Thursday, November 5. 2020
Roof Vents are a very common point of entry and are constructed of various materials such as light weight aluminum (which most people refer to as metal) or plastic.
We often have customers saying “I have the metal roof vents, the animals can’t get through those.” All roof vents, no matter what type, are no obstacle for animals seeking entry into attics.
This picture was taken on a job site where our customer had squirrels inside their attic. The squirrels were very easily able to chew through the metal siding of the roof vent and gain access into the attic.
Squirrels are rodents and are habitual chewers, meaning that their front teeth are always growing and they must continuously chew on anything and everything to grind those teeth down, including metal roof vents!
Raccoons are also able to break open metal roof vents very easily. They are highly intelligent (they can twist handles, open doors and even figure out how to open “animal proof” green bins!) and have very dexterous paws.
Roof vents are no match to both raccoons or squirrels. We highly recommend screening your roof vents to prevent any future wildlife intrusions into your home. It is very important to protect your #1 investment!
Wednesday, November 4. 2020
Playing dead is a survival strategy performed by hundreds of different species, including lemurs, lizards, ants and sharks. But why do animals do this? This bizarre behaviour, know as tonic immobility (TI) or catatonia can be used as a defence or offence.
Since most predators avoid dead or rotting animals displaying catatonia is usually enough to keep predators from killing and eating them. An opossum for example, assumes an odd body posture, sticks out its tongue, drools and oozes a foul smelling liquid from its anal gland. Disgusted, the predator usually decides it’s not the meal it was looking for and leaves. After a few minutes the opossum jumps up and heads on its way.
Animals also play dead in order to catch prey. There is a species of beetle that pretends to be dead and is carried away by ants to their ant nest. Once inside, the beetle springs back to life and feeds on the ant larvae.
In all of my years dealing with them, I've never been attacked, confronted or even approached by one. Nine times out of 10 they open their mouth, fall on their side and fake dead.
This opossum was found in a homeowners garage. We typically don’t receive many calls about opossums, mainly because they are constantly on the move. They tend not to stay in one location long enough to be a disturbance.
Some fun facts:
Size: 35–95 cm long without the tail
Weight: Up to about 6 kg
Distinctive look: Naked, prehensile tail
Best known for: "Playing possum" — feigning death as a defense mechanism
Range: Central America to the southern edges of Ontario and B.C.
Life span: About two years in the wild
Tuesday, November 3. 2020
Raccoon Rescue From FresCo
This raccoon was found in a recycling dumpster at the FresCo by High Park on Friday. As you can see in the photo, the owner of the building attempted to help the raccoon out by placing a ladder inside for him to use but had no luck getting him to leave.
Gates Wildlife Technician David arrived on site and was able to use our catch pole to lift the raccoon out of the bin and release him at the back of the parking lot on site.
Although raccoon’s are amazing climbers, they are often frightened in situations like this and are less likely to use the ladder placed into bin due to the fear of being caught.
Picture taken by Gates Wildlife Technician David.
Monday, November 2. 2020
Mustaches for Movember!
As you all know, this month our team will be raising awareness and funds for the amazing cause that is Movember. With the beginning of Movember, we bring you our new series “Animals with Mustaches.”
Using the moustache as the driving symbol of the movement, Movember focuses on the three key areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health & suicide prevention.
Introducing the Emperor Tamarin Monkey, which displays one of the animal kingdom's rarest and most breathtaking mustaches.
These monkeys live in the southwest Amazon Basin. They inhabit tropical rainforests, living deep in the forest and in open-tree covered areas. The Emperor Tamarin Monkey is a diurnal monkey, spending most of its days in the trees.
They typically live together in groups of 2-8. The oldest female leads the group above several mature males. The mutual grooming plays an important role for bonding and socializing.
The Emperor Tamarin Monkey is an omnivore, primarily eating fruits, insects and sap. They also eat bird eggs and small vertebrates such as tree frogs. Due to its small weight it can reach food far on the end of branches, which heavier animals can not reach.
Wednesday, October 28. 2020
Gates Wildlife is raising funds and awareness next month for 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 $1685! 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
Tuesday, October 27. 2020
“Bark or Brick, there’s no difference to me!”
Many of our customers can’t believe that raccoons will climb the brick to get onto the roof of their home. This photo is proof of their ability to do that.
This raccoon was spotted climbing the wall between two homes. Some houses located downtown in Toronto are very close to each other making it even easier for a raccoon to climb to the roof.
Monday, October 26. 2020
Underground Raccoon Rescue
We are often called out to remove raccoons from underground parking garages. They often find their way inside the garage and can’t seem to find their way back out.
Although some raccoons may eventually find their way back out, most would be stuck down there until we arrive to help out.
If possible, we will catch the raccoon and bring them outside while on site. In situations where the raccoon can not be easily caught, we will set a trap to catch the raccoon and return to release them outside.
Friday, October 23. 2020
Why Do Pigeons Thrive In The City?
Cities became the perfect backdrop for the pioneering pigeons' success. "Pigeons are naturally cliff-dwellers and tall buildings do a pretty great job at mimicking cliffs," Carlen told Live Science. "Ornate facing, window sills and air-conditioning units provide fantastic perches for pigeons, similar to the crevices found on the side of a cliff."
Another trait that makes pigeons more adaptable is their appetite. While other bird species have to rely on supplies of berries, seeds and insects, pigeons can eat just about anything that humans toss in the trash.
The pigeon's unusual breeding biology seals the deal: Both parents rear their chicks on a diet of special protein- and fat-rich milk produced in a throat pouch called the crop. So, instead of having to rely on insects, worms and seeds to keep their young alive — resources that would be scarcer in cities — pigeons can provide for their offspring no matter what, Portugal says: "As long as the adults can eat, they can feed their babies, too."
The above information is credited to Live Science.
Thursday, October 22. 2020
Check Your Vehicle Hood for Nests!
Rodents may nest in many different places in cars, which is a potential risk to anyone who uses the vehicle. Nests could be anywhere in the engine compartment, including in the ducts of the vehicles passenger compartment air intake system. This is potentially a danger to humans due to Hantavirus, which is a pulmonary syndrome. Humans can get infected by breathing in hantavirus contained in the droppings of urine of deer mice.
It is always important to take precautions when cleaning mouse nests and droppings. Wear a mask and disposable gloves to remove any nest you may find. If you find a nest in your car, it is best to move the vehicle into the open air, out of the garage, to clean the nest.
Never sweep or vacuum rodent droppings, nests or contaminated areas until after you’ve soaked them with a spray solution. (Recommended is a 1:9 bleach to water solution). This is because the dried droppings and urine containing the hantavirus particles can get into the air, making it easier and more likely to breathe in.
This mouse nest was found under the hood of my car this morning. The mouse had used straw and the insulation around the battery to build its nest. Be sure to take a moment to check your own car!