How to get a skunk off your roof and keep it from coming back (2023)

Heim News How to get an opossum off your roof and keep it from coming back

How to get a skunk off your roof and keep it from coming back (1)

Even in the midst of Australia's largest cities, you're likely to find a possum. Among the most adaptable and versatile of our marsupials, ringtail or brushtail possums live much of their lives overhead, many in suburban yards. At night, they emerge to forage for food: through the treetops, across rooftops, and along fences and power lines to avoid being hit by a car or attacked by a dog.

Although opossums are generally distrustful of humans and do little harm to us, they can harass themselves by eating flowers and fruit from our gardens and, in the case of the brushtail possum, perching on the roof area of ​​our houses. So if you suspect you have an opossum on your roof, here's a handy guide on how to move it carefully.

table of Contents

  1. How do I stop possums from walking on my roof??
  2. How do I remove an opossum from my roof??
  3. How can I prevent an opossum from returning to my roof??
  4. Can I catch an opossum myself??
  5. How do I know there is an opossum on my roof??
  6. How do possums get on my roof??
  7. What damage can possums cause??
  8. Why do opossums live in burrows on roofs??
  9. What types of possums are found in Queensland??

How do I stop possums from walking on my roof?

Possums will usually be on your roof regularly for only three reasons. They live on your roof, on your roof, or use your roof to get from A to B. It can be difficult to prevent possums from walking on a roof, since you can't prevent them from walking on power lines. and then they will most likely use overhanging trees to climb onto your roof, so the solution is to cut down trees away from the roof line.

Another concern is decorative trellis and deck posts that allow possums to climb up and down the roof. If so, consider putting something smooth plastic or metal around them so they can't grab onto these features and climb up or down.

How do I remove an opossum from my roof?

There are several ways to get rid of possums on a roof, but for all of them it is important to deny possums access to your roof and to identify entrances and exits.

An easy way to tell if an opossum is using an attic opening in your home is to loosely ball up sheets of newspaper and stick them into any holes you find. If a possum uses it as an entry point, it will move it out of the way when it appears at dusk. However, the process may need to be repeated even after taking out a possum and sealing an entrance, as they can use multiple spawn points.

Once you have determined all the entry points, you will need to seal them to prevent the possum from re-entering. This can be done with solid sheet metal, wood, or heavy-duty chicken wire, but chicken wire is not recommended as if an opossum is determined to get back inside, it can pull the wire off quite easily with its powerful claws.

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When sealing doorways with wire mesh, you can first fasten it to one side of the opening and hold it open with crumpled up newspaper. This allows the possum to open it on its way out, but the paper is pushed out and the netting snaps back into place, preventing it from going back inside.

Once you're sure the possum has cleared the ceiling, you can seal the other side of the netting to block entry. At the same time, you should also cut back any vegetation that is overhanging the roof to prevent access to other potential entry points.

What if this doesn't solve the problem?

Opossums are protected wildlife and their removal can only be done by licensed commercial opossum transplanters. Therefore, if the above method did not work, you should seek professional help. However, removing an opossum is not necessarily a "quick fix." If the vacated construction site is not properly sealed, it is simply reoccupied.

Translators usually block off all access points and then place a trap cage on the roof to remove the possum from the roof and release it outside. Shippers in Queensland are required to release possums within 25 meters of the capture point to ensure that an animal is not released into the range of another possum. Opossums are less likely to survive if released into a new area where they don't have access to a den, must compete with a neighboring opossum for space and food, or are likely to be attacked by dogs.

Once you've hired an opossum transporter, it's also worth asking them to set up a nest box so the opossum will have a safe alternative haven when released (more on this below).

How can I prevent an opossum from returning to my roof?

Electronic equipment

Opossums like to sleep in the dark, so if you put a light in the attic and leave it on for several days and nights, they may not come back. Motion-activated ultrasonic devices are also available that activate when an opossum crosses the sensor, which can scare off the opossums. Some of these devices also emit a high-pitched sound that is above the human hearing range, but definitely not pleasant for possums!

strong-smelling substances

Spraying disinfectant or spraying quasia chip solution around the sealed entrance will mask the possum's scent and may discourage the possum from re-entering. Opossums also tend to dislike odors like garlic, mothballs, and ammonia. Another DIY tip is to soak an old sock in liquid seaweed and hang it in the garden or near fruit trees or in your vegetable garden. Possums hate the smell!

food sources

Possums are attracted to homes where food is readily available, so removing food sources can make your property less attractive. Make sure trash can lids are closed tightly, keep your grill clean and feed pets inside if possible, and clean up leftover food and water after your pet has been fed.

