Editor: Spring is around the corner, which means it is that time of year again. Wild animals everywhere are getting ready to have their young. Now is the time to check around your property for places wild mothers may use as a den.
Sheds, under decks, in roofs and attics, covered boats, hot tubs, and old cars sitting on your property are all places raccoons, skunks, and squirrels have been known to use. If it is warm and dry, it is a good place to den.
Every year we receive calls from upset homeowners over these unexpected tenants, but remember they are only trying to survive and raise their young. Now is the time to check around your home and property. Look at trees for branches that would make it easy to access your roof. Check for any holes or access points that an animal can use to get into your attic, storage shed, or deck.
Baby season for wildlife lasts from about April through August, so be sure to check regularly.
If you do discover an animal has made a den on your property, there are many humane and easy ways to encourage the family to move on. Yes, these animals can cause damage to your roof, sheds, hot tubs, boats, etc but they are living creatures that should be shown respect.
Every year we get individuals angry that these wildlife have damaged ‘their’ property.
Raccoons and other wildlife have no concept of property, they only seek out shelter and safety to raise their young.
Raccoons can be encouraged to move their young by playing a radio in the den site. If it is safe to do so, babies can be moved from the den, block off access to the original den, and moms of all species will take their babies and move them to a different location. If you block off a den and do not check for babies first — a mother will cause twice as much damage trying to get to her babies. Predator scents are also great deterrents for raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.
Critter Care Wildlife Society can be reached at 604-530-2064 seven days a week for advice and tips regarding injured or problem wildlife as well as for orphaned wildlife – including for help determining if a baby is, in fact, an orphan.
Critter Care Senior Animal Care Supervisor