Last Updated: October 2016
Cities are chock-full of raccoon problems with Toronto and the GTA being no different. This blog discusses the common raccoon problems for Toronto GTA homeowners. The information provided outlines their behaviour and characteristics to help you understand your options.
Raccoons are quite common in Toronto and have increasingly become a problem not only in the GTA but throughout Ontario as well. Raccoons have no natural predator to keep their population in control and as we continually destroy their natural habitat they have no choice but to adapt to our residential areas. The most common raccoon problems include:
- Raccoon in the attic
- Raccoon tipping over garbage cans
- Raccoon living in chimneys
- Raccoon stealing bird seeds or pet food
Raccoons can be destructive urban mammals. Their strength alone, combined with their determination to get food and shelter make for a potentially costly combination. Raccoons have a variety of skills that allow them to exhibit a variety of behaviors, most revolving around the basics: foraging for food and seeking shelter. They are very opportunistic animals especially when it comes to meeting their basic needs. They have nimble fingers which allow them to open garbage bins to seek out food. The City of Toronto has introduced new green bins to tackle this issue, you can read further about this on our blog here. Even with the new bins, raccoons adapt very quickly, so it is still a good idea to stay alert. I came home from work one day to find a raccoon in my bedroom. He had opened the balcony door and went into my room. I had a pizza box on my desk and it was tumbled over and the remaining pizza was gone. I found the raccoon behind my bed. I opened the window and left the room closing the door behind me. He left shortly after. Food attracts raccoons! Dog or cat food left outside is pretty much an open invitation to a raccoon, and they may even come in through a pet door to get to the food. Raccoons in many areas have simply lost their fear of people. They are very strong and can defend themselves, in some cases, even against big dogs, so do not corner them. Never corner a wild animal!
One of the most commonly used methods is trapping and relocating. Trapping is were you cover all entry holes the raccoons use except one. A one-way door is installed so the raccoons can exit and not reenter. One they have exited, the final entry-hole is closed. If there are babies involved, different precautions must be taken. The mother raccoon must be removed first in order for the babies to be moved into a insulated heated box which is placed near the hole. The mother raccoon then returns to the babies, relocating them into a new safe site. Never trap a wildlife animal in your home as this is inhumane and illegal. For wildlife removal services, we recommend calling a professional to ensure safety, humane practices and professionalism.
Read our blog on things to do before calling a wildlife control agent
Remove them yourself dangers
There’s a reason professional wildlife trapping companies exist. Do-it-yourself options for raccoon removal like trapping and releasing them elsewhere leads to the risk of you trapping a family or neighbor’s pet, or even worse a toddler. If you decide to conduct it on your own, check to see what laws are in place regarding wildlife trapping and relocating. It is illegal to kill raccoons in Ontario. There was a very sad case in Pickering where someone set up snares which killed a litter of baby raccoons, one by one. A resident of Pickering had a baby raccoon enter their garden struggling to get out of the snare. It was reported and a $1000 reward for information on the culprit was placed. See the link here. Another Ontario resident set rat poison around a tree to kill off squirrels and ended up killing 3 pet dogs and putting 3 critical ill. It was lucky no children ate the poison. So please be aware when attempting to solve raccoon problems yourself, as there are other risk factors involved.
Professional Raccoon Removal
SOS Wildlife Control Inc. specialize in nuisance wildlife control. We remove unwanted wildlife from homes and businesses, and solve conflicts between people and wild animals. From home inspections to preventative measures, wildlife trapping, we solve raccoon problems with professional expertise.
Call us today at 647-994-9453