How a bad smell stops possums hanging around like one

How a bad smell stops possums hanging around like one

Have you ever stood by and watched helplessly as pesky possums make a meal of your roses and budding fruit?

One determined green thumb believes she has found an environmentally friendly way to stop the natives from destroying her garden.


“We have at least one or two possums who come into the yard on a regular basis,” Pat Witham told 891 ABC Adelaide’s Weekends program.

Ms Witham said she tried everything from Vaseline on the fence lines to bird spikes to try and deter the possums — but nothing worked.

Then she stumbled across a way to shield her precious plants from the possums.

“It’s basically two tablespoons of chopped garlic into a bowl and then two litres of boiling water.”

[external_link offset=1]

Ms Witham said she leaves the mixture to infuse overnight.

“My diligent husband then strains it and puts it into a backpack sprayer and sprays the grapevines, the roses and the plants that they like eating.

See also  How to Guzzle Your Garden

“It’s pungent, but it works for us.”

How a bad smell stops possums hanging around like one

While possums may be a pest for some, others have adopted them as free range pets.(

891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

Ms Witham said she waited three or four days and then reapplied the spray.

She also reapplies the potent mixture after any rainfall.

“It’s cheap, easy and quick.”

[external_link offset=2]

Onions and garlic possible natural deterrents

Zoologist James Smith said there were many forms of deterrents, which were as individual as the possums in your backyard.

“Possums are very much like people; they are individuals and will react to different things,” he said.

Mr Smith said onion and garlic seemed to be the most successful in small scientific trials looking for natural deterrents.

“But, like Pat has said, you need to constantly reapply it,” he said.

“The concentration [of the mixture] might be the key.”