Brisbane Local Food

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Overnight veggie raid: is it a rat, or possum?  We've had both about the place.

Photos attached of eaten spinach and coriander plants.

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Maybe possum, you may have to make a wire cage to put over it, if possums. Once they know where their dinner is, they will come back for more.  

Possums always chew the tops off. At least thats what they did here before my dog ate them.

Sounds like a possum then - damn it. I have seen a brushtail here a few times at night but we don't have large numbers of them.

I have lost 6/10 pumpkins this year to possums so feel your pain - yup looks like possum - sorry! wire mesh is the only thing I've found to work - no sprays, lights, smells will deter the determined!

One way to prevent possums getting to your crop is to erect a "floppy fence" around the bed. Possums will climb strong fences, but don't like a fence that moves as they try to climb it. Worth a try?

thanks Roger, interesting, noted

I feel your pain. I had what I thought were possums and had erected various nets and cages. I had a new cage with larger holes. When I came out a few days ago, a tomato plant was sheared off at the base. The cage was still in place. That’s when I knew it was a rat that had slipped through. That cage now has flyscreen on it but alas, quite a few tomatoes went to the garden gods. Good luck! 

I commend your persistence!

Oh no. I thought we had rats eating our tomato plants once (tomatoes partway bitten off near the ground, from below). I everntually discovered the real culprit - a blue tounge lizard living in a nice warm nook of matting on the edge of the veggie patch. Was the middle of suburbanan Keperra too, didn't know they were around. Was happy to pay her wages in tomatoes thereafter.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Get a dog? One that will do its night time duty. Possums will remain on high if there are dogs at ground level. That's another reason to keep your fruit trees short as they are closer to the canines and there should be less tree to tree navigation.

You could also borrow a dog as I've found that a short period of canine activity and aggression drives them away.

Works for rats too.

With my aerial lines my patch should be possum Nirvana. It was normal to attend to the dogs barking to be confronted by a possum swinging on high like they do on electricity lines.

Also useful I think to have sacrifice comestibles like pawpaw. They'll eat that -- or passion fruit -- before they attend to the ground menu. But you will also have time to respond.

Also, thinking aloud, a Vetiver hedge should prevent possum strike as they won't be able to climb it or travel along it..perhaps? But you'd need an opening...for yourself.

Possums can certainly climb as I well know. I was staying with friends in Goodna, and they had a lot of native animals in care. Injured magpie in the wash house. Various snakes in the lounge room. And, a possum in the bathroom.

So Dave rises early for his 6am work start and goes to have a shower, strips naked, steps into the shower and while still bleary-eyed the resident possum runs up his leg and onto his shoulder.

Blood everywhere. Fortunately his route did not include my testes.

My screams woke up the whole fam.

I prefer to wakeup with coffee.

Thats priceless.


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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