How To Deal With a Raccoon Family Under your Deck

Raccoons are adaptable creatures that can make a home just about anywhere they can find safety, shelter, and food. So, the dark, quiet, warm area underneath your deck makes the perfect refuge.

So, how do you deal with a raccoon family that takes up residence underneath your deck?

Don’t take the DIY removal route

Don’t be tempted to take the DIY route and try to trap the raccoon. In Ontario, it’s illegal to kill, stress, or relocate raccoons one kilometre from your property.

If the raccoon has babies, you could find yourself face-to-face with an aggressive and potentially dangerous mother raccoon who is intent on protecting her offspring. Also, raccoons carry dangerous diseases, including rabies, as well as playing host to fleas, ticks, and other nasty parasites, which can also affect you and your pets.

Always ask a local firm of wildlife removal in Hamilton to deal with the raccoons for you.

Patience pays

Raccoons generally remain in underground dens for short periods. Baby raccoons are independent of their mother by the end of the summer, leaving the den to forage by themselves. Also, raccoon mothers often relocate their families to different den sites during the nesting season.

So, if you bide your time, the family may leave of their own accord. Once you’re certain that the raccoons have gone, you can seal off the access point to prevent them from returning in the future.

Harassment

The raccoon family has chosen to make a den under your deck because it’s a safe, dark, quiet place. By disrupting this perfect environment, you can often harass the family into leaving.

  • Start by setting up a bright light close to the den entrance, shining right into the den. An outdoor halogen spotlight should do the trick. Raccoons usually find the sound of human voices to be unnerving.
  • Place a radio close to the den entrance, and tune it to a talk show station. Turn the volume up as loud as possible without causing annoyance to your neighbours.
  • Although scent deterrents are not tremendously effective alone, they can work well when used in conjunction with light and sound. The smell of a predator, aggressive animal or male raccoon can be enough to frighten off a mother and her family.

    Soak a rag in a raccoon deterrent product and put it into a plastic bag. Punch holes in the bag so that the smell can escape, and hang the bag outside the den entrance. Dirty kitty litter can work in the same way.

Employ the above tactics for three days and three nights. If you think the raccoons have gone, stuff some newspaper in the entrance hole to the den or tape a sheet of paper across the gap. Wait for a further three days and nights. If the paper is still intact, it’s likely that the animals have gone.

Raccoon-proofing your deck

Once the invaders have been evicted, you’ll want to keep them out in the future.

To be sure that raccoons and other wild animals can’t take shelter underneath your deck, dig a 12” x 12” ditch around the deck. Secure a length of ¼” mesh straight down along the bottom of the ditch for at least 12”. Bend the mesh outward away from the deck at an angle of 90 degrees, creating an ‘L’ shape.

Fill the trench, ensuring that your raccoon lodgers have gone first.

That barrier will prevent wildlife from digging its way underneath the decking. You will also need to seal any existing holes around the perimeter of the deck.

Final thoughts

Although raccoons might look cute and cuddly, they are anything but! Raccoons can be extremely destructive and noisy, and they carry diseases and parasites that could affect your family and your pets.

If you discover a raccoon family living under your deck, we recommend that you contact a local firm of wildlife removal specialists to handle the problem for you. The experts are trained, licensed, and equipped to deal with problem raccoons and other wild animals that decide to make their home on your property.

Raccoon Rabies Outbreak in Hamilton

Raccoon Rabies Outbreak in Hamilton

Raccoon rabies is transmissible to humans, pets, and other livestock. The virus is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

But is raccoon rabies something that you should be worried about. After all, the disease is pretty rare in wild animals in Ontario, and raccoons generally stay away from people, right?

Well, if you have raccoons on your property, you might want to take note of the information in this article and consider hiring a pest control service in Hamilton itself.

Rabid raccoons in Hamilton, Ontario

In December 2015, a locally trapped raccoon in Hamilton was found to have raccoon rabies after veterinary testing. That was the first recorded case of raccoon rabies in the province since 2005 and the very first ever case to be recorded in southwest Ontario. It was thought that the virus came across into Canada from infected animals across the border in the United States.