If you have fruit trees, collect fallen fruit or try to prevent falling fruit with netting. If you want to feed native birds, avoid spraying bird seed in the late afternoon. Do it in the late morning or mid-afternoon, or use bird feeders and then bring them in at dusk. .

Never intentionally offer food to possums. Human-fed opossums gradually lose their fear of humans and may become aggressive if not provided with food.

alternative shelter

Brushtail Possums only survive if they have a den. Without them, they face a variety of threats during the day, including attacks by crows and other birds and the risk of aggressive encounters with other possums when they try to invade burrows that are already occupied. Consider providing alternative homes for possums, either by purchasing orBuild a possum box.


Secure it to a tree and place it high enough to keep the possum out of the reach of cats and dogs (at least 13 feet off the ground). Placing some fruits, such as pears, apples, or grapes, near the box may encourage an opossum to explore its new home, as opossums are naturally curious and love to explore their territory.

Can I catch an opossum myself?

Opossums are protected by state law (Conservation Act of 1992) and it is illegal to take and relocate them unless you have ato allowbesides.

If you get a permit, many municipalities have wire mesh possum traps that you can rent. Place the trap in the ceiling cave near the opossum access point and check it every morning. If you catch an opossum, you must release it within 24 hours, it must be at night and you must release it within 25 meters of where it was found; releasing it in an area smaller than this is illegal in Queensland.

trap requirements

  • A cage trap must be constructed in such a way as to prevent injury.
  • An ideal construction is a wire mesh box with a mesh size of less than 19mm square. If a larger mesh trap is used, possums can seriously damage their noses by being pushed through the mesh.
  • Traps should be installed in a stable, level position that is protected from cats, dogs, rain, wind, and direct sunlight at all times.
  • You can use appropriate baits like fruits, vegetables, or peanut butter to lure the opossum into the cage.

fishing conditions

  • All traps must be checked no later than two hours after sunrise.
  • If you catch an opossum during the day, place it in a cool, quiet area of ​​your home and cover it with an old towel or blanket to protect it from light.

Release of captive possums

  • Captured opossums must be released on the property where they were captured, no more than 25 meters from the capture site after sunset on the day of capture. Releasing possums during the day increases their stress and puts them at risk of attack and injury.
  • Be sure to wear thick gloves or a long stick to avoid scratching yourself.
  • When you release the possum, point the cage in the direction you want the animal to escape.
  • Translocation of brushtail possums is prohibited.
  • If it is not reasonably possible to release the opossum onto your property, the opossums must be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian at the hunter's expense and within 24 hours of capture.

How do I know there is an opossum on my roof?

In some cases, possums are falsely accused of stealing fruit or inhabiting the roof, with rats probably being the real culprits. So how do you know if it's a possum or a rat on the roof?

If something moves on the ceiling, it makes different noises depending on its size, gait, and activity. Rats do not weigh more than a few hundred grams and tend to scurry when moving. Because they also need to keep their constantly growing front teeth sharp, they often bite loudly, so noises like this in the wall cavity of your home are most likely coming from a rat.

Brush-tailed possums can weigh up to ten pounds, so even walking slowly, they will frolick on the roof. Most likely, they will hear violent banging on the roof or ceiling, see coughing and hissing noises, stains on the ceiling, or smell a strong ammonia odor caused by your urine.

If there is more than one animal on your roof, they are likely to mate or fight over territory. In any case, the sound will help you guess the size of the animal. Possums and rats will squeal when mating or fighting, but a rat's squeal will be louder. A resident male bushtail possum can be identified by its loud, hoarse call to alert other males that they are in its range.

In terms of feces, opossums and rats often have black, pellet-like feces that range in size from about 7 millimeters long in rats to more than 15 millimeters in bush-tailed possums. The size of a ringtail possum's droppings falls somewhere in the middle. Rat droppings are often found scattered around a nesting or feeding site, while opossum droppings are more likely to be found under a tree where the animal has been feeding.

Regarding nests, brushtail possums may have a nest made of leaves on the roof, or they may be placed on top of roof insulation. Rats often build small nests in sheltered locations, lining them with rags, pieces of paper, or dry plant material.

How do possums get on my roof?

Possums typically enter a burrow in the roof under the eaves and possibly near an adjoining shrub or tree, allowing access. If a brushtail possum can get its head out into space, it can probably get the rest of its body in as well, and older homes often have openings in the ceiling voids large enough to let the possums in.

What damage can possums do?

