Raccoons in the City of Toronto – Smart Removal Tips for Keeping These Bandits at Bay
Raccoons may be adorable, but not when they are invading your home. Over the years these forest creatures have proven remarkably adaptable – making their way into urban areas from coast to coast and wreaking havoc as a result.
In some ways, modern raccoons are no longer wild animals. They have adapted so readily to life in the city that they can properly be thought of as urban animals. Even if you live in a big city like Toronto, chances are these creatures are all around you – looking for a way into your attic or chimney, snacking on your garbage bags and generally making themselves a nuisance.
The good news is that there are ways to keep raccoons out of your home or apartment. That way you can watch them scamper and play without worrying that they will destroy your possessions or damage your property. Here are some tips you can use to keep urban raccoons where they belong – on the outside of your dwelling.
Set Up a Perimeter
If your city property includes a yard, you can install a motion-sensitive sprayer that emits a stream of water. These motion-sensitive sprayers can be effective, but some savvy raccoons get used to them and learn to ignore them.
You can also use repellants and scent sprays to keep urban raccoons off your yard and out of your home. You may need to experiment with several different types until you find the formula that works best for the raccoons in your area.
One of the best ways to keep raccoons out of your home or apartment is to make the property less attractive to the invaders. In most cases city raccoons are simply looking for an easy meal – something most city dwellers can relate to. In many cases the source of that buffet is your garbage can, so keeping the can lid secure can be very effective.
Wait until the last minute to put your garbage outside – garbage left at the door is sure to attract an urban bandit or two. If you must put the garbage out ahead of time, use a secure can and consider using scented trash bags.
If you secure your garbage cans and still find that raccoons are a problem, you may have no choice but to trap and relocate the creatures. You can buy humane traps from outdoor centers and even on the Internet. Just bait the traps, set them up in a spot where you have seen raccoons and wait for them to arrive.
If you live near a rural area, you may be able to simply relocate the trapped raccoons in the woods, but be sure to check with the local game commission. It may be illegal to relocate raccoons or turn them loose, so always defer to the local authorities.
If all else fails, you can call a wildlife removal service to come get your trapped raccoons. You can also ask them for some tips you can use to keep raccoons off your property and out of your life.
Raccoon Removal in the City of Toronto
Raccoons are highly adaptable animals that have become a common part of many urban environments. They are well known for their bandit-like mask, ringed tail and highly dexterous paws, which they use to endearingly wash food before they eat it. They are also a potential nuisance. Raccoon control can be difficult.
Since raccoons are natural scavengers, they are attracted to easily available food sources. In the wild, they help by cleaning up after other animals. In the city, it means dumpster diving, pet food stealing, garden destruction and generally unwanted, if sometimes amusing, behaviour.
Raccoon control is regulated in most urban areas. Humane methods focus on adaptation, rather than on removal or inhumane methods. Where traps are used, they are live. However live trapping is complex. The animals must have proper food and water. Also, since raccoons are territorial, the live removal to another area will almost certainly end in either harm to the raccoon (by other raccoons), or the raccoon’s eventual return to the original location. Removal is also an expensive endeavour.
The best way to avoid unwanted raccoon tenants is to make your property inaccessible. Discourage potential nesting spots by blocking holes in the ground, keeping the property free of large debris and making repairs to your structures as soon as you can. Since raccoons are opportunistic, they will seek the easiest way to make a nest.
It is difficult to get rid of raccoons. They are highly intelligent. If they do not live on your property, but you provide a food source, they will remember it and return regularly. They are not fussy about their diet. They will eat pet food if left outside. Rotting fruit on the ground is a delicacy for them. Of course, your garbage is a potential buffet of raccoon delights. Remove any food sources, and raccoons will not be attracted to your property.
If raccoons establish a nest, your best option is to make them uncomfortable. They will move if they are unhappy, even with a full litter of babies in tow. You might try shining a light into their nest continuously, or creating continual noise disturbance. Be careful not to annoy your neighbours! Be consistent, and raccoons will seek a more amiable location.
If your problem persists, you will need to consult professional animal control services. They will know how to deal with the problem in effective, humane ways that comply with local regulations.