What does Toronto Wildlife Removal mean? To us, it means saving our clients from unwanted visitors (a.k.a urban wildlife), and humanely bringing the visitors back to their natural habitats. Both in the City of Toronto and in the Greater Toronto Area, wildlife can be a nuisance to many residents, business owners, and industrial/agricultural environments.
What is Wildlife?
Wildlife traditionally refers to non-domesticated animal species. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems, in both urban and rural sites. Common wildlife animals found in the GTA are birds, pigeons, skunks, snakes, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and bats. Most times, these animals will behave in hostile manners when aggravated, and can be considered as dangerous and sometimes infectious.
Wildlife & Human Co-Habitance
In most cases, wildlife and humans can co-exist in urban areas. While everyone goes about their businesses, conflicts do arise at times. As weather gets cooler, urban wildlife starts seeking shelter. Raccoons, squirrels, pigeons, and bats may settle in attics, between walls, and chimneys; causing significant damage and health hazards to homeowners. Skunks could hide under porches or decks and spray house pets or unwary residents. Human-wildlife conflict does arise frequently in Toronto.
Fall is a peak season for Toronto wildlife removal needs as many animals start looking for food and shelter from the fast approaching cold weather conditions. This is the time to wildlife proof your property to avoid unwanted visitors. Usually finding warmth and food in or around a structure. Wildlife such as raccoons and squirrels easily get acclimated to their new habitats, often bringing their dependents with them. Removing wildlife in humane manner requires very specific skill-sets as well as in-depth knowledge of all the animals. Although there are many DIY solutions available for all wildlife removal needs, one can never predict the results of these projects. Trained technicians can understand animals’ behaviors, predict their motives, and even know their next moves. Trained technicians can also tell if wildlife has been breeding, where the babies may be, and if wildlife has or is suffering from any injuries. Most importantly professionals have the proper gear, equipment, and animal storage and removal tools to avoid any harm to you, to the animals, or to themselves. At SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated, we ensure your safety, as well as the safety of the animals. Our trained wildlife control technicians help relocate wildlife as per Environment Canada’s guidelines. We ensure the animals are injury and stress free during this process. We try to use one ways doors as our first solution. This involves no wildlife human interaction but if this option is not suitable we use wildlife friendly cages where animals are transported comfortable and free of restraints to their new, natural environments.
Toronto wildlife removal services have become a necessity for many home and business owners as urban wildlife number are on an increase. Due to the quick adaptability and fast- breeding nature, wildlife quickly adjusts to their new environments and they promptly pass this knowledge down to their offspring, creating a smarter generation of unwanted guests. Once an animal has established a home, they like to keep it. Any female offspring raised here, will also want to return to the same place to have their own litters. Given many of the wildlife are extremely intelligent, it is quite possible for this to take place. For many reasons aside from the simple attachment issues, it is very imperative to remove all wildlife as soon as possible before it becomes a matter of a serious infestation problem.
How to Avoid Toronto Wildlife Removal Services
Lock up all recyclables and garbage in animal proof bins, ensure lids are securely closed at all times
Take garbage and recyclables out often
Remove any and all uneaten pet foods from pets’ bowls, remove all bird feeders at night
Caution neighbors against wildlife feeding, contact your local council if problem persists
Survey the structure of your home regularly, be aware of all cracks and holes and ensure proper measures are taken to fix these deficiencies
Keep your home clean and organized, don’t leave opened packages of food out or overnight
Keep your yard tidy by removing all unnecessary items and debris. Mow your lawn, and rake leaves regularly
Ensure doors and windows are closed, as most wildlife are superior climbers
Screen entry points and maintain fencing
Our Approach to Toronto Wildlife Removal
While there are different approaches trained technicians can use such as no trapping, or lethal trapping; we like to use the One Way Door or the Live Trapping method at SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated. This method allows use to trap the wildlife to ensure successful captivity, but it also allows us to inspect the animals to ensure they are uninjured before releasing them back into the wild. If animals are captured at the time of birthing/nesting period, we place them in protected boxes and ensure they are located to a safe environment, no further than 1 km away from the location of captivity, as per provincial guidelines. We provide the Toronto and GTA residents, humane wildlife removal services.
Wildlife Fun Facts:
On the mammal IQ scale, raccoons rank higher than cats, and just below monkeys
Squirrels are extremely intelligent: they are known to put elaborate bogus food burying display to deceive onlookers. The purpose of this fake burial is to trick potential thieves: other squirrels
Skunks are nocturnal. They sleep during the day and look for food at night
Opossums have remarkable ability to find food and remember its source. When tested for ability to remember where food it, opossums scored better than rats, rabbits, and dogs. They can also find their way through a maze faster than rodents and cats.
At SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated, we provide superior Toronto Wildlife Removal services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. We easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait and call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests.
Why do animals break in? It is very frustrating when wildlife enter our homes as they are messy, noisy and just plain annoying. Growing up we learn that urban wildlife are generally more scared of us than we are of them, but then why do they become unwanted house guests?
