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Possum strategies (Australian Brushtail)

 
Janet Reid
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Hi folks

My dad is having a tricky time with possums eating the fruit trees.
I have seen some suggested deterrants like tabasco, chili, garlic, quassia or naphthalene or camphor but a Deakin Uni study said that none of those were a solid deterrant with the scent based ones doing better than the taste based ones

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/devour-and-conquer-victorias-possum-war-20140213-32mrg.html
http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/wildlife/problems-with-wildlife/possums/possum-repellents

We are in SA not Victoria but it sounds familiar.
They also say they are territorial so removing one results in another moving into the territory.
He has used swimming pool sides as barrier guards but the trees have been eaten back so they are quite short.

So I wondered if it would be effective to plant possum food or whether that just makes for a higher density of possums?
At home I have a grevillea which is eaten to the stumps so I got a couple for dad. I chose the Robyn Gordon and Coconut Ice?
because I am not sure what the one I have at home is but they look like they have similar leaves.
We have other grevilleas they do not eat at all
Callistemon was also suggested so I got one of those but Our home callistemon trees do not seem to get eaten either.
Mum's roses are eaten but ours arent so I am not sure if planting a rose decoy would work either?

Do other people plant decoy or sacrificial trees and does it work or do you just generate increased possum concentrations?
What do other folks do?

Best wishes

Janet
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Our dogs have deterred both opossums and raccoons from coming around our property.  Nothing else worked for us.

The problem with growing food for them is that you aren't encouraging them to find other territory that is safer to be finding food in.
 
D. Klaer
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How big is your property? I hate to say but if they can go from tree to tree there isn't much I can think of that works (other than continual removal). While my trees are small here the dog is enough but I remember as a kid on my parents property having no luck at all.
 
Denise Kersting
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You could try taking a smooth sided plastic garbage can, with the bottom cut out and slit up the length of it. Wrap it around the trunk so that the possum can't climb up it. I'd wrap the seam with duct tape to keep them from opening the seam and getting at the trunk.
 
Peter Kalokerinos
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Our dogs kept them away when we lived in Sydney....not dealt with any at the new place yet. Just dont let them into the roof....you'll never be rid of the smell. Relocating doesn't work in my experience. Dogs and minimise nice places for them to live

....sadly a .223 isn't allowed in Australia....it is in NZ....where they'd considered an introduced pest
 
Janet Reid
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Our dogs have deterred both opossums and raccoons from coming around our property.  Nothing else worked for us.

The problem with growing food for them is that you aren't encouraging them to find other territory that is safer to be finding food in.


The national park people said that if we remove them they will just repopulate that territory.
So I was thinking if we could p\orient the possum that claims that territory with less destructive food.
 
Janet Reid
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D. Klaer wrote:How big is your property? I hate to say but if they can go from tree to tree there isn't much I can think of that works (other than continual removal). While my trees are small here the dog is enough but I remember as a kid on my parents property having no luck at all.

It is just a domestic houseblock around 1000sqm. Large bay tree and blue spruce and some other smaller natives. And fruit trees which he has wrappped in swimming pool siding but which are still nibbled back.

It does seem that dogs are the main answer.
 
Janet Reid
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Denise Kersting wrote:You could try taking a smooth sided plastic garbage can, with the bottom cut out and slit up the length of it. Wrap it around the trunk so that the possum can't climb up it. I'd wrap the seam with duct tape to keep them from opening the seam and getting at the trunk.


He has sort of done that with swimming pool siding but it is an interesting alternative material thanks.
 
Janet Reid
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Peter Kalokerinos wrote:Our dogs kept them away when we lived in Sydney....not dealt with any at the new place yet. Just dont let them into the roof....you'll never be rid of the smell. Relocating doesn't work in my experience. Dogs and minimise nice places for them to live

....sadly a .223 isn't allowed in Australia....it is in NZ....where they'd considered an introduced pest


Thanks =)
 
Andy Moffatt
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Yea here in NZ it's usually fixed with a 12gauge. what about a cage trap set with an apple permanently? Then just drop the thing off elsewhere relatively far away, there can't be too many possums in your area surely.
 
Janet Reid
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Andy Moffatt wrote:Yea here in NZ it's usually fixed with a 12gauge. what about a cage trap set with an apple permanently? Then just drop the thing off elsewhere relatively far away, there can't be too many possums in your area surely.


Pretty solid population I think.
The national park staff would not let me release there and said it was illegal to move them.
Thats why I was trying to figure how to cohabitate.
 
David Livingston
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how about eating them
 
Janet Reid
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David Livingston wrote:how about eating them

It is illegal to kill them here.
 
David Livingston
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;-( oh well just a thought as I know some New Zealanders who have lots of recipes
 
Elsie Carroll
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Are slingshots legal in Oz?
 
David Livingston
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I have sone stratergies I use for squirrels here in France . I imagine the possum as a bit larger and slower. 1 I make sure my fruit/ nut trees are not connected to other trees and are beyond jumping distance ,2 I keep the grass short and try to encourage hawks etc 3 I regularly tie a dog to the tree even when he is not there it's smell is

This seems to work
 
Janet Reid
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David Livingston wrote:I regularly tie a dog to the tree even when he is not there it's smell is

That could work here thank you. I have a dog and we could visit Dad for a weekend or something.
 
Marco Banks
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Possums are as dumb as a bag of hammers and very easy to catch.  A simple box trap is all you need.  In fact, I've caught them when the trap wasn't even baited.

Bury them near a tree you want to fertilize.  Bury them deep, because they stink like hell when they are decomposing.

I once caught 8 of them in 10 days.  They like to run along the top of a wall -- set your box trap up where you know they'll walk and bait it with leftovers.  Easy.

The problem (possums) become the solution (free fertilizer).
 
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