Over the following 19 months, more raccoons with rabies were found in areas around Hamilton, including, Brant County, Niagara, Halton, and Haldimand, Norfolk. Although some of the recorded cases of rabies among wildlife were striped skunks, the majority of cases identified between December 2017 and June 2017 did involve raccoons.

Rapid response

In response to the danger posed to the public by the rabies outbreak, local, federal, and provincial agencies collectively launched a number of incentives, including enhanced surveillance, a mass vaccination of domestic animals and wildlife, and a “Rabies is Real” public education campaign.

Today, raccoon rabies still presents a very real danger to you and your family. If you encounter raccoons on your property, do not approach or touch them. If you spot a raccoon that is behaving strangely or discover a dead one, report the incident to your local animal services. If you or your pets are scratched or bitten by a raccoon, contact your local public health department and have your pets vaccinated against the disease right away.

How to spot a rabid raccoon

There are certain typical signs to watch out for that could indicate that a raccoon may be rabid:

  1. Raccoons are nocturnal. If you see a raccoon out and about in broad daylight, that’s abnormal behavior, and you should steer clear of the animal.
  2. Raccoons can be susceptible to a number of diseases, as well as rabies. However, if you see a raccoon that appears to be sick, don’t risk it. Avoid the animal, and contact your local wildlife removal professionals for advice.
  3. Once the rabies virus is well-advanced, the affected animal will foam and froth at the mouth. If you see a raccoon with these symptoms, keep your distance.
  4. Most raccoons are vocal, but a rabid raccoon makes very strange sounds that simply don’t sound normal.
  5. Paralysis is a symptom of rabies, and a rabid raccoon will have problems with walking, appearing to stagger or find walking in a straight line difficult.
  6. Healthy raccoons are busy, active creatures that are highly intelligent. A rabid raccoon will appear slow, confused, and disoriented.
  7. Rabid raccoons can become very aggressive, losing their fear of humans and even of large, threatening animals that the raccoon would ordinarily avoid. Reports of a single rabid raccoon attempting to take on three fully grown cougars in a U.S. rescue center bear that out.

What to do if you encounter a suspected rabid raccoon

If you see a raccoon that you suspect has rabies, keep clear of the animal and report the sighting to a wildlife removal specialist immediately. Keep pets and kids indoors until the raccoon has been dealt with.

In conclusion

The 2015 raccoon rabies outbreak is easily the most significant and largest to have been recorded in Canada and is the first to be documented in an urban area with a high population. Although recent evidence suggests that the reported cases of rabies are declining, it’s likely to take many years before the disease can be eliminated altogether in wild raccoons.

If you have nuisance raccoons hanging around your property, contact your local professional wildlife removal firm for expert advice.

Differences Between City Raccoons and Wild Raccoons

Differences Between City Raccoons and Wild Raccoons

If you live in the country, you’ll probably see wildlife, including raccoons, on a regular basis. But the increase in populations in recent decades has seen people encroaching more and more on the raccoons’ natural habitat. Consequently, raccoons are now seen regularly in urban areas, and recent studies have shown that city raccoon numbers are on the rise and to tackle this problem the best way is to hire a pest control service in Hamilton.

So, what are the differences between city raccoons and their wild cousins?

City raccoon behaviour

Raccoons are masters at adapting to a variety of environments and climatic conditions. That’s what makes these critters so successful and enables them to live in many of the major cities in Canada, including Hamilton.

Young raccoons stay with their mother for a year or so. Throughout that time, the juveniles learn how to forage and survive. City-dwelling raccoons are taught how to cross streets and avoid traffic, even learning how to avoid major highways and busy streets.

Unlike their wild cousins, who often travel miles in search of the resources they need to survive, these masked city slickers live in relatively small territories so that they don’t need to travel far to find water, food, and shelter. Dextrous and intelligent creatures, raccoons use their acute sense of smell and nimble fingers to raid garbage cans and even get inside people’s homes in search of food.

