Raccoon Removal Toronto
Raccoons in the Greater Toronto Area can be an even bigger problem than squirrels, as they're larger and more destructive. Many people are used to raccoons invading their yards and outdoor spaces at night but are shocked when they decide to move into the attic or a crawlspace.
One of the first signs that raccoons have moved in is usually the noise that the animals make as they move around. Scratching and shuffling from your attic, chimney or under the house can indicate the presence of one or more raccoons.
You might also notice paw-prints where the raccoons have been coming and going. It's common for raccoons to leave piles of nesting materials near their territory, even inside the house.
You might also see damage to trees, plants and shrubs, trash scattered by raccoons in the search for food, and even dead birds or animals that the raccoons have killed. Raccoons often dig for grubs and other insects and will rip up newly laid sod in their quest for food.
Raccoons may also leave visible damage. It's quite common for them to damage roofing or other materials on the exterior of your house. Raccoons can also attack electrical wiring, causing visible signs of damage and sometimes even electrical faults.
Another sign of a raccoon infestation is the use of their territory inside your home as a latrine. You may find droppings in and around your property, and there may be a strong smell. If the raccoons have made their home in the attic, there may be stains on the ceiling below as the accumulated urine leaks through from above.
Raccoons are cunning and highly opportunistic. They don't hibernate like some other mammals, but they do like to find a warm place out of the elements where they can hunker down for the coldest part of the winter. Female raccoons also like to find safe, warm spaces in which to deliver their young -- and your attic may well fit the bill. Raccoons can sneak into your home in all sorts of ways: through pet doors, broken roofing, damaged brickwork or uncapped chimneys. It's not unknown for raccoons to use tree branches as a way to get inside if the tree is close enough to the house. They can easily get in through windows left open or through any weak point in your home's structure.
As well as the damage raccoons can do to your property, they also harbour diseases and pests of their own. Roundworm and rabies are just two of the diseases that raccoons can pass along to humans and their pets. Their droppings can also contain E. coli, which can cause serious health issues in humans. Raccoons are prone to infestation by fleas and ticks, which can then be transferred to humans.
Many people assume that a raccoon will avoid attacking humans unless it has rabies or is otherwise impaired. This is a dangerous misconception that can result in injury for the person interacting with the raccoon. While many wild animals are shy and easily scared off, raccoons can be quite aggressive if they're cornered. Individuals protecting their young are especially likely to attack humans. Raccoon bites are unpleasant and apt to become infected. That's why it's best to avoid trying to remove a raccoon yourself and instead seek professional assistance.
Removing raccoons from a property can be very tricky, especially during the breeding season. If the raccoon is a female with young kits, removal presents additional problems. Separating the mother raccoon from the babies can cause her to react badly, becoming more aggressive and destructive as she tries to find them again.
Another mistake that many homeowners make is to try and seal off the property without making sure that all the raccoons are gone first, resulting in raccoons becoming trapped inside the building. An angry raccoon can do a truly astonishing amount of damage if it feels trapped or if it thinks the young are under threat. Raccoons that have become trapped inside a building will do everything they can to escape, including tearing out roof shingles or destroying woodwork. A skilled wildlife control operative knows how to remove the whole raccoon family at once, transporting them a safe distance away from the property so that they won't try to come back, and then sealing the property once it's safe to do so.