Skunk Problem

Last Updated: May 2016

Skunks are extremely well known for their horrible smelling, predator deterrent sprays. For that, residents of the City of Toronto and the GTA have been struggling skunk problems.

The Main Skunk Problem – Smell

One of the main problem skunks cause is their ability to spray a disastrous mist that can travel as far as ten feet. The scent from a skunk’s spray can linger for hours, days, sometimes months. The smell is one of the main indicators you have skunk problem. Skunks usually use their sprays to deter their predators or when they feel threatened from noise, weather conditions etc.

Aside from their presence being a nuisance in or around one’s neighborhood, skunks’ adaptability to different habitats can make them satisfied guests. Skunk under porches, skunk under decking, skunk inside sheds and skunk between structures/walls are all common skunk problem ‘s. Skunk control is hard work as getting rid of skunks would definitely require professional services. In the interim, these stripy animals can dig holes in your lawn, damage and contaminate crop in agricultural settings, and general skunk odor which could seep into fabrics and surfaces. While the odorous surfaces may need as much as complete replacement, the actual skunk removal or skunk family removal is only a job for the professionals. As we do with all other wildlife removal needs, we take a humane approach with skunks. Our professionally trained technicians can inspect and understand the behavior of a skunk, detect their entry and exit points, close their entry points using mesh and traps. Our technicians take the skunks to a safe, natural environment, a reasonable distance from your property to avoid re-denning and a return of your skunk problem.

Controlling a Skunk Problem

As with most other wildlife, there are certain things you can do to avoid skunk infestation. Keeping inside and outside of your residential or commercial property clean, tidy, and organized is key. Because of their superior digging skills, and long, strong nails, skunks can cause damage and cut through garbage and compost bins without hassle and get to food remnants. Preventative measures can be key in skunk control. Feed all domestic pets indoors, keep pet food contained. It is a dangerous and uncomfortable experience for pets to get sprayed by skunks. The odor and the chemicals from the spray that the skunk generates can burn pets’ eyes, and the odor stays on their fur and skin for long periods of time. There are home remedies to provide instant relief to pets in case of a skunk confrontation. Be wary of structural issues like holes, cracks, which could provide easy entrance and exit points for skunks. Sealing any structural entry points is the number one preventative measure to a skunk problem.

When it comes to a skunk problem, we don’t recommend any DIY options. Although there are ways one could prevent a skunk problem becoming an infestation, it’s very difficult to actually remove them from one’s property. Ministry of Natural Resources protect wildlife and if body gripping traps or poison are used during the capture of skunks, one can be charged up to $5000 and face criminal charges for animal cruelty. Diseases like rabies, leptospirosis, and distemper can be a few of the diseases that could easily be transmitted to humans and pets during the removal process, not to mention the everlasting odor of the skunk spray. Humans who have been sprayed by skunks have been noted to be discomforted by the smell for up to 4 months.

Skunk Facts:

Aside from being known for their smelly sprays and unique stripy appearances, there are actually so much more to know about these problematic members of the wildlife.

  • They are predominantly inhabitants of North America
  • They are extremely adaptable and can survive in different habitats given there is food and shelter
  • They are omnivores, consuming a diet of both plant and insects/grubs. They are opportunistic eaters so they are flexible with their diets as seasons change
  • They can survive throughout the year, from the most extreme weather conditions to the least. Although not extremely active, they seek shelter under porches
  • Much like raccoons, skunks are nocturnal, conducting most of their activities at nighttime
  • They have extremely strong forefeet and long nails, making them great diggers. They are known to dig holes in lawns, gardens, parks, golf courses etc.
  • Although the most powerful, spraying is not the first method of defense for skunks. They tend to growl, spit, fluff its fur, and stomp the ground
  • Compared to their friends in the wild, skunks are shy and they don’t like to fight other animals
  • Skunks live between 2-3 years
  • Skunks are very smart, they will roll a furry caterpillar on the ground to get rid of its hair before eating it
  • Skunks’ stripes point to the anal gland where they spray from
  • Before spraying their predators, skunks do a warning dance which include stomping on the ground and hissing
  • Skunk spray is highly flammable
  • Skunks don’t like altercation, if proper measures are followed, skunk control can easily be maintained
  • Many wildlife control companies in Ontario prefer not to provide skunk removal services

At SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated, we provide superior skunk removal services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. Let us help you solve your skunk problem ‘s. We  can 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 problems.

