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How to Build a Possum House

Jessica Williams

An opossum house, or nesting box, can be an excellent solution for the problematic marsupial rustling in your attic or a wildlife attractant, encouraging local creatures to nest and breed in close proximity.



Use wood glue to hold the panels of the nesting box flush. This will make screwing them together securely more manageable. Gather dead leaves to cushion the bottom of the possum house and to provide extra insulation for its residents.


Birds and squirrels are also fond of possum houses. If you want to prevent their nesting, consider building a baffle – a barrier that you place over the entry hole – that only a certain sized climber can slip behind.

There are several sources from which you can purchase ready-made possum houses; however, constructing one on your own ensures it is customized and of the correct size for the possums in your region. Plans, diagrams and instructions for building a possum box are available, and supplies can be easily obtained from local hardware and home improvement stores.

How to Build a Possum House

    Pencil and ruler
  1. Rest the sheet of plywood on a flat surface in order to mark out the sides, top and bottom of the nesting box with your pencil and ruler. Trace out and cut two rectangular side panels measuring 12 inches by 18 inches.

  2. Rainfall
  3. Trace a slant at the top of the two side panels by angling your ruler from the top left corner, across the middle of the vertical rectangular to the other side approximately 3 inches down. Cut off the corner you have created. This will guarantee that the possum house’s top leans forward to allow runoff.

  4. Measuring tape
  5. Measure and cut the back, front and bottom panels of the possum box according to the following measurements.

  6. Back: 10 inches by 18 inches Front: 10 inches by 15 inches Bottom: 10 inches by 12 inches

  7. Screwdriver and screws
  8. Place the four side panels alongside the bottom panel and screw into place to create a standing, rectangular box.

  9. Drill
  10. Drill 4 small holes, at least ½ an inch across, in the four corners of the box’s bottom to allow for drainage.

  11. Fold a strip of lightweight sheet metal 10 inches long. When placed across the gap between the box’s top and back panels, it will prevent precipitation from entering.

  12. Hinge
  13. Attach the box’s lid using two hinges. Place the hinges over the folded strip of sheet metal and secure to the top and back panels using screws. Be sure the sheet metal strip is flexible enough to allow for your opening and closing of the hinged lid.

  14. Wire mesh
  15. Fasten a sheet of mesh wire to the front of the nesting box using screws in the four corners. The mesh will serve as a ladder so the possums and climb in and out of the nesting box with ease.

  16. Drilling a hole
  17. Bore a hole into the front panel of the box, above the wire mesh. It should measure at least 5 inches across. Familiarize yourself with the size of possums in your area before deciding on the size of the hole to ensure you drill one large enough to accommodate.