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Are possums causing you problems? Stealing fruits and eating flowers from your garden? Making a mess in your garage or roof and scaring the living daylights out of your pets at night? Or maybe running along the fence just to mock your helplessness. If you experienced any of this, you probably really want them out of your property. We know a trick or two that can help you get rid of possums in a natural way by using homemade possum repellent with ingredients you might already have at home.

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Natural possum deterrents

Natural possum deterrents affect differently their senses, and the most effective ones repel because of their smell, taste or both. Sometimes, but less often, they work because of how they feel (food texture). You can use natural deterrents in the garden to stop the possums from eating your plants and fruits, or in roof cavities or other closed parts in your home, where the possum might be hiding.

warning

Possums are protected species in Australia by Wildlife Act 1975! Harming them or interfering with their natural habitat is illegal. Which means the deterrents you use can be used only on your property and never directly on the animals.

Smells that possums hate

Possums can’t stand pungent smells. So the stinkier, the better! Smells prove to be a more effective repellent than something that tastes bad. Why? Because to know it doesn’t like the taste of something, the possum needs to bite it first. A half-eaten plant is better than no plant at all, but we can probably agree that’s not the most desirable outcome.

Here’s what smells you can use against possums:

  • Mothballs
  • Camphor
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Animal-derived fertilisers*
  • Fish smell

*For example, you can spray blood and bone meal around flowers.

Tastes that possums hate

Possums are most definitely not picky eaters. They would eat anything if they’re hungry. They might not like it, but if they’re starving, they’ll eat it. Sometimes, you might successfully repel a possum using specific food, only to find out later it’s no longer effective. Acquired taste we might say.

Possums hate the taste of:

  • Molasses
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Hot peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Mustard
  • Quassia chips
  • Black tea
  • Fish oil

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Homemade possum repellent recipes

After we’ve learned what smells and tastes possums despise, here’s how to use them to your advantage – make homemade possum repellents. The reason you should try to make your own is that even the ones you can find over the counter are yet to be proven effective. Some might even damage your plants by drying them out!

The advice here uses the information provided by DELWP’s (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Australia) in their Possum Repellent Fact Sheet.

Garlic possum repellent

You will need 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and 1-litre hot water. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit overnight. After that, strain it and pour it in a spray bottle. We recommend you to use it in the garden by spraying it on foliage that possums eat. Re-apply it two times per week or after rain, Of course, you can try using it inside, but you risk repelling your family too.

Quassia chips repellent

Boil 1 litre of water and steep 50 grams of quassia chips (South American tree bark) for an hour and after that strain it. You have the option to add 1-2 teaspoons potassium-based detergent to make the solution stickier. Now you have a concentrated repellent. Before using, dilute it with water with proportions 1:4. Use it to spray around in the garden.

warning

In some cases using detergents on garden flowers or other plants has shown to improve their development. In other cases, when the detergent contains harmful chemicals, can affect their normal growth. Here’s more on horticultural soap and how to use it.

Molasses repellent

Grab the molasses jar from the pantry, we’re making the easiest repellent. Mix a cup of molasses with 1 litre of water, stir until the molasses dissolves. Now pour it in a spray bottle and spray onto foliage. You can add 1-2 teaspoons potassium-based detergent or natural dish soap to the mixture, which will make the solution stickier and last longer. But use with caution, some plants might not react well to it.

Mothballs against possums

If the possum is hiding somewhere in your roof or garage, you can place mothballs around the place. Their smell is unbearable to the possums, which makes the place no longer desirable. There’s a bonus benefit – no moths either.

But even if the process seems straightforward, there are a few steps on how to ensure it’s successful. Here is how to use mothballs against possums:

  1. Locate the hiding place of the possum. We’ve explained how to do that in this post.

  2. Wait until the possum is out. Since they’re nocturnal creatures, that would be at night.

  3. Place the mothballs in key places – near the entrances, corners, suspected hiding spots.

  4. It would help if you seal the entrances while the critters are away. Double precaution is better.

  5. Monitor the activity. If you still notice damages, you might have another type of rodent at home. Call a pest controller to inspect the place,

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Other ways to keep possums away

The presence of cats and other animals usually keeps possums at bay. Don’t have a cat? No problem, you can try one of those scare-cat silhouettes Place them around the garden – in the bushes, up in the trees or right there in plain sight on the lawn. They’re usually made out of metal, painted black with reflective glass eyes which. It might not seem like much, but for the nocturnal possum, seeing shiny glass eyes staring from behind the bushes is probably scary enough not to return.

Takeaways

  • You can deter possums by using smells and tastes they hate.
  • Deterrents that rely on how bad they smell prove to be more effective.
  • One method can work on one possum, but not on another.
  • They might start eating the bad-tasting stuff too.
  • Whatever method you chose, never use deterrents directly on the animal.
  • Harming possums is not only inhumane, but it’s also illegal.
  • If the possum keeps coming back, contact a professional possum remover. We also offer gardening services for those who are most affected.

Don’t want to lose the battle with the possum?

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  • Last update: August 26, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues