

How to Lock Out Possums

Here are some of the most effective tactics and deterrents to humanely prevent brushtail possums and other types from living in or accessing your roof:

1. Remove food sources

  • Keep pet food inside, especially at night.
  • Secure garbage and compost bins.
  • Pick ripe fruits and avoid windfall.
  • Remove any potential rodent food sources in the attic.

2. Block access points

  • Seal gaps around eaves with weatherproof foam or metal sheeting.
  • Install mesh screens on vents. Stainless steel mesh works best.
  • Prune back branches overhanging the roof.
  • Attach chimney caps and covers over skylights.

3. Use lights and sounds

  • Install motion activated lighting under the eaves or in the attic.
  • Use ultrasonic, solar-powered pest repellents.
  • Place a radio tuned to talkback radio in your attic when not in use.

4. Apply natural possum repellents

  • Sprinkle granules of dried blood meal in roof gutters.
  • Wipe eucalyptus, peppermint or tea tree oil around entry points.
  • Place naphthalene moth balls or rags soaked in ammonia in roof gaps (use protective gear when handling).

5. Modify the garden landscape

  • Trim vegetation back from fences and walls to remove possum tracks.
  • Remove climbing vines growing on structures.
  • Ensure compost bins have secure, fitted lids.
  • Wrap smooth metal sheeting or plastic tree guard around trunks to prevent climbing.

Pro Tip

Install one-way exclusion devices (tubes/cones) at entry points that let the marsupials leave but not re-enter. Leave in place for a few days, then seal up completely. This method takes advantage of the pest’s tendency to abandon their den when discovered. It humanely evicts them without trapping or relocation stress. Just ensure no babies are left inside before sealing off the entry holes completely.

Signs Your Roof Has Possums

Signs of Possum Infestation

Here are some common signs that possums have taken up residence in your roof:

  • Noises at night – scratching, thumping sounds from movement in the ceiling cavity.
  • Musky odors coming from the roof.
  • Damage to ceiling boards, insulation, cables from nest-building activities.
  • Possum droppings found in the their hiding places or near entry points.
  • Footprints on dust lining attic access panels.
  • Roof tiles askew from possums entering and exiting.

Acting quickly and humanely to block off access points and make the roof less attractive to possums is key to preventing long-term infestations. With some diligence, you can have your roof free of these nocturnal visitors and maintain a peaceful home once again.

Why is it important to prevent and remove possums?

Possums in roofs cause expensive damage from tearing up insulation, wires and boards. They contaminate attics with urine, feces and body oils creating unsanitary conditions and foul odors. Like most common household pests, possum droppings may also contain dangerous pathogens that can spread to humans and pets. Safe, humane removal prevents further destruction and health risks.

What type of possum is the most problematic in Australia?

Among the different species native to the country, the brushtail is definitely the main culprit for roof invasions. Its ability to climb, cling and squeeze through small gaps makes it adept at accessing cavities. Prevention efforts should focus on excluding brushtails through sealing potential entry points.

Conclusion

Dealing with possums in your roof might seem daunting at first, but with some knowledge of their behavior patterns and removals options, you can come up with an effective plan of action. Focus on exclusion methods first by sealing up access points and removing food attractants before resorting to more intensive removal tactics. These include using quassia chips or hiring a possum expert from Green Pest Control.

Be patient, persistent and proactive, and you can reclaim your roof and maintain a possum-free zone long-term. With a little effort, it is possible to have both a thriving urban possum population and a peaceful, pest-free home.