image source: cesaraustralia.com
Possums are not aggressive in nature and were actually introduced in Australia during 1837 for establishing a trade of their fur. However, these animals became so widespread later on that many companies exercising pest control in Northern Beaches, Central Coast, North Shore and other major suburbs started to offer exterminator services for these nocturnal marsupials.
The reasons behind the unchecked growth in populations of possums are abundance of edible vegetation and lack of predators. Besides that, the small marsupials have a tendency of invading households to take up shelter under the roof and eat whatever they can find. Possums are generally considered a pest for certain notorious activities, which include:
- defecating on attics, house verandas or sheds
- raiding poultry for eating eggs and chickens
- tearing ductwork and insulation
- pilfering bird feeders and garbage bins
- urinating in various areas of the home for marking territory
- invading domestic gardens for feasting on young plant shoots
Possums are known to be vectors of bacterial infections, mites, ticks and other parasites, which can get transmitted to human beings and pets. They can also be carriers of bovine tuberculosis, a rare disease which may spread to cattle and in turn, to humans. Their faeces carry a certain bacteria called buruli that can cause fairly large skin ulcers.
Controlling possums is important not only because of the fact that they contaminate food and pose a threat to human health, these animals can also chew on electrical wirings under the house and create potential fire hazards. Their teeth are sharp enough for damaging the parts of heating ducts as well. And their grumbling and hissing sounds at night are usually a disturbance to sleeping homeowners.
In order to keep possums at bay, households must take suitable steps for eliminating places that offer shelter or cover to the pests, including debris and wood piles. The entryways to all potential hiding spots must be blocked or caulked entirely. It is important to keep the garbage bins secured tightly with their lids at all times, and prevent food from lying around. Since possums are fond of caliginous places, all vulnerable areas must be kept well-lit. Placing mothballs and ammonia can also be of great help. One must do everything they can to keep their house from becoming a welcome zone for possums. In case the problems are of a serious nature and cannot be dealt by implementing small-scale prevention measures, it would be better to call in a professional pest control firm.