Have you got a possum enjoying the fruits of your garden? Check out our simple steps to deter these friendly marsupials.

As a native species, common brushtail and ringtail possums play an important ecological role in seed dispersal and pollination – and are an opportunity to see native wildlife in your own backyard.

Adelaide’s possums seem drawn to backyard gardens full of fruits, veggies, and flowers to cover their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Though it can be annoying when a possum snacks on your garden, they are a protected species in South Australia. That means it’s illegal to catch, harm, hunt or kill one in your backyard. So deterring tactics can be helpful.

Cartoon possums sitting in a tree beside a roof with overlay text 'Living with possums: Possums in your garden'

If you need some help to keep their little paws off your hard work, we recommended these 5 simple possums deterring steps:

1. Make your garden a hard to hangout place

Possums are nervous about coming to the ground, so they keep safe from predators by living high in trees or even roofs.

You can do this by:

  • Keeping your plants away from fence lines.
  • Spacing your plants so possums can’t move so easily between them.
Image of a tree with a collar around it with overlay text 'Place a physical barrier around trees.'

2. Cover the tastiest treats in your garden

You can cover the most tempting treats in your yard, such as vegetables and fruit crops with wildlife-friendly netting to keep possums away.

Also you could place a physical barrier, such as a tree collar or guard, near the base of your fruit trees to prevent possums climbing up into the canopy.

Note: Make sure any fruit netting you use is wildlife friendly and has openings of 5 mm by 5 mm or less at full stretch.

3. Plant native species that are less tasty

There are a wide variety of native plants that have adapted to living with possums by not tasting too great to them.

These include fragrant foliage, such as native mints (Prostanthera), emu bush (Eremophilas) and creeping boobialla (Myporum parvifolium).

Image of a bottlebrush plant with overlay text

4. Plant possum-friendly food

Provide other foods that possums might love to feast on, such as natives like banksias and hakeas.

You can check out other native species ideas in our Adelaide gardens planting guide.

Image of a person spraying a plant with overlay text 'Spray with a non-toxic, natural product'.

5. Use non-toxic or natural deterrents

Spray your garden with a non-toxic natural deterrent such as vinegar (or check your local hardware store for options).

While hungry possums are known to ignore lots of these products, it’s still worth a shot. Just make sure whatever you try won’t harm the possum or your garden.

Possums in your roof?

If you’ve ever had this issue, check out everything you need to know about possums in your roof.

Here’s everything else you need to know about Adelaide’s native possums.

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