A little bit about: Possums
There are two species of possum that are commonly encountered as pests: the Ringtail Possum and the Brushtail Possum. Both of these have different appearances and characteristics.
The Ringtail Possum has a small head with a pointed muzzle, short round ears and a tapered tail. It is grey with white patches behind the eyes and on the belly, and orange-brown tinges on the tail and limbs. Its long tail has a white tip and it uses it like a fifth limb to climb and jump between connecting branches, fences and power lines. The structure of its forefeet, with a gap between the second and third fingers, allows the possum to hold onto branches securely. The Ringtail Possum is the only known species where the male helps to care for the young.
The Ringtail Possum is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Almost exclusively tree-dwelling, it lives in forests, woodlands, rainforests, dense scrub and suburban gardens. During the day, it sleeps in its spherical nest or ‘drey’ made from grass and shredded bark. It builds the ‘drey’ in a tree hole, tree fork or dense vegetation, and several individuals may share the one nest.
The Ringtail Possum is nocturnal and eats a variety of leaves of both native and introduced plants, as well as flowers and fruits. By eating its own faecal pellets, it digests its food twice to extract the maximum amount of nutrients. When the mother is feeding, the male carries the young on his back and cares for them.
The Brushtail Possum has large, pointed ears. It has a bushy tail (hence its name) that is adapted to grasping branches. Its forefeet have sharp claws and the first toe of each hind foot is clawless but has a strong grasp. The possum grooms itself with the third and fourth toes which are fused together. The Brushtail Possum has a thick and woolly pelage that ranges in colour depending on the subspecies. Colour patterns tend to be silver-grey, brown, black, red or cream. The tail is usually brown or black. The muzzle is marked with dark patches. The coat of the male tends to be reddish at the shoulders. As with most marsupials, the female brushtail possum has a forward-opening, well-developed pouch. The common brushtail possum’s chest has a scent gland that emits a reddish secretion which stains that fur around it. It marks its territory with these secretions.
It lives commonly in areas from northern Queensland to South Australia and is the species most commonly found in the greater Brisbane area. Like the ringtail possum, it is nocturnal and sleeps during the day in tree trunks, branches, hollow logs or any dark area, and even inside the roofs of homes. It is the most widely distributed possum species.
It feeds naturally on buds, fruit of trees and shrubs and also bread, cake and other fruit. Eucalypt leaf and other leaf species are the main source of diet for Brushtail Possums. The possums also supplement their diet with grasses, herbs, flowers, fruits and insects. The proportions of these foods vary between habitats, and the most common food is not always the most preferred.
In Australia, possums are protected under legislation and require conservation. Therefore, when they make their home in the roof space of your home, they need to be safely removed by humanely trapping them, sealing up the openings and relocating them into a suitable location. The Cure All team is fully qualified to conduct this relocation process and holds the relevant licences required for trapping.
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