Don’t be fooled by those cute round eyes. Possums can look adorable but they can cause serious problems that require a homeowner’s undivided attention.
From an ancient group of Australian animals, possums (when left alone to multiply) can easily become nuisances in the same capacity as rodents. They have adapted to urban areas and have a penchant for comfortable, warm spaces. Possums will invade and infest a home once they find it cosy enough. Oftentimes, they find their way inside through holes in the roof or various cavities within the home.
The Possum Problem
For homeowners, having a possum living with them at home can mean noisy scratches coming from the ceiling or walls. Possums also like to chew and gnaw on wood to create entrances and exits. Perhaps the most problematic is when they pee and stain the ceiling or nibble through electric cables.
Thanks to their messy traits, they can easily attract rats which in turn might attract other natural predators like pythons. As for diseases, Australian possums haven’t been recorded to harbour any diseases or cause real problems for humans. This is very different from their relatives, the American opossums which can transmit diseases and carry ticks as well.
Rodent & Possum Control: Saying Goodbye for Good
Those who are looking to eliminate these pests for good will find a few helpful guidelines to mark their way.
- Always keep the house clean and free from items that attract rodents and possums.
One of the reasons why a possum or a rat would find its way inside a home is because it is searching for food and water. If there are sources left lying around then it will easily attract the creatures. Professionals would suggest ensuring that food is properly stowed away and that the area is kept clean. This is particularly applicable to the kitchen and the pantry area.
Keeping an area sanitised is an effective way of rodent control. It makes a home less enticing to pests, thus curbing down their population.
- Rodent –proofing the home.
Rat control or possum control can be easily done if there are no potential entrance or exit points that can be used in the first place. Rats can use quite small entry holes. Homeowners should survey their existing surroundings and seal off any possible entryways a possum or rat can use. It is advisable to repair any existing damage like holes in the wall or ceiling to avoid unexpected visitors literally dropping in.
- Using traps to capture rats or possums.
Generally, it is possible to capture rats without any consequences, however, possums are another story. For instance, in Australia, it is illegal to capture a possum using a trap unless you have a permit to do so. Professional possum or rat control experts are often hired to ensure that everything goes well. Possums are protected native wildlife and can only be caught in live traps that do not injure them. It’s possible to use a trap for rodents, and two of the most common include the snap trap and live animal rat trap but rats are intelligent and they usually realise when one or two have been caught!
- Using chemical formulas to control the rodent population.
Professionals often make use of chemical treatments to eliminate rodents especially if the situation is quite critical. There are plenty of poisons that can be used. Although most homeowners can use them, great care is needed and it is imperative that users read the label. These often come with specific instructions that must be followed down to a tee.
Eliminating pests may not be that easy but there are simple steps homeowners can follow to minimise the problems and ensure their homes are kept away from troublesome critters like rats, mice and possums.
By Debra Wright
Debra Wright keeps tabs on all things new in the world of home improvement. Aside from using this information in her current line of work, she seeks to help and inspire others by writing about her newest discoveries. Keep tabs on Debra @debrawrites…