lkngarden
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Possum?

Could a possum be doing this? It was a small problem at first, just eating a few...but now all of my eggplants have been eaten. Whatever it is, how do I stop it?

[img]http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/8049/eggplantq.jpg[/img][/i]

cynthia_h
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Is there a pet-grooming shop anywhere nearby? You could load up in advance for several applications of dog hair from just one trip! And let that poor dog grow his/her coat back. (Dogs *can* get sunburned if their coats are too short, esp. light-coated dogs whose skin is pink: Samoyeds; little white fluffy dogs like Bichons, Shihs, Lhasas, Maltese, and their crosses; Siberian Huskies; etc.)

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rkunsaw
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Re: Possum?

lkngarden wrote:Could a possum be doing this? It was a small problem at first, just eating a few...but now all of my eggplants have been eaten. Whatever it is, how do I stop it?

[img]http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/8049/eggplantq.jpg[/img][/i]
Live trap...leg hold trap....12 gauge?
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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Whatever you do, please do not use leghold traps. They often catch the wrong animal--household pets--who are in such agony that they will CHEW OFF THEIR LEG to escape the leghold trap. Even wild animals shouldn't be subjected to such torture. If you want them dead, kill them outright; don't make them suffer the agonies of the damned. I eat meat, but I don't want the meat from tortured animals; it matters to me how they live *and* how they die. 'Nuff said.

Back to my earlier point about sunburned dogs: Agreed, Great Pyrs have TONS o' fur. You don't even have to clipper them down to get it; a basic rake/brush/comb routine will gather lots of fur! :D They make my guys (Bernese Mtn. Dogs) look positively easy and low-maintenance. :shock:

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Just get a livetrap. Whether its a possom, groundhog, rabbit, or whatever. The livetrap will catch them all. After you catch a critter it's up to you if you elininate it or take it for a ride to release. Problem solved.

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If you catch an animal in a live trap...Don't take it somewhere and release it.
Unless of course someone you don't like has a garden.Once caught in a live trap in may not go in one again.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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Troppofoodgardener
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I heard that human urine also deters possums... if anyone's game to try it? ;) I know I have to try SOMETHING to stop the local possum eating all my passionfruit leaves!!
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Fence! My yard has possums as well as raccoons, squirrels, groundhogs and all manner of other critters. Deer netting is quick, easy, and inexpensive to install as a fence (I do it around individual beds, but you can also use it to fence a whole garden). For my individual beds, I have to put the netting over the top also, because of the raccoons, but I think the possums are not so agile. You do need to stake it down at the bottom or bury it a few inches at the bottom.
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You could also try using coyote or fox urine. You can buy it by the jug-full and apply a line of it around your garden. The possum smells it and thinks a predator is near, so he stays away.

The down side is you have to re-apply periodically.
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Yep, my four foot tall fence has kept everything out of my garden. I have possums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and a Labrador retriever. I haven't had any damage from any of them since I put the fence up.

Don't believe what folks may tell you about possums playing possum or always feinting when they see you. My dog cornered one this summer and I've never seen so many sharp teeth in one mouth in my life. He was acting like he really wanted to use those teeth on us. Even my big dog was convinced it was a fight not worth fighting.

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I have never seen a 'possum faint or play dead, but I've never been much of a threat to any animal. :lol:

I've had 'em hiss and bare their teeth at me as I reached down to pick them up, but I don't think I've ever heard one make any other noise. That, of course, doesn't mean they're incapable of making other noises. A lot of my rehabber friends kept opossums as house pets. They're very quiet and docile (I had one in rehab who would allow me to reach into her pouch and remove her babies to check on them), and they can be litter box trained, like a cat.

I've always found 'possums to be interesting little critters, and I like them. They were around during the time of the dinosaurs, and I'm impressed at the adaptability that has allowed them to continue to survive for such a long, long time. They have more teeth than any other land mammal, and an outstanding sense of smell, but they have very poor eyesight. They can only see a few feet away from themselves.