Although wild raccoons are pretty much nocturnal creatures, urban raccoons are often seen out and about in daylight, seemingly unafraid of human activity and traffic.

What are the main differences between city and wild raccoons?

So, the city raccoon has quickly evolved to enable the animals to survive and thrive in an urban setting. Studies have shown that city raccoons are much more resourceful and quicker thinkers than their wild counterparts, which are a tad clumsy and slow in comparison.

Raccoons that live in the city generally live longer, too, mainly because they are not trapped or hunted, there are very few predators, and there is an abundance of human food to be scavenged. Also, chimneys, sheds, and unsecured attics provide plenty of scope for safe, warm dens during the raccoon’s breeding season, leading to better survival rates for litters of kits.

Interestingly, city raccoons tend to be more aggressive than wild ones, and they often cause a lot more damage to human properties too. It’s thought likely that, because they see humans on a daily basis, city raccoons have lost much of their natural wariness, viewing people as providers rather than competitors.

That’s a worrying development, and there have been reports of people and their pets being attacked by raccoons, which have been tested positive for a rabies-like virus that also affects humans.

In conclusion

As cities spread, human populations expand, and urbanization begins to encroach on the raccoons’ natural habitat, these resourceful creatures are readily taking advantage of the resources that are offered by their new human neighbours.

In fact, according to specialist wildlife removal firms in Ontario, they are receiving more and more calls to deal with nuisance raccoons in urban settings. As cities continue to grow, that seems likely to be a continuing trend for the future too.

The Most Common Signs Of Raccoons in Your Attic

The Most Common Signs Of Raccoons in Your Attic

Raccoons in your attic are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. These creatures are destructive, noisy, and they carry parasites and diseases that could harm your family and pets. Also, raccoons can be very challenging to get rid of, especially during baby raccoon season. To remove raccoons from your attic the best way is to contact a pest control service in Hamilton.

In this article, we highlight the most common signs of raccoons in your attic so that you can take action to evict the intruders!

Noises from above

Raccoons are the largest wild animals that you’ll encounter in an urban setting, weighing as much as ten pounds and often being the size of a small dog. So, if you hear loud thumping sounds coming from your attic, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s a raccoon up there. Whereas squirrels, rats, and mice make scratching, scurrying noises, there’s no mistaking the stomping of an adult raccoon.

Also, raccoons are very vocal creatures. Mother raccoons continually “talk” to their kits, and the babies reciprocate, becoming more vocal as they grow.

Day or night?

Raccoons are nocturnal, so if you are awakened by things that go bump in the night, that’s most likely a raccoon stomping around in your attic. You may also hear the sounds of a female raccoon breaking and entering by ripping away loose shingles or tearing off vent covers to get into your attic.

What season is it?

Typically, baby raccoon season is during the early spring, peaking around March. That’s when pregnant female raccoons are seeking a suitable safe, dark, quiet location in which to establish a den and give birth to their kits.

Be especially vigilant at this time of the year. Once the babies are born, they will remain in the den for at least three months before they are strong enough to leave the den and go foraging independently of their mother. If you act immediately, you may be able to have the raccoon removed before she gives birth, saving yourself a whole lot of disturbance and hassle. 

Nesting materials

Although raccoons will use your insulation to create a cozy nest for their babies, they will also bring in materials from outside, including leaves, paper, twigs, and any other debris that appeals to them. So, if you notice these items scattered around, that’s an indication that you are up against a raccoon invasion.

Visible damage

Thanks to their size and strength, raccoons can cause a lot of damage very quickly. These animals use their sharp claws and teeth to chew things and rip up tiles, drywall, and wooden beams, creating a lot of damage to the fixtures and fittings in your attic.

Note that if a raccoon feels threatened and trapped, it will panic, destroying your attic as it attempts to escape.