Call SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated 1.800.981.0330 for your skunk problem

Toronto Wildlife Removal

Last Updated: May 2016

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.

Skunk Under Decking

Last Updated: May 2016

Do you have a Skunk Under Decking?

What do you do if you find a skunk under decking, or a skunk under a porch or even anywhere on your property? First step is to keep a safe distance as a skunk can spray up to 10 ft. The smell is vile and it is difficult to remove.

A skunk under decking is very common as it is a nice isolated area for them to make their home, but it’s important for you to remove them as they will keep returning to that den. You may first realize you have a skunk by it’s smell, its very potent, or you may see it entering and leaving at night, either way it’s best to call a professional for skunk removal.

How to know you have a Skunk Under Decking

Four ways to identify if you have a Skunk Under Decking is sight, damage or odor.


The easiest way to know you have a skunk is to spot it. You may see it entering or leaving however this could be rare as they are very skilled at staying hidden. Skunks are nocturnal and they enter and leave mainly at night.


You can also identify a skunk problem by the damage they cause. They often will destroy things that gets in their way in their search for food. They will knock over garbage cans, break glass, and destroy property. The longer you have a Skunk Under Decking the more damage they will cause. Having a skunk for two weeks will cause a lot of damage to your property.

What to do if you have a Skunk Under Decking?

Eliminate Attractants

Other ways you can resolve a skunk problem without trapping the animal is to eliminate whatever is attracting the skunk to your property – garbage, pet food, assess your house for weak points where they may enter.

There are several risks when conducting do-it-yourself skunk removal and you may spend a lot of time and money on gimmicks that work only temporarily. We really do highly recommend hiring someone to remove skunks professionally. We do not advise you to try live trapping.

Read our Skunk removal page to learn how we professional remove skunks. The most humane way is using a one-way door as there is little to no human-wildlife interaction.

Prevent future Skunk Under Decking

To prevent future animals entering your home, SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated provides wildlife prevention for your home. Wildlife Prevention will help keep them out and is a long term solution. Read our Wildlife Prevention page for more information.

Call SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated for Skunk Removal


Skunk control

Skunks are mammals known to spray a liquid with a very powerful scent if they are feeling threatened. Skunks are usually 40 cm to 94 cm long weigh about 1.1 lb which is 0.50 kg. They are usually brown and white but can also come in brown and crème, there are two different types of skunks there is a stripped raccoon and there is also a spotted raccoon both these are very popular in Northern America. Another difference between a stripped and spotted skunk is their weight, a spotted skunk is quite heavier than a stripped skunk a spotted skunk is usually 18 lb which is 8.2 kg. Skunks are able to cause damage to our homes and they can be dangerous for us health wise. Therefore you will have to do a skunk control once you spot any skunks inside your home. Skunk control is necessary however often people don’t realize that they have a wildlife animal such as a skunk inside their homes, so they don’t do a skunk control until they see the skunk in their home. Here are a few ways to know whether you know you have skunks inside your home or not!

Signs of skunk in yard


Gardens and backyards are a great way to find out whether you have skunks inside your home or not. Skunks usually damage gardens by making holes. If you see random holes in your backyard or gardens there is a high chance you have skunks living with you.


As I already said skunks spray a liquid once they feel threatened, the liquid they spray has a very bad smell and the scent doesn’t leave for a really longtime. You will defiantly know by the smell that there are skunks living inside your home / on your property. Unfortunately it has a terrible scent and takes what feels like forever to rid of it.


You will have to do a skunk control immediately after you spot them in your house since they can be very unpleasant guests due to their spray. Skunks however are not capable of creating lots of damage but you will still want to put some money into doing a skunk control since they can be very unpleasant. The only thing skunks are capable of doing is damaging our gardens and making them look ugly. They can make holes in the grass making it harder for us to enjoy our backyards.

