Wednesday, February 17. 2021
Congratulations it’s a Baby Raccoon!
Today our Vice President Pete was called out to a residence in Scarborough to investigate noises coming from a basement fireplace. As he began to investigate the area behind the fireplace he couldn’t believe his ears, it was the sound of chittering of baby raccoons. This was a surprise to Pete because seeing babies this early in the season is highly unusual. In our 36 year history we have not seen baby raccoons being born this soon in February. Although our baby reunion boxes are equipped with a heating pad to keep the babies warm, when the outside temperatures are as cold as they are today we choose not to expose the babies to any potential harm. We left them in the fireplace with their mother and we will return when the weather is more conducive to performing a humane removal.
Tuesday, February 16. 2021
When homeowners begin to hear wildlife moving about in the attic, they fear that the animal will come through the ceiling and into the house. While some wildlife removal companies will play-up this fear as a common occurrence to create added concern in the mind of the customer, it is actually a fairly uncommon situation.
The truth of the matter is that the animals have no idea that there are rooms below the attic and have zero intention of exploring that. However, holes in the ceiling can be created by snow and rain seeping through the animals entry hole and cause softening of the drywall to the point where it may collapse. Also, an animals' habitually chewing or clawing at the drywall from inside the attic may create a hole that is noticeable from inside the house. If a homeowner should discover a hole in the ceiling it should be covered over immediately. Animals are curious by nature and if the light from the room below is allowed to shine into the dark attic space it will attract them to the opening. This may result in the hole being enlarged to the point where they will want to jump into the room below.
During my 37 years in business I have witness about 20 situations where an animal either fell or climbed down from a hole in the ceiling into the room below. In all these cases the homeowners had prior knowledge of the ceiling being compromised by water or chewing and chose to ignore it. Over time the ceiling either collapsed or the animals made the hole bigger and ended up inside the house.
Having said all this homeowners should not dismiss the fact that animals are capable of causing considerable damage to roofs, drywall, insulation and wiring. The longer the animals are allowed to live in the attic the more extensive the damage will be. Therefore, wildlife should be removed as soon as possible especially at this time of year because baby season is only a month away.
Wednesday, February 10. 2021
Who made this mysterious hole?
This past fall I came across this rather large perfectly excavated hole in the side of this tree. These are classic holes made by a foraging Pileated woodpecker. Pileated woodpeckers are looking for insects such as carpenter ants and beetle larvae that are deep beneath the bark of the tree.
The holes are often square or rectangle in shape and look as if they have been made with a saw or chisel. The reason the holes are so regular in shape is because grain of the cedar tree is so straight and when the woodpeckers hammers with its bill into the trunk, long straight pieces of wood are excavated.
For those of you that have seen or heard of a Pileated Woodpecker, it is a very tall bird (16 - 19 inches tall with a large blood red crest on its head and white and black body plumage. To see one in real life is a sighting you will not soon forget.
Wednesday, February 3. 2021
Sometimes things don’t go as planned!
When a beaver decides to take down a tree it really has no idea what direction it is going to fall. Sometimes it can even be fatal for the beaver if the tree falls on top of them. While walking in the woods near my house I came across this tree that had been felled by the local beaver. Unfortunately for the beaver the tree did not fall towards the land but rather perched itself over the river, preventing it from harvesting the the branches that it loves to eat.
When you look closely at the effort it took to gnaw through the trunk of the tree, it was no small feat. Rather than abandon the tree and take down another one, this beaver decided it would snack on the bark that it could reach by standing up tall on the ground.
Zoom in on the right side of the trunk and the branches that were accessible to the beaver, you can see the individual marks that were made by the beavers incisors. Pretty cool!
Monday, January 25. 2021
- 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.
- Squirrels run in a zigzag pattern to escape predators.
- 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.
- A squirrel reaches sexual maturity at 10-12 months. At this age, the males and females are fertile and can begin mating.
Monday, January 18. 2021
January has arrived with reasonably mild temperatures and less snow than usual in southern Ontario. But like most January’s raccoons are still having difficulty finding food. Most of the food that they are accustomed to finding during the warmer times of the year is either buried under a layer of snow or frozen solid.
But unlike their cousin the black bear, raccoons do not hibernate but rather have a long nap awaiting a break in the cold temperatures. When overnight temperatures drop below zero degrees Celsius raccoons tend to sleep away the cold nights inside the attics of homes rather than wasting their valuable energy searching for non-existent food sources. Raccoons are capable of going without food for approximately 30 to 45 days if need be.
But this January raccoons are behaving differently than most years. Even with the overnight temperature dipping slightly below zero, it is the lack of snow cover that is making a big change in their behaviour. Raccoons are venturing outside their warm attic dens but not to find food, they have something more important on their minds. Love is in the air and a raccoon’s thoughts have gone from sleeping to mating.
Raccoons generally mate during the January thaw which can occur mid to late January, but this unusual warm weather is causing them to mate earlier than normal. 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 multiple birds chirping at one time. They make this sound 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.
Female raccoon will give birth to 1 - 7 babies approximately 62 days after mating. So be forewarned, it is very likely that the chittering of baby raccoons in the attic will occur earlier this year than previous years.
Monday, January 11. 2021
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.
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.
Wednesday, December 16. 2020
The Canada Goose is a large wild goose species with a black head and neck, white cheeks/chin and a brown body. They are one of the best known birds in North America.
As most people who live in an area with Canadian Geese will know, the gander (male goose) is a fierce defender of his mate and offspring, and will charge any suspected enemy, even one as large as an elk!