Sightings

Although raccoons are nocturnal, you may catch sight of one at dusk or dawn sniffing around your garbage cans, climbing up a downspout, or sitting on the roof of your home. That’s a clear indication that the raccoon might have made a home in your attic.

Feces

Raccoons establish an area in the attic to use as a latrine. Raccoon feces is foul-smelling, and you will probably be able to smell the buildup of feces (scat) in your attic from other parts of your home.

You might also notice small piles of raccoon scat on your roof adjacent to the den entry site.

What should you do?

If you think you have a raccoon in your attic, don’t try to handle the situation yourself. In Ontario, it’s illegal to kill, cause stress to, or remove wildlife more than one kilometre. Also, if the mother raccoon has already given birth, removing the adult raccoon will leave the babies without food, and they could starve to death. That’s not only cruel, but the tiny corpses will attract other vermin and pests into your home.

So, don’t take the DIY route. Instead, contact a firm of specialist wildlife removal experts who will humanely remove the raccoon from your home. Also, they will make sure that no kits are left behind, seal up entry points, and assist you with repairs and decontamination of your attic.

The bottom line; leave raccoon removal to the professionals and save yourself a whole lot of money, time, and hassle.

How To Raccoon Proof Your House

How To Raccoon Proof Your House

Raccoons can be a real pain! These clever critters can wreak havoc by overturning your trash cans and digging up your garden. Also, the masked menaces can cause considerable damage by breaking into your attic, climbing down your chimney, or even squeezing between the walls of your home to create a den and raise a family. To deal with this problem it is highly advisable to hire a professional pest control service in Hamilton.

So how can you raccoon-proof your home?

Why do raccoons visit your home?

Raccoons are opportunistic scavengers that are primarily interested in finding food or shelter. So, any food smells will act as a magnet for these creatures. Also, in the springtime, female raccoons seek a safe, sheltered place to establish a den and build a nest.

How to deter raccoons

The best way to raccoon-proof your home is to remove the sources of attraction.

  • Keep trash cans inside your garage or lock them in a purpose-built store. Secure your garbage bin lids with a bungee cord or use raccoon-proof trash cans that are specially designed to resist unwanted raiders.
  • Get into the habit of putting your garbage out on the morning of pick-up day rather than the night before so that raccoons don’t overturn your bins during the night.
  • Double-bag your trash so that the smell of food leftovers doesn’t attract raccoons.
  • Wash out trash cans thoroughly and use disinfectant to remove spills and get rid of any lingering food smells.
  • Remove other potential food sources at night, including bird feeders, animal food bowls, etc.
  • If you have a cat flap or doggy door fitted into your kitchen door, make sure that you lock it at night, especially if you want to leave food down for your pet inside your home. Raccoons will use a pet door to get inside your house, especially if there’s a tempting smell to entice them.

Physical barriers

As well as deterrents, you should take steps to prevent raccoons from getting into your home. Start by fencing your property with sturdy, robust fencing that will not be vulnerable to attack by the raccoons’ sharp teeth and claws.

Next, check for likely entrance points, such as loose soffits and roof tiles, uncapped chimneys, and holes in decking, sheds, etc. If you find any potential den entrance sites, be sure to have them properly secured.

If you have trees whose branches overhang your home, cut them back so that raccoons can’t use the branches as a bridge to your roof, leaving your chimney and attic at risk of invasion.

Light ‘em up!

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, only venturing out to search for food once the sun has set. The animals will avoid brightly lit areas where they feel exposed to potential predators, so installing motion-activated security lights around areas that could be attractive to raccoons is often effective.

Final thoughts

If you notice a lot of raccoon activity in your area, take steps to raccoon-proof your house and garden against the masked marauders.

For more advice about how to keep raccoons and other wildlife away from your property, or to deal with an existing nuisance raccoon, contact your local specialist wildlife removal service.

Raccoon Baby Season in Hamilton

Raccoon Baby Season in Hamilton

Although raccoon babies are undoubtedly cute, playing with one could be extremely dangerous. To deal with raccoons and their kits contact a pest control service in Hamilton.

