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Possum Removal

Call 0418303625 to get access to a professional resolution to your possum problem with Ranger Wildlife Management's possum removal service.  Nick can generally respond the same or next day and usually within a short time in the case of emergencies, such as possums inside a house.  Possum removal services range from $120 depending on difficulty, time of day and location.

Brisbane is home to two species of possum, the Brushtail Possum and the Ringtailed Possum.  Both eat a variety of foods, including native and introduced vegetation and flowers, vegetables, fruit and sometimes as they present themselves, pet and poultry food.  Possums, particularly the Brushtail Possum, can be carnivorous.

Due to habitat destruction, Brushtail Possums in particular are always on the lookout for somewhere to live, their preferred locations being hollow limbs or trees, however these are pretty rare in suburbia.  Being masters of adaptation, Brushtails have become expert at entering roof spaces, up inside walls, between floors of buildings or within or on top of things stored in houses.  Entering via box gutters and under tiles is another common way of getting into a house, as this video shows very clearly.  Brushtails will even live in garage roller doors, as this YouTube video shows (at my house).  Due to their rather unsanitary habit of peeing and pooing in the vicinity of where they live, having a possum living in your walls or roof space is not a great idea.  They can and do cause damage and their nocturnal and early morning meanderings are disruptive to even reasonably heavy sleepers.  

For these reasons, it is best to remove possums from the house, though having one living in your back shed or under a house can be a tolerable situation.

Generally possums are fairly solitary creatures, as far as their living arrangements go however, a female will carry her joey for many months, initially in her pouch then alternating between pouch and back and finally on her back most of the time.  Once the offspring becomes a juvenile, the mother will generally make efforts to move it on to find its own home, though some mothers with overdeveloped maternal instincts seem to put up with their young staying at home much longer than they should.  This is one of the reasons human occupants of homes with possums in them hear fighting going on inside the roof space.

Male possums tend to live alone and only visit females during mating periods.  If you have a male possum in your house, chances are, unless there are numerous pretty discrete areas in which they can live, you will only have one – usually.

Ringtail Possums on the other hand, despite their smaller and more fragile appearance, will quite happily live in a nest called a ‘drey’ in a tree, however they have been known to enter roof spaces and quite often make a home under solar panels – evidenced by conglomerations of leaves under the panels.  Nick can safely remove possum nests from under solar panels, which effectively removes the possums.  Once possums and nest have been removed, it is necessary to ascertain how they are getting onto the roof and fabricate barriers to stop this.  If many trees overhang the roof, it may be that the permanent removal of possums may require all trees to be trimmed well away from the roof.

Removing possums can be time-consuming and frustrating but can also be quite simple, each situation is different and needs to be individually assessed.

There are five methods of removing possums and Nick’s order of preference is:

·                   Placement of a one-way trapdoor over the entry/exit point, which allows the possum/s to get out but not back in.  All other likely entry/exit points are covered and after at least three nights of no possum noises, the trapdoor is removed and the entry/exit blocked.  Pluses for this method are that it is relatively stress free on the possum, however they will try to get back in for a few nights.  It is good in a situation where there is more than one possum as any number can exit via the same trapdoor.  It also means that Nick does not have to make any more than two visits.  Once out of the roof space, they have to find a new home.  There are no real negatives to this method.

·                   Covering of entry/exit points, trapping and removing the possum.  This is a bit more stressful on the possum but most seem to settle down in the trap pretty quickly and eat the fruit or vegetable which has been left as bait.  Nick usually returns the next afternoon to release possums as near as possible to nightfall, so they can look for new accommodation before daylight the next day.  Pluses are that it can be used in most situations, except where there is limited access to the roof space or area where the possum is, there is definite evidence of the removal of the possum and once the roof is sealed, there is no option for the possum but to go for the bait, if it wants to eat.  Negatives are that Nick sometimes has to return a number of times which adds to the cost, sometimes late at night if the possum is making a lot of noise; it is more stressful for the possums; some possums take a number of nights to go into the trap and there are times when it is not possible to put the trap into a roof space, ie on skillion roofs or between floors of highset buildings.  

·                   Setting a trap on the outside of a roof.  This is similar to trapping in the roof space but is used sometimes when there is no way to put a trap inside the roof space or use a trapdoor.  The only real plus to this method is that it can be useful to get a possum into a trap once it has left the roof space, so that the entry/exit point can be covered the next day.  Negatives are that it is no good for multiple possums, as there is often no way of knowing how many traps to set or if all possums have been caught.  The other problem is that possums which don’t actually life in the target roof space but are just visitors to the roof can be caught.  Another issue is that Nick has to return to the scene early the next morning to get the possum out of the sun before it suffers from exposure, then return later in the day to release, once again adding to cost.

·                   Where neither an internal or external trap is viable, Nick can attend late at night, usually around 2100 to cover up any identified entry/exit points once possums have left to go foraging for the night.  Positives are the absence of stress on possums.  Negatives are additional cost because of the additional time involved and potential danger of working in the dark, the possibility that not all possums have left when the entry/exit is blocked and of course inconvenience for Nick and residents by him having to attend so late at night.

·                   The last method is one which is most often used when possums are inside houses and involves Nick grabbing hold of possums by the tail and scruff of the neck, whilst wearing a pair of welding gloves.  Nick will first try to encourage the possum to enter a trap by gently placing the trap at the front of the possum and then trying to give it a shove in the backside to get it to enter the trap but this seems to work only about 50% of times.  Positives are that this is a quick and sure method of getting a possum out of the house.  Negatives are the stress to the possum and Nick, the possibility of the latter getting bitten and the potential for the possum to evade Nick and run around the house.

Whichever method is used, possums are generally released on the property on which they are caught, for the following reasons:

·                  Research indicates that if relocated, between 40 and 70 percent of possums will die in a short time.

·                 If a possum is removed, its territory markers quickly dissipate and another will quickly take its place if the entry/exit points have not been properly sealed.

·                 Releasing the possum on the site is the ultimate test of the workmanship on the sealing, as the possum will make concerted efforts to get back into ‘its home’.

·                  Nick encourages clients to purchase a possum box if they have a suitable tree in which to place it, as this provides the possum with alternative accommodation and since it is in the area, means that it is less likely that other possums will be trying to get into the roof.  Nick can supply and position a possum box for $90 as part of a possum removal service, or sratging at $120 as a standalone service, depending on location.

·                  Possum removal is not usually a simple job as they are quite intelligent, determined and adaptable creatures.  If you are looking for a possum removal service in Brisbane, give Nick a call and he can give advice and a rough idea of potential costs.



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