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What makes possums the household winter pest?

Possums have traditionally lived in rain forests or in areas with abundant vegetation.

Due to dynamic changes to the environment occurring over the past few years, possums have chosen to reside in roofs, garages, sheds and similar habitats. Two common possum species in Australia are the common brush tail possum and the common ringtail possum. Although they may resemble cute and furry pets, possums pose a significant risk to plants and buildings. There are five possum related problems that contribute to their pest status.

They destroy crops

Possums were introduced in New Zealand during the 1850s to harvest their fur and leather. However, there was no natural predator so over the course of 100 years the possum overpopulated and became a large threat to New Zealand vegetation. Possums enjoy eating fruits, vegetables and natural plants like apples, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, acacia species and especially eucalypts.

They make a lot of noise at night

Possums become incredibly raucous as night falls since they are nocturnal animals. They chatter, screech and make sounds like clicks, smacks, hisses, grunts and coughs. The loud noises often compromise a good night’s rest.

They are nesters

Possums possess the ability to squeeze through the smallest holes, meaning they can gain access to house roofs, garages, sheds and also chimneys as long as there’s an available entry. This can be an issue as they secrete a distinct smell from their urine, faeces and from their anal glands (when they’re handled).

They're messy

In addition to the smell, possums leave their faeces or urine in attics, and on sheds and verandas. They also cause trouble by eating your vegetation, raiding through poultry houses, tearing through insulation and going through bins.

They can carry harmful diseases

Possums are harbourers of various bacterial infections in addition to mites, ticks and parasites. Neither animals nor humans are immune to the diseases carried by possums. Diseases and bacteria, like buruli bacteria and bovine tuberculosis (only in New Zealand) are transferable through contact with the animal or with their faeces.

During the cooler months, the possum generally seeks alternate places to become their new den. When dealing with possums, it’s best to leave the relocation task to professionals like the technicians at Flick Anticimex. 

If you have a possum problem, feel free to call us on 0800 101 969 or leave your details in our contact form.

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