Possums are a common household pest and most home owners have had some type of experience with them at some time. These critters are the same approximate size as a house cat and have grey coarse fur, a hairless tail and ears and a face that is rather pointy with a distinctive snout. Possums are marsupials and can hang upside down using their tail to latch on to a tree branch and can reach a weight of about 7kg. They have feet that look similar to hands with five fingers on each paw. Possums are great climbers and have a diverse natural habitat and generally like to take shelter in the abandoned burrow of another animal. They will also take up residence in cavities of trees and under porches, decks and in sheds, attics and garages.
You may not see possums around your home because they are largely nocturnal and forage for food at night. They are true omnivores and feed on nuts, green plants, fruits, frogs, birds (and their eggs), snakes, snails, mice, voles and rats. Possum controlusually becomes a necessity when garden vegetables start to disappear and decorative trees and plants are targeted. Possums have lost most of their natural fear of people and have even been known to enter homes through pet doors. Possums are extremely messy eaters, so you may see the evidence of their foraging from the night before, in the morning.
Possums have a top speed of about 11 km/h so they have a variety of strategies to evade their enemies. They can enter a burrow or climb a tree to escape attack and when they are threatened they may respond by growling, hissing and baring teeth or spraying a smelly and repulsive musky fluid from their anal glands. The also “play possum” by rolling over onto their side, closing their eyes, letting their body go limp and allowing their tongue to hang from their open mouth, making them appear dead. When a possum is in this shock reaction their heartbeat also slows down.
How to Control Possum for Home Owners?
Home owners need to find ways to deter or get rid of possums because they destroy decorative plants and food gardens. They also defecate on porches, patios and paths and fight with pets which can cause injuries to pets. Possums carry a variety of dangerous and deadly diseases and are also generally infested with lice, mites, ticks and fleas.
What are the Possum Control Methods?
Motion sensor spot lights should be set up around your home and garden. Possums do not like to be trapped under the glare of bright lights and will avoid any areas where there is such lighting. Sensor lights can be installed outside of your home on the porch, deck and any outside shed areas.
Trapping possums in live traps is an easy and humane method of effective possum control. Pestrol offers suitable live traps for trapping possums. Traps can be set along obvious paths of travel in the garden or near known burrows. The best bait to use in a live trap is fish flavoured moist cat food (in a tin), but this can also attract neighbourhood cats. If there are a lot of cats in the area, you might try using raw chicken eggs or some bread with peanut butter and jam spread on it. Overripe bananas, grapes and melon are also good bait that is attractive to possums. When you capture a possum in a live trap it is important to deal with it as soon as possible – do not leave a live animal in a trap for longer than a few hours or it will suffer undue stress.
What are the Other Pestrol Possum Control Devices?
Pestrol Possum Away is an electronic device that emits a sound that is unbearable for possums. They will either avoid your home altogether or move on from any burrow that they have made under your residence as soon as soon as they start to hear this device. Pestrol Possum Away generates ultrasonic sounds and a strobe light with sound waves between 15kHz and 25 kHz. The sound is inaudible to humans, so it will not disturb the home owner or their neighbours. The unit is completely weather resistant and environmentally friendly with a range of up to 10 metres.
The sound emitted by Pestrol Possum Away startles possums and scares them away. The sounds are produced through a variable pulse generator so that the sound waves fluctuate which ensures that any nearby animals will not become accustomed to the sound. The device operates on a continual basis and has an optional built in motion sensor so that the device is activated when any animals move into the area of coverage of 24 x 15 metres. The setting can be adjusted for continual use when you need to control smaller pest animals such as birds or rodents.
Pestrol Possum Away has three mode settings including: (a) Continuous Sweep – activates a range of frequencies in sonic and ultrasonic at random intervals (motion sensor will be deactivated on this setting) (b) Constant – activates sonic and ultrasonic noises and cycles through them at random intervals (motion sensor not active on this setting) and (c) Motion Sensor which activates sonic and ultrasonic sounds if it detects any pests.
For more about our possum deterrent products visit: http://www.pestrol.com.au/pest-animals/outside/possums.html