10 May

Case Study: Squirrel, Raccoon, and Pest Removal from Century Home in Guelph

Guelph Raccoon Squirrel One-Way Door

Anyone can get pests. The following case study tells the story of wildlife removal and rat extermination in Guelph, in which a large century home had multiple different species invading its property. Mice, squirrels, raccoons, and rats were all making themselves at home in the shed and the attic. Despite its tremendous value, this was an aging property that presented the animals with an opportunity to live indoors.

Here, we removed the pests, disinfected after them, and performed a thorough wildlife-proofing of the premises to keep them out. The attics were renovated with new insulation. Our comprehensive wildlife removal services rid the home of these animals and should keep it safe for years to come. Call Wildlife Shield for wildlife removal and exclusion services in Guelph and the GTA.

Guelph, Ontario: The Royal City

Guelph Ontario

Guelph, like many of Ontario’s cities, is home to an abundance of pests and wildlife.

Guelph is a charming city in southwestern Ontario with a population of roughly 130,000. Located 28km east of Kitchener and 100km west of Toronto, Guelph is surrounded by farmland and conservation areas. Major industries within the area include advanced manufacturing, environmental management, and technology. Guelph is home to nearly 30,000 university students and has some of the lowest crime rates and unemployment rates in the country.

Guelph’s neighbourhoods are susceptible to wildlife because of their age and location. Guelph is an old city with plenty of parks, yards, and green spaces for pests to find food and shelter. The Speed and Eramosa rivers act as highways for animals to get around. Many roofs, decks, foundations, and sheds in Guelph have had enough time to deteriorate, giving way to pests like raccoons and squirrels.

Inspection of the Shed

During the first visit, the storage shed of this Guelph property was closely examined for signs of wildlife. The homeowners in this case were interested in renovating the structure and recognized that its location was attractive to pests. The shed was surrounded by trees and had a turret on its roof that could be accessed by squirrels. Thus, the technician on site checked the shed for holes or gaps that animals could use to get inside.

Pests will take advantage of quiet, aging structures for their shelter and proximity to food. Rodents will dig through the foundation or squeeze through a crack in the wall. Weep vents and wall vents often have openings that are wide enough to let mice in. Squirrels and raccoons commonly break into attics by exploiting the weaknesses they find on the roof. These include gaps in the drip edge that has warped over time, loose soffits, and plastic roof vents that can be chewed or torn open.

As rodents, squirrels have incredibly sharp, strong teeth that can chew through wood, plastic, and aluminum. Raccoons have dexterous paws, and they are strong enough to tear their way through the roof. These animals can sense that the interior is warm and will absolutely take advantage of its age to get inside.

The technician in this case found many gaps and holes in the structure of the shed. Two windows had cracks in their frames and roughly six feet of gaps were found between the building’s foundation and siding. Raccoon droppings were scattered throughout the shed and several holes were visible in the interior walls and floor. The turret on the roof also had holes in it, with evidence of raccoons living in its peak. Squirrels were suspected to be living in the attic and rats were burrowing in the ground outside.

Guelph Den Entrance

Animals will take advantage of the holes and openings found on quiet structures such as the shed or roof. The opening in this case was wide enough to fit both squirrels and raccoons.

Guelph Squirrel Holes in Shingles

Squirrels have incredibly strong teeth that can chew through shingles, plastic, aluminum, and other wooden materials.

Guelph Animal Droppings

Animal droppings should be removed as soon as possible, and the surfaces they contaminated should be thoroughly disinfected. Raccoons and other wild animals pass dangerous diseases in their feces.

Recommendations and Immediate Treatment

Following the inspection, the technician recommended that the shed be excluded from top to bottom. This would mean sealing and blocking every hole, crack, and gap found to keep pests out. A custom-made, galvanized steel mesh would cover holes to prevent any more animals from getting inside. Galvanized steel mesh is strong enough to withstand animal chewing and tearing. One-way doors were recommended to let the squirrels and raccoons out of the roof. These consist of plastic and metal doors that would be attached to the entrances of the animal dens. One-way doors swing outward, letting the animals out safely but blocking their re-entry.

In addition to the exclusion, the technician recommended cleaning and disinfecting the shed because the droppings inside could be dangerous. Animal droppings not only smell terrible but contain harmful pathogens that can make humans and their pets very sick. These may also contain parasites, which can be passed along to any cats or dogs that go outside. Wildlife Shield offers professional sanitation services in which we safely remove animal matter and disinfect the area, removing odours and germs in the process.

