Pests living in roof spaces aren't quiet. If you hear noises up there, the chances are something has got in. You've seen a possum in your garden every now and then, but you aren't sure if it has got into your roof or if you have rats or mice running around. You don't want to get up in your roof space to investigate. You may not be generally comfortable going up there and, if you're a little creature-phobic, you may not want to meet whatever is living with you.
While your initial reaction may be to throw some poison bait in the space, you shouldn't do this if there is a chance there is a possum there. Possums are protected, and you can't kill them. If you can't have a look around and you can't immediately use bait, then you need to find other ways to work out what pests you have. How can you do this?
Listen For Identifying Sounds
Possums and rodents make different sounds at different times. So, listening out for noises helps identify the type of creature that is running around.
For example, possums and rodents give you the following clues:
- Possums make more noise at night as they are nocturnal; rodents run around day and night.
- Possums are heavy-footed, so they make much louder walking noises than rodents which tend to scurry more lightly.
- Possums sometimes make hissing noises; rodents don't make much noise, but you may hear the occasional squeak.
If you still aren't 100% sure whether you have a possum or rodents, then you can try an eating test.
Throw an Apple Up
If you can face opening your roof space access door, then put an apple up by the door. Close the space up again and wait for a day. Go back and retrieve the apple. You may want to wear gloves when you do this to avoid coming into contact with pest saliva. If you have a possum in your roof, you'll generally find that most of the apple is eaten by the time you retrieve it. Rodents will eat at the apple but will take small bites out of it rather than eating the whole thing.
Bear in mind that you can have possums and rodents living together in a roof space. So, your next best step is to book a pest inspection. Your pest controller can identify your unwanted visitors and find a way to clear them out of your roof.