Rabies risk

Health professionals in the Hamilton area have been dealing with an outbreak of raccoon rabies since 2015. But, over the last few years, the City of Hamilton has seen an increase in reports of homeowners interacting with baby raccoons, prompting warnings from the authorities.

Although rabies is also carried by feral cats and dogs, and other wild creatures, raccoons are especially active during baby season and are therefore highly likely to come into contact with people.

One scratch is all it takes to potentially transmit the raccoon rabies virus to a human, and it can be fatal. Be warned!

Hamilton residents are requested to report sightings of any sick or wounded raccoons to the city’s Animal Services department, rather than taking matters into their own hands.

Furious parent hazard

Mother raccoons are single parents, raising their families alone until the kits are independent. The bond between Mom and her babies is unshakable, and any creature (including you and your family) who gets between the mother raccoon and her kits is in big trouble.

Raccoons are quite large animals, weighing up to ten pounds, and they come armed with sharp teeth and claws that can inflict very nasty injuries, as anyone who has been on the receiving end of an attack by an irate mother raccoon will testify. Also, although baby raccoons can be curious and appear friendly, they can still bite and scratch if distressed or frightened; so, keep your distance!

Often, raccoon attacks on people happen because the person has tried to remove the kits from their nest or has encountered a baby raccoon wandering around their yard and picked it up, mistakenly believing that the little one is an orphan.

Juvenile raccoons are independent of their mother at around eight months old. At that age, the kits leave the den and begin foraging for themselves. However, the youngsters won’t leave Mom’s care completely until the following spring or summer. So, if you find a small raccoon wandering around your yard, it’s most likely not an orphan, and you should leave it alone.

Discouraging baby raccoons

You can take steps to keep baby raccoons away from your home by taking a few simple precautions:

·         Keep garbage double-bagged and secured in an animal-proof trash can.

·         Don’t leave pet food and water outside overnight.

·         Do not feed raccoons, no matter how cute they are!

·         Keep your yard brightly lit at night, ideally by a motion-activated halogen light

Of course, if you can prevent a mother raccoon from giving birth on your property, you won’t have a problem during baby raccoon season.

Preventing nesting

Once a mother raccoon has set up home on your property and given birth, there’s not a lot you can do except wait until the kits have left the nest. You can then contact your local wildlife removal specialist and ask their experts to trap, remove, and relocate the whole raccoon family.

The following simple actions can help to keep a female raccoon from nesting on your property:

·         Close yard gates, seal up any gaps, and repair damaged fencing

·         Install vent covers on your roof to prevent raccoons from accessing your attic

·         Install a cover or screen on top of your chimney

·         Seal access to crawlspaces underneath your porch or deck

·         Trim trees so that their branches don’t overhang your roof

It’s crucial that you do not seal up access to the den if there’s a chance that there are baby raccoons inside.

Final thoughts

Before you take any action to remove problem raccoons, always seek the advice of a good wildlife removal specialist in the Hamilton area. They will have the experience to know what action to take, especially during baby raccoon season.

Be Aware of Rabic Raccoons

Be aware of Rabic Raccoons

If you live in Ontario, you should know that raccoons in your area could be carrying rabies.

The rabies outbreak in Ontario was officially recognized in 2015. Despite a multi-pronged campaign run by various authorities, the potentially deadly virus is still around, with 50 cases being confirmed in the southwest of the state in 2018. To minimize the spread of diseases hiring a pest control service in Hamilton is the best way to go

What is rabies?

Raccoons are a Rabies Vector Species (RVS). That means that these animals are known to be carriers of the disease, so they have a specific strain of the virus named for them.

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva, usually via a bite or scratch. The virus acts on the animal’s brain, causing pain and distress until the disease ultimately proves fatal.

You should know that your family pets can contract rabies, and so can you. If you have dogs that regularly come into close contact with raccoons and other RVS, such as feral cats and skunks, you should have your pet vaccinated against the disease.