Except for the fact that they love to eat snakes (including poisonous species), I'd like to have a 'possum take up residence in my yard. But, I greatly value my resident garter snakes and don't want any harm to come to them. :)
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rainbowgardener
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I'm thinking maybe it is something the young ones do, like fawns huddle up to rely on their camouflage. The reason I say that is that I have only seen the playing dead thing once and it was a juvenile. The adult ones that come to eat the dry cat food we put out for the cats, if we come up and scare them off, just amble away at a slow trot. The juvenile that did the play dead did it quite convincingly for about 10 min and then when it thought we weren't looking any more, got up and walked off.

I had a pet possum for awhile when I was a kid and it was a nice pet. We could pick it up and hold it and pet it.
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Is seems several of you here have had success with keeping possums out by using a fence. I'm surprised the possum doesn't just climb the fence. Surely they're able to?

Perhaps one reason why some possums faint and others don't is they know that if they do, they'll be easy pickens for any person with a 5 gal. bucket and a stick :lol:. Really, though, maybe some have just realized that the act doesn't really work with people.
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Hey everyone, just read all the posts and read about coyote urine used to keep away critters I don't reccomend that because it is said to be gathered very inhumanely! On the other post about possum' climbing they can climb pretty well they are just a bit lazy i've seen them come over my 6 foot anchor fence, also seen them climb the anchor fence to a tree to my garage roof which is about 9' up at the ends! So don't underestimate the possum a bit slower but quite agile.
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So far, I haven't had even a squirrel climb my fence. I think it is because it is wired to steel T stakes loosely. My dog can't get over it though it is only four feet tall. When he tries to get over the fence, it simply leans out toward him leaving him hanging. I think if it were wired tighter to the stakes and more stable, it would be easy to climb. I don't think it would stop a squirrel if it wanted in, but it is difficult for larger animals.

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Kisal
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tedln wrote:So far, I haven't had even a squirrel climb my fence. I think it is because it is wired to steel T stakes loosely. My dog can't get over it though it is only four feet tall. When he tries to get over the fence, it simply leans out toward him leaving him hanging. I think if it were wired tighter to the stakes and more stable, it would be easy to climb. I don't think it would stop a squirrel if it wanted in, but it is difficult for larger animals.

Ted
You did it exactly right! That style of fence installation will stop any animal except those that can climb while upside down ... squirrels, rats, mice, etc. ... or those large enough to simply jump or step over the fence. Of course, you buried about a foot of the fence underground, right? To stop critters from digging under it? :)
Last edited by Kisal on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rainbowgardener
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agree, the deer netting is loose and flexible which makes it much more difficult to climb than a stable fence.
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Neil, sorry 'bout recommending something inhumane, never new that :oops:.

Ted, thanks for the great fence tip :D. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever do put a fence up. I take it that you have the top of it unsecured so it "rolls" back when something reaches the top of the fence?
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Alot of people are not aware of it. I found out because we have bad racoons around me, and they are like gymnists.so I thought about getting some myself, but someone told me and I stopped on a dime when I found out. :shock:
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garden5 wrote:Neil, sorry 'bout recommending something inhumane, never new that :oops:.

Ted, thanks for the great fence tip :D. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever do put a fence up. I take it that you have the top of it unsecured so it "rolls" back when something reaches the top of the fence?
Right garden5, no toprail on the fence. It is strong, but loose and floppy.

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G'day lkngarden,

Does look like possum to me, we have a mango tree, last fruiting, one
fruit looked just like that, but mango in shape and colour :lol: of course.
The possum had sat ontop of the shed and leaned over and had a meal!

A caution to anyone with dogs...out little mate a few months ago got very
sick, told the vet all symptoms and behaviour leading up to illness, so an
$80 test was suggested...yep a possum bacteria was found, a course of
antibiotics fixed him up. The poor guy (dog) had blood in his poo.

We did trap the possum in a rectangle possum trap, had for transporting
chicks years ago...so a few days later we have a possum in the trap, ring
wildlife people, have to release within 20 metres of capture point!!! What
a waste of time, so I now try to make sure the dog doesn't eat the possum poo!

Sorry don't know how to deter them, we don't seem to have much other
damage from it that I can tell, I think he likes to come and drink the pond water. And poo! :shock:

Funny about the fainting possum and the poor bald dog! :lol:

jenn

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Kisal
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USA "possums" are actually the Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), not the same animal that is called a possum in Australia (Trichosurus vulpecula). :)

Virginia opossum
[[img]http://www.nps.gov/prsf/naturescience/images/virginia_opossum.jpg[/img]

Common Brushtail Possum (Australia)
[img]http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/images/wildlife-ecosystems/brushtail_possum.jpg[/img]
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jennsim
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ewwww I'll happily have the aussie possum in my yard :>
He looks like a giant rat!


