Possum Bait Station Guidelines
Choosing the Site
Attach to a fence post or a suitable tree with vertical trunk, or a trunk which slopes outwards slightly. Place the station so that the mouth is away from prevailing wind. Attach the station so the mouth is 20cm above ground level to avoid splash - back off the ground.
Provide easy access for rats by leaning a stick against the front edge of the floor, or placing a log under the station, or hammer a wooden peg into the ground with the top of the peg almost touching the front of the floor.
Without easy access, rats may try and chew their way through to the bait, causing damage to the station.
To avoid interference from stock, dogs and pigs, attach the station higher up a tree just above where it branches so that easy access can be provided for pest species.
Semi Permanent Attachment
Nail or screw the empty station to the tree trunk using the washer or plastic spacer provided between the top tab and the nail or screw.
Rotate the station until it is upside down, then fill with bait, insert the floor and rotate the station until it is upright again. Rotate quickly to prevent bait from spilling. An extra nail can be placed in the tree above the station to prevent it from rotation when you have it upside down to fill (see left).
When attaching the station using the side tab, you can prevent the bait station from moving backwards by hammering a 75mm flathead nail into the hole provided below the floor, until it protrudes 10 - 20 mm from the tree. This allows you to rotate the station by pulling it 10 - 20 mm out from the tree until the nailhead passes through the hole. Alternatively you can tack a nail in behind the station with about 30mm protruding from the tree.
Inserting the Floor
Slide the rear end of the floor under the two rear support tabs. Then press one side of the floor front until it splays the side of the station enough to pop under the front support tab. Repeat with the other side.
To remove, hold the front of the floor with one hand while pulling outwards on the side of the station near one of the front support tabs, until the floor pops out from under this tab. Repeat with the other side.
In forest: For possum control only, bait stations should be placed at 150 - 200m intervals. To include rat control 100 - 150m spacings are best.
On farmland: Spacing will depend on how much good possum "nesting" habitat there is. Place stations away from stock access and where possums are likely to seek refuge during the day (small patches of forest). Placing the stations near possum "runs" will make it easier for possums to find them.
Time of year
Bait stations can be used to kill possums and rats at any time of the year, but you will lose less bait to rats if you undertake your baiting from August to December. The rat population is at a natural low point in most places by August and food is in short supply. This is the best time to kill rats as it will take less time to knock the population down to zero. Baiting from August to December also ensures there are no rats around to prey on native birds nesting during the spring/summer period.
The Bigger the Better
If you are controlling possums on your property but none of your neighbours are, you will find that possums will re-invade your property from your neighbours and eat your bait. If you can interest your neighbours in pest control, you will find re-invasion will almost cease, so the costs to you will be less. Often groups of farmers get together and save on costs by tackling a large area. Even the farmers on the outer edge of a control co-op benefit as they only have re-invasion from one side rather from all sides. A large group may also be able to save money by purchasing bait and stations in bulk.