Infected raccoons can carry the rabies virus for months, showing no symptoms at all. However, if the infected animal’s saliva comes into contact with another mammal, that creature could contract and develop the disease.

Does that raccoon have rabies?

Rabies occurs in two forms in mammals, and raccoons can be affected by both manifestations of the virus.

  1. Dumb rabies

If you encounter a raccoon that is behaving in any of the following ways, it most likely has the dumb form of rabies:

  • Hiding away and appearing depressed and disinterested in its surroundings
  • Does not show fear of people or other animals
  • Shows paralysis of the face, sagging jaw, and drooling
  • Makes odd noises
  • Hind limbs appear to be paralyzed
  1. Furious rabies

Furious rabies is usually considered to be the most dangerous, as this form of the disease makes the animal more aggressive. Symptoms of furious raccoon rabies include:

  • Animal is highly aggressive or agitated
  • Walking in circles, biting itself
  • Attacking inanimate objects or animals
  • Behaviour changing from agitated to depressed
  • Frothing or foaming at the mouth

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, not venturing out of their dens until nightfall. So, if you encounter a raccoon on your property during daylight hours, especially if it shows any of the signs mentioned above, it could have rabies.

Keep your distance

Although you may feel sorry for the raccoon and perhaps want to try to help the distressed animal, keep your distance. Even if you have been vaccinated against rabies, do not touch or attempt to handle the raccoon.

Infected animals usually die within a few days once the virus takes hold. But a dead raccoon could still pass on the rabies virus to you or your pets. Note that, even a frozen raccoon corpse could contain the active rabies virus.

Bottom line: don’t touch!

What to do if you are bitten or scratched by a raccoon

If you are in direct contact with a raccoon that you think might have rabies, go to your doctor, local health unit, or emergency department immediately. Likewise, if your pet has been attacked by the raccoon, contact your vet straight away.

If you see a raccoon that you think might have rabies, report the sighting to the Rabies Information Line at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on 1-888-574-6656.

In summary

Rabies can be fatal to both humans and pets.

If you see a raccoon acting strangely, do not attempt to catch or touch it and keep your pets away from the animal too. Contact your local wildlife removal experts and ask their advice. The experts will know just how to deal safely with the rabid raccoon and notify the relevant authorities.

 

 

What Do to When you find Raccoon Babies in Your Atttic

What Do to When you find Raccoon Babies in Your Atttic

If you live in Ontario and you have a raccoon living in your attic at any time between January and September, it’s a fairly safe bet that you have a mother and her babies in residence. Unfortunately, raccoons can be destructive and noisy, and they can carry parasites and serious diseases that could affect you, your family, and your pets.

So, what do you do if you find raccoon babies in your attic?

Eviction?

The first thing to know is that you should not try to trap the mother raccoon with the intention of relocating her elsewhere.

For one thing, in Ontario, it’s illegal to kill, stress, or relocate wildlife more than one kilometre. Secondly, removing the mother raccoon, potentially leaving her babies helpless and alone, is cruel, and the kids will most likely starve and die in your attic. That’s not only going to create a terrible stink; the corpses will attract other pests too. To deal with problem effectively, you need to hire a professional pest control expert in Hamilton.

What options do you have?

Your first course of action is to take no action.

Raccoon babies will be independent by the end of the summer when they will leave the den of their own volition. Once the family has vacated their “des res,” you can seal up the entrance to prevent another family from moving in when the next raccoon baby season comes around.

Harassment tactics

If the mother raccoon finds that the safe, quiet, dark place she has chosen for her den is no longer any of those things, she will take her family elsewhere.

So, you need to show Mom that the attic is not dark, quiet, or safe. Set up your harassment tools close to the den entrance so that there’s no chance of the mother raccoon missing the point.

