How to get rid of possums

February 28, 2012, 11:16 am betterhomesgardens


Possums are one of Australia's most destructive garden pests. Here are our tips about possums and possum removal.

Possums and gardens don’t mix well. With their taste for foliage, flowers and fruits, possums can wreak havoc on your backyard. Here are a few quick and effective remedies to help possum-proof your place.

1. D-Ter and Scat

These are powder preparations that are diluted in water to make a liquid spray (Scat is also available as a ready-to-use spray). They work on the possum’s sense of smell and taste, and can be applied to the plant itself, as well as the surrounding area.

READ: 5 tips for greener gardening

2. Spikes

These are an excellent way to impede possum access along fences and pergola beams, and can be wrapped around tree trunks. Pest-X spikes, which are made from clear polycarbonate, come in lengths of 600mm and can be attached to most surfaces using glue, cable ties, screws or nails.

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3. Poss Off protection

Made with chilli, garlic and citronella, Poss Off is a strong-smelling, bitter-tasting brew that possums don’t like. Spray it onto plants in the evening, so it’s fresh when the their foraging begins. If you need to spray large plants, invest in a quality pump-action garden sprayer, so you can achieve good coverage and reach.

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4. Netting

This offers fail-safe protection from possums, as long as you cover the entire plant. To cover small plants, such as lettuce or chillies, insert a few stakes into the pot or soil. Then drape the netting over the stakes. Pull back the netting each morning, so it doesn’t get in the way of pollination and watering.

5. Spotlights

Spotlights trained onto trees can often be effective in reducing possum attacks. To save electricity, it’s a good idea to try a spotlight with a motion detector – that way it will only flick on when the possum’s movements are detected.

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6. Strayban

This is a computerised device, that emits a rotating ultrasonic sound frequency. It’s inaudible to humans, but discomforting to possums, so they quickly move on from the area. The unit plugs into a power point, and is effective for up to 10m in front of the unit.

Homemade remedy- here’s how to make a quick possum-deterring mixture
Step 1| Mix equal quantities of Vaseline and Vicks VapoRub on a plastic container lid.

Step 2| Use a knife or a spoon to spread the mixture along known possum highways around your garden.

What is your secret to getting rid of possums?

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  1. Anne03:14pm Sunday 10th November 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    My hobby is growing pot plants, I love my plants as much as my life. Possums come at night time and dig near the roots and some of my small plants are destroyed. I want to get rid of possums at any cost. Plants have the right to live more than possums do. I will try the recepe and see if it works, if not I have to take other action.

  2. Evangeline Williams07:18pm Wednesday 17th July 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I do believe that once these possum friendly people are bit by a possum that mistook you kind action as aggressive they will rethink building them a home. Especially if it happens to be rabie infected. A lot of people now find it hard to keep shelter over thier children much less the possum mummy. I don't really know where the line is when it comes to "live and let live" as to our wild animals. Common sense would say human and animal just don't live together. Unless you really want them as pets don't build them homes.

    1 Reply
  3. Sandy03:56pm Friday 26th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I wouldn't dream of harming a possum, however we have had a family of possums living in our roller door for well over a year. We even called "Wires" and they said the furthest they can move them is 3 meters away. As our garage is open around the roof top edge they will only come back again. Unfortunately, as much as we love them they are ruining all our belongings in the garage because they pee on everything. I will definitely be trying the homemade remedy..... thank you.

  4. Anthony10:46am Monday 04th March 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Where can I purchase D-Ter and Scat; Straybin and Spikes mentioned in the article - How to get rid of possums. I live in Brisbane, Australia.

  5. Melanie03:41pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Great ideas! Now - I can try these HUMANE ideas - or I can pick up the pieces of a possum the morning after my dog's been at it!

  6. Umai10:27am Friday 22nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I can't even believe that this article was actually written, this is so wrong and offensive! How dare you try and repel possums, we have to learn to share our homes with native animals. The best option is the build a possum house and let the possum forage on your property. If you want it to stay out of your garden then feed it. Possums are very territorial, so if you try and get rid of it, it won't be able to find another place and will most likely die. I had a possum that had gotten into the roof a few months ago but that's easily dealt with as long as you provide it with a possum house and move its nest into the possum house - you need to move its nest so that it follows the scent. We should NEVER try and get rid of possums, if you treat them right then not only are they the furthest thing from a pest, they will also make sure other possums do not enter their territory/ your home.

    7 Replies
  7. G'day U There05:18pm Saturday 08th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I find this very offensive! It is us that are the biggest garden pest, not possums!!! How would we like it if they did to our gardens what we have done to theirs? Try that mindset, and you might find a way to live with them. I have ringtails and brushtails living in my garden, every night. I love seeing a mum coming out of a possum box with her babies on her back. Provide appropriate habitat and food for them, and they will choose what is natural for them. We have a vegie garden, which the possums leave alone, as they have their own better habitat. Brushtails are territorial, and so relocating them equals killing them. Provide boxes, and seal holes in your roof. Your friendly possums will keep other possum intruders away.

    5 Replies
  8. The Skud12:12pm Sunday 09th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Living in the country, my best method of keeping possume from my garden is a 410 shotgun! You can load your shells with salt if you just want to discourage them. Humane traps work, but you have to re-locate a long way away, and then the possume have territorial problems with ones already there.

    1 Reply
  9. wilhelmina04:12am Thursday 03rd May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    if you are able to go on the ceiling you may see where the possums come in , as the ligh shines in true the hole

  10. Meagan04:32pm Thursday 12th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Will definitely try the vaseline and vicks idea, is quick and fuss free, thanks


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