Possums in the Roof: Signs, Risks, and Effective Possum Removal

Possums in the Roof

Possums in the Roof: Signs, Risks, and Effective Possum Removal

Have you been hearing strange or loud noises in your roof lately? It could be more than just a few branches tapping on the roof tiles. If you suspect that possums have taken up residence in your roof, it’s important to understand the signs, risks, and most importantly, how to effectively remove them.

Possums are nocturnal creatures that are known to seek shelter in roofs, especially in urban areas. While they may seem harmless, if left unchecked, they can cause extensive damage to your property and pose health risks to you and your family. It’s crucial to address the issue promptly for the well-being of both your home and the possums.

In this article, we will explore the signs that indicate possums have invaded your roof, the risks associated with their presence, and the most effective methods of removing them. By understanding these key factors, you will be equipped with the knowledge to handle a possum infestation responsibly and ensure a peaceful coexistence. Let’s dive in!

Signs Possums Are In Your Roof

  • Distinct scratching and thumping noises signal possum presence in the roof, especially at night.
  • Sounds escalate from subtle scratching to disruptive thumping and scurrying.
  • Small, cylindrical, dark droppings confirm possum infestation.

One of the first signs that possums may be in your roof is the presence of scratching and thumping noises coming from above. The sounds of possums can be quite distinct and easily distinguishable from other household noises. Possums are nocturnal creatures, so these noises are especially prominent during the night when they are most active.

The sounds of possums in the roof can vary in intensity and frequency. They may start off as subtle scratching sounds but can escalate to loud thumping and scurrying noises as the possums move around in the roof space. These sounds can be particularly bothersome and disruptive, especially when you are trying to sleep.

If you hear possum noises, it is essential to investigate further to confirm their presence. Look for any signs of entry points on the roof, such as damaged or loose tiles, gaps, or holes. Possums can squeeze through small openings, so even the tiniest gaps should not be overlooked.

Another sign of possums in the roof is the presence of their droppings. Possum droppings are usually small, cylindrical, and dark in color. If you find droppings in your roof space, it is a clear indication that possums have made their way into your home.

In Australia, where possums are common, it is crucial to address the issue promptly. The scratching and thumping noises can disrupt your sleep and cause stress, while possum droppings can create an unsanitary environment. Seeking professional assistance for effective possum removal is the best course of action to ensure your roof and home are possum-free.


It’s imperative to note that a valid license is a prerequisite for the removal of possums. This licensing mandate, although subject to variation across different states, uniformly underscores the necessity of adhering to specific guidelines. Notably, the relocation of possums is circumscribed by defined spatial parameters, typically falling within the range of 25 to 50 meters. These statutory constraints serve as a safeguard, ensuring a balance between pest management and ecological preservation.

What Does A Possum Sound Like?

Possums emit a variety of sounds, ranging from hissing and growling to screeching and chattering. These noises can be quite loud and can often be heard coming from the roof at night. If you suspect that there may be possums in your roof, listen for the following sounds:

  • Hissing: Possums may hiss when they feel threatened or cornered. This sound is often accompanied by a distinctive puffing noise as they expel air through their lips.
  • Growling: When possums are agitated or attempting to establish dominance, they may emit low, rumbling growls.
  • Screeching: Possums can produce high-pitched screeches, especially during breeding season or when fighting with other possums. It is a piercing sound that can be quite alarming.
  • Chattering: Possums may make chattering noises, which sound like a series of rapid, high-pitched clicks. They often make this noise when they are excited or communicating with other possums.

If you hear any of these noises coming from your roof cavity or roof void, it is likely that you have possums in your roof. It is important to address this issue promptly to avoid any damage or health risks associated with possums in the roof.

Possum life span

On average, possums tend to live for about 4 to 6 years in the wild. The life span of possums can vary depending on various factors such as their environment and access to food. However, some possums have been known to live up to 10 years or more in captivity. Understanding the life span of possums is important in managing their populations and implementing effective possum control measures.

Possum Diseases

Understanding the diseases that possums may carry is crucial for effective possum removal and safeguarding the health of both humans and the animals themselves. Here are some key diseases associated with possums:

  • Tuberculosis: Possums can be carriers of this infectious disease, which can be transmitted to humans through direct contact or inhalation of contaminated aerosols.
  • Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection can be contracted through contact with possum urine, leading to symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle pain.
  • Salmonellosis: Possums may carry salmonella bacteria in their feces, which poses a risk of infection to humans if proper hygiene is not maintained.
  • Exudative Dermatitis: poses a threat to our indigenous brushtail possum populations, impacting their skin health.

Common Possums Australia

Australia is home to several common possum species, including the common brushtail possum, gliders, northern brushtail possum, striped possum, and coppery brushtail possum. These possums are known for their adaptability and ability to thrive in various habitats across the country. Understanding the characteristics and behaviors of these common possums is crucial in effectively managing and addressing issues related to their presence in residential areas.

