- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with their furry neighbours, even raccoons
- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with raccoons
- July 22nd, 2015 Durham Region - Humane ways to avoid conflict with wildlife in Durham
- July 15th, 2015 Yahoo News - City dwellers must co-exist with urban wildlife, experts say
- Jun 11th, 2015 City News - Owl rescued from being stuck in soccer net
- May 14th, 2015 Toronto Star - Humans not raccoons are the problem
- April 6th, 2015 CTV - Tips for keeping your home critter free
- April 6th, 2015 Global News - Toronto considering raccoon-resistant green bins
- April 6th, 2015 Newstalk 1010 - Raccoon-proof green bins & expanded blue bins on this week's city agenda
- September 20th, 2014 Inside Toronto - Company helps Scarborough senior solve raccoon problem at no cost
- August 18th, 2014 National Post - Rob Ford makes a new enemy, says he has been in 'standoffs' with fearless raccoons outside his home
- September 26, 2013 PCT Magazine - Humane Urban Wildlife Management: What Does it Really Mean?
- July 25th, 2013 The Star - Racoons: Everything you always wanted to know about them but were too busy cleaning up their mess to ask
- March 8th, 2013 The Star - Trapped Cat Survives Between Floor and Ceiling For 11 Days
- Winter 2012 Condominium Manager Magazine - Protecting Your Green Image
- December 12th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Choose a Wildlife Control Company Carefully
- October 1st, 2011 The National Post - Toronto's flourishing fauna
- September 23rd, 2011 The Toronto Star - Wildlife vs. the city: Can't we get along?
- August 21st, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Nuisance Wildlife and Municipal Animal Services
- June 8th, 2011 The Grid - All creatures great and small
- May 20, 2011 Toronto Sun - Three albino baby raccoons found
- February 10th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - The Reprecussions of Live Trapping Wildlife
- November 17th, 2010 Eye Weekly - Pop-up possums! Everything you need to know about Toronto's newest immigrants
- September 28th, 2010 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Humane Bat Removal
- October 2010 Green Condos - A Guide for Choosing an Ethical and Humane Wildlife Control Company
- Summer 2010 Toronto Life Magazine - Gates' Wildlife Control Voted Best in the City
- July 2nd, 2010 Globe and Mail - The 'Wild West' of wildlife control
- June 15th, 2010 ACMO Tech - Solving Wildlife Problems: Challenges Confronting Property Managers
- May 6th, 2010 The Record - Raccoon in attic led to Kitchener blaze
- February 2nd, 2010 The Toronto Star - City's Coyotes Popping Up Again
- January 14th, 2010 Newmarket Era - Lone coyote roaming around Glenway club
- May 11th, 2009 City TV News - Wildlife Crew Finds Rare Albino Raccoon At Contruction Site
- March 30th, 2009 City TV News - Creature Comforts How To Stop Wildlife From Invading Your Property
- February 24th, 2009 The Toronto Star - Coyote attacks prompt city to take action
- April 24th, 2008 City TV News - Raccoon Fatally Injured After Leg Caught In Barbaric Trap
- August 20th, 2007 City TV News - Raccoon Sways Lamp Post, Crowd
Solving Wildlife Problems: Challenges Confronting Property Managers
AMCO TechBy Brad Gates, BSc
In today's society, property managers are finding that solving wildlife conﬂicts are more challenging than ever before. Not only is the public becoming increasingly concerned about animal welfare, they are also very vocal about the humane treatment of wildlife. This puts pressure on wildlife control operators to be equally passionate. However, passion alone will not suffice.
Only compassionate wildlife removal companies with sufficient staff and resources will be able to safeguard the lives of animals and meet customer expectations. Responsible humane wildlife control is labour intensive as it requires frequent follow-ups of the work in progress while having time available to take on new job assignments. Small-sized operations often take on too much new work in the spring, finding it difficult to effectively follow-up on their work in progress. This results in numerous complaints from customers ranging from incomplete work to inhumane practices. Our studies show that of all the wildlife removal companies in existence in 2003, fifty-three per cent of them had gone out of business by June 2009.
