What do Possums eat and Possum Poop? Having an understanding is crucial in managing their presence around your property.
By delving into their feeding behaviour and preferences, you can not only identify signs of their activity but also gain valuable insights into their natural diet, all from an understanding of what do possums eat.
From recognising possum poop to investigating potential damage, we'll delve into how possums contribute uniquely to the ecosystem and how their feeding habits can be both beneficial and, at times, challenging for homeowners.
Table Of Contents:
- Identifying Activity Through Possums Diet
- Recognising Possum Poop
- Investigating Possum Damage
- Understanding Possum's Diet
- Captive Possums and their Suggested Diet
- Possum Feeding Habits and Behavior
- Possums as Pest Control
- What Do Possums Eat Frequently Asked Questions
Identifying Activity Through Possums Diet
What do possums eat? Possums are omnivores, consuming both plant and animal matter. Possums indulge in a diet comprising of fruits, vegetables, bugs and even small animals, this diverse diet makes them true food connoisseurs.
If you have possums in your garden or property, you may notice signs of their activity.
Look out for half-eaten apples or other fruits that have been disturbed. Leaves and new shoots stripped off your favourite shrubs or even prize roses. Possums will also consume carrion.
If you observe an increase in the consumption or disturbance of these types of foods on your property, it could indicate the presence of possums nearby.
Recognising Possum Poop
Possum droppings are often cylindrical in shape and may be found in roof cavities, in the garden or along their regular pathways along fences and powerlines.
The presence of undigested plant material like seeds or leaves is another tell-tale sign. So, if your garden seems less green and more 'brown', you might have a resident Possum.
Investigating Possum Damage
In addition to eating food from your garden, possums can cause damage to plants and trees by stripping bark or digging up roots and bulbs. Look for signs of this type of damage when trying to identify possum activity in your garden.
But how does one differentiate between possum damage and other animal-caused havoc? One clue lies in the damage pattern.
Possums have a knack for climbing, so they'll often strip tree barks from top down. This behaviour isn't common among many pests.
To protect your beloved green space, understanding their destructive habits is essential. With that knowledge, you can fight back effectively against these furry invaders.
Understanding Possum's Diet
What do possums eat varies depending on the species of possums.Possum species are fascinating creatures with diverse diets.
Common Brushtail Possums typically eat plant matter, occasionally adding bird eggs, fledglings, and some insects.
Their diet predominantly consists of eucalyptus leaves, along with select shrubs (particularly wattles), herbs, blossoms, and fruit.
They scavenge for food in the forest canopy, lower levels, and on the ground. In urban environments, they adapt to a more diverse diet, including fruits and bread.
To maintain a healthy balance, Brushtail Possums must avoid an excess of toxins found in eucalypt leaves, necessitating a varied menu.
They prefer eucalyptus leaves with elevated nutrient levels, displaying an impressive ability to discern between high and low-quality foliage, even when intertwined with other plants.
The primary sustenance for the Common Ringtail Possum consists of eucalyptus leaves. However, they incorporate other elements into their diet and eat leaves from various native trees, fruits, and flowers.
Additionally, in suburban areas, they have been observed consuming rose buds. Common Ringtail Possums will eat its own faeces to get the maximum nutrients available from the eucalyptus leaves.
Possum joeys or baby possums eat milk from sucking on the teat within the female possums pouch. Like all mammal babies, who need milk to grow strong and healthy. This initial nourishment helps prepare them for their eventual switch to solid foods.
Captive Possums and their Suggested Diet
If you are a carer rehabilitating or supplementing the diets of Brushtail or Ringtail Possums, the below diet suggestions have been made by Taronga Zoo.
Use in small amounts;
- Native plants and flowers.
- Small amounts of vegetables with seeds removed (including squash, capsicum, eggplant, pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, turnips).
Do not use - HARMFUL
- High-sugar fruit (including orange, apple, pear, figs, banana, grapes and kiwi) and starchy vegetables (including sweet potato, corn, peas, parsnip, carrot, and beetroot).
- Wildlife "bait" balls (wildlife bait balls are typically mixes of peanut butter, oats and honey used to attract animals and should never be used to feed native wildlife).
- Mainly folivores (leaf eating).
- Place in fork of tree after sunset.
- Do not encourage them to the ground to feed as they are vulnerable to predation.
Possum Feeding Habits and Behavior
Like many of us, possums love a good meal. Possums prefer certain foods, though they will eat almost anything. Possums are primarily nocturnal creatures and tend to forage for food at night.
This wide-ranging palate helps them adapt to different environments. But it's also why you might find them lurking around your property if there's an easy meal available.
Possums as Pest Control
If you're fed up with troublesome bugs in your garden, possums could be the answer. They love to munch on snails, slugs, and beetles. This makes them natural pest controllers.
Contrary to what is commonly assumed, these creatures are not always seen as a nuisance by gardeners. In fact, they can help keep a balance in your ecosystem by controlling populations of unwanted pests.
However, it's important not to rely solely on possums for pest control. Professional services should still be considered if there's an infestation problem at hand.
What Do Possums Eat Frequently Asked Questions
What is a possum's favourite food?
Possums aren't picky eaters. They love fruits, vegetables, and small insects the most.
What fruit do Australian possums eat?
Australian possums are big fans of apples, pears, and grapes; they have also been known to devour citrus, including lemons.
Do Australian possums eat rats?
No, although they're omnivores, Australian Possums typically don't eat rats, they do eat small animals like skinks or baby birds.
Do Australian possums eat meat?
Absolutely. Besides plant-based foods like leaves and fruits, they also consume small animals or carrion when available.
What do possums eat starts in the garden. Possums the nocturnal garden nibblers consume a range of foods from fresh fruits and veggies to insects and birds eggs.
The key takeaway? Their diverse diet of both plant-based and animal matter. It's this very variety that helps identify their presence in our gardens through disrupted vegetation or distinct droppings.
You now know how Brushtail Possum diets differ from Ringtail Possum ones, plus baby possum feeding habits.
More than just foragers, we explored the potential damage these marsupials can cause by stripping bark or digging up roots.
Remember, knowledge is power! Understanding what do possums eat helps you spot them, and then you can decide if you need to take action or enjoy having a native friend in the garden.
More Possum articles you may like:
- Possum Deterrents vs Repellents: What's Effective?
- Dead Possum Dilemma: Removal and Prevention.
- Possum: Proven Deterrent and Removal Methods.
- Gutter Guard & Valley Guard Solutions for Possum Prevention.
- Tree Guard: The Essential Guide.
- Possum Box Installation: A Guide to Suitable Habitats.
- Possum Removal: How to Get Rid of Possums Permanently.
- Possum Removalists: How to Choose the Right Expert.
- Possum Trap: Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Success.
- Catch and Release Licences: How to Remove Possums Legally.
More Rat articles you may like:
- Rat Bait: Navigating Successful Pest Management.
- How to Get Rid of Rats: Rodent Control Strategies that Work.
- Rat Traps: The Ultimate Guide to Bait Free Rodent Control.