Skunks under porches is bad because they might spray while they are under the porch making it ten thousand times harder to get rid of the scent. Therefore you will still have to have a skunk control done. If you see them near your home, you would want to ask a wildlife control technician to do a skunk control service for you to prevent you being sprayed.

Skunks are not capable of creating lots of damage that is why sometimes people don’t care as much and don’t do skunk controls once they see a couple of them near their house. However even though skunks are not capable of causing lots of damage they are still capable of transmitting very dangerous diseases to you. Skunk diseases are pretty similar to raccoons, squirrels, and many other wildlife animals.

Skunk Diseases


Rabies is a disease that causes inflammation of the brain in warm blooded animals and humans. Rabies can cause death if it’s not treated and if you don’t seek immediate medical attention. Please be cautious of all skunks, especially sick looking ones, acting strange or foaming at the mouth. If you have a skunk on your property it is advised to call a professional for a skunk control service immediately. If you touch a skunk or your pet does contact your doctor or vet for a checkup to make sure you or your pet are not carrying the disease. Some common symptoms of rabies are fever, sore throat, tiredness, stiff muscles, nausea, headaches, and itchiness and tingling. Some die because of cardiac arrests and respiratory failure. Please read further on our Rabies in Wildlife article.


Hantavirus is a very dangerous and fatal virus that you can possibly get from a skunk. You will never want to encounter this virus so do a skunk control done by a professional to make sure that you will not get infected. Some symptoms that usually comes with this virus is fever, vomiting, nausea, headache, lower back pain, and muscle pain. This virus usually comes from the feces and saliva of wildlife animals such as the skunks. This can be a deadly disease so take it seriously and do a skunk control immediately, and it’s highly recommended that you do a skunk control done by a professional.

Parasitic diseases:

Like many other wildlife animals, skunks can also have parasitic diseases that can be very dangerous. Skunks can potentially have a parasitic disease that they can transmit to you. Parasites are living bacteria that can live inside you and cause respiratory and neurological failure. Do a skunk control immediately so that you don’t encounter any of these problems.
Some people will want to save money and spend money on other things rather than a skunk control getting done by a professional. Some simply think it’s a simple job and want to do it themselves. However skunk is the worst animal that you can do a removal on, because of their liquid spray. It is highly recommended that you contact a wildlife control professional to do a skunk control for you since they can be very frustrating. SOS wildlife control guarantees all work done and we provide have a 24/7 service.


Inspect your home and research on where the squirrels made holes and came inside you home from. This way it will make it easier to do a squirrel removal since they would usually come back out from the same way they came inside your home, and it would be easier for you to catch the squirrels.


Try to seal any holes that you find in the interior and exterior of your home. Sealing the holes will prevent the skunk entering. However you may want to leave one of the most popular holes they come in and out from unsealed so that the animals can go out of your home once you are doing a squirrel removal. Only seal the final hole once you are sure all skunks are out. If one dies inside the smell will be worse than the spray.


You can purchase traps, and you can put the traps at the holes the skunks have made. You need to check for different size of traps and check the local law as it is illegal in certain areas to trap and relocate the animal yourself. Once the skunks are coming out of your home they will get trapped in the trap, then you will have to release the animal at least a kilometer away from your home so that they don’t come back inside. Also you will have to check your local law for trapping animals.

For information on how we remove skunks in yards, skunks under porches read our Skunk Removal page

Call SOS Wildlife on 647-994-9453 for Skunk Control

What to do if You Find an Orphaned Baby Animal

Last Updated: May 2021

A common type of call we receive are related to baby wildlife. People find baby wildlife in their garden, under their deck, in the park with no sign of the mother. When you come across a sick, injured or orphaned animal you instinctively want to help. As advocates for wildlife we always recommend that wildlife be left undisturbed unless it is injured or TRULY an orphaned baby animal.

If you find an injured wild animal call Toronto Animal Services (TAS) or 416-338-PAWS (7297)

1. Before acting, check if baby animal is orphaned

You need to ensure that the “orphaned baby animal” is definitely orphaned before helping. Many baby animals that are found alone are not stray. It is easy to think that a baby raccoon or squirrel is abandoned when in fact their parents are still caring for them. There are many reasons why a baby raccoon or baby squirrel may be lying at the bottom of a tree or outside their nest buy more often than not, the mother  will return. If you find the nest but it is not intact it still doesn’t mean the baby is orphaned. Mother raccoon / squirrels often have a few nests she can carry them to if the nest is unsafe or not intact.