Common Brushtail Possum

Brushtail PossumCommon brushtail possums are frequently found in residential roof spaces in Australia. These nocturnal creatures are known for their bushy tail and large ears, which help them navigate their environment. When it comes to their behavior and habits, there are several key points to consider:

  • Common brushtail possums primarily feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, and the bark of trees.
  • These animals have adapted well to urban environments and are considered pests due to their ability to damage roofs and create noise.
  • The strong odor emitted by possums can be an indication of their presence.
  • Providing alternative shelter options like possum boxes can encourage these creatures to relocate.
  • Engaging the services of a professional possum removalist is recommended to ensure the safe and effective removal of common brushtail possums.

Northern Brushtail Possum

Northern Brushtail Possum

The northern brushtail possum, scientific name Trichosurus arnhemensis, is a marsupial native to northern Australia. Renowned for its adaptation to diverse habitats, ranging from rainforests to woodlands, and even human houses, this arboreal species showcases a robust build and a bushy tail. Sporting fur of varying shades, including grey, brown, and black, the northern brushtail possum exhibits regional color variations.

Nocturnal by nature, these possums primarily feed on a herbivorous diet consisting of leaves, fruits, and blossoms. Their adept climbing skills and prehensile tail enable them to navigate the treetops with ease. Breeding typically occurs in cooler months, resulting in pouch-bound offspring that mature within the mother’s pouch before transitioning to riding on her back.

While the northern brushtail possum plays a vital ecological role in seed dispersal and vegetation control, it faces challenges from habitat loss and potential threats from introduced species. Conservation efforts aim to safeguard the population and preserve the ecological balance in its natural habitats across northern Australia.

Striped Possum

Striped Possum

The Striped Possum is a frequently encountered native species of possum found across various regions in Australia. These marsupials are often mistaken for the more common Brushtail Possum or the native Ringtail Possums due to their similar appearance. However, there are a few key features that distinguish the Striped Possum from its counterparts.

As the name suggests, their most distinctive characteristic is the presence of prominent stripes running along their bodies. These possums are typically found in the bush, where they make their homes in tree hollows. They have long, bushy tails that help them balance as they move through the trees in search of food.

While they mainly feed on fruit trees and native plants, they have been known to scavenge for pet food and can cause damage to electrical wires if they find their way into homes. Transitioning into the subsequent section about the Coppery Brushtail Possum, it is important to understand the various species of possums that may be encountered in Australia.

Coppery Brushtail Possum

Coppery Brushtail Possum

The Coppery Brushtail Possum is a widely recognised species of possum commonly found in various regions of Australia. These animals are known for their bushy tails and are one of the many possum species native to the country. Here are three key characteristics of the Coppery Brushtail Possum:

Nesting Habits:

  • Coppery Brushtail Possums prefer to nest in tree hollows, particularly in native trees such as eucalyptus.
  • They are territorial creatures, often defending their chosen nesting sites from other possums.
  • These possums can cause damage to roofs and ceilings when they attempt to create nests in residential areas.

Unpleasant Smells:

  • The urine and feces of Coppery Brushtail Possums can emit strong and unpleasant smells, especially when they are concentrated in indoor spaces.
  • These smells can be difficult to eliminate without proper cleaning and removal.

Aggressive Noises:

  • When threatened or disturbed, Coppery Brushtail Possums can make aggressive noises, such as hissing, growling, and screeching.

To effectively remove these possums from residential areas, it is recommended to use a possum trap designed specifically for this purpose. Additionally, taking measures to possum-proof your property can help deter these animals from entering and nesting in unwanted areas.

Common Ringtail Possum

Common Ringtail Possum

The Common Ringtail Possum is a common species of possum found throughout Australia. These nocturnal animals are known for their unique appearance and behaviors. They have a compact body covered in thick fur, with a distinctive ringed tail. These creatures are agile climbers and are often found in trees, using their prehensile tail to navigate branches.

Common Ringtail Possums primarily feed on the leaves of various trees, but they are also known to eat flowers, fruits, and even bird eggs. Unfortunately, they can be a nuisance to homeowners when they take up residence in roofs or attics. To remove these pesky possums, a humane possum trap can be used. Once captured, the possum can be safely relocated to a more suitable habitat.

It is important to note that female possums may have young in their pouch, so care should be taken to ensure their safety during the trapping process. By addressing the issue promptly, homeowners can prevent damage to their property and maintain a peaceful coexistence with these remarkable Australian possums.

Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider

Continuing from the previous subtopic, the presence of Sugar Gliders (common possums in Australia) in roofs or attics can also pose a nuisance to homeowners. These small, nocturnal marsupials are known for their acrobatic abilities and gliding through the air. Here are some key points to understand about Sugar Gliders in relation to their presence in roofs or attics:

  • Capture of Animals: Using a possum trap specifically designed for Sugar Gliders is necessary to safely remove them from the premises.
  • Food Scraps: Sugar Gliders are attracted to food scraps, so it is essential to properly dispose of garbage and avoid leaving food out in the open.
  • Entry Holes: Check for any entry holes in the roof or attic that could provide access for Sugar Gliders.
  • Nesting Material: These possums use nesting material such as leaves and twigs, so be on the lookout for signs of their presence.
  • Urine Stains: Sugar Gliders may leave urine stains on ceilings or walls, indicating their presence.

Gliders have a unique membrane called a patagium that extends from their wrists to their ankles, allowing them to glide effortlessly between trees. They have large, round eyes adapted for night vision and a bushy tail that helps them maintain balance while gliding. Gliders primarily feed on nectar, pollen, and insects.

When it comes to possum invasion, gliders can also find their way into roofs and ceiling spaces. Possum removal techniques, such as possum traps, should be used carefully to avoid harming these unique creatures. It is important to address any possum invasion promptly to prevent damage to the roof, ceiling cavity, or insulation.

Possum Reproduction

Possums, with their unique ability to reproduce both in captivity and in the wild, undergo a complex reproductive process involving a double fertilisation method. These nocturnal marsupials typically mate during the winter months, with the female possums having the ability to delay implantation of the fertilised eggs until conditions are favorable for rearing their young.

During the breeding season, male possums mark their territory with a distinctive smell to attract females. Once they have mated, the female possums give birth to tiny, underdeveloped young called joeys. These joeys crawl into the mother’s pouch, where they attach themselves to a teat and continue to grow and develop.

Possums require suitable nesting sites, such as tree hollows, to give birth and raise their young. However, due to habitat loss and urbanisation, they often resort to alternative options like roof spaces. This is why possum proofing and possum traps, such as wire mesh possum traps, can be used to safely relocate them to more appropriate environments.

It’s important to understand that possums may also pose a threat to baby birds and bird eggs if they gain access to nesting boxes or potential entry points. Therefore, effective possum removal is crucial to protect both the possums and other wildlife.

Now, let’s explore the fascinating world of baby possums and their development after birth.

Baby Possums

Baby Possums

During the early stages of development, baby possums, known as joeys, rely on their mother’s pouch for nourishment and protection. Here are some key points about baby possums:

  • Habitat: Baby possums are typically born in the mother’s pouch, where they stay for around three months until they become too big to fit. Once they leave the pouch, they cling to their mother’s back and continue to nurse for a few more months. As they grow, they start exploring the surrounding area, often staying close to nearby trees.
  • Diet: Although they still nurse from their mother, baby possums also start eating solid foods. They are omnivorous and will feed on a variety of food sources, including fruits, vegetables, insects, and even small animals. They may scavenge for leftover food in garbage bins or around human dwellings.
  • Behaviour: Baby possums, like their adult counterparts, are nocturnal creatures. They are active during the night and sleep during the day. They have distinctive black tails and, like their parents, their presence can be identified by the stains and droppings they leave behind.

If you find baby possums in your roof, it is important to contact a professional pest controller who specialises in the removal of Australian marsupials. They will safely relocate the possums and ensure they do not cause further damage to your property.

What do possums eat?

After leaving their mother’s pouch, baby possums begin to expand their diet and consume a variety of foods. Possums are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant matter and small animals. Their diet primarily consists of fruits, leaves, flowers, nectar, and buds. They are particularly fond of eucalypt trees, as the leaves provide them with essential nutrients. Additionally, possums also feed on insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, and even carrion.

While possums have a diverse diet, they are known to be selective eaters. They have a preference for certain plant species and can be quite choosy when it comes to their food. This selectiveness can sometimes lead to conflict with humans, especially when possums raid gardens or orchards for their preferred fruits or vegetables.

In urban areas, possums have adapted to the presence of humans and have been known to scavenge through garbage bins for food. This behavior can make them troublesome and potentially lead to other issues such as spreading pests or diseases.

To address the issue of troublesome possums, humane animal traps like possum traps can be used. These traps are designed to catch possums alive, allowing for their safe relocation to a more suitable environment. It is important to note that trapping and relocating possums should be done by professionals who are trained and licensed to handle these fluffy marsupials.

Are Possums friendly?

