Possums are nocturnal. At night they emerge from their dens and dreys in search of food—over rooftops, through treetops, and along powerlines and fences—avoiding the ground where they risk dog attack or being hit by a car.
While possums are usually wary of people and do us little harm, possums are well adapted to living in urban areas. They can become a nuisance when they eat fruit and flowers from our gardens or use roof spaces as shelter.
As native wildlife, possums are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take possums from the wild.
What you can do
You can possum proof your roof by locating and sealing entry and exit points to keep a possum out of your home.
You can identify where a possum is using a roof cavity by scrunching up newspaper loosely and push it into the suspected entry and exit points during the day. The entry point will be identifiable when the possum emerges in the evening (usually at dusk). Repairs should be undertaken immediately, to ensure the possum is not inside when the roof is sealed off.
Possums use scent to find entry points so make sure to clean the area around the entry point with a suitable detergent or disinfectant.
Possums that are causing damage or loss (financial) or posing a risk to your health and safety may be removed by an appropriately authorised removal and relocation contractor (via online search or the yellow pages). There is a cost for using these services. Removal will be at the cost of the landowner or occupier.
Possums are territorial and can only be relocated within 25 metres from the point of capture. To ensure that the building or roof space is not reoccupied, it is essential that repairs are undertaken in conjunction with removal and relocation activities.
A possum box can provide alternative accommodation and can encourage possums out of living in roof cavities. Examples of possum boxes can be found via online searches.
What Council can do
If you have a concern about a possum-related issue within a Council managed facility, please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 4932 9000 or 1300 22 55 77.
Council is unable to assist you in removing a possum from your private property.
What the State Government can do
The Department of Environment and Science issues permits for the removal and relation of wildlife, this is called a Damage Mitigation Permit. Authorised contractors must carry a valid permit to undertake wildlife removal and relocation activities.
For complaints and enquiries in relation to licensing, please contact the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.