  • Set up a bright, fire-safe light just inside the den entrance. As nocturnal creatures, raccoons hate bright light around their den, and that could be enough to send them packing.
  • Raccoons are not afraid of music, but the human voice is another matter. Place a radio close to the den entrance, and tune it to a talk show. Turn the volume up to just bearable, and leave it playing 24/7.
  • The smell of a large, male raccoon or predator can be enough to send an anxious mother and her family hurrying to a safer location. Male raccoons have been known to kill kits, so persuading Mom that she has a male admirer might just do the trick and convince her to move on.

    Soak some rags in a raccoon repellent product, place the rags by the den entrance, and hope that Mom decides to leave. For good measure, spray the area around the access point liberally with the product.

Have they really gone?

Leave your deterrents in place for a few days and nights, and before you seal the entrance hole, tape a double sheet of newspaper over it. Wait a further day or two. If the paper is still undamaged and the attic is silent, it’s most likely that the family has moved on.

Final thoughts

If you think that you have raccoon babies in your attic, the best course of action to take is to contact a local wildlife removal specialist. These firms are highly trained, properly licensed, and experienced in dealing with all kinds of pests, including nuisance raccoons.

Rather than tackling the problem of raccoon babies in your attic, save yourself a lot of hassle, wasted time, and stress, and ask an expert to do the job for you.

What to Do When You Find a Raccoon in Your Garbage

What to Do When You Find a Raccoon in Your Garbage

Raccoons are intelligent, opportunistic scavengers who will readily investigate your garbage bin in search of food. The best way to go over this and tackle this problem is to hire a pest control service in Hamilton That can be a real pain, especially if the racket made by these nocturnal animals overturning your bin and squabbling over the contents disturbs you at nights.

And then there’s the mess with which you have to contend in the morning when you discover your trash strewn all over your yard or on the street outside your home.

How to keep raccoons out of your garbage bin

There are several effective ways of keeping the masked raiders out of your garbage bin.

  1. Keep your garbage indoors or locked in a secure outbuilding until the pick-up day. If you must keep your garbage cans outside, invest in a secure, lockable storage facility.
  2. Put your garbage out early on the morning of pick-up day, not the night before.
  3. Invest in animal-proof garbage cans or hang them from walls with a bungee cord or bicycle hook. That will prevent raccoons from tipping the bins over and opening the lids.
  4. Wash all cans, bottles, and jars before putting them out in the garbage so that the smell doesn’t attract wildlife.

Raccoons trapped in garbage bins

Raccoons are superb climbers and rarely get stuck inside a bin. However, if you do find a raccoon inside your garbage bin and the animal seems bright and alert with no obvious signs of injury, prop the lid open and leave it overnight. Most raccoons will leave the bin overnight. However, there are a few occasions when that might not happen, and you’ll need to intervene.

Baby raccoons in recycling or garbage bins

Some municipalities, including Toronto, use recycling and garbage bins. Unfortunately, these dark, safe, sheltered bins are perfect places for mother raccoons to give birth to their litters of kits in the spring.

If you discover little baby raccoons in your bin, leave them where they are. It’s likely that the mother raccoon will move her babies to an alternative den once she realizes that her family has been discovered.

However, if the raccoons are still there in the morning, prop the lid open and leave it overnight. The chances are that Mom will take the hint and move on, taking her youngsters with her.

Problem teenagers in your recycling or garbage bin

Juvenile, inexperienced raccoons that have just become independent from Mom sometimes get trapped in large recycling or garbage bins. If the raccoons are tiny but furry, are crying, and have their eyes open, you can help!

Gently tip the bin over onto its side and prop the lid open. Leave the raccoon alone. It will most likely leave once darkness falls.

Adult raccoon trapped in a dumpster

Even agile adult raccoons can get trapped inside dumpsters sometimes.

If the raccoon is uninjured, you can provide it with an escape route. Put a ladder or a board into the dumpster or tie a sheet to the dumpster handle and drape it inside. That will enable the raccoon to climb out. Move away from the dumpster and leave the raccoon in peace. When night falls, the animal will most likely leave.

