In Australia, there are two types of possums that can be observed: the common bushtail possum and the common ringtail possum. These small animals (about the size or half the size of a cat) are quite adorable, but they have been known to find their way into homes and commercial buildings, causing some damage (often to the roof cavities and to plants in gardens). This article focuses on managing possums humanely, in accordance with the law.
Your initial instinct may be to address this emerging pest problem by catching the possums and having them put down or relocating them to an area far away from your property. However, you need to hold those thoughts immediately.
A protected species
In this country, possums are protected creatures under the Wildlife Act 1975. That means that possums are considered to be part of the natural and urban environment and it is illegal to trap them and release them away from your property.
Possums are known to be highly territorial. If you were to trap a possum in your home and release it somewhere else so that it can’t come back, it is very likely that the possums already inhabiting the area you chose would attack the new possum.
Being relocated can be very stressful to possums, and this will almost certainly result in their death. If the animal happens to be sick, then its death in a different location may cause its disease to spread.
Trapping and relocating a possum won’t solve your pest problem at all. Another possum within your area will simply find its way to your property and take up residence there. It won’t be the same possum that you released — there’s no way for that same animal to come back to your house since it will have died under stressful circumstances where you relocated it.
For homeowners in places like Victoria and New South Wales where possums are protected by law (they cannot be harmed in any way or kept without approval), the government offers different, more humane ways to approach the problem of possums making homes in houses and commercial buildings.
Possums can be controlled through the following means:
Because possums must be released back into your property if you were able to trap them, the best way to prevent them from causing damage to your home or building is to block off their access points.
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