Possums are able to survive in suburbia because our streetscapes and gardens are similar to the possum's preferred natural environment, i.e. a modified woodland.
Some problems that may be associated with possums include:
- Noise: possums are often quite rowdy when they are moving within house roofs and walls. They can also be quite noisy when mating or during territorial disputes
- Household damage: possums can create urine stains, unpleasant odours and occasional physical damage when living inside buildings
- Damage to gardens and trees: possums are largely vegetarian and will graze on many different types of trees and shrubs including natives and exotics. This is usually only a problem when they over graze and in some cases defoliate plants.
The best way to keep a possum out of your roof is to secure your roof and provide an alternative home such as a nesting box.
If you have a possum in your roof you will need to block the access points. In the evening when the possum has left the roof in search of food, climb into the roof and try to locate its nest. Remove the nest and block any possible entry points so the possum cannot return. You may wish to leave a light on in the roof space for a few days to discourage the possum's return.
It is illegal to handle or interfere with possums except when they are in your roof, or other buildings. Brush tail possums can be trapped in appropriate traps by the householder or a licensed wildlife controller however it is illegal to trap the Common Ringtail Possum without a permit.
Trapped possums must be released that day on the same property, in their own territory, within 50 metres of the capture site. Breaching any of these regulations carries a penalty of up to $5000.
For more information on possum control, please visit Department of Energy and Primary Industries.
If you have concerns about native wildlife refer to the information below or visit Wildlife Victoria.
- Possums - Refer to the Yellow Pages
- Injured Wildlife (including birds) - Help for Wildlife 24 hour service
0417 380 687, or Wildlife Victoria 24 hour service 13 000 94535.
- Foxes - Refer to Department of Sustainability and Environment on 9296 4400
- Snakes - Refer to the Yellow Pages. In case of imminent danger, call 9840 9333; we may be able to provide details of local snake catcher services relevant to your location within the municipality.
- Dead Animals - Council will collect dead animals that are located on Council land. If you need assistance for a dead animal located on your property, please refer to the Yellow Pages.
Bees play an important role in pollinating flowering plants and it is estimated that 1/3 of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee.
As urbanisation increases, humans invevitably encounter bees in their natural environment and see bees as a threat to their safety. Bees are not aggressive in nature and only sting if provoked.
Residents are encouraged to utilise an apiarist to remove bee hives and swarms as bees can be relocated to areas such as Kinglake where bee populations were devastated by recent fires. Please refer to The Beekeepers Club Inc. (Melbourne) for a list of local bee removalists (some may charge a call out fee).
You can also contact the 'Bee Help Line' on 1902 241 059 for further advice (call costs 2.20 per minute / higher for mobiles).
Eradication through a licensed pest control operator should only be considered if the swarm / hive is innaccessible to an apiarist and safety is of concern.
If a swarm or hive is found on Council land or in a neighbouring property, please contact the Health and Local Laws team on 9840 9256.
Residents can keep bees providing they are registered with the Department of Primary Industries and comply with the Apiary Code of Practice which lists safe management practices and statutory planning requirements.