Wildlife in the roof when demolishing a house. 

Recently in Sydney suburbs such as Ryde, Gladesville, Denistone, Eastwood and surrounding areas, Home Demolitions has found some wildlife lurking in places that often get overlooked. Be it possums, snakes or even bats, we strive to make sure wildlife gets a chance to leave before demolition begins. In the event the wildlife doesn’t leave, we always contact the appropriate wildlife services so animals can be safely removed.

 

The demolition process gives animals a chance

During the demolition process a house is taken apart in stages. First stripped of cladding and roof tiles before any heavy machinery is brought in. This helps to give any animals calling the house home time to flee to nearby shelter before the demolition begins in earnest. Having said this. if you would like to check for, or rehouse, any possums or other animals living in the roof and other cavities, the first step is to identify whether that resident in your roof is a possum as opposed to other animals such as rats, mice, bats, birds or even snakes.

 Roofs are removed before the demolition begins, giving the animals a chance to leave.

Roofs are removed before the demolition begins, giving the animals a chance to leave.

 

Common Brushtail Possum

The Common Brushtail Possum is the most populous possum species in Australia. Generally found in woodlands and open forests, they most commonly make their homes in the hollow limbs of trees. However, due to urbanisation, these little creatures can often be found living in close quarters with humans. About the size of a cat, Common Brushtail Possums have dense fur that varies in colour from light to dark grey on their backs, and a creamy colour on their undersides. The easiest way to identify Common Brushtail Possums is by their black bushy tail and long ears. 

 Common Brushtail Possum.

Common Brushtail Possum.

 

Common Ringtail Possum

Common Ringtail Possums are also a very common sight throughout Australia. Being around the size of a large rabbit, they are slightly smaller than the Brushtail possum. Ringtail Possums are identifiable by their light grey and reddish-brown fur, along with their long, white-tipped tails which are used to hold onto things. When these possums aren’t clutching onto something with their tails, they often carry them in a curl shape that looks like a ring, hence the name. Both Common Ringtail possums and Common Brushtail possums are nocturnal and like to live in roof cavities due to a reduction in natural habitats. 

 Common Ringtail Possum.

Common Ringtail Possum.

 

A possum in the roof.

Possums are territorial creatures, so when thinking about demolishing your house it is a good idea to wait until the demolition is close to getting under way before removing your resident possum. Not only because the possum will try to return, but also because, even if he doesn’t, a new possum is likely to quickly move into the vacated territory. It’s important to remember that relocating possums too far from their territory is illegal as the possums have a slim chance of survival. They need to be rehoused nearby, preferably in a tree or garden away from roofs. 

 A possum making its home in a roof cavity.

A possum making its home in a roof cavity.

 

Checking for possums. 

Rats and mice are very common in urban areas and can easily be mistaken for possums unless observed. The easiest way to do this is by accessing the roof space and looking for droppings, possum nests, and sleeping possums. As mentioned previously, possums are nocturnal so they tend be active at night. They make heavy thumping noises as opposed to the softer pitter patter sound made by rats and mice. You can also listen for coughing and hissing noises that are somewhat unique to possums. Another approach you can take is to sprinkle flour around the manhole opening. A possum’s footprints will be larger than that of rats or mice.

 

 

 

 

Shane Florio

Home Demolitions, 49-51 Queens Road, Five Dock, NSW, 2046