G'day Kisal thanks for the pics

jenn

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The top one I'm used to seeing the top one but neither are attractive animals if I do say so myself.
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tedln wrote:
garden5 wrote:Neil, sorry 'bout recommending something inhumane, never new that :oops:.

Ted, thanks for the great fence tip :D. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever do put a fence up. I take it that you have the top of it unsecured so it "rolls" back when something reaches the top of the fence?
Right garden5, no toprail on the fence. It is strong, but loose and floppy.

Ted
Is your whole fence kind of slack, or is it only the top part? I would think it'd be better to have the fence be taut, but the top foot or two unsecured. Hmmm, on the other hand, perhaps a completely slack fence would be smart, as well.

I know I can be a pain: for every answer you give me, I fire back more questions :P :lol:.

Jen, your Australian possum puts our American one to shame :lol:.
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tedln
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garden5,

I have the T stakes located about every seven feet. The fence is wired to the stakes at the top and bottom. The bottom of the fence is staked to the ground tightly every three feet with tent stakes. That leaves the top of the fence between the stakes loose and wobbly. When the fence material is manufactured, a single strong wire is woven into the upper and lower edges. The edges are strong, but wobbly. I also have two feet of poultry wire fence around the bottom of the fence to keep the rabbits out. They can squeeze through the little squares in the fence if I didn't have the poultry wire.

I hope that helps you understand.

Please ask as many questions as you like.

Ted :D
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garden5
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tedln wrote:garden5,

I have the T stakes located about every seven feet. The fence is wired to the stakes at the top and bottom. The bottom of the fence is staked to the ground tightly every three feet with tent stakes. That leaves the top of the fence between the stakes loose and wobbly. When the fence material is manufactured, a single strong wire is woven into the upper and lower edges. The edges are strong, but wobbly. I also have two feet of poultry wire fence around the bottom of the fence to keep the rabbits out. They can squeeze through the little squares in the fence if I didn't have the poultry wire.

I hope that helps you understand.

Please ask as many questions as you like.

Ted :D
Thanks a lot, Ted. Now I have a great image of what your set-up looks like. You secure normally just with the posts spaced farther apart, right?
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tedln
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garden5,

Right! I don't really have an exact spacing. I just drove them into the ground at a distance that looked about right to hold the fence up, but leave a little slack between the stakes. I just didn't want the fencing up so tight that something could easily climb it. If you measured the distance between my T stakes, you would probably find some close to six feet apart and some at seven feet apart. It really wasn't a big deal to me. I only knew where I wanted the corners to be located and I knew where I wanted a gate at one corner. The gate is simply two T stakes about 36" apart. I ran the fencing across the gate area but only attached or wired it to one stake. I wrapped the fence wire past the corner stake and bent a couple of wires to hook into the fencing as a latch.

Ted
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Troppofoodgardener
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Kisal wrote:USA "possums" are actually the Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), not the same animal that is called a possum in Australia (Trichosurus vulpecula). :)

Virginia opossum
[[img]http://www.nps.gov/prsf/naturescience/images/virginia_opossum.jpg[/img]

Common Brushtail Possum (Australia)
[img]http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/images/wildlife-ecosystems/brushtail_possum.jpg[/img]
Haha! I've always wondered what the US opossum looked like, as I know it's a different creature to the possums we have here in Australia. I think i'd rather tangle with our native possums than yours over there. They look mean! Ours are just annoying/greedy, but overall kinda cute critters. Look up Ringtail possum for a different sort. I think they're even endangered.

We've put up chicken-wire barriers along the top of our fence to prevent the local possum from getting at our passionfruit vines. So far so good...
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Possums

Whether they are Australian or American possums, both are rascally rascales eating our vegies. For little vegies like egg plants have you thought of constructing cages with lids that open? They are really good because they keep out the pests and allow you to get to your vegies. You need chicken wire some wood and a couple of hinges and Bobs your Uncle. We built some at a garden in Melbourne I used to volunteer at. We painted them green, so they were so ugly.

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