Possums – A Review of the Good Natured Possum Trap

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Possum Photo
A Bushy Tailed Possum – Photo Credit: Hasitha Tudugalle
This post isn’t exactly bee related, but it’s definitely garden related. Which we hope to cover more of in the future. Margaret is the gardener at KiwiMana HQ, so let’s all encourage her to write some gardening posts :).

The Problem

Managing Possums is an important obligation for anyone that lives in New Zealand. One of biggest introduced pests here is the bushy-tailed possum (trichosurus bulletins), these marsupials destroy trees and eat native bird eggs.

Possums were introduced into New Zealand in 1838 to start a fur industry. But as with most attempts by man to alter nature, this was a complete failure. The possums have no natural predators here. So they numbers have blossomed, has been estimated that there are 30 million possums in New Zealand. It’s up to us to control their numbers.

We discovered this trap made by Good Nature after meeting the brother one of the inventors “Stu Barr”, it sounded like a lower maintenance method of controlling the possums at kiwimana HQ.

This trap automatically resets itself, so you avoid the messy business of removing dead Possums from the trap.

The trap kills the possum instantly and has been approved by the department of conservation as very humane. In the past we have used the Timms trap and from observation and evidence, I can tell you that the possum doesn’t die instantly.

Download the Humane Evaluation Here:- Possum Evaluation

The Review

The trap comes with one gas cylinder, a jar of attractant and a tube of attractant paste.

The instructions that come with the trap are straight forward and we had the trap assembled in a few minutes.

We placed the trap about 1.5 metres up a Kanuka tree, out-of-the-way of our dog “Snow” (just in case).

We placed a few sections of the supplied paste on the tree forming a path up to the trap. The trap was easy to set. The gas cylinder is good for twelve activation’s. So you could leave it for a week or so between inspections. This is how the department of conversation are using the trap.

Night One

Clear night full moon, no possums caught.

Night Two

Clear night full moon, no possums caught.

Day Three

Checked trap and unscrewed gas canister, canister seemed to completely open and release all gas.

Checked trap by operating trigger and it was working fine. I will need to buy some new canisters to continue review.

Perhaps trap is not near where the possums roam at night.

Day Four

Purchased some more gas canisters from a local cycle shop, these are used for Co2 tyre pumps. So the review is back on.

After a few more days no possums were dispatched. We will need to move the trap, will go for a tramp in our back yard with Snow and look for some possum sign.

New Location

Went out to scour a new location with Snow and discovered a tree with evidence of possum activity, the tree had lots of scratches at its base.

I have moved the trap to this location. I thought it would be wise to disable the trap and removed the gas canister. Which emptied again as the trap puts a hole in the end. So I can’t see anyway to disable the trap
without having to replace the gas canister. Which cost $6 dollars each, but as long as you don’t stick your hand in the trap its pretty safe to move.

Day One (New location)

New location caught one possum, so its all about the location of the trap. The scratch marks on the tree indicate this is a local hangout for the possums.

I will bury the possum in the bush, so her death can bring some life to the trees that will grow on top of her.

Conclusion

An effective trap indeed as long as its placed in the correct location, look for possum poop, scratches or place it near a possum run. A possum run is a well used track used by possums.

If you plan on moving the trap before its been set off twelve times, then the only way to disable the trap is to remove the gas canister. So either be careful when moving it or leave it until it has caught twelve possums. But be aware that even through the canister had been removed, it still can fire one more time. You need to press the attractant jar down to activate the last activation.

If you looking for a good way to help control possums, help out these fellow Kiwis and buy one of their traps.

Possums strike a pose

Image Credit: Possums strike a pose by Nicole Swanson

Here is a video of how the trap works from the Good natures site (not for the faint hearted, scenes of death)

You can find our more about the trap at Good Natures web site:-
http://goodnature.co.nz

Here is an article on the Idealog web site about Good Nature:-
http://www.idealog.co.nz/magazine/39/good-nature

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5 thoughts on “Possums – A Review of the Good Natured Possum Trap

  1. Joyce says:

    I like the look of these products Gary particularly safe for our pets and other species it seems,Pretty expensive but hopefully have a good life span and guarantee? Joyce

    • Gary says:

      Thanks Joyce for the Feedback.

      Yes there are more expensive than other traps. But the humane factor is very important to us. The other benefit is the self setting ability of the trap. Which saves us having the check the traps daily.

      Good point about it not being attractive to other species. Other traps have caught hedgehogs and at one time a black bird.

      See ya later…Gary

  2. Max Wright says:

    I have bought A12 and A 24 to set at Craigieburn.I mounted the A12 on a marked tree with a counter. I also placed the 3 rodent detectors to check for activity. On returning one week later the A12 had been attacked by Kea and counter and rubber chewed.I found the remains which had recorded 3 hits.One dead possom! One of 3 A24 detectors chewed . The CO2 cylinder had been unscrewed enough to release gas.I have brought both traps home to modify against Kea damage before I re install. Any suggestions?

    • Gary Fawcett says:

      Hi Max,

      Just to be sure, we don’t make or sell these traps. You will need to contact Good nature about that.

      We did have a similar issue with our trap, degassing the canister. I talked to Good Nature and they replaced the seals in the gas chamber and its working fine now.

      I would get in touch with them, they were a pleasure to deal with – http://www.goodnature.co.nz/

      Gary

  3. Peter says:

    We are using a Good Nature trap at Port Levy. Not much success compared with a Timms trap right alongside. Not sure about this cinnamon bait. The possums round here seem to prefer aniseed. Re the problem of not being able to move the trap without discharging the cylinder. A friend suggested mounting the trap on a board which in turn is then mounted on to a tree or whatever. That way you can keep moving the set trap to where the action is.

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