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How to keep possums out of the garden

How To Keep Possums Out Of The Garden In Canberra?

With its unique blend of urban development and natural surroundings, Canberra is a city where possums can become a persistent issue for gardeners. These adaptable marsupials are known for their climbing and foraging abilities, often leading them to our gardens for food and shelter. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges posed by possums in Canberra and discuss effective techniques how to keep possums out of the garden. We’ll also emphasize the importance of coexisting with these creatures and respecting local wildlife laws.

Understanding the Possum Problem in Canberra

Canberra’s diverse landscape provides possums with ample opportunities to thrive. Whether you live in a suburb close to nature reserves or the city center, you’ll likely encounter these furry nocturnal visitors. They’re attracted to your garden by the prospect of a tasty meal and a safe place to rest during the day.

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Garden

Your garden isn’t just a place of aesthetic beauty; it’s also a microcosm of the local ecosystem. It plays a vital role in supporting biodiversity and conserving native plants. Protecting your garden from possums, you contribute to maintaining the balance of nature in Canberra.

Identifying Possum Activity in Your Garden

To effectively address the possum problem, it’s essential to recognize the signs of their presence:

Damaged Plants and Vegetation

Possums are herbivores with a diverse palate. They munch on leaves, flowers, and even tree bark. Check for irregular patterns of chewed or missing foliage in your garden.

Droppings and Fecal Pellets

Possum droppings are small, dark, cylindrical pellets that you may find near their feeding areas. These droppings are a clear indicator that possums are visiting your garden.

Audible Noises at Night

Possums are most active at night, and their distinct vocalizations, which include hisses, screeches, and growls, often fill the nighttime air.

Understanding Possum Behavior and Habits

Possum Species Found in Canberra

Canberra is home to several possum species, each with its unique behaviors and preferences. The Common Brushtail Possum and the Sugar Glider are two common species in the region.

Nocturnal Nature and Feeding Patterns

Possums are primarily nocturnal creatures. They venture out under the cover of darkness to forage for food. This behavior can make them challenging to spot during the day.

Impact of Possums on Native Wildlife and Plants

Possums can have a significant impact on the local ecosystem. They often outcompete native wildlife for food and shelter, potentially causing imbalances in the local fauna. Additionally, their feeding habits can damage native plants, posing a threat to the local flora.

Preventive Measures: Creating a Possum-Unfriendly Environment

Securing Entry Points

Sealing Gaps and Openings in Fences and Buildings

Possums are resourceful climbers and can squeeze through surprisingly small openings. Regularly inspect your property for gaps or openings in fences, walls, or buildings and seal them with materials like wire mesh, wood, or caulk.

Installing Possum-Proof Wire Mesh or Netting

Installing wire mesh or netting around vulnerable areas can deter possums from climbing or digging their way in.

Enhancing Existing Fencing with Electric Wires

Electric wires can be added to existing fences to provide an effective deterrent. Possums quickly learn to avoid these wires after an initial shock.

Removing Attractive Food Sources

Storing Pet Food Indoors

To eliminate one potential food source, keep pet food indoors where possums can’t access it.

Harvesting Fruits and Vegetables Promptly

Possums are drawn to ripening fruits and vegetables. Harvest your crops promptly to reduce their temptation.

Properly Managing Compost Bins

Secure your compost bins to prevent possums from rummaging through them for food scraps.

Deterrent Techniques

Using Motion-Activated Sprinkler Systems

Motion-activated sprinkler systems are an effective way to startle and deter possums from entering your garden. These devices release a sudden burst of water when they detect motion.

Utilizing Bright Lights and Loud Noises

Bright lights and loud noises can disrupt possums’ nocturnal activities, making your garden less appealing to them.

Implementing Natural Repellents

Natural repellents, such as chili powder or garlic spray, can deter possums from feeding on your plants. Apply these repellents to vulnerable areas in your garden.

