During the year (especially during spring season), we tend to get a lot of calls for both squirrel removal and raccoon removal in Toronto, Hamilton and other parts of southern Ontario. What happens is that they have broken in to your attic or some other part of your home during the winter, but as the weather’s warmed up they tend to get more active and therefore the real homeowner starts to hear the unwanted guests.
When dealing with raccoons that have babies (which are born during spring), pest control companies need to be extremely careful not to just slam on a one-way door and assume momma raccoon will leave and not worry about coming back to retrieve her babies. This can cause a lot of damage to one’s home. Momma raccoon will do everything in her power to get back in, including tearing up vents, soffits and dormers to get to her babies. What we at Petty Pest Control Services tend to do, if we cannot capture momma raccoon with a harness, is to leave the hole open and set up traps to capture momma. Then we will be able to recover the babies in a safe and humane manner. Then we can seal the hole and carry on. This is eviction. For squirrels it slightly different, as the babies are born later in the year, and we can simply use a one-way door to get them out so they cannot come back in.
When we recommend to customers that we exclude the home, we are referring to sealing off all avenues of entrance for any type of animal, typically raccoons, squirrels, bats and mice. And as you can guess, that tends to be a more expensive option due to the extra work involved and the materials. Now the question is this, why should you choose exclusion services over eviction when it’s so much more expensive?
Based on our experience, exclusion is more beneficial to century homes and homes that had been built over the last 25 years. Why do you ask? Quite old homes tend to have wood that has rotted out. This rotten wood is easily chewed or pulled away by almost any animal that wants to get in.
Homeowners can either allow us to exclude the weak areas with a mesh, or they can have a contractor take care of all the wood. In both cases, you do need to get the animals out first as keeping them inside is both inhumane and can cause severe damage in your attic area.
On the other hand, newer homes tend to be built with thinner, less animal resistant materials than older homes. One area that jumps out in this regard are soffits. Soffits nowadays are built with extremely thin aluminum that allows for raccoons to pull it out and squirrels to chew through it. The other issue is the design of the home itself. Multiple roofs joining each other create angles that allow the animals to push their way through the weak soffits and into the attic. This can be seen in basic homes as well as multi-million-dollar homes.
Some of the large expensive homes have stone as opposed to brick. If ever builder of the home was not careful to cut the soffit to match the contour of the stone, you can leave quite large gaps that bats, wasps and other animals and insects can get into rather easily. For those areas we would install strong steel mesh on those angles that will not allow the animals to either gain leverage by chewing or by pushing up the soffit. We tend to prefer angles as they are far less likely to be seen from the street as opposed to a steel mesh cage. The other thing we do in exclusion is put steel mesh covers over top of the roof vents, as this removes the possibility of an animal either chewing through or ripping up the vent to gain entry to your attic.
One other note; do not allow yourself to be sold into what I call the Old Testament of the Bible sale. Some people in our business tend to want to save you from every single species that ever existed on the planet, when all you may need is a one-way door to get out that pesky raccoon or squirrel. I ask you to look at your own home and determine what you think you need. If you’re pest control service provider is honest with you, you will be able to make an informed decision as to what needs to be done to your home to keep it pest free. If you are in need of squirrel removal or raccoon removal in Toronto, we can assess your pest situation, and recommend the best approach to take in dealing with your unwanted guests.
Director, Petty Pest Control Services