Wildlife Problem – Do it yourself or use a professional?

by | Jun 6, 2015 | Animal Control, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Squirrel Control

Last Updated: May 2016

There are two main options to solving a wildlife problem – do it yourself or call a professional.

As a professional I will always advise using our services than doing it yourself, but that being said I do get a lot of phone calls from customers where it just ends up they only need advice as they can easily solve it themselves with the right knowledge. However this is the main reason I advise hiring a professional – knowledge.

As a professional, with the amount of times I’ve seen things done incorrectly or inhumanely, I would always recommend calling for wildlife removal services. That being said, it is a common occurrence that we receive phone calls from people requesting advice so that they can tackle it on their own.  When conducting wildlife removal, it’s always safest to call a professional because one of the main differences between DIY methods and calling a service are two things main things, knowledge and experience.

Handling wildlife problems without experience or knowledge can be dangerous. As recently reported in  the Town of Oakville were three dogs who died and three dogs were seriously ill after eating poison a neighbor planted carelessly to get rid of local wildlife.

The individual planted rat poison around trees to get rid of squirrels but unfortunately the neighbors pets were victim. As a huge dog lover and an advocate for the humane treatment of animals, I would be devastated if any animal (or human) got poisoned due to my neighbor’s carelessness.

Without knowledge or experience, anybody can fall victim putting their own and other people’s health and safety at risk. It is unfortunate that a decision made by their neighbor has devastated these houses which could  have been avoided with proper research into more humane, non-lethal solutions. You can read more on the story on Global News.

Get a Professional

The Town of Oakville has provided a document on How To Choose A Wildlife Control Company.

In general SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated takes one of two approaches for wildlife problems (or a combination).
The main and preferred approach is to install one-way doors at entry-points to allow animals to leave the building, and to prevent re-entry.
The second is live trapping. We snare or trap the animal and then release back into the wild a kilometer away in accordance to Ontario rules and regulations.
These approaches sound very easy but it takes experience and knowledge of the animals to do it correctly. If there are babies involved separate precautions must be taken. The mother must be initially removed and later relocated with her babies, the humane method of wildlife removal with babies. If you have a wildlife problem, call us for advice or help – 647-994-9453 or email us at info@soswildlife.ca.

Do-it-Yourself Wildlife Removal Tips

As much as we recommend calling wildlife technicians, we are aware of the stride people take on their own. Below are a couple tips for Do-it-Yourself wildlife removal.

  • If the animals pose no immediate threat to health and safety, then residents may choose to wait until the adults and any young have left the home or property, and then close the access point to prevent re-entry. Residents taking this approach must ensure that all young animals have left the nest or den, which normally means waiting until the young are weaned.
  • Read up on your local animal legislation before attempting to do it yourself. Ontario has strong animal welfare legislation, enforcing strong laws and tough penalties. In Ontario it is an offence to cause or permit distress to an animal.

“Their goal is to ensure Ontario’s animals are protected and treated in the humane manner that our society expects”.
Ministry of Natural Resources, 2015.

It’s against the law in Ontario to even own a trap that can catch anything bigger than a rat. Any device big enough to kill a raccoon or any use of poisons to kill these wild animals could also snare the neighbor’s cat or worst case scenario a toddler. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recommends hiring a licensed professional to trap and remove the animal.

Trapping is a common tactic for urban wildlife management in Toronto, but the most effective way of controlling pests like raccoons, skunks, mice, rats, or squirrels is prevention. Preventing the wildlife from entering your home can be much more effective than live trapping. Please check out our video on wildlife proofing your home.