How to possum proof a roof

Project Overview

Not sleeping that well now that the possums are having races on your roof in the middle of the night? Possum-proof your house and sleep easy again.


Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. 
They must not be harmed in any way or kept without an authority from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.




Hand saw
Possum trap (can be hired from selected councils)

Step by Step Instructions

1 Types of possum
2 Possum proofing
3 Trees
4 Roof, ceilings and eaves
5 Possum nesting box
6 Repellents
7 Trapping possums
8 Hints and tips
  • Step 1. Types of possum

    There are two types of possums in suburban Australia, the Brushtail and the Ringtail Possum. These nocturnal animals use tree hollows as their dens in their natural forest habitat. In urban areas with limited trees, possums use roofs, ceilings and eaves as they offer a warm, dry and safe option to sleep during the day.

  • Step 2. Possum proofing

    The first step in possum-proofing your house is to identify all areas, large and small that possums can use to enter and exit your roof and premises. It is easier to prevent possums from nesting on your roof rather than re-locating them.

  • Step 3. Trees

    The most common way that possums enter your premises is via trees. Possums can climb trees to enter your premises and access your roof. For this, install aluminium or plastic guards around mature trees and remove branches that will assist possums to climb onto your roof. Remember that possums can jump, so allow at least 5 metres between your trees and roof. Tip: When installing the tree guard, make sure that it is at least two metres off the ground away from anything that the possum can climb to access the tree above the guard.

  • Step 4. Roof, ceilings and eaves

    Possums are quite strong, especially the Brushtail which is how they can lift any loose tin or roof tile when searching for suitable accommodation. If they are inside the ceiling, look for gaps of sunlight then put a light (fluro tube work light) in the roof cavity at night for at least 3 nights to discourage the nocturnal possum. Now block off the hole making sure that the possum isn't inside asleep. It is also a good idea to spray the entry point with disinfectant to erase the possum's scent, therefore discouraging re-entry. Regular maintenance is a good way of keeping an eye on potential possum entry and exit points. Do not use bleach or other harmful chemicals to remove the scent as this can be toxic to possums.

  • Step 5. Possum nesting box

    Placing a nesting box in your trees forks will control where a possum takes residence.

  • Step 6. Repellents

    There are several repellents in the market and many home-made recipes that are used to ward off possums.

  • Step 7. Trapping possums

    It is illegal to handle or interfere with possums except when they are in your roof, or other buildings. Trapped possums must be released at night, on the same property, in their own territory, within 50 metres of the capture site. Relocating possums outside these regulations is both illegal and inhumane. Traps can be hired from selected councils.

  • Step 8. Hints and tips

    • Never mix chemicals. Keep away from children and pets.
    • Limit the Possums access to the roof by keeping trees and shrubs trimmed back 5 metres.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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