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Wildlife Control

Each year, Animal Services takes hundreds of complaints regarding nuisance wildlife. The complaints range from increased sightings to property damage. It is important to understand that each area supports a certain number of animals depending on the availability of food and shelter. Other factors contributing to wildlife problems may be loss of habitat due to construction and development. It takes many years for wildlife populations to adjust and to finally reach a balance. Trapping is not considered a viable or humane solution as studies have shown that most relocated wildlife dies. Trapping and relocation also causes epizootic disease outbreaks to be translocated many miles to new areas. Trapping acts as a "bandaid".... it only masks the problem it is not a solution. Therefore, the only solution to wildlife problems are prevention and exclusion from your area or home. For this to be accomplished we must recognize the things that attract wildlife into our community, backyards and homes. A community effort to control wildlife over population is the only way you can effectively reduce the over population of wildlife in your area.



Food Attractions

GARBAGE:
Keep all garbage inside the home or in a sealed odour proof container. Place at curb on day of pick up. Never leave garbage outdoors in bags or in open sheds or garage. Pour ammonia into the bottom of garbage containers. A community clean up of parks, schools and boulevards should be done regularly.

COMPOST:
Screen the bottom with 16 gauge small mesh steel to prevent rodents. Always secure with a lid or cover. Never put meat or palatable fruit and vegetables inside. Rinse egg shells before composting. Layer with grass clippings and dirt on a regular basis to accelerate decomposition.

GARDENS and FLOWERS:
Flowers and vegetables should be sprayed with a wildlife repellent which you can purchase at a good garden centre. Or try a homemade mixture; 1 Litre of water, one garlic, one onion and Tabasco sauce mixed in a blender. Or 1 Litre of water, 1 cup of Tabasco Sauce, cup Cayenne Pepper. Fencing for some rodents is possible, however, raccoons cannot be deterred with fencing.

LAWNS:
Grubs are a favourite of raccoons and skunks. Damage usually occurs in spring during the rainy season and in late summer and fall during the rainy season. A good lawn program that targets a grub problem will help. However, until the grubs are eradicated (this may take a few years) sprinkle pure soap flakes on the problem areas and WATER IN THOROUGHLY during peak digging months. Bloodmeal fertilizer can be another deterrent but if the animal can peel back the sod it may not be as effective. Or, some people let the animal rid the lawn of grubs and then begin a diligent lawn care program.

FRUIT TREES:
Fruit trees, nut trees, grape vines etc. are a major attraction for raccoons, skunks, squirrels and birds. Repellents (see Gardens) can be used in some cases, windfalls must be picked up daily, and removed to an inaccessible area. Tree branches should be trimmed at least 5 inches up from the ground. To prevent climbing a smooth steel wrap should be placed around the trunk of the tree before the fruit ripens. It can be removed when the fruit is done. It is very important that this wrap is completely smooth to prevent climbing. It must also be secure enough that the animal cannot rip it off or climb inside the wrap. The wrap must extend at least 5 feet up the trunk.

DECORATIVE PONDS:
These decorative ponds are very attractive, however, consider it an open buffet if it is stocked with fish or vegetation. They will attract raccoons, skunks, beavers, muskrats and herons. They are almost impossible to protect from wildlife.

BBQ'S:
Clean grease and dripping after every use. Never leave utensils or any food items around at any time. Try an odour repellent on the BBQ cover to prevent problems. NEVER FEED WILDLIFE. DO NOT FEED PETS OUTSIDE OR LEAVE UNFINISHED SCRAPS OR FOOD OUTDOORS. DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS IN THE SUMMER. LIMIT WINTER BIRD FEEDING. CLEAN UP ANY SEEDS THAT HAVE BEEN KNOCKED TO THE GROUND, DAILY.

COMMERCIAL BUSINESS, RESTAURANTS, PLAZA'S, APARTMENTS:
Check these locations for potential attractions such as excess garbage, overflowing or open dumpsters, improperly stored grease etc. Report to municipal by-law or Health Department authorities.