The homeowners agreed to evict the animals and pest-proof the shed. Over the next few days, members of the Wildlife Shield team sealed the holes that were found in the roof’s edge, the shed’s interior, and the foundation outside. A second technician was present so that the roof could be reached safely. Several feet of mesh were screwed into the shed’s wooden structure. Using commercial-grade disinfectants, the technicians on site removed the fecal matter inside the shed and cleaned the surrounding surfaces. This removed the odours that were present and made the shed safe for the owners to use. Rodent bait stations were placed on the outer sides of the shed to suppress the rat population.

Guelph Squirrel Hole Exclusion

Galvanized steel is an excellent material for pest-proofing. It’s weather-proof and tough enough not to break when squirrels try to chew through it or when raccoons tug at its mesh.

Guelph Shed Interior Exclusion

Sealing the gaps and holes in the shed would keep rats and other animals from getting inside and making another mess.

Guelph Shed Foundation Exclusion

Rats are good climbers and burrowers, so it is important to keep the foundation and bottom perimeter of any given structure to keep them out.

Once all entry points were sealed, the technicians on site installed a large one-way door to the last remaining hole in the roof’s edge. This door consisted of a plastic flap for the raccoons to push outward and a mesh tube for the squirrels to crawl out. Raccoons usually leave their dens within a few days to find food. Squirrels may take a few weeks. Once out, they would find shelter elsewhere and the door would be replaced with mesh.

Guelph Raccoon Squirrel One-Way Door

The technician on site built this combined, two-door system to let both the raccoon and squirrel out safely. The raccoon would push the flap open and the squirrel would crawl out the mesh tube.

More Pests in the Home

A few weeks later, in January, the pests in the shed were no longer a problem. The homeowners, however, gave Wildlife Shield a call when they heard animal noises coming from the attic of their home. This was a large attic with multiple different sections and some connectivity. Because it was winter, and the roof was high above the ground, a technician returned to the property and inspected the attic from the inside.

Hearing noises coming from the attic is a common sign of a squirrel infestation. Squirrels are noisy creatures that make a lot of scratching, scurrying, and squealing sounds in the early hours of the morning and again at sundown. These noises are amplified by the wide, empty space of the attic. Like the shed, squirrels were suspected to have entered the attic of this Guelph home by chewing their way through the roof’s edge.

Upon examining the roof from the ground outside, the technician on duty suspected that squirrels were getting into the attic through the roof’s turret. He then examined the attic’s interior to find evidence of the infestation. Fecal matter and squirrel nesting material were found contaminating the insulation within two attic sections. One nest was still active, with fresh droppings and debris surrounding it. Mouse feces were also found in the attic and wall voids.

Guelph Squirrel Holes in Attic

The attic showed signs of aging as well as animal damage. Large holes were found along the edges, allowing wildlife to crawl inside and infest the attic.

Guelph Squirrel Nest Attic

Squirrels build their nests out of twigs, leaves and branches. The technician in this case found a squirrel’s nest built in the attic’s insulation.

Attic Remediation

The technician recommended placing bait stations in the wall voids of the attic to eliminate the mice and installing a one-way door to evict the squirrels. Roughly 10 to 20 feet of mesh exclusion around the turret was recommended to keep pests out permanently. The homeowners were also encouraged to have the dirtied insulation removed and the attic spaces deodorized. The insulation could then be replaced, providing the homeowners with a clean, well-insulated attic free of pests. Wildlife Shield provides complete attic remediation services in addition to our pest removal, exclusion, and disinfection.

As per the technician’s recommendations, the attic of this Guelph home was fully remediated. Over 200 square feet of insulation was safely removed, and the attics were disinfected with a commercial-grade fogger. Next, a new layer of cellulose was blown-in, rendering the attic clean and energy efficient. Like the exclusion performed on the shed, the technicians on site sealed the cracks in the turret with galvanized steel mesh. Being so high off the ground, two technicians carried out the exclusion work to ensure each other’s safety.  A one-way door was installed at the entrance of the squirrel’s nest.

Guelph Attic Insulation Removal

Removing the insulation allows for a fresh start. The attic was fully disinfected and readied for a new layer of insulation, free of animals and their debris.

A few weeks later, the one-way door was removed and the hole in the turret was sealed with galvanized steel mesh. The squirrels had left the attic. Over the next few months, Wildlife Shield continued to service the rodent bait stations placed outside. While pests living on the interior can be evicted and excluded, those living outside often require continued treatment to suppress their populations. Wildlife Shield offers ongoing exterior treatments for rodents in which we do not need to visit the interior of the home.

