Thursday, 30 August 2012

Stopping possums from coming inside!

The possums round our place are very friendly creatures and as much as we adore nature and all her creatures, it turns out we aren't so fond of some of the furry ones coming inside and raiding the fruit bowl at 4am!

One of the places they are getting up onto the balcony from is the gate at the side of the house. I had a bit of leftover bamboo from another project and was mucking around with it when I got an idea. I mentioned it to the husband who leapt into full DIY mode and very soon, we had a possum gate deterer made with our very own hands and 45 power tools. *sigh*

Here's what it turned out like!

Each spike is screwed to it own bamboo circle spacer. They were then all slotted into place by the two cross braced bits. The ends have a hole in them and they have a cable tie holding them together at the bottom.
Then the whole thing was cable tied to the gate.

The idea is that as they use the fences for highways, the gate is the easiest place for them to enter our place and to get up onto the balcony. If the door is left open a smidgen, they come right on in!

I am hoping that once they encounter spikes that they cant climb on or around easily, they will give up and go back to the neighbours.

See how easy it is for them to get up onto the back balcony...

In practise, it worked - they didn't continue across the gate. It simply forced them down onto the ground and then they climbed the stairs and came up the way we would! Cheeky sods! Now that we don't have a dog or small children to keep in, we have found that with the gate open, they are less willing to come down from the six foot high fence to the ground and to come across the path. Even though they couldn't get across they still would walk most of the way before coming to the ground.

What also really worked was strong self closers on all the doors and windows that they get in. We have to go around each night and make sure the windows are closed or the possums will come inside - even with the lights on and us all at the table. Its funny and cute until they freak out at the cat and smash your house up trying to get out - as for possum pee, its a scent that will be with you forever...

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for using a waste product and natural non invasive/toxic methods of pest control
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for using a waste product or 0/5 for using 10,000 screws, 45 power tools and a million cable ties...
Time cost: Me by myself - I'd still be there. Him by himself - well he would have built a better mousetrap if I wasn't there to bring him back to the simple task at hand. Together (minus the time taken to argue) about 1/2 an hour.
Skill level: Power tool level really - lots of cutting and screwing and sawing and other blokey stuff
Fun -ness: Not as much fun as... well lets say a poke in the eye with a sharp stick?


livingsimplyfree said...

This is one problem I've never,thankfully had to deal with. I hope you find out how to keep them away as that would be too much for me. I'm like you, LOVE nature, but want it left at the door.

Practical Frog said...

I like the demarcation zone too! Me in side and the wildlife outside! Part of the problem seems to be that they are after the leftover cat biscuits - so maybe we are also over feeding the cat??
Thanks for dropping by! - K xx

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