How To Protect Your Home

CHIMNEY:
Have it capped with a 16 gauge steel cap. Make sure there are no gaps between the cap and the flu tile. A gap of one inch is large enough for a squirrel. Check cap spring and fall. Make sure it is still secure. Squirrels and birds access homes through chimneys they usually cannot escape. Raccoons choose chimneys as den sites and will raise their young in a chimney. Cap all the chimney's on your home. Check flashing around chimney. Replace any missing or damaged pieces.

ROOF AREA:
Inspect shingles, replace any upturned or loose shingles. If roof is in need of repair, do not delay,have roofing done immediately. Replace any rotted wood in the roof. Raccoons are notorious for ripping off new shingles over a roof area that still has rotted roof boards beneath. If it is not possible to replace wood right away, install 16 gauge steel mesh inside the attic over these areas. The mesh must extend well beyond the rotted area and be secure enough that it cannot be ripped away.

ROOF VENTS:
Screen from the inside with a 16 gauge steel mesh well over the vent hole. Raccoons just tear away vents to gain access to an attic area.

SOFFIT, FACIA AND EAVESTROUGH:
Clean eavestroughs regularly to prevent water damage to soffit and facia. Repair and replace any water damaged wood. Fill any holes or gaps, particularly at house corners or where a roof meets another part of the roof. As a house settles small gaps in wood occur at corner areas, squirrels chew these areas to gain access to an attic. Raccoons tend to chew away rotted wood areas. Any soffit should be secured with screws. Often in corner areas or where a roof meets another roof, carpenters cannot secure the facia. Screen with 16 gauge mesh well beyond unsecured area, raccoons will simply push up facia and gain access to attic.

BATHROOM, KITCHEN AND DRY VENTS:
Screen with 16 gauge mesh steel! Birds and squirrels nest in vents.

HOUSE EXTERIOR:
Semi annual inspections for all of the above problems should be a part of home maintenance. Inspect the house exterior and windows regularly for defects.

T.V. ANTENNA'S:
Remove if not in use. Raccoons use as ladders onto your roof. If in use a smooth wrap of sheet metal buried at least a foot into the ground and extending at least 5 feet high.

TREES AND VINES:
Trim well back from the house at leat 15 feet is recommended. Try to avoid having heavy vines and trellis's on the home as these also make for handy ladders and cover for wildlife.

WINDOW WELLS:
Screen off or cover with plexiglass.

GARAGE:
Keep in good repair and all doors closed at all times!!! Wildlife is out nightly exploring your yard and home for a handout or a good den site.

LIGHT FIXTURES AND PLANTERS:
Screen where possible inspect regularly and remove any nesting material. Birds and squirrels will often nest in these areas. Once they are established you may have to wait weeks to clean up.

DECKS:
High decks of 3 feet and up are usually safe from wildlife as long as they are completely open and not cluttered with junk or debris or lattice. Decks of three feet and lower should be screened properly to prevent wildlife invasion.

YOUR PROPERTY:
Keep yard clean of debris at all times. Including leaves, woodpiles, garbage, toys, old dog houses etc. These make excellent hideouts and homes for wildlife.

Skunk Prevention

SKUNKS ARE BURROWING ANIMALS. ANY STRUCTURE ON YOUR PROPERTY WITHOUT A FOUNDATION IS A POTENTIAL HOME FOR A SKUNK. SHEDS, SUNROOMS, DECKS, STAIR ENTRANCES ETC.The only proven method to exclude a skunk from any of these areas is the installation of 16 gauge mesh steel installed from the in an "L" shape away from the structure. It should be at least 12 inches below ground and 12 inches outward from the structure. It is important to leave the area above the screen completely clear of any objects. Do not use chicken wire; it quickly decays and skunks may get tangled or stuck in it!

Wildlife Control
This section contains tips on how residents may participate toward the control of wildlife problems.

Landscape and Gardens
Suggested methods in how to control wildlife damage.

Deer Control Plants known to repulse deer click here.

Ground Hog Control

Mole Control Methods

Chipmonk Control Methods

Raccoon Control Methods

Squirrel Control Methods

Pets Management
Suggested methods in how to manage Cats and Dogs.

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