If you have a masked fruit bandit in your roof & wish to remove it, what should you do?

A juvenile common palm civet resting on a rooftop surface - caught on our night camera.

A juvenile common palm civet resting on a rooftop surface – caught on our night camera.

Common palm civets are shy nocturnal animals which are usually found living in forests, mangroves, parks and even in some urban areas. Due to the close proximity of human houses to the natural habitats of the civets, they may be found in roof spaces of some houses, which may be used as cross links to get to other patches of forests or even as nesting sites.

If you have civets coming into your house and wish to prevent this from happening, we advocate methods which do not involve trapping the civets. Here are some methods that you can try –

  1. Block access points

Civets are nimble and agile creatures, and to them gaps between roofs and ceilings could be points of entries to explore dark and quiet spaces such as the attic. If you are not a fan of hosting wild civets in your home, you may like to to block off these entry points by installing vent covers and closing up gaps with wire mesh and cable ties. It is also advised to patch up holes in the roofs. Blocking off access points high up in the roof is no easy feat as reaching these gaps may be dangerous for us. Do consider contacting a contractor to do these tasks for you.

2. Remove food sources

You can make your home less inviting to the civets by keeping away food sources from the exterior and perimeter of your homes. Store away any leftover or exposed food items before you head to bed, as civets are nocturnal creatures which forage at night. Clear pet trays of any leftover or spilled pet food as well. Keep all trash bins properly shut for the night especially if they are full and waiting to be emptied by the garbage truck the next day. If you leave food, especially fruits, out in the kitchen, do remember to close the windows to prevent any masked fruit bandits from entering the house.

3. Burn incense containing Frankincense oil

Civets are extremely sensitive to scents and the presence of the smells coming from burning incense may drive them away from your houses. We suggest getting incense which contain Frankincense oil which had been tried and tested for to repel civets. One source we know that you may purchase such incense from is Aljunied Brothers, a shop found along Arab Street, unit number 95. Please note that you will need to burn the incense in a lamp container. We advise you to consult the shopkeepers to learn how to burn incense in a safe and effective manner so it does not become a fire hazard.

The above are preventive measures that you may choose to follow to repel civets from visiting and nestling in your home. However, should the civets already be making their presence in your house, please do not use traps (be it cages or glue traps) on them as those may harm the civets physically. Unfortunate stories of civet incidents have been covered by this blog before and you can read them here to know more: [1], [2], [3].

Instead, please contact Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) who has a 24-hour rescue service (Tel: +65 9783 7782), as they will be able to advice and to provide animal rescue for the civets or other fauna found in your homes.

We would like to end off the blog post with this remarkable video produced by grade 5 students (10-11 yo) from the United World College South East Asia East Campus (Anna, Sai, Mary Jane, Kruthi). The video creatively provides tips on what we should do if we encounter civets in our homes.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Civet Rescue at Strathmore Avenue

Civet Article

This article was published in Lian He Wan Bao on the 20th of May, 2015. We have included a translation below, and are at the same time relieved that the civet managed to be returned back to the forest safely. Thank you so much ACRES, especially Anbu and Kalai (the wildlife rescue team on duty that day) for always being so enthusiastic and passionate about your work. Thank you for keeping our native civets safe too.



Reported by Daryl Lim for Lianhe Wanbao, 20th May 2015

A common palm civet was trapped in a house in Queenstown for two hours, unable to descend after having climbed up the sewage pipes. The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) rushed to the scene upon receiving the news, and thus began a relentless half­-an-­hour chase for the civet until it was finally forced into a dead corner and trapped in a cage.


The civet – which caused a great deal of chaos in the neighbourhood – appeared on 55 Strathmore Avenue at approximately 9.45 p.m. yesterday night. Resident Huang Zhen Shun (80 years old) then called and notified Lianhe Wanbao after witnessing the civet’s appearance.

Huang Zhen Shun said that he was speaking with a group of friends on the ground floor of the house when he saw a dark shadow dash across the road suddenly, right before their eyes. He said, “Its movements are extremely fast, and we quickly followed to check what it was. We didn’t expect that it turned out to be a common palm civet. We didn’t chase it for long before it climbed up the sewage pipes.”

Upon arriving at the scene, the reporter found the civet sitting on the sewage pipe that was 3 metres high. Furthermore, it looked relaxed with its long tail dangling mid­air.

The civet is believed to be an adult one, measuring at about 2 metres in length inclusive of its tail.

Huang Zhen Shun said that the civet stayed on the sewage pipe for nearly 2 hours after climbing up, refusing to come down. It looked timid and did not seem like it was aggressive. “I suspect that it was illegally kept as a pet by someone, but had managed to escape successfully.”

After arriving at the scene, 2 staff members from ACRES first climbed up an aluminium ladder, hoping to carry the civet down. They also tried to lead it to jump into an already set­up trap, but the civet was extremely quick and intelligent and managed to avoid it. Eventually it managed to jump back onto the floor and ran towards the house’s walkway.

The staff members pursued, and finally managed to force the civet into a dead corner.

Having no other possible escape route, the civet began to resist capture and tried to put up a fight, struggling against the ACRES staff members for nearly half-­an-­hour before it was finally caught and kept in a cage.


The civet will be returned to the forest after capture.

Civets are not uncommon in Singapore, and are neither threatening nor aggressive towards humans. Wild civets found to have trespassed onto human property will be released into the forest after being caught. After news of the civet’s appearance spread, countless residents came forward to observe the scene. Some even took photos as a form of keepsake memento. Some older residents commented that they have not come across wild civets since after leaving the kampungs. Louis Ng, the director of ACRES, expressed that civets are nocturnal animals that live in the forest and feed on fruits and insects. They will not deliberately cause any harm to nor threaten the safety of people. “Should the public come across a civet, do not panic, and also do not use flashlights on them. After being rescued by ACRES, the civets will be released back into the forest.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email