Thursday, February 10. 2022
Marley Tile Roofing, Is It Animal Proof?
While there are both pros and cons to tile roofing, one con includes that raccoons and squirrels can still get inside!
Raccoons will typically gain entry due to a tile shifting. Underneath the tiles, there is a felt paper which is extremely easy for a raccoon to tear apart. Squirrels will also enter through the loops that exist along the edge of the roof line.
Although this style of roof is meant to last up to 100 years, it is not animal proof. In fact, when smaller animals such as squirrels are gaining entry through the smaller gaps, there is not much we can do until a professional Marley tile company closes the gaps with cement.
While it may seem like a great investment, be sure to do your research before making the switch!
Wednesday, February 2. 2022
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!
Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow, so spring is on its way!
Early February is the seasonal crossroad between winter and spring. February 2nd brings the most watched weather forecast of the year and the only forecast we allow a rodent to predict.
Legend has it that on this morning, if a groundhog can see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it cannot see its shadow, spring is on the way.
It is a superstition but there is a grain of truth to it. On winter days when you can see your shadow the temperatures are especially cold because there are no clouds overhead to insulate the earth. Therefore, the more sunny days in February, the later the onset of spring.
How successful is Wiarton in predicting whether we will have 4 weeks (doesn’t see his shadow) or 6 weeks (sees his shadow) of winter? Scientists have estimated Willies accuracy at 25%.
Even if Wiarton Willie cannot predict how long winter will last, he at least gives us hope that the end of winter is near.
Monday, January 31. 2022
Psst…Spring is Around The Corner!
While the official first day of spring is March 20th, I have a feeling baby season is going to start much earlier than that this year.
Typically there is a January / February thaw that has outside temperatures hovering around the zero degree Celsius mark. This rise in the outdoor temperature signals that it would be advantageous for raccoons to look for food.
Gradually, as nature takes its course, female raccoons begin to experience biological changes allowing their male companion to get close. Soon, females are accepting the males advances and subsequently allow him to mate with them. Mating occurs a few times over the course of three or so days until they deny the male any further advances.
As temperatures begin to fall, raccoons will once again curl up in the attic and fall asleep awaiting the return of warmer weather.
Friday, January 28. 2022
Do You Have A Raccoon in Your Attic? Act Now!
At this time of year, you may hear a few noises come from your attic and not think too much of it. You may push it off as noise coming from on top of the roof or the odd creak of your home. If the noise is consistent enough, you may have a raccoon or squirrel inside your attic causing the noise. Sounds like this at this time of the year are a sign to act now. In approximately two months, mother raccoons will start giving birth to her young which means much more noise!
Once baby raccoons are born, there will be a lot of chittering noises emanating from the attic. A lot of our customers describe the noise of a crying baby raccoon as sounding like multiple birds chirping at one time. They make a high-pitch chirping noise when they feel bothered or are hungry. While the crying noise will occur primarily at night when the mother raccoon goes out for food, it can also occur throughout the day. Surprisingly the mother will place her babies above the master bedroom, keeping you awake and worrying about the damage.
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Tuesday, January 25. 2022
When working on a roof, Gates Wildlife Technician Justin spotted 4 deer come up to the back fence of his customers backyard. It appears that they had been visiting because of seed that was being thrown over the fence for them.
The Ministry of Natural Resources released an article titled ‘Guidelines for Winter Feeding of Deer in Ontario.' “Winter feeding of deer can be controversial. Some people feel that deer are less wild when their natural relationship with the environment is changed. Feeding can artificially change the carrying capacity of the habitat and affect plant communities and other wildlife species both positively and negatively. Other people feel very strongly about “helping” deer. Feeding allows deer to survive during severe winters but it may also increase the number of deer above the natural capacity of the habitat.
There are two kinds of winter feeding that should be considered:
- Emergency Feeding is providing artificial feed to deer during severe winter conditions because natural food is not available (i.e. not present or inaccessible). Emergencies generally occur only at the end of an exceptionally long, severe winter.
- Supplementary Feeding is providing artificial food to deer during the winter to supplement natural foods during normal winters outside of winter emergencies. For example, this could occur where a large herd is yarded in an area where there is little natural food available (e.g. a pine plantation). Supplementary feeding is applied to specific problem areas such as extremely poor winter range.”
If you are interested in reading the full article, it can be found here.
Friday, January 21. 2022
Ever since yesterday’s shocking discovery, our technicians are on the look out for baby raccoons very early this year.
The mother raccoon would have had to mate in November in order to give birth to her babies this early in the year.
After realizing when this raccoon would have mated, I decided to research what the temperatures were in November 2021. The temperature was well above zero (around 8 degrees) for 21 out of the 30 days in November. The other 9 days in November only dropped to -1 overnight.
Although it is extremely early to be discovering litters of baby raccoons, there could still be more raccoons that mated back in November.
We look forward to see what is in store for the rest of 2022!
Thursday, January 20. 2022
Gates Wildlife discovered our first litter of baby raccoons on January 20th 2022 in Mississauga, Ontario. This discovery is a whole month earlier than we've ever seen in our 37 year history.
Typically mother raccoons mate in January and give birth to their babies in attics, chimneys and sheds in the months of March, April and May. We have never come across baby raccoons this early in the year.