I believe that understanding why animals break in will help us solve this problem. If you check out our post How do animals get in you will find ways which will also help keep urban wildlife out.
2 main reasons for wildlife breaking into houses
1. Adaptation of urban wildlife
Raccoons, squirrels, skunks or opossums are constantly adapting better to urban life. As Toronto grows bigger wildlife have no choice but to adapt to the city, thus becoming less scared of humans. Many people feed raccoons or squirrels in their backyard or in the park, but this isn’t the best approach in dealing with wildlife in the city as they become less scared of us and they get confident approaching closer.
To help discourage wildlife from your property, do not feed them and when putting our your garbage, secure the bins. The new wildlife proof bins being introduced to Toronto should help this. If there are any wildlife animals in your yard, make large noises at them to leave. Inform your children to keep away from wildlife, especially when unsupervised, telling them not to feed them.
2. Primal Needs of urban wildlife
Raccoons, squirrels, skunks and other pests have basic needs that attract them to our homes. Their needs are similar to ours:
Animals are attracted to our homes as we have fulfilled these needs for ourselves, seeing it as a resource for themselves.
Raccoons, squirrels, opossums and skunks all look for dens not just during the cold weather but all year round. Raccoons, squirrels or any pest will take advantage of any weak parts on our homes. They will scratch or chew through wood or any small holes to gain entrance. To stop them gaining access to these areas it is advisable to cut away all tree branches near your home to reduce access and to assess you home several times a year to see if there are any holes or weak points that you should fix. I can’t advise wildlife proofing your home enough, a service SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated provide that is effective and is worth it. No matter how high a fence you put up to protect your property, many wildlife animals have very sharp claws and will burrow under it or find other means to counter-act it. Wildlife proofing includes putting a wire mesh under your fences or porch which restricts animals from digging down to go under. For more information on wildlife proofing please call us on 1800-981-0330
Wildlife are attracted to our homes because of fruit falling from trees, food in trashcans or in compost bins, BBQ leftovers and even pet bowls and bird feeders and more. It is important to clear out fallen fruit, have trashcans with tightly secure lids and take any precautions to ensure that food is inaccessible for wildlife. Soon we will have the new wildlife proof bins being released in Toronto in 2016. Lastly feed pets inside and don’t overflow bird feeders. Every little bit helps!
The heat escaping from holes in vents and open chimneys attract wildlife. It is important to check how efficient your home is, as it not only attracts critters but it is costing you money.
Below is a video of raccoons being chased by our team from the chimney flue. They are attracted to the heat.
Twice a year animals have babies but throughout the year wildlife keep an eye out for dens. However in baby season, Spring and Autumn, you will have a higher risk of finding wildlife in your homes as mothers are trying to find somewhere warm and dry to nest for a few weeks. If you do find baby animals in your home, do not touch them. Call SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated immediately as they need to be removed professionally and kept with their mother.
We will always have wildlife within our city environment, and we will have problems with these animals until we take preventative measures to keep them from homes. You can read our other posts on Toronto’s human – wildlife conflict and also Signs that wildlife are in your home already. Once the repairs are done and you begin a regular inspection of your home, we believe your wildlife problems will be over.
Do you hear noises in your attic, or hear scratching in the walls or chirping in your chimney? Then it is more than likely that you have wildlife in your home. In these cases the first step is to find out where exactly they are. The second is to figure out how they get in! Knowing what wildlife animal is on your property will help determine where you need to look.
If you have mice on your property, then it will be tricky to figure out exactly how they are getting. Mice have the capability due to their size and dexterity to squeeze tiny entry ways. They are cunning creatures who find ways to enter through tiny cracks and holes. They dart in open doors and even in windows. Mice are good climbers and if you leave your windows open especially on the first floor it is possible they will enter in to your home.
Seal any gaps in your doors, cracks/holes on the outside of your home or any gaps between the window and the frame. Mice may also enter through vents, chimneys or around access holes created for pipes and cables. Sealing holes and cracks and putting screens on vents and chimneys is the best way to keep mice out. And don’t forget to keep your doors closed.
Although larger than mice, rats similar to mice can fit through very small holes. They can inhabit very small nooks and crannies inside a house, from walls to ceilings, crawl spaces and attics. Rats excretion as you will know is very dangerous, so it is vital if you have rats you have them removed and closely inspect for your house for their entry points. It is not always easy to spot entry points, but a brown grease marks is usually an identifier for it if used often. For rats, you may have to crawl into tight spots or in some cases dig which is why it is highly advised to hire a professional to get rid your rat problem.
Raccoons are extremely intelligent animals who have adapted to city and urban life in Toronto too well. Raccoons have different vision from humans. They are able to see the heat escaping from your home and approach that weak area and get inside. They might rip open a soffit or go through an open vent, tear a hole in the wall or even just climb through your pet door. Not only do they have great sight but they have a great sense of smell, so do not leave any pet food about as this attracts them and may lead the raccoons into your home. Below are common areas for raccoon entry. It is recommended to inspect these areas at least twice annually to make sure there are no holes or any weak areas that need to be replaced.
