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'Possum plague' disturbs resident

FRIENDLY: Possum numbers appear to be increasing as spring arrives.
FRIENDLY: Possum numbers appear to be increasing as spring arrives.

A NOOSA Heads resident is concerned her home is becoming "plagued by possums" as the creatures' numbers increase coming out of breeding season.

Helen Bishop lives on the hill at Noosa Junction and said the furry friends caused a racket at night time and left unsightly reminders of their visits.

"They come at night, they start at my place at 7pm. Your sleep gets disturbed every night," Mrs Bishop said.

"They do a poop where they've been on the roof and it leaves that brown mark. I go out and I see the possums with my torch and they're just laughing at me."

Eumundi RSPCA wildlife manager Vicky Toomey said the only way to deter possums from becoming a new addition to a home was to make sure there was no available food source.

"When they're coming to people's houses, they're coming unnaturally in high numbers because people are feeding them," Ms Toomey said.

"They're protected by law, so just talking to her (Mrs Bishop's) neighbours and making sure things like dog bowls, they're not putting food out for them regularly.

"They're either there because the natural food is good or the artificial food is good."

Ms Toomey said leaving food out for possums, whether intentional or accidental, can result in injury to the animals.

"People don't realise it encourages a higher population of animals to hang around and with that scraps and fights take place, and therefore dermatitis results," Ms Toomey said.

"So a lot of the diseases that we see with skin conditions is from fight injuries. Certainly a fair percentage of them can be because they're coming to people's houses."

Ms Toomey said breeding season had ended, while it was usually the larger breeds that stuck around urban areas.

"Breeding season for all our mammals happens over winter. We have about five species that regularly deal with being around suburbia, so your bigger, more obvious possums, your brush-tailed possums, are certainly a little bit more visible."

"The other smaller possums, your ring tails down to your gliders, they won't take fruit and veg, they'll only eat foliage around houses, so they won't be enticed at all."

Topics:  noosa possums wildlife


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