Stop possums eating your plants

Stop possums eating your plants

Possums can defoliate the upper part of a plant growing near a fence, and a tree that is constantly eaten will struggle to come into leaf in spring, they raid fruit tree crops and eat shoots and flowers on magnolias and roses. Possums use fences as a highway and graze on the fresh new growth within easy reach.

As development infringes on the natural habitat of our wildlife, native animals such as possums are being forced to co-exist in close quarters with humans.


There are a number of approaches to possums. Firstly, understand that they have to live somewhere and they also have to find something to eat somewhere, so it is a matter of how we can all live in harmony. However, you may need to protect certain plants or areas of your garden where possum damage is troublesome.

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Deterrents have varying degrees of success, and some gardeners find that some things work for them and yet others don’t. A traditional possum deterrent is quassia chips, made from the bark of the quassia tree, which are brewed into a very bitter tasting tea, and if sprayed on affected plants may deter some possums. Repeated applications may be necessary so that the bitter taste becomes stronger.

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D-ter is effective as a deterrent. A strong chilli spray works to deter some possums. Spread camphor, Blood & Bone or Dynamic Lifter around the garden where possum damage occurs.

You can invest in an ultrasonic device such as Strayban which produces a high-frequency sound when activated by movement, and will deter possums, wallabies, dogs, cats, mice, rats and other ‘wild animals’ which invade your garden. Some of these devices operate from batteries and others from the main electricity supply.

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Erecting ornaments of owls, their natural predators, is successful in some cases.

As possums often have a preferred route through the garden, discourage them by trimming back tree branches that hang near fences. Remove fallen fruit as this acts as a source of food.[external_footer]