Unless you are certain that the parent is no longer caring for the baby wildlife animal, it is advised to take steps to make sure the parent is gone prior to taking the young away. A baby wildlife animal with it’s mother ensures the best care. When young wildlife are inadvertently removed from their parents, their likelihood of survival decreases. This even applies to expert care.

Interesting Fact:

Although squirrels rarely interact, they learn who their nearby relatives are by hearing their unique calls. If they fail to hear a relative’s calls for a few days, they may investigate and rescue orphans.

2. Things to keep in mind when you find baby wildlife

  • The first 24 to 48 hours after a wild orphaned animal is found is the most critical. They usually have been without food or water for a while and are confused and afraid.
  • Depending on the species will depend on when the mother will return.
  • Raccoon are active in the evenings/night time
  • Squirrels are active during the day
  • Opossums are nocturnal
  • Skunks are nocturnal

If you’ve found a baby raccoon, the mother raccoon will most likely return in the evening/night hours. Put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel in a box and put the babies on the towel to keep them warm. Use gloves, like gardening gloves to lift the babies. If you find the raccoon during the day put the box in a dark warm place like your garage, free of neighborhood pets and children. This will keep the raccoon babies safe until the evening. You can fold the flaps of the box over to keep them warm. Leave the box at the bottom of the tree near the nest, or at the bottom of a tree near to where they were found. In the evening and the mother raccoon will be able to open the box and retrieve them that night.


Mothers will abandon their babies if they smell humans on them. (this only applies to some animal species).

Mother squirrels will retrieve their babies during the day, not at night. Again place the babies in a blanket in a box and place them near the area where they were found or at the bottom of the tree below the nest. Try to place the box that allows the babies to stay warm and avoid the elements.

Keep your distance from the box and check every few hours to see if the mother has retrieved them. The mother will not come out if she senses danger.

Do not feed the babies!

It is highly advised not to feed the babies but to call a wildlife rehabilitator. In the instance where it is necessary to feel the wildlife animal, ensure you have the proper guidance from a professional.

3. Who To Call

If the orphaned babies are not retrieved in 6-8 hrs you should call a wildlife rehabilitation center for advice.

If you are based in Toronto GTA contact Toronto Wildlife Centre or 416-631-0662. If you are based outside Toronto GTA this map here should indicate your closest wildlife rehabilitation center or you can call us on 1-800-981-0330, we can provide free advice on what to do next, however we do not rehabilitate wildlife.

It is not recommended for an  inexperienced unliscened person to attempt to hand raise an orphaned animal. Not only is it discouraged, it is illegal! You are aloud to sustain an orphan for a few days before it can be transferred to a rehabilitation center.

Here is a report in GuelphMercury about a Wellington resident who found three baby raccoon. The lady phoned a rehabilitation center who wouldn’t help until she was sure the babies were truly orphaned. This is very important as the chances for baby animals survival decrease if taken away from their mother. Ensuring they are truly orphaned is a tough but necessary step.

General FAQs

Who Do You Call If You Find a Baby Raccoon?

If you find a baby raccoon on your property or anywhere nearby, the best way to deal with it is to call professionals who offer baby raccoon removal services.

What Do You Do If You Find a Baby Raccoon Alone?

If you find a baby racoon on your property, before acting, you should check if the animal is indeed orphaned and the parent is no longer caring for it.

How to Help a Baby Raccoon?

If you find an orphaned baby raccoon, place it in a safe environment that is protected from natural elements and free of any pests. Also, place it as close as safely possible to the area where it was found.

Are Baby Raccoons Dangerous?

Even though baby raccoons are small and weak, they can still carry rabies and other diseases. Additionally, they bite and scratch when handled.

Why Do Urban Wildlife Break In?

Last Updated: May 2016

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
  2. Primal needs

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:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Heat
  • Nest

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.