In addition to making noise, possums can cause significant damage to drywall, weatherboards, ceiling voids, and even wiring if left unchecked. They can also stain urine, cause odors, and when they die, the smell of dead possum on the ceiling is unmistakable.


Why do opossums live in burrows on roofs?

Opossums are arboreal animals that are nocturnal. During the day they roost in tree cavities or, in the case of the banded in South Australia, high up in the tree.

However, eucalyptus trees can take a hundred years or more to form from tree hollows. As land is cleared for development, agriculture, and housing, the number of available landfills has dramatically decreased. Once they are gone, they naturally cannot be replaced for a long time, until new cavities appear in newer or different trees. Due to the lack of suitable cavities in trees, opossums migrate through holes in our roofs and build their homes in safe, dark places.

What types of possums are there in Queensland?


In Queensland, the two commonly found species of possum are the common ringtail possum and the common bushtail possum, and both are nocturnal.

brush tail possums

Commonly found in urban areas, bush possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) live along the east coast of Australia, in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Canberra, Tasmania, the southeast corner of South Australia, central Australia including the Southern Northern Territory and along the southwest coast of Western Australia.

Brushtails vary in color from a coppery color in northern Queensland to a gray or even blackish tinge in the southern states. Brushtails get their name from their thick, dark, bushy tail. They have pointy cat-like ears and are about the size of a large cat. Brushtails eat flowers, leaves, fruit, and occasionally meat and small invertebrates.

A brushtail possum is very territorial and can express itself when defending its range. Male opossums have a home range of about 2.8 hectares when living in close proximity to humans, and females need about 1.9 hectares.

Brushtail Possums breed mostly in the fall or spring, but can breed any time of the year if there is enough food. They typically have a baby that lives in its mother's pouch for four to five months and leaves its mother's home range between the ages of six and 18 months.

Ring-tailed possums

Ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) are less common than brushtails and are slightly smaller. They live on the east coast of Australia in Queensland, most of Victoria, New South Wales, Canberra, Tasmania and southwestern Western Australia.

The ringtail has smaller ears than the brushtail and is typically greyish-brown with white underparts, red flanks, and white spots behind the ears.

Ringtail Possums get their name from their long, tapered tail, and the last third of their tail is white. It's tangible, which means it can grab like another hand! This possum can grasp branches with its tail and even carry nesting material with it.

Ringtails eat mostly leaves, including eucalyptus leaves, and will sometimes even develop a fondness for flowers in your garden!

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Ringtail possums are gregarious and may have overlapping ranges with other ringtail possums. They are not as vocal as brushtail possums, although they do make low and high pitched chirps at times. Ringtail possums breed from April to November. Two baby opossums typically remain in their mother's pouch until they are four months old, after which they ride on their mother's back for about 11 months.

A third species, known as the Mountain Brushtail Possum, is found in wetter, higher elevation areas of South East Queensland and has shorter, rounder ears and, when found in rainforest, a black coat compared to the tail of common brush. There are several other species as well, including the Herbert River Ringtail, which is the emblem of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.


In urban areas, the natural predation of opossums has been largely replaced by vehicle kills and attacks by cats and dogs. Despite this and the destruction of natural habitats that is occurring with urban development, opossums are still found in inner-city areas and are common in many suburbs.

Each of the opossums lives in a so-called "home area". The ranges of females and males overlap, and ring-tailed possums can form female/male bonds that persist between breeding seasons. However, opossums are usually solitary, and when two opossums are seen together, it is usually a mother and cub.

Brushtail Possums can form territories, but generally rely on scent and vocalization to establish burrow ownership. This also allows them to avoid any close and sometimes aggressive contact with neighboring possums.

Available burrows are completely occupied by adult opossums, and an opossum without a burrow will not survive. This means that many young opossums will die when they become independent because they are unable to establish a range. It also means that if one possum is removed from an area, soon another will fill the available den.

Most possums remain virtually invisible, and at worst commit "little mischief" such as jumping on your roof at night and stealing fruit from trees in your backyard.

The availability of den sites is a critical factor limiting the number of opossums in an area. However, with few mature trees with hollow branches in suburban areas, brushtail possums have adapted by moving onto the roofs of our homes.

Unlike the brushtail, the South Australian ringtail possum builds a nest of sticks, grass and bark calledheavy car. They usually build a series of dreys within the area of ​​a house, so if one is accidentally destroyed, they will move to another. Dreys are usually two to four feet off the ground and up in the trees. In the north, ringtails roost in tree cavities and rarely build dreys. Unlike brushtails, however, they generally don't like to hide in your roof.



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