Guelph Squirrel One-Way Door Removed

The technician covered the squirrel’s entrance with mesh as soon as the animal was gone.

Conclusion

Squirrels, raccoons, mice, and rats are common in Ontario and will make themselves at home in any given property if there is an opening. This case demonstrates the importance of maintaining the structure of one’s home and guarding it from wildlife. Keeping the roof, foundation, and other exterior structures intact is the key to a pest-free home. If there are wild animals on your property, or if you are interested in wildlife-proofing your home, give us a call. We will perform a thorough inspection and provide you with a pest control program that works. Our technicians are trained, licensed, and insured for your satisfaction and peace of mind. Call Wildlife Shield today for affordable and reliable wildlife removal services in Guelph.

03 May

Case Study: Raccoons Dirty Shed with Feces

Raccoon One Way Door Exclusion Toronto

The following case study recounts a raccoon removal and disinfection service in Moore Park, Toronto. Raccoons living under a shed had left a mess of feces on the roof, causing odour problems and risking the health of the homeowners. The animals were safely removed with a one-way door and the feces were then properly removed and the roof disinfected.

Moore Park

Surrounded by many beautiful parks, the Moore Park neighbourhood in Toronto is one of the most desirable nooks in the city. It is centered at the St. Clair and Mount Pleasant intersection and bordered by Rosedale to the south and Davisville Village to the north.

moore park ravine

Moore Park Ravine in Toronto.

The neighbourhood gets its name from developer John T. Moore who helped develop the railway service in the area. Moore Park was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1912.

This case will detail our approach to a raccoon problem in this neighbourhood.

Inspection

This customer contacted us after finding a large quantity of raccoon feces on a shed in his backyard. It appeared the problem had been ongoing for quite some time. Raccoons had been observed in the area and the homeowner suspected they had been living under their rear deck.

We sent one of our fully trained wildlife technicians to speak with the homeowner and inspect the property. Our technicians will always perform a thorough inspection of all areas around the house to determine the extent of the problem as well as to identify any spaces that have been or could be compromised by wildlife. This includes such structures as sheds, decks, garages, porches, etc.

Inglewood Raccoon Feces on Shed

A large amount of fecal matter was found on top of a shed and surrounding areas.

At this location, we pointed out to the customer that the deck was likely the main living quarters of these raccoons. Based on the amount of feces on the backyard shed, it seemed they had been in the neighbourhood for awhile.

We suggested a full cleaning and disinfection of the shed and surrounding areas and a full exclusion of the deck.

Exclusion and Disinfection

Our team began with a full cleaning of the areas in the backyard that were covered in fecal matter. After that, we sprayed a commercial grade disinfectant throughout. This process will eliminate all pathogens that may have contaminated the area. It will also remove all odours, preventing animals from following the strong smell and move back to the area once they have been vacated.

Shed Roof Disinfection

Our team cleaned and disinfected the top of the shed, eliminating all pathogens and odours.

We then proceeded to exclude the deck space. We do this by installing a strong and durable galvanized steel mesh along the opening of the deck to prevent animals from crawling inside. We also installed two raccoon one-way-doors- one for adult raccoons and one for babies. These special doors are designed and built to allow wildlife to pass through when exiting the excluded area, but not be able to re-enter. In this particular case we were not fully certain that there were no babies on the property so, to be safe we installed a baby door- just in case. These doors remain in place for a few days to allow the animals enough time to exit. They will then be removed and patched with mesh.

Raccoon One Way Door Exclusion Toronto

One-way-doors were installed (left) to allow the animals to vacate. We then removed them and patched the holes with galvanized steel mesh (right).

As an extra precaution, we also installed mesh along two basement windows to discourage wildlife from attempting to use the gap as an entrance to underneath the deck.

Window Deck Exclusion Raccoon-Proof

A gap between the deck and a window was covered with galvanized steel mesh.

Conclusion

Raccoons can be a real nuisance when they move into a property. They can be destructive, invade enclosed spaces such at attics and sheds, and may use your yard as their personal toilet. Leaving a yard untreated will incite other animals to move in. Wildlife will often be attracted to various odours and their curiosity will often lead them to new living quarters.

It is imperative that yards be clean of animal feces and that steps are taken to move the raccoons along. Installing exclusion mesh around areas that are prone to animal invasion is a sure way to keep them out.

All our exclusion installations are backed with a 2-year warranty. If any of our work is damaged or removed by wild animals, we will return to repair or replace.

