Generally speaking, most people believe that possums in an around their house are a pest. This year, we have had a mixed year with possums.
Much to the disbelief of many of our friends, we have possums that live in our shed. They sleep in a cupboard or on top of the cupboard. We encourage them by feeding them as we like having them there. It is often a highlight of my day to go and see what the possums are up to and give them some food and a scratch. Last year we had Maggie who had a daughter Moggie and they lived in the shed all winter. Generally speaking once it gets warm, the possums disappear, probably to find somewhere cooler. This year Maggie and Moggie came back and we quickly discovered that Maggie had a new joey who has been named Meggie. Meggie was very feisty when she was little, often annoying her sibling and mum but has settled down as she has gotten older. Moggie unfortunately developed an infected eye earlier this year which eventually required medical treatment and resulted in a trip to the local RSPCA vet. The RSPCA vets were very helpful and provided free treatment for Moggie-but they also had a surprise for us- Moggie also had a joey in her pouch. Eventually Moggie’s baby Molly started appearing but things got a little crowded and eventually Moggie disappeared although we have seen her once or twice since.
We have also occasionally had scruffy come to visit this year. Scruffy is a male possum who always takes the position at the top of the cupboard in the shed when he visits. He tries to show how ferocious he is when he comes to visit but that only lasts until he realises you have food. Then all the bravado disappears.
In the meantime, there were some other possums that seemed to take a liking to living in the roof of our house- these possums we were not so impressed with. To try and work out where the possums were coming in, possum cam was installed. This was basically a closed circuit camera system where we could observe where the possums were getting in and out. Then in a covert mission one night when the possums had left, the hole in the roof was blocked. This left the roof possum free or so we thought…….. A couple of nights later one very determined possum spent about two hours trying to get in and eventually- scurrying through a tiny gap under the wire and past the bricks- he succeeded! Unfortunately for the possum- he couldn’t get out the next night.
This meant that the possum had to be released late at night as a possum trapped in the roof is not a good thing! A couple of days later, the whole was blocked again and there has been no further possum in the roof incidents. Possum cam has now been retired for the time being.
We thought we had seen all of the joey’s we would see this year when a few weeks ago we realised that Maggie, our little breeding machine, had another joey. This one is still quite small so at this stage we have seen nothing more than the occasional paw poking out of the pouch.
As I mentioned, when the weather warms up, the possums disappear until the weather cools again. So at the moment, every time we go and see them we wonder if this will be the last time we see them for the year. They see to have hung around a bit longer this year, possibly because Maggie has such a young joey but they are certainly feeling the heat in the shed on the warmer days. I hope they hang around a little longer because I will be a little sad when I go out there to discover their hiding spots are empty once more.