What to do if the raccoon is injured, sick, or won’t leave

Sometimes, a raccoon becomes trapped in your garbage can or inside a dumpster because the animal is sick or injured and has climbed inside, seeking shelter and safety.

Please do not touch the animal or try to handle it or trap it. In Ontario, it is illegal to kill, stress, or relocate wildlife for one kilometre, including raccoons.

Raccoons can suffer from dangerous diseases, including distemper and rabies, and they often carry fleas, lice, and ticks, which could latch onto you or your pets. Also, a raccoon, even a small, juvenile one, that feels trapped or cornered can be extremely aggressive, and you could be badly injured while trying to help the animal.

Contact a wildlife removal specialist right away and ask them to help you. These firms are experts in handling raccoons, and they have the necessary permits and licenses to remove the animals humanely.

In summary

If you discover a raccoon trapped in your garbage bin, do not try to handle the animal or touch it. You can provide a board or sheet that the raccoon could use as an escape ladder, and then leave the animal in peace until the following morning.

If the animal has gone on its way, your problem is solved. However, if not, contact your local wildlife removal specialist to deal with the raccoon for you.

How can you spot a pregnant raccoon?

How can you spot a pregnant raccoon?

Raccoons are widespread across Ontario, including in many towns and cities. That means that residents find themselves encountering these wild creatures pretty much every day. To deal with your problem the best way is to hire a pest control service in Hamilton. However, there are some times of the year when you may experience more raccoon issues than usual.

During raccoon mating and nursing seasons, you’ll notice the creatures are much more visible and active, often invading attics, chimneys, and sheds in search of a suitable den in which to raise their young. Pregnant raccoons are typically the culprits when it comes to a home invasion.

So, how do you spot a pregnant raccoon?

Raccoon mating season

Raccoons usually mate between January and May, depending on the severity of the winter, availability of food, water, etc. Female raccoons are pregnant for around 65 days, giving birth during the spring or early summer months. In Ontario, the optimal time for mating is between January and March.

So, raccoons that are active on your property around these times are most likely pregnant or nursing females. Homeowners should avoid coming into contact with raccoons at this time, as the animals become extremely aggressive, especially when protecting youngsters.

How can you spot a pregnant raccoon?

Remember that it’s illegal in Ontario to kill, stress, or remove wildlife for one kilometre without the necessary permit or license, so identifying a pregnant raccoon before taking steps to remove it is vital.

Wildlife removal specialists need to know whether a raccoon is pregnant or has already given birth before they attempt to remove the animal from your property. That’s because, if raccoon babies are permanently isolated from their mother, they are highly unlikely to survive. Also, a mother raccoon that has been removed will do everything she can to return to her kits.

Male or female?

Clearly, you first need to find out if the raccoon you’ve seen is male or female. Generally, male adult raccoons are quite a lot larger than females. Also, a female raccoon’s face is smaller and ore feminine-looking than the broader male version.

Male raccoons tend to be solitary, whereas females often live in sororities and family groups. So, if you spot a raccoon that’s accompanied by smaller animals, they are most likely her last year’s kits. Once a female raccoon is pregnant, she will isolate herself from her group, waiting until the kits are born before re-joining the community.

Raccoons in the attic?

If you discover a raccoon in your attic, chimney, or outbuilding, it’s likely that the animal is a pregnant female. Typically, you’ll hear heavy thumping noises as the mother raccoon begins creating a nest. Once the babies have arrived, you’ll hear their distinctive squealing and crying sounds, and you’ll most likely see the mother raccoon foraging for food overnight and during the very early morning.

What should you do?

Never try to remove a pregnant raccoon yourself! Not only are these animals highly aggressive, but you could also accidentally orphan a whole litter of babies if you get it wrong, and the raccoon has already given birth.

The best course of action to take is to contact your local wildlife removal specialist. Wildlife removal firms are experts in relocating and controlling problem raccoons that have taken up residence on your property, saving you a whole lot of time, hassle, and stress.