11 Mar

Case Study: Raccoons Destroy Soffits and Attic Insulation in Malvern

Malvern Soffit Exclusion 2

Removing wildlife is sometimes easier said than done. In this case study tells the story of a raccoon removal and attic renovation in Malvern. The home in question suffered multiple invasions of raccoons because the roof was severely damaged. Raccoons are common in suburban neighbourhoods and they will always find a way back if they can find an opening. Here, we removed raccoons a few times before completely renovating the attic and excluding the roof. Our comprehensive service finally rid the home of these pests and should protect it for many years to come. For affordable wildlife removal and proofing services you can count on, call Wildlife Shield: 647-560-3988.

Malvern

Malvern Raccoon

Raccoons are common in suburbs like Malvern.

Malvern is a suburban, multicultural neighbourhood in Scarborough, Toronto. Sitting north of the 401, it borders the Toronto Zoo to the east, Markham road to the west, and Finch avenue to the north. Malvern was a farming community until the 1950s, when the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reconstructed the area to provide Canadians with affordable housing. As such, the neighbourhood consists mostly of single-family homes and schools that were built many decades ago. Today, Malvern has a population of over 44,000 people with more than 60 different cultures, roughly half of which from south Asian and Caribbean origin.

Malvern’s homes are susceptible to wildlife because of their age and location. The neighbourhood has had time to mature, providing animals with hedges, trees, and other natural hiding spots. Roofs, decks, and sheds have also had enough time to deteriorate, giving way to raccoons, skunks, and other pests. The density of the neighbourhood also means that there is plenty of food to go around, such as garbage and bird seed.

Initial Inspection

Malvern Roof Edge

Wildlife removal technicians check the roof for damage and points of entry, such as this tear in the roof’s edge of this Malvern home.

During the first visit, this Scarborough property was closely examined for points of entry. The homeowner in this case reported that raccoons had been living on their property for many years and that they could hear them making noise in the attic. The technician on site then checked the roof for gaps and holes that the animals could have been using to get inside.

Raccoons frequently break into people’s homes by pushing up on the soffits, tearing open the roof’s edge, and climbing into the ventilation. These are smart animals with highly dexterous paws. They can smell the food you keep in the house, and sense that the attic is warm by the air that escapes the vents. Raccoons will absolutely take advantage of a damaged roof to get inside.

Malvern Soffit Opening

The soffits were torn off, exposing the attic to wildlife.

Malvern Entry Point Roof Edge

Raccoons make holes like this to enter the attic inside.

In this case, the technician found large holes in the home’s soffits and drip edge. The roof was decaying, and raccoons were likely taking advantage of its weakened state. Piles of raccoon droppings were found on different parts of the roof, and the shingles were damaged. The technician also noted that the roof had vents left exposed, which animals could soon break as well.

Malvern Raccoon Droppings

Raccoons tend to defecate in the same places every time, creating piles of hazardous waste.

No matter the situation, the technicians at Wildlife Shield perform thorough inspections, checking every nook and cranny for vulnerabilities and potential entry points. This allows them to provide a treatment that is more strategic and therefore more effective. Understanding the causes of an infestation, as well as its extent, allows them to provide treatments that are more strategic and therefore more effective.

Recommendations and Immediate Treatment

Malvern Soffit Exclusion

Excluding the soffits with galvanized steel mesh will keep pests out.

Following the inspection, the technician on duty recommended that the roof be excluded from raccoons immediately. This would involve screwing a galvanized steel mesh and metal flashing into the soffits and edges of the roof to keep the pests out. The roof’s vents would then also be protected by capping them with mesh. Galvanized steel mesh is highly durable and strong enough to resist the pulling, chewing, and tearing of wildlife. A one-way door would then be installed at an opening in the roof to let the animals out safely but block their return.

Malvern Roof Edge Exclusion

Some parts of the roof’s edge was strengthened with metal flashing.

The homeowner agreed to exclude the animals, so a total of 47 feet of roof line was protected. The technician covered the holes in the soffits and reinforced significant weak spots so that no more animals would get inside. He also cleaned up all the droppings he could find and disinfected the roof to remove germs and odours. A one-way door was installed along the roof’s edge to let the animals out, which would take a week or two.

Malvern One-Way Door Removed

Mesh was placed along the roof’s edge as soon as the door was removed.

A few weeks later, as predicted, the raccoons were gone. The homeowner reported that they had stopped making noises in the attic. A technician then returned to the property and removed the one-way door. In its place, he put mesh. No more raccoons would be able to use the opening they created.

Follow-up Inspection: Why are they back?

