Tweed Shire Council says it receives many calls from residents concerned that a possum may be living in their roof space.
Council’s Natural Resource Management Project Officer Sally Jacka reminded residents that possums, like all other native animals, are protected in NSW. This means it is illegal to harm them in any way, which includes trapping and relocating them in another area.
“Research has shown that nearly 100 per cent of relocated possums die within days of their release,” Ms Jacka said.
“Possums are territorial, so will battle with other possums in the area in which they have been relocated. This may result in the possums becoming injured and even dying. A common disease called stress dermatitis may occur as a result of wounds sustained and the stress of the relocation.
“If they do find a new hollow to live in, relocated possums may also displace other wildlife, such as parrots, owls or gliders.”
If you do have a possum living on your roof, a combination of light, smells and an alternative home should encourage the possum to leave.
Here are some tips for removing possums:
- Check your roof to make sure it is a possum living there and not rats. If you hear movement during the day, it is more than likely rats. If you are not sure, you could set a non-lethal trap to check what animals are disturbing you.
- Locate the access points into the roof and identify trees or structures possibly being used to climb up to the roof.
- Place collars made from aluminium or sheet iron around the trunks of trees being used to access the roof and lop any overhanging branches.
- Make or buy a nest box and install it in your garden as an alternative den site for the possum.
- Spread mothballs on the roof to repel the possum. DO NOT USE RAT BAIT as this will cause an extremely painful and cruel death for possums and possibly other wildlife.
- Place a light on the roof and leave it on for three days and nights.
- Once you are sure the possum has left your roof, block off the known entrance points. If you do not do this your efforts will be wasted, as another animal is sure to make its home in your roof.
Tweed residents interested in creating wildlife habitat are encouraged to come along to the ‘Nest Boxes for Wildlife’ Workshop on Saturday 9 April from 10.30 am to 2 pm at the Pottsville Environmental Centre in Centennial Drive.
The Nest Boxes for Wildlife Workshop is the latest Landcare education event in the Tweed and Byron Shire Council’s Bush Futures Urban Sustainability Project.
Follow Farnorthcoaster for interesting news, tips, and more!