Where to start
Wildlife, opportunistic by nature, are always searching for ﬂaws in building structures to create multiple den sites. Once they locate an existing ﬂaw they will use their teeth and claws to tear open an entry hole in the building. In multi-unit complexes having the same roof designs, these structural ﬂaws may repeat themselves across all units. Gaining entry into structural weaknesses, such as roof vents, is a learned behaviour passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, from a budgetary perspective, it is advisable for property managers to consider a survey of the entire complex for potential entry points, rather than just dealing with one unit at a time. In an industry lacking any governmental licensing, choosing a nuisance wildlife control operator that can meet everyone's expectations can be diffi cult. To make informed decisions, property managers would be well advised to get acquainted with the pros and cons of the different wildlife removal techniques. Two decades ago, the most common way to solve wildlife conﬂ icts was to trap and relocate the animal. Today, it is widely accepted that there are serious shortcomings associated with this method.
Why trapping and relocation are not environmentally sound, nor a long-term solution
Trapped wildlife will often suffer from self-injury in their attempts to escape the trap. This is more probable as their confi nement in the trap is prolonged. Additionally, observation of a trapped animal often initiates requests directed at property management to have the animal released.
Relocation of the captured animal increases the potential for spreading infectious diseases at the release location. Concerned about this risk, in 1999 the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources introduced regulations restricting the relocation of wildlife outside their home range, approximately one kilometre. Relocating wildlife without decreasing existing food and/or shelter often results in the remaining animals living longer, having more offspring and prompting others to move in and fill the void. Studies have shown that after relocation has taken place the resident population of animals will actually increase and therefore more conﬂicts will occur. Also, trapping and relocation of an adult female during its birthing season can separate the mother from her babies, often resulting in the death of her dependent offspring within the building structure.
Working with, not against, Mother Nature provides the answer!
Recognition of the adverse repercussions caused by trapping and relocation prompted me to explore humane wildlife approaches that safeguard life and provide long-term solutions to wildlife problems. By today's standards, a socially acceptable and humane outcome to wildlife control must significantly reduce the stress to the animal. Development and application of passive removal techniques, onsite release methods, together with effective re-entry prevention measures are providing the answer.
Passive Removal Techniques
The development of one-way door devices, installed at the point of wildlife entry, has provided a humane alterna- tive to trapping and relocating. One- way doors permit the free exiting of the resident wildlife from the building while preventing re-entry. This method appears to be a simple and effective means of solving wildlife intrusions. However, it can prove to be as inhumane as trapping and relocation. If the device is harmful (impaling), poorly installed (exiting not possible), offspring are not considered (no thorough inspection) and/or the entire process infrequently monitored, inhumane treatment is the outcome and it questions the validity of an otherwise effective tool.
Onsite Release Methods
Leaving animals onsite in their familiar territory allows uninterrupted access to known food and secondary shelter resources. This also allows for close monitoring of the adult female, especially during the birthing season, as her aggressive behaviour will indicate if babies have been overlooked during the removal process. Should offspring be present, they are placed in a specially designed weather protected, heated release box. This box is then put on the outside of the building, secured close to the point of entry allowing the mother to return and relocate her young to a predetermined alternative den site.
To avoid new or recurring problems created by opportunistic wildlife, animal-proofing measures must be implemented. This long-term preventative approach prevents potential attractions and unnecessary removal and repair expenses. Animal-proofing measures include trimming tree branches to prevent easy access to the roof, screening chimneys / air vents and other potential animal entry areas, regular roof maintenance by replacing damaged or missing shingles. Cleaning eavestroughs are also part of the prevention program, ensuring proper drainage will help prevent water damage from occurring to the roof structure. Removal of food sources by closing garbage and composting containers and refraining from feeding wildlife will further remove the attraction to the property. In conclusion, these non-trapping/ entry prevention methods will create a more enjoyable relationship with our urban wildlife while minimizing potential conﬂicts.