This mother raccoon moved into a shed that was set up to house feral cats during the cold winter. The homeowner reported noticing that the feral cats that were living in the shed had moved out and into a much smaller container on the picnic table in her backyard, which she thought was odd. She suspected that another animal had moved into the shed, forcing the cats to move out.
Upon arrival, Gates Wildlife Technician Tyler discovered an insulated feral cat box inside the shed. As he slowly opened the box, he was surprised to discover 2 one week old baby raccoons snuggled inside.
With the outside temperatures being so cold we decided, with the homeowners blessing, that it would be best to leave the mother and her babies alone. Hopefully she will decide to move out on her own when the weather warms up.
Monday, January 17. 2022
In addition to their genetic makeup, raccoons have developed habits that make them more likely to survive winters than many other wild animals.
One habit is their version of hibernation, which is called torpor. Torpor is a state of decreased physiological activity in an animal, usually marked by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. During torpor, the raccoon's body uses less energy as it’s body temperature falls and insulin production lessens, triggers lower levels of blood sugar.
They sleep much more often but will come out on warm day to look for food. Raccoons activity levels do not go totally dormant like animals in hibernation but they may sleep for weeks at a time in this state.
Wednesday, January 5. 2022
Once baby raccoons are born, there will be a lot of chittering noise emanating from the attic. A lot of our customers describe the noise of a crying baby raccoon as sounding like multiple birds chirping at one time. They make a high-pitch chirping noise when they feel bothered or are hungry. While the crying noise will occur primarily at night when the mother raccoon goes out for food, it can also occur throughout the day. Surprisingly the mother will place her babies above the master bedroom, keeping you awake and worrying about the damage.
Female raccoons will typically give birth to 1 to 7 offspring. Although 4 to 5 is more common, we have seen 11 babies in one litter before.
Monday, November 1. 2021
Gates Wildlife is raising funds and awareness this Movember for all the dads, brothers, sons and mates in our lives.
For over 35 years, Gates Wildlife has been committed to preserving and saving the lives of animals. In keeping with the philosophy of saving lives, we felt it was fitting to join forces in supporting this cause last year and are very excited to be apart of this amazing cause again this year.
Our team at Gates Wildlife is growing mustaches during the month of November to support the cause. We have set up our team donation page on the Movember site. We welcome donations of any amount to help us achieve our target.
Last year we passed our target and raised $1500! We are hoping to beat that this year!
We will be posting weekly posts with informative information about Movember (yes the mustache wildlife photos are back!)
Our Movember Page: https://moteam.co/gates-wildlife-control?mc=1
What is Movember?
Movember is the leading charity tackling men’s health on a global scale. Men’s health is in crisis. Men are dying on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons.
Unchecked, prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. And across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides.
Movember is uniquely placed to address this crisis on a global scale. They fund groundbreaking projects all over the world.
Wednesday, October 27. 2021
100,000 YouTube Subscribers
I started Gates Wildlife 37 years ago to demonstrate that urban wildlife could be removed humanely.
In January 2010 our YouTube channel was born as we wanted to share our humane approach and our daily adventures. Since then, we have released 157 videos with over 24 million views.
Today I wanted to share this exciting news with you all. We have received this award from YouTube for reaching the milestone of surpassing 100,000 subscribers on our channel.
We couldn’t have achieved the award without you. Thank you so much for following us and stay tuned for more exciting videos!
Wednesday, September 29. 2021
Tuesday, September 28. 2021
This snake is named for the distinct yellow, cream or orange ring around the neck. The body is a uniform dark grey, brown or black and this species has smooth scales. Adult Ring-necked Snakes are generally less than 50 cm long.
In Canada, the Ring-necked Snake is found from Ontario east of Lake Superior to Nova Scotia and PEI. No other adult snake in Canada has a distinct yellow ring around its neck.
Ring-necked Snakes are usually found in forested areas, including forest edges and clearings. These snakes are most common in areas with shallow soil and surface bedrock, where they are frequently found under rocks, logs or bark. They hibernate underground and will also retreat underground during especially warm weather. Females lay their eggs in rotting logs or stumps, under rocks or in vegetation piles.
Gates Wildlife Owner Brad found this snake under a rock near our dock at the cottage. Very cool!
Monday, September 27. 2021
This chimney cap made for the perfect squirrel home. The chimney had been screened prior which prevented the squirrel from gaining access into the chimney but the mother squirrel decided to live on top of the screen inside this chimney cap.
We typically recommend leaving the chimney cap off of the chimney after we install our screen as they are not animal proof and can allow squirrels or birds to still live on top of your chimney.
Friday, September 24. 2021
Spotting Squirrels Clinging to Structures & Why They Don’t Need Help!
Baby squirrels start exploring outside the nest around 6 weeks of age and are ready to be on their own at 10 weeks of age. When baby squirrels emerge from their den site for the first few times, they may be frozen with fear confused what to do. They can sometimes be seen hanging on to the walls of houses, downspouts, fences etc. Although they may seem stuck, they are just not quite sure what their next move should be. Over time they will learn how to maneuver themselves and will learn by watching their mom.
Squirrels are equipped with such long fingers which are designed to aid in climbing trees but also suit them well for traversing brick walls, roof tops and attic spaces.
It is best just to give them some space and soon they will figure out how to be acrobats.