Squirrels, like raccoons enter through holes in the roof, rip soffits, go through an open vent, chimney or through a hole in the wall. Squirrels are usually more frightened of you than you are of it, so try making loud noises or play ongoing music or call a professional. Covering entry holes with metal mesh, capping chimneys and trimming trees back from your home will help keep them out. The above diagram shows entry points for raccoons as well as squirrels. These areas on your roof should be inspected twice annually to monitor and replace any weak areas.
Opossums are pests because they will do anything to break into your home. If a opossum learns you have food, in some cases they will return on a daily basis and cause havoc. Opossums will make a nest in your home by chewing through the exterior of your house to get into your walls, garage, attic etc. If opossums invade your home they can chew through wood, drywall, gnaw on electrics and rip up all insulation in your home. To prevent opossums from entering, remove all food sources, secure your garbage and put a wire mesh around your yard or house buried at a foot deep to stop them digging under it.
Always check for babies before removing an adult, and do not remove an adult and seal off the entry points as the babies will starve and die. The babies need to be humanely removed and reunited with their mother who will take them to another nest.
As explained, services and methods depend on the situation, the type of animal and how they get in. It is highly advised to wildlife proof your home, this involves sealing all vents and weak areas of your home with mesh. Surrounding your home with a foot deep mesh that will help prevent wildlife from digging under your home and gaining entry. You should check your home regularly throughout the year to see if there are any sign of animals trying to enter your home as the best method for wildlife control is prevention.
Do you have a raccoon, skunk, or squirrel causing damage on your property? If so, then perhaps you need wildlife removal services! Calling a professional wildlife removal service will help you remove and prevent wildlife from your property in a professional, humane and effective manner. But if you’re looking to take some steps before you contact a professional, here are some things that you can do!
Some points to remember about wildlife
It’s likely the animal is more scared of you, than you the animal
Wildlife removal should always be conducted humanely
Do not pick up, feed, or handle the animal
Never corner wildlife. Cornering may result in a defensive, aggressive animal
Always exercise caution when around wildlife
If you think there is wildlife under your porch or in your attic, try to identify the entry point.
Inspect the potential entry point after dark when the animal would have left to gather food.
Inspect for tracks or use a thin layer of sand/flour at the entrance. Their print lefts in the sand/flour will help you identify the animal
Identify the tracks Through research, or by asking a wildlife professional
Do not seal the only entry point and trap the animal. Sealing the only entry point and trapping the animal inside can kill the animal by starvation. Please do not do this. There are humane alternatives.
To humanely remove the animal yourself discourage them from staying by setting up a bright light and leave it on through the day and night. You can also turn on a radio or other ongoing sound and leave it playing in the area. The animal will not like the light or noise and will eventually leave.
Never trap the animal yourself or set up your own traps as you may end up trapping the neighbors cat or your own pet.
Animal in your living space
If the animal is in your living space it is best to stay calm, close interior doors, leave the room, and let the animal find its own way back out through the open door or window. If necessary, gently use a broom to guide the animal outside. This actually happened to me before, I returned home from work to find my housemate freaking out. He had a raccoon behind his bed. This is extremely rare for the animal to come into the actual house. The raccoon came in the balcony door and went into my housemates room and was eating out of his garbage and the raccoon hid behind his bed when he entered. He was in there 20 minutes before he realized. To get the raccoon out I opened the window, left the room and closed the door behind me. I checked thirty minutes later and the raccoon had left himself. We make sure the balcony door is always now closed, it was quite funny, my housemate now laughs too.
If none of the above work call SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated toll free on 1-800-981-0330 who can safely and humanly remove the wildlife animal
Mother with babies
If you find wildlife animal with babies, it is recommended to call a wildlife professional. Do not handle any young, as the mother is usually nearby and can be protective. If you come across a baby animal at night, the mother is usual not too far. If you come across an injured or orphaned baby animal do not handle or disturb it! Finding a baby raccoon in your garden may happen when a mother is transporting her babies from one den to another. The mother will come back for the baby but it must be left alone as the mother will not come out unless she feels safe.
Wildlife should not be handled or transported by anyone but a trained professional as they can carry rabies and parasites. If you do find a baby on your property you can call Toronto Animal Services on 416.338.7297.
Wildlife may not be kept as pets
It is very common when people discovery orphaned wildlife to take it home and keep it as a pet, however this is illegal. Wildlife may not be kept as pets; people who do so risk injury from the animal and a fine. For more information on this check Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR)
If you are bitten or scratched seek immediate medical attention; if your pet is injured, seek immediate veterinary attention as raccoon’s are known to carry rabies.
Avoid Pest Problems
For any wild animal, deny them access to attractants, which can be food or shelter. Keep all garbage and composts in secure containers or enclosures as those odors attract pests. For long-term prevention against raccoon’s, squirrels, skunks, bat, mice etc. call a wildlife professional.