There are many risks to allowing a Goose near or around your property, especially a commercial building. Some Canada Geese prefer to nest in the gardens of commercial buildings. Because of their aggressive nature the adult geese will attack any person that comes in close proximity to their nest. This unprovoked behaviour can result in customers and employees sustaining various degrees of injury caused by the attacking geese. The presence of geese droppings in parking lots and walkways is not only unsightly but may create a serious slip and fall hazard. Another concern for building owners may be the loss of business from customers being chased away from the geese.
Canada Geese are migratory birds, protected under Canadian law, making it illegal to disturb, damage or destroy the nest or eggs except by special permit called a Migratory Birds Damage or Danger Permit.
Interesting Facts About The Canadian Goose:
- The female is called a goose and the male is a gander. The young are know as goslings.
- They form flocks to fly south for the winter.
- They fly in a “v” formation, known as the drafting effect. This helps the birds to conserve their energy while flying long distances. The leader in the front splits the air current for the rest of the geese. They will take turns being the lead.
- The Canada goose has webbed feet for swimming.
Tuesday, December 15. 2020
Do you miss seeing baby raccoons?
Raccoons generally mate during the January thaw which can occur mid to late January but this unusual warm weather could cause them to mate earlier than normal.
Only time will tell! In 2020 we saw our first litter of raccoons on February 27th.
Female raccoons will typically give birth to 1 - 7 offspring. Although 4 - 5 is more common, we have seen 11 babies in one litter before!
Monday, December 14. 2020
Rabbits have seasonal molts, which is when a rabbit looses its coat (or sheds) and grows a new coat. The heaviest moly is generally at the end of a winter season when their coat is fully grown and no longer needed for protection from the cold winter months.
Rabbits have the moulting process as an aid in controlling their body temperature to the varying temperatures of their environment (very cold winter months to relatively hot summer months)
This rabbit was found in a drain pump house by Gates Wildlife Technician Chris.
Wednesday, December 9. 2020
“Have you ever heard of knocking?”
As the days get colder and darker, raccoons are busy packing on their winter weight and have grown their much needed thick winter coat. Their ability to store body fat allows them to live off their fat reserves and stay in their den longer when food is scarce. A raccoon will typically lose up to half their body weight during the winter months.
Our company has been seeing groups of raccoons living and traveling together at this time of year.
Although raccoons are typically solitary animals, they will sometimes den together in groups during the cold winter months. It is likely that this group is a mother raccoon and her offspring from this past Sprint as they will stay together until she mates, which is usually sometime in January. Immature brothers tend to also stick together until they are two years of age.
Monday, November 30. 2020
THE LAST DAY OF MUSTACHES FOR MOVEMBER
We did it! We made it to the end of the month. Our team at Gates Wildlife did an amazing job this much growing their mustaches and doing their part to raise awareness for the cause. Our team has surpassed our target by raising $1370 so far. At the end of the day I will be going over our reviews for the month and will donate $5.00 per review to our donation page.
For our final animal in our series, we bring you the Patas Monkey. These monkeys are long-limbed and predominately found on the ground in the grass regions of West and Central Africa. The adult male Patas Monkey has shaggy fur with a white moustache and white underparts with a build like a greyhound. The email has a similar but less-striking pattern and build.
- Patas Monkeys are the fastest primates on earth as they can run up to 35 MPH.
- They are diurnal and spend the day grooming, interacting socially and foraging for food. At night they spread out in the trees as protection from predators.
- Their predators include hyenas, raptors, cheetahs, jaguars, tigers and humans!
- Their lifespan in the wild is 15-20 years and 21-24 years in captivity.
Thursday, November 26. 2020
Roof Soffit Intersections can be easily manipulated by an animal looking to establish a den inside the attic space.
Although raccoons do not hibernate, they do hide away in their dens during the extremely cold, snowy periods. They are capable of sleeping for weeks at a time in order to conserve valuable energy. This is a good survival strategy on their part as their food is either buried under the snow or frozen solid. This means that a raccoon living inside your attic will start spending longer periods of time inside, potentially causing more damage for the homeowner.
It is a great idea to schedule an inspection with us before the winter comes if you suspect you have an animal inside your attic.
Tuesday, November 24. 2020
Orphaned Baby Raccoons Get Rescued!
Little did we know, that at the beginning of this job, the mother raccoon was no longer in the picture. While doing the removal we never saw the mother and after leaving the trail cam on for two days, she never appeared on camera nor exited our one way door. This is not entirely uncommon as homeowners and our competition will trap and relocate adult raccoons far away from the capture site.
Watch how Gates Wildlife Control rescues these baby raccoons from the attic, where they would have starved as they did not know how to forage for food on their own yet.
Watch the video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax_AdhGYmkE&t=14s
Monday, November 23. 2020
Moustaches for Movember
Canadians really love their mustaches—and with those cold winters, who can blame them? In fact, Canadians have raised $85.8 million (to date) for Movember, despite the U.S. being home to approximately 133 million more men than our northern neighbor.
All those mustaches, from France to Norway, Austria to the U.K., have raised a staggering $769 million dollars combined to date.
Thanks to the money raised during Movember, there have been some major cancer research breakthroughs. For example, there is now a genetic test that helps predict the risk of recurrence among prostate cancer survivors.
Movember isn't just about prostate cancer. Mo Bros have raised money for testicular cancer, mental health, and 1,200 different men's health issues since 2003.
Yes, the mustaches are great. But the Movember Foundation hopes that by 2030, the funds raised by Movember will have reduced the number of early deaths in men by 25 percent. That should be reason enough to put down the razor!