The Brushie

The common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the best known of all the possums because it has adapted to living in our cities and suburbs. It especially likes the leafy suburbs of Canberra.

Identifying a Brush-tailed Possum

The Brush-tailed Possum is a marsupial about the size of a domestic cat, with silver-grey fur above and a white to pale grey belly. Males have a reddish chest, tinted by a scent gland. The ears are long and oval-shaped and its tail is long, black and bushy. The underside of the tail is bare, enabling it to grip branches.

Brush-tailed Possums can often be seen on the ground but prefer the safety of trees. They are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and coming out at night to feed mainly on eucalypt leaves and flowers. However, they also eat fruit and common garden plants. They particularly like rosebuds. The compost heap is also highly attractive to possums for an easy meal of fruit and vegetable scraps.

Possums in your home

Possums normally make their homes in tree hollows but if none are available they will use any suitable, dark place including the space between the ceiling and roof of houses and in garages.

Here they can cause sleepless nights for the humans living below as they move about and interact with other possums.

Rats and mice will also inhabit the roof space and, although smaller than a possum, they can still make a lot of noise. The presence of rats and mice is sometimes obvious due to their distinctive smell and droppings.

Evicting possums

If a possum has moved into your home, blocking the entry point at night when the possum is out feeding is the only way to guarantee that it will not return.

People should contact a licensed possum removal company who can assist in removing the possum and finding and blocking any entry points.

If you do not hear the possum for a few nights, it has probably found a new home. It may remain in the area if it finds a suitable place to nest or it may move to a new location.

Licenced possum removalists

Name Licence number Licence expiry Contact
Hamilton, Reece - R &D Roofing and Construction LT201931 04 Dec 2021 Phone: 0434 352 547
Email: rndworkorder@gmail.com
Zumaya, David LT201821 08 Aug 2022 Phone: 0401 688 719
Email: info@ozpestcontrolcanberra.com.au
Website: http://ozpestcontrolcanberra.com.au
City Pest Control Services LT20204 23 Feb 2021 Phone: 1800 737 826
Email: info@citypestcontrolservices.com.au
Website: https://www.citypestcontrolservices.com.au
Flick-Anticimex LT201832 18 Oct 2021 Phone: 02 6109 4100
Email: canberra@flick.com.au
Website: https://www.flick.com.au
Wynn Family Co PTY LTD T/A Jims Termite and Pest Control LT201922 28 Oct 2021 Phone: 0456 589 083
Email: glen.wynn@jimspestcontrol.com.au
Ab Pest Control Pty Ltd LT202025 04 Nov 2021 Phone: 0474 951 327
Email: ashbirch1980eb@gmail.com
Steplee Pty Ltd trading as Jims Pest Control LT201846 18 May 2021 Phone: 131 546
Email: stephen.dyball@jimspestcontrol.com.au
Website: https://www.jimspestcontrol.com.au/australia/pest-control-turner-act
Precision Pest Control LT201818 26 Jul 2021 Phone: 1300 655 524
Email: nilpests@bigpond.net.au
Website: https://www.precisionpestcontrol.com.au
Roof and Balcony Solutions LT201930 02 Dec 2020 Phone: 02 6287 1699
Email: admin@rnbsolutions.com.au
Website: http://www.rnbsolutions.com.au
Hart Pest Management LT202014 27 May 2021 Phone: 0403 318 293
Email: info@hartpest.com.au
Website: http://www.hartpest.com.au
Rentokil Initial Pty Ltd LT202017 21 Jul 2021 Phone: 0434 933 302
Email: callum.nicholson@rentokil-initial.com
Website: https://www.rentokil.com/au/canberra

Commercial Pest Controllers Possum Removal Licence Application

It is an offence to take and release native animals without a licence.

A licence can be issued to Commercial Pest Controllers to take and release possums within 50 metres of the capture site.

Commercial Pest Controllers Possum Removal Licence Application

For further information please contact pcs.licensingandcompliance@act.gov.au or phone 02 6207 6376

Encouraging wildlife in your yard

Possums can be delightful creatures with their impressive acrobatics and cute and cuddly appearance best enjoyed from a distance. You can encourage them to stay in your neighbourhood by providing an alternative home such as nesting boxes made of a hollow log blocked at one end, or some other form of homemade shelter. It should be waterproof and placed four to five metres above the ground.

Possums and the law

Possums are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 and it is illegal for an unauthorised person to trap or harm them. Trapping, removing or killing a possum without a licence carries severe penalties.

For more information contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Do not attempt to look after sick or injured wildlife if you are not a licensed and trained ACT Wildlife carer.