The possums of Sydney

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The possums of Sydney

Possums of Sydney

In the middle of the city, not too far away, there will be a possum.

Australian possums are nocturnal marsupials which is why you their presence is usually discovered at night. The numbers of possums over the years have reduced due to the loss of habitat and being hunted which is why they became a protected species.

Possums prefer to live in their natural environment, but some species have adapted to living within urban areas.

Are possums invading your property?

Possum Species in Sydney

There are 2 main species of possum that can be found in Sydney, the brushtail possum & the ringtail possum.

possums of SydneyBrushtail Possum

  • Size: Large possum with a bushy tail and pointy ears.
  • Colour: Silvery grey in colour with a black band across the nose, they have a white to brownish-yellow belly.
  • Weight: Adults can weigh around 1.5-4 kg.
  • Length: The combined head and body length is between 35 and 55 cm and tail length is 25-40 cm
  • Habitat: Found in many different types of habitat
  • Adaptations: They have adapted well to living with humans and are commonly encountered in urban areas, suburban backyards, campgrounds and sometimes the ceilings of houses.



possums of SydneyRingtail Possum

  • Size: Large possum, about the size of a cat
  • Colour: Grey with white patches behind the eyes and on the belly, orange-brown tinges on the tail and limbs. Its long tail has a white tip
  • Weight: Weighs between 550g and 1100g
  • Length: Approx 30–35 cm long when grown, excluding the tail, which is about the same length.
  • Habitat: Found in rainforests, woodlands, eucalypt forests and suburban gardens
  • Adaptations: They have adapted well to living in close association with humans and are often seen in gardens at night.

What damage can possums cause?

Australian possums can inflict quite a bit of damage in your property and health, such as:

  • Using materials, such as wood and insulation.
  • Problems with the electric installation which can become a fire hazard
  • Risk of Disease as possum faeces carry different types of bacteria.

How to protect your home from possums

  • Trim trees to limit access to the roof and stop possums from getting into your home.
  • Put up fences around your garden and other areas in your home or yard where possums can gain access to food.
  • Seal up entrance points.
  • Keep the lawns mowed
  • Keep gardens neat and tidy
  • Don’t leave rubbish or food lying around.
  • Move garbage bins away from your home.

Is it a possum?

Possums are not hard to detect.

They are noisier than rats and mice and make a bigger mess.

The sounds of a possum walking are heavy, and the noise occurs mostly at sunrise or sunset.

Possum urine has a distinct, pungent smell and you may also see yellow stains on your ceiling should the urine seep in through.

Are possums invading your property?

Further Reading

Rain, Hail, Windstorms & pest control

Trust me, it’s not a hippopotamus on the roof eating cake

Wildlife 101