Thursday, September 23. 2021
Better to jump from trees with!
Red squirrel’s have pads at the base of their paws, and on each of their ‘fingers’, which contain more fatty tissue. These pads allow them to act as shock absorbers when the squirrel lands.
While running the tail is used as a counterbalance to help the squirrel steer and turn quickly. Many short vertebrae at the base of the tail allow the tail considerable flexibility in almost every plane.
While jumping, the tail is held horizontally behind the squirrel and, although it does not act as a parachute, it helps improve the squirrels aerodynamics.
Photo taken by Gates Wildlife Technician Cassandra.
Monday, March 22. 2021
Heated Release Boxes
Gates Wildlife worked hard to develop techniques that were scientifically sound and combined these with a strict “follow-up” protocol to ensure that all removals go according to plan. Wildlife rehabilitators, Municipal Animal Services, Humane Societies, the media and most importantly our customers embraced our humane approach. The wildlife control industry quickly recognized that promoting their company as being “humane” was good for business.
It is unfortunate that many companies are not willing to invest the time or the money that it would it would truly take to be committed to the humane concept. Using specifically designed heated reunion boxes rather than “makeshift” unheated cardboard boxes, following up in a timely manner on one-way door installations and ensuring that the mother raccoon has successfully retrieved her babies from the reunion boxes, would go a long way towards practicing what they preach.
When looking to hire a wildlife removal company please ensure they will follow-up on the work in progress in short order and that they have heated reunion boxes at their disposal.
Tuesday, February 23. 2021
Scratching! Chewing! Banging! Thumping! Chattering!
Regardless of the type of noise, you have animals in your attic. The first thought most homeowners have is to try and determine what animal is causing the noise. Is it possible to determine what kind of critter is living in your attic based on the type of noise they make? For the most part, yes.
The time of day you hear the noise and the combination of the different types of noises they make will provide some clues.
Raccoons: Being nocturnal, noises are most frequently heard at night but raccoons can also be active in the attic during the day, especially in the spring when the babies are born. Weighing between 5 to 26 kg (11 to 57 lb.) they can make quite a bit of noise. It is common to hear heavy walking and thumping. Homeowners have described the sounds to be similar to the moving of furniture. Very distinctive is the loud chattering noise the baby raccoons make. For the first three weeks their eyes and ears remain closed and when they are bothered or hungry they vocalize. The mother raccoon often has her babies above the master bedroom as it is the quietest place in the house during the day.
Squirrels: Being diurnal, mostly daytime noise is heard especially at dawn and dusk. But don’t rule out noises during mid day and nighttime as not being squirrels. They move quickly so quick scampering across the ceiling will be heard. A squirrels front teeth are constantly growing therefore it is common to hear them chewing on wood, drywall and wires. From outside the home running sounds in the soffits can be heard. Baby squirrels usually do not vocalize unless they are in distress. Therefore it is not possible to determine if you have squirrels by listening for the sounds the babies make. Hearing multiple animals quickly moving in the attic would mean that the babies have now grown-up and are now moving about in the attic. At this point they need to be removed immediately because the amount of damage caused to the house at this stage of their life is exponential.
Mice: Being nocturnal, nighttime noises are heard, caused by the chewing of mice. Mouse noises are almost always quite localized, homeowners will point at the ceiling and say “I hear it there.” This is the main difference between the noise caused by mice compared to that from raccoons and squirrels. Because they are so light weight they cannot be heard moving on top of the insulation in the attic. They tend to nest beneath the insulation, directly on the drywall and being rodents they constantly chew on their surroundings. In the dead of night the chewing sounds caused by mice can be perceived as the noise caused by raccoons and squirrel.
It is important to keep in mind that the acoustics of your home, the thickness of walls, presence or lack of insulation can have more of a bearing on the volume of noise than the size of the animal. We often get called out to remove what the homeowner thinks is a raccoon when it turns out to be mouse activity.
Regardless of what animal is living in your attic it is never a good idea to let them live there. While it is not their intent to cause damage the fact is, they do. They can chew on your wires, defecate in your attic, destroy your insulation, create odours, carry diseases and cause water damage and allergies. I love all animals and would never use fear tactics as a means of convincing someone to remove animals. But after 35 years of witnessing all that they are capable of doing, I feel strongly that they have no place in our homes.
Thursday, February 18. 2021
This coyote was spotted by one of our followers in Peticoat Creek on Sunday.
Winter is a common time to spot coyotes because food is scarcer, forcing coyotes further out of their normal habitats, and they're emboldened by the fact people mostly stay indoors. The lack of foliage also makes them easier to spot.
Coyotes are always going to be part of the landscape. It's just certain times of year when they start being seen in our backyards.
If you spot a coyote in your neighbourhood, you can reach out to an amazing organization called Coyote Watch Canada. Coyote Watch Canada is a Federal Not-For-Profit community-based, wildlife organization which advocates positive human wildlife experiences.
The wildlife centre receives about 30,000 calls a year about coyotes and coyote sightings, but attacks are almost unheard of.
Coyote Watch Canada has the following advice on their website regarding what to do if a fox or coyote is near:
- Pick up small children and pets
- Never run from or turn your back on a coyote/fox/wolf/domestic dog
- Wave your arm(s) above your head, stomp feet, clap hands. Surprise gestures work best. Be assertive!
- Be BIG and LOUD! Yell “Go away!” Never scream. A strong voice and assertive gestures send a clear message.
- Slowly back away. Maintain eye contact and remember never to run.