5 Signs You Have a Possum in Your Roof

In the bustling pace of urban life, we often forget that our homes are nestled into a broader ecosystem teeming with wildlife. Possums are one such member of this diverse fauna widespread in Australia. Adaptable and resourceful, possums have found ways to cohabit with humans in our homes, often unbeknownst to us. 

While they are harmless creatures, their presence can sometimes lead to damage if not addressed timely. Recognising the early signs of a possum taking up residence, particularly in your roof, is critical to preventing such damage and ensuring a humane approach towards these native creatures.

Nocturnal Noises

One of the earliest signs of a possum having made a home on your roof is the appearance of unusual noises during the night. As possums are nocturnal creatures, their activity begins after sunset, making the quiet of the night the perfect backdrop for you to notice any scratching, thumping, or scurrying sounds coming from your roof – all telltale signs of a possum’s presence.

However, it’s important to distinguish these noises from those potentially made by other common pests like rats or birds. Possums are significantly larger than rats, so their noises are generally louder and heavier. A continuous patter of feet coupled with heavy thuds could indicate a possum, while lighter, faster movements are likelier to be rats.

Birds, on the other hand, have a different pattern of activity. They are usually busy at dawn and dusk, which aligns with their feeding times. Noises during these times may suggest a bird rather than a possum. Understanding these differences can help you make an educated guess about your unexpected guest.

Visible Droppings

Another sign of possum activity in your roof is the presence of droppings. Possum droppings are typically cylindrical in shape and around 2 to 3 cm long. They are usually dark in colour, ranging from brown to almost black. If you find droppings of this description in or around your property, especially in attic spaces, it strongly indicates that a possum has taken up residence.

However, it’s important to note that possum droppings can pose health risks. They can carry bacteria, parasites, and diseases that can harm humans if not handled correctly. Therefore, safe cleanup is crucial. It’s advisable to wear gloves and a mask during cleanup and to wash your hands afterwards thoroughly. If there are many faeces, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to ensure safety.

Damage to Exterior Vents or Roof

Possums are not subtle creatures when making a home for themselves. As they move in and out of roof spaces, they can cause visible damage to roof tiles, vents, or soffit areas. If you notice broken or displaced tiles, torn vents, or damaged soffits, it could signify a possum’s comings and goings.

Such damage has implications beyond the immediate nuisance. It can lead to potential leaks, which can cause further damage to your home. Additionally, these breaches in your home’s exterior can invite other pests, leading to a more significant infestation problem. Therefore, any visible damage should be promptly addressed. Consult a professional to repair the damage and ensure that a possum and not another pest caused it.

Disturbed Insulation and Nesting Material

Possums, like many other creatures, love a cosy nest. If a possum has moved into your roof, one of the first places it will make itself comfortable is in the roof insulation. Signs of disturbance in this area, such as matted down or torn insulation, can indicate possum activity. This creates a mess and can decrease energy efficiency in your home, as disturbed insulation loses its ability to regulate temperature effectively.

In addition, you may find other materials that possums typically use for nesting. The possum could bring in leaves, twigs, and even scraps of paper or fabric to create a comfortable abode. If you find an unusual accumulation of these materials in your attic or roof space, it might be time to consider the possibility of a possum guest.

Foul Odours

One of the more unpleasant signs of a possum in your roof is the development of a strong, foul odour. This can be caused by possum urine and faeces accumulating over time. In worst-case scenarios, the smell could also be due to a deceased possum that cannot find its way back out.

This unpleasant smell is not just a nuisance but can also pose health risks due to the bacteria and parasites that could be present in the waste. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly. Professional cleaning and deodorisation services are highly recommended in such cases, as they have the necessary equipment and experience to thoroughly clean and sanitise the area, ensuring the safety and comfort of your home.

What to Do Next

If you’ve noticed the above signs, you likely have a possum in your roof. The first steps as a homeowner include securing food sources and pet doors at night when possums are most active. Possums are opportunistic creatures and often venture into homes if they find an easy meal or comfortable shelter.

However, it’s crucial to remember that you should not attempt to remove the possum yourself. Possums are protected by law in many areas due to their ecological importance, and improper handling can lead to legal consequences. More importantly, trying to remove a possum without the necessary experience can cause stress or harm to the animal and potentially lead to injury for you as well.

The best course of action is to contact possum removal specialists who are experienced in humane and legal possum management. They can safely and effectively handle the situation, ensuring the possum’s and your home’s wellbeing. For expert assistance and further advice on protecting your home from possum invasions, visit Possum Removal.


Possums in the roof are a common issue faced by homeowners, particularly in Australia. Recognising early signs – nocturnal noises, visible droppings, damage to exterior vents or roofs, disturbed insulation and nesting material, and foul odours – can help prevent extensive damage and health risks. 

However, dealing with these creatures requires a delicate balance between protecting your home and respecting the possum’s role in our ecosystem.

Remember, professional help is vital in managing possums humanely and effectively. Don’t hesitate to contact experts who can guide you through the process and ensure a safe and peaceful resolution for all parties involved.