17 May

Case Study: Mother Raccoon Breaks Roof Vents to Reach Oakville Attic

Raccoon One-Way Door on Roof Vent

The following case study details a raccoon removal service in Oakville. A mother raccoon and her babies were found nesting in the attic of a single-family home, then removed humanely with the help of Wildlife Shield’s technicians. A comprehensive exclusion of all other potential entry points has since excluded more animals from the property.

Oakville, Ontario

The Town of Oakville is located west of City of Mississauga and is part of the Greater Toronto Area. Its population has risen from 1500 in the 1800s to nearly 200,000 today. Once home to BP Canada and Shell Canada oil refineries, Oakville has strived as an important industrial town. It is no surprise that the town is lined with a major highway, the Queen Elizabeth Way, and the Canadian National Railway tracks.

Oakville Harbour

Oakville Harbour in Oakville, Ontario.

Oakville is the result of the merger of the following villages- Bronte, Palermo, Sheridan, and Trafalgar. It was founded in 1962. Given its growth, access to fresh water, and vast green spaces, Oakville is prone to animal break-ins like the one in this case. There is plenty of food and lots of places for raccoons to hide in Oakville.

Inspection

Our customer contacted us after hearing strange noises in the attic. Over the phone, our staff asked a series of questions to determine what kind of animal could have entered into the space. To differentiate between raccoons and squirrels, we usually ask what time the noises are being heard. Raccoons are usually active during the nighttime, while squirrels tend to be more active in the morning and evening hours. In this case, the homeowner indicated the noises were mostly at nighttime and described them as walking noises. At this point, we were comfortable suggesting that it was likely raccoons that had breached into the home.

We dispatched one of our highly trained wildlife technicians to conduct a full inspection of the house. This inspection starts with a walkabout of the property at which time the technician looks for evidence of raccoon activity. This could be the presence of feces, damaged structures, and points of entry visible on the roof from ground level.

Roof Vent Damage Oakville

A damaged roof vent proved to be the primary entry point into the attic.

Once the walkabout is completed, we move on to the roof. At this stage we are looking for compromised areas that have been used to enter the attic. Common places of entry include roof vents, soffit intersections, and roof drip edges.

In this particular case, we identified a severely damaged roof vent as the point of entry. We suggested to our customer that a one-way-door be installed to allow the animals to exit in a humane and safe way, as well as protect all other roof vents with PVC-coated galvanized steel mesh.

During our inspection, our technician also suspected that there may be raccoon babies, called kits, in the attic. Using a thermal camera, we were able to discover four little raccoons sitting cozy within the space.

Thermal Camera Raccoon Inspection

A “hot spot” on a thermal camera inspection shows on of the baby raccoons in the attic.

Removal and Exclusion

Our team began with the removal of the kits. These little guys were put in a heated box lined with blankets which was then placed outside the house and close enough for the mom to find them. Once mom finds her kits, she will move them to a new den and continue raising them.

Raccoon One-Way Door on Roof Vent

A special one-way-door was installed over the damaged vent to allow any remaining animals to exit the attic and not be able to re-enter.

After the removal of the baby raccoons, we proceed with the full exclusion work. We first installed a one-way-door over the damaged roof vent and secured with galvanized steel mesh. This special door will let any remaining animals in the attic to exit and prevent them from re-entering. After a few days, it will be removed, and a new roof vent will be installed in its place.

Roof Vent Covers Wildlife-proof

PVC-coated galvanized steel mesh covers were installed over all roof vents.

To secure all other roof vents and plumbing vents, we installed strong and durable covers made from PVC-coated galvanized steel mesh. This will ensure the raccoons will not have access to these vulnerable structures and penetrate through the roof.

Soffit Exclusion Oakville

A soffit intersection was reinforced with galvanized steel mesh to prevent raccoons from breaching.

A section of the soffit was also secured with steel mesh as showed signs of damage. We will always suggest to our customers that all possible entry points be secured to prevent further issues.

Conclusion

It is common for wildlife to use the vulnerability of roof structures to breach into an attic. Roof vents, in particular, are most likely to be damaged by raccoons in any attempt to make entry. These vents are often made of plastic or thin metal and since raccoons are dexterous creatures, they can use their little fingers to pull away at pieces as they gnaw them off. Once broken through, a clear path is made into the attic.

It is important to maintain all roof structures in good condition and inspect them often for any damage. One way to prevent raccoons and other wildlife from breaking in is to be pro-active and secure all roof and plumbing vents ahead of any issues.

All of our exclusion work is guaranteed for 2 years. If any animal causes damage or removes any of our installations, we will gladly return to replace or repair.

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.

22 Jan

Case Study: Raccoon and Squirrel Removal in Ajax

Thermal Camera

Animals commonly find shelter in people’s attics, especially in the fall and winter months. They can tell that the inside is warm by the air that escapes the roof’s ventilation. To get inside, raccoons and squirrels will break the soffits, chew through the vents, or climb down the chimney. Housing animals in the attic however can seriously damage the insulation within and increase energy costs. It also puts your home at risk of getting more pests and the pathogens they bring with them. In this case, both raccoons and squirrels had broken into this Ajax home, one after the other. If you suspect an infestation on your property, call Wildlife Shield. Read More

08 Aug

How to Tell if a Raccoon Has Rabies?

Rabies may sound like a disease that existed far back in history like the plague but at least one person every day dies of this disease somewhere in the world.  What’s more, raccoons are vulnerable to contracting rabies by fighting with other rabid animals.

It goes without saying that you should not attempt to trap, catch or interfere with a rabid raccoon. Call a wildlife removal service in Toronto immediately you spot a raccoon that you suspect may be rabid. Read More

09 May

How to Get Rid of Raccoons Living Near My Home

Raccoons living near your home in Toronto are a cause for concern even if they are not in your yard or in your house. It is only a matter of time before they build a nest under your shed, in your garage or in your attic when breeding season comes around. It isn’t much you can do to raccoons near your home except make your property as unattractive as possible to these critters so they’ll pass it over to other homes or areas.

It is illegal to transport raccoons for more than a kilometre without a permit so trapping may not be a viable option. It is also illegal and inhumane to poison, shoot or otherwise kill or injure raccoons. Read More

07 May

Do Raccoons Live in Sewers?

Over the years, rural and urban development has disturbed the natural habitat for many wild animals, including raccoons. When forestry is destroyed in place of homes and businesses, raccoons must either seek out a new wooded area or adapt to their new surroundings. Fortunately for raccoons, they are good at adapting and can reside in some unpredictable places.

Although raccoons prefer wooded areas close to lakes or streams of water, they can adapt to live in rural and urban areas. Of course, you might wonder where exactly they find residence in busy populated areas. If you have ever walked by a sewer drain, perhaps you have seen a raccoon sitting in the opening, but is that where they make their den? Read More

23 Dec

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Yard

There is no shortage of suggestions to raccoon removal in Toronto. Solutions range from the plausible such as leaving a waterproof radio outside, set to a talk show to dupe raccoons into thinking there is human activity; to the ridiculous such as spreading human hair and nails around your yard because raccoons are reportedly afraid of humans.

The truth is raccoons are highly intelligent animals and well adapted to living with humans so these tricks and hacks don’t work. The best you can do is figure out what is attracting wildlife to your yard in the first place and then eliminate or manage these attractions.

So what are raccoons attracted to? Read More