Weeks after the exclusion work was performed and the one-way door was removed, the owner of this Scarborough home called us back to say that they were hearing raccoons again. A technician promptly returned to the property to inspect. Wildlife Shield provides warranties on all of its services, so if contractual pests return during the warranty period, we come back and remove them again.

Malvern New Entry Point

Some pests come right back. The raccoons in this case broke back into the attic by tearing at the edges of the roof.

Malvern New Raccoon One-Way Door

A new one-way door was installed to the new entry-point.

In this case, raccoons breached a different part of the roof that had not been excluded. The animals tore through the edges of the roof and found their way back into the attic. All the previous work that had been done was still intact. To remove them, the technician installed another one-way door to the new entry point and recommended waiting a few weeks to let the animals leave. Given the state of the roof, the homeowner was urged to have the entire roof replaced or excluded.

Come winter, the door was removed, and metal flashing was placed where it was to prevent any further water damage in the attic. When raccoons and other pests make holes in the roof, they expose the attic to the elements. This increases energy costs and gets the attic wet, which causes mold. Mold will not only damage the insulation but decrease the quality of the air in the home. Pests will also urinate and defecate in the attic, contaminating the air and attracting other pests to the property. In this case, it was important that wildlife be removed and excluded as soon as possible so that no further damage would be done inside.

Malvern One-Way Drip Edge

Another door was installed in the spring. Spring invasions are common as this is when females need a place to raise their young.

Despite this second removal, raccoons could be heard again in the spring. Once again, the raccoons had found another part of the roof’s edge that they could exploit. Had the homeowner agreed to exclude the entire roof, this would not have happened. A one-way door was screwed into the new entry point and the animals were gone within a few weeks.

Malvern Dead Raccoon

Raccoons passed away in the insulation of the attic.

This time, however, the technician had a look inside the attic. Raccoons often have babies in the spring, so it is important to check if there are any. Wildlife Shield never separates a mother raccoon from her young. In this case, no babies were found, but two dead raccoons were found lying in the insulation. The technician then recommended having the insulation replaced and told the homeowner to give us a call if any more noises were heard. At this point, the owner of this Malvern residence was interested in renovating the attic and the roof; too much damage had been done.

Attic Remediation

Malvern Raccoon Droppings in Attic

Large piles of feces were found throughout the attic.

About a month later, the raccoons were gone, and a technician removed the one-way door. During this visit, the attic was inspected more closely for a full remediation. A sister company of Wildlife Shield offers full attic remediation services, so we were happy to provide the homeowner with the service. The insulation in this case was severely damaged from years of raccoon invasions. Feces were found scattered throughout the attic along with the dead raccoons. The insulation would need to be removed, then the attic would need to be disinfected before installing any new insulation. Rafter vents and a new parapet wall would also be installed to allow for more air flow and the placement of a thick new layer of insulation.

Malvern Insulation Removed

Once the insulation is removed, the attic floor can be disinfected.

As per our recommendations, the attic of this Malvern home was fully remediated. Our technicians safely removed the contaminated insulation and disposed of it responsibly, then cleaned every surface of the attic with a commercial-grade fogger. All odours and pathogens were removed. Next, rafter vents were installed, a parapet wall was built around the hatch, and a new layer of cellulose insulation was installed. The attic was rendered clean and highly energy efficient.

Malvern New Insulation

Cellulose insulation is environmentally friendly and highly energy efficient.

A follow-up with the homeowner some weeks later revealed that they had their roof re-done. This, along with the exclusion of the roof’s vents and the attic work performed, would help keep the pests out for good.

Conclusion

This Malvern case demonstrates the importance of maintaining one’s roof and protecting it from wildlife. Raccoons are persistent pests that will do whatever they can to get back into their homes. It takes comprehensive exclusion and cleanup to keep these pests out. When removal wildlife, it is imperative that the entire structure be excluded so that they do not return. If there are wild animals on your property, or if you are interested in keeping them out, call Wildlife Shield. Our technicians are highly experienced in all forms of animal control and exclusion. Call Wildlife Shield today for safe and reliable pest control services: 647-560-3988.

16 Nov

How Does a Squirrel One Way Door Work?

If you have been reading up on how to get rid of squirrels in the attic you have probably come across the squirrel one way exclusion door. Exclusion is without a doubt the most effective and humane way to get rid of squirrels and is the preferred method by wildlife control experts.

The science behind the contraption is simple. The one way door actually looks more like a wire tarp than an actual door. The device is open on both ends. One end has wings or flanges and is mounted directly over the primary entry and/or exit hole on the building. The door is flash on the building so that the squirrel goes through it immediately it leaves the hole. Read More