While possums may appear cute and harmless, it is important to consider whether they are friendly creatures. Here are some key points to understand about the friendliness of possums:

  • Possums in the roof: When possums take up residence in your roof, it is crucial to remember that they are wild animals. Their presence in your house roof can cause damage and create a nuisance.
  • Signs and risks: Possums can be territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior if they feel threatened. Their blackish colouration and sharp claws enable them to climb and defend themselves. Additionally, possums can chew on electrical wiring, posing a fire risk.
  • Effective possum removal: If you need to remove possums from your roof, it is best to call experienced possum catchers who can safely and humanely relocate them. Attempting to remove possums without professional assistance can lead to aggressive encounters.
  • Possum traps: Possum traps are often used to catch and relocate these animals. However, it is important to note that trapping possums requires a permit in many regions.
  • Common noises: Possums can be noisy, especially when they are moving around in your roof. Scratching, thumping, and scurrying sounds are common indicators of their presence.

Possum Removal

When it comes to removing native animals from your roof, there are a few effective methods to consider. One option is using possum traps, which can safely capture the animals for later release. Another method is using possum baits, which attract the possums and allow for their removal. Both of these approaches can help address the issue of possums in the roof and ensure a safer living environment.

How to get rid of possums in the roof

Effective possum removal from the roof requires a systematic approach and the implementation of humane techniques. Here are three fool-proof methods to get rid of possums in the roof:

  1. Install a possum trap: Set up a capture cage trap near the entry points of the roof. Use baits such as fruits or vegetables to attract the possum. Once captured with a professional cage trap, release it safely in a suitable environment away from your property.
  2. Seal entry points: Possums are agile climbers and can access your roof through small gaps or holes. Use chicken wire or other suitable materials to seal off any potential entry points, preventing their return.
  3. Seek professional assistance: It’s best to consult a professional wildlife removal service. They have the expertise to safely remove possums and ensure they don’t return.

Possum Traps

Possum traps are an effective method for removing possums from roofs and other areas. These traps are designed to safely catch the possum without causing harm, allowing for their relocation to a more suitable environment. By using possum traps, homeowners can address the issue of possums in their roofs and mitigate the risks associated with their presence.

Trapping Possums

One common method for removing possums from the roof is through the use of specially designed traps. These possum traps are effective in safely capturing the pests and preventing their re-entry into the roof. When using possum traps, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Choose a pest trap that is specifically designed for possums, ensuring it is large enough to accommodate the common species found in your area, such as the ringtail possum – pseudocheirus
  • Set the possum trap in an area where possum activity is high, such as near their entry points or along their regular pathways.
  • Bait the possum trap with food items that possums are attracted to, such as fruits or vegetables, to increase the chances of capturing them.

Possum Baits

To successfully remove possums from your roof, it is essential to employ strategic baiting techniques. Possum baits are an effective means of attracting and capturing these nocturnal creatures. When selecting a bait, it is important to consider their natural diet and preferences. Common baits used for possum removal include fruits, vegetables, and grains. These baits can be placed strategically near the possum trap, enticing the possum to enter. It is recommended to use a double entry trap, which allows the possum to enter from either side, increasing the chances of capture. Additionally, it is beneficial to choose baits that are commonly found in the Australian bush, as this will be familiar and appealing to possums. By baiting effectively, you can increase the success rate of possum removal from your roof.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Possums Nocturnal Animals?

Possums are nocturnal animals, meaning they are primarily active during the night. This behavior allows them to avoid predators and search for food more effectively. Nocturnal animals have adapted to low light conditions, with enhanced senses of hearing and smell. They typically sleep during the day in nests or dens, such as in trees or in roofs. Understanding their nocturnal nature is important when dealing with possum removal, as it helps determine the most effective strategies and techniques.

Can Possums Cause Damage to the Roof?

Possums can indeed cause damage to roofs. They are known to seek shelter in attics and roofs, where they can create nests and burrows. Their activity can lead to a variety of problems, including scratching noises at night, foul odors, and damage to insulation, wiring, and structural components. Additionally, possums can carry parasites and diseases that can pose health risks to humans. It is important to address possum infestations promptly and employ effective removal methods to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of the property and its occupants.

Are Possums a Protected Species in Australia?

Possums are indeed a protected species in Australia. They are protected under various state and territory laws, as well as the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This protection is in place to ensure the conservation and preservation of possum populations, as they play an important role in the ecosystem. It is illegal to harm or kill possums without proper authorisation, and there are penalties for those who do not comply with these regulations.

How Long Does It Take for a Baby Possum to Become Independent?

The time it takes for a baby possum to become independent can vary depending on several factors such as species and environmental conditions. However, on average, it takes about 6 to 7 months for a baby possum to become fully independent. During this time, the mother possum will gradually reduce her care and the baby possum will learn essential survival skills, such as foraging for food and finding shelter, until it can fend for itself in the wild.

Can Possums Transmit Diseases to Humans?

Possums have the potential to transmit diseases to humans. They can carry various parasites, including ticks, fleas, and mites, which can spread diseases such as Lyme disease and typhus. Additionally, possums can be carriers of leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through their urine. It is important to take precautions when dealing with possums to minimise the risk of disease transmission, such as wearing gloves and avoiding direct contact with their bodily fluids.