Creating Possum-Resistant Garden Structures

Using Raised Beds and Raised Planters

Elevating your plants in raised beds or planters can make it more challenging for possums to access them. This is especially effective for vegetable gardens and flower beds.

Installing Possum-Proof Covers or Frames

Cover your plants with possum-proof frames or netting to create a physical barrier that prevents possums from reaching them.

Building Possum-Proof Enclosures

Constructing Secure Greenhouses or Netted Structures

Greenhouses and netted enclosures provide a completely sealed environment, keeping possums out while allowing your plants to thrive.

Designing Fruit Tree Domes or Cages

Install domes or cages around fruit trees to protect your harvest from possums.

Planting Possum-Unfriendly Species

Native Plants and Trees that Possums Avoid

Choose native plant species that possums are less likely to consume. Native vegetation not only supports local wildlife but also tends to be less attractive to possums.

Using Strong-Scented and Spiky Plants as Deterrents

Plant strong-scented or spiky vegetation as a natural deterrent. Possums often avoid plants with strong odors or thorny leaves.

Humanely Repelling Possums from the Garden

Playing Distress Calls or Predator Noises

Broadcasting distress calls or predator noises can create an environment that possums find intimidating and unsafe.

Using Scent Repellents or Homemade Sprays

Certain scents, such as ammonia or citrus, can discourage possums when applied as repellents. Spray these scents in areas where possum activity is common.

Creating Barriers and Obstacles

Installing Motion-Activated Devices

Motion-activated devices, such as motion sensor lights or alarms, can startle and deter possums when they approach your garden.

Utilizing Taste Deterrents on Plants

Apply taste deterrents to your plants to make them unpalatable to possums. These deterrents are safe for the plants and wildlife.

Maintaining Possum Control in the Long Run

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Consistent vigilance is essential for long-term possum control. Regularly inspect your garden for signs of possum activity and maintain the preventive measures you’ve implemented.

Adapting Techniques According to Possum Behavior

Possums are intelligent and adaptable creatures. They may eventually overcome certain deterrents. Be prepared to change tactics or try new methods if possums persist in visiting your garden.

Learning from Fellow Gardeners and Sharing Experiences

Engage with fellow gardeners in your community to share experiences and insights. Learning from others who have successfully managed possum issues in their gardens can provide valuable tips and solutions.


In summary, managing possums in your Canberra garden requires a combination of preventive measures, deterrent techniques, and a commitment to ethical and legal considerations. By following above strategies, you can protect your garden while coexisting harmoniously with possums and preserving the rich biodiversity of the region.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Now, let’s address some common questions about possums and their management:

Q. Are possums dangerous to humans?

Possums are generally not dangerous to humans. They are shy and prefer to avoid human contact. However, they can become a nuisance in gardens and may carry diseases, so it’s important to manage their presence.

Q. Can possums transmit diseases?

Possums can carry diseases such as leptospirosis and ticks. While the risk of disease transmission to humans is relatively low, it’s still advisable to take precautions when handling or cleaning areas with possum activity.

Q. What are the signs that possums have been successfully repelled?

Signs of successful possum deterrents include reduced damage to plants, decreased possum activity, and fewer sightings or noises at night.

Q. Should I use chemical repellents in my garden?

It’s best to avoid chemical repellents as they can be harmful to both wildlife and the environment. Natural and humane deterrents are safer and more sustainable options.

Q. Can possums climb over fences and walls?

Yes, possums are skilled climbers and can easily scale fences and walls. Therefore, it’s essential to secure these structures to prevent their access.

Q. How long does it take to effectively keep possums out of the garden?

The time it takes to effectively deter possums can vary depending on factors like the severity of the problem and the chosen methods. It may take a few weeks to see noticeable results, so patience is key in possum management.


At Upkeepcity, the Possum removal team has the experience, energy, and great attitude to make your property clean.

Click here to know more about us and Possum Removal services based in the cities of Australia  Possum Removal CanberraPossum Removal Sydney, and Possum Removal Melbourne.

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