Spring is quickly approaching, and newborns are popping their heads up, sometimes from people's attics.
Raccoon breeding season begins in January and lasts until April, resulting in more furry squatters coming into conflict with southern Ontario residents.
"It's that time of year where I am getting lots of calls," said Gore Ure, owner of Wildlife Solutions.
Raccoons are scavenging omnivores that can often be found going through people's garbage and burrowing under their sheds, decks or in their attics and chimneys.
"It's breeding season," Mr. Ure said, adding he responds to upwards of 40 raccoon calls during breeding season. "Mothers are looking for warm, dry places to take care of their babies. Away from the cold and the elements. But when they're in your attic, they usually start moving insulation around."
Once the furry roommates take up residence, it usually results in property damage and occasionally expensive repairs.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, it is illegal for anyone to use poison or adhesives to capture, kill or injure any wildlife. Mr. Ure said as long as residents abide by these laws, anyone can remove raccoons since there is a lack of government licensing and regulation. It's during the breeding season that people should also be cautious of kits when evicting raccoons, he said.
"If I remove the mothers, the babies need to go too, and be close to their mom," Mr. Ure said. "The babies are not old enough to care for themselves and rely on their mother. Without her, the babies would surely die. If anyone removes a mother raccoon from their property, please make sure any and all babies are relocated as well and together. But I suggest calling a professional; they could bite."
The main solutions for deterring squatting wildlife involve making problem areas inhospitable for raccoons and other animals.
If they have already taken up residence, however, it is illegal to relocate them more than one kilometre from the capture site. Mr. Ure said. This allows the raccoons and their kits to move into one of their other dens.