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AAA Gates' Wildlife Control
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Smile…you are on candid camera!

Over the last 33 years in business we have developed wildlife removal and release on-site techniques that guarantee humaneness and result in the successful reunion of the mother animal with her babies. The animals have so much to teach us and the learning never stops.

In the case of a raccoon removal, so much of the animals behaviour happens when no one is around to witness it, in the dead of night. Therefore if we want to discover what actually goes on when we are not there we must utilize cameras. A strategically placed camera can teach us a whole lot about how an animal interacts with our devices when retrieving her offspring.

This picture shows a mother raccoon returning to her babies, which have been place inside our cardboard heated reunion box for safe keeping. Among many things, we have learned that a mother raccoon will first look for her babies where she last had them, in this case inside the chimney. Also, to obtain the highest rate of success when reuniting a mother raccoon with her offspring the reunion box must be placed as close as possible to her point of entry into the structure. We cannot always rely on the babies being seen or making noise to alert her to their whereabouts. We need her to literally bump into the box upon her return to her den.

It is the opportunity to observe wildlife and discover behaviours that will assist us in improving our techniques that is of great interest and importance to me and my company.
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Caught In the Act!

This squirrel was caught on camera exiting this very common entry point into a home, where the roof meets the soffit. Notice how large this squirrel is at this time of year. For the past month or so, squirrels and other wildlife have been over-eating to ensure they have substantial body fat to carry them through the winter. This survival strategy serves two purposes, the layer of fat will help insulate their body against the cold and secondly, in the event that food is scarce they can rely on the fat to sustain them until food is available again.

Squirrels are classified as rodents, this means they are habitual chewers. Their teeth are constantly growing, therefore they must chew to grind down their teeth. Unfortunately, when they live in the attic of a house they chew on everything from the support beams to the electrical wires.

During the cold winter months it is extremely important that wildlife issues be solved quickly because the animals are spending more time inside and this gives them even more opportunity to do damage to your number one investment.
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Raccoon in Full Gallop

"I am high-tailing it out of here or should I say low-tailing! With Gates Wildlife on the job I don't stand a chance of living in this attic any longer. Oh well, this is exactly why I maintain multiple den sites in my home range. Everyone needs a Plan B, especially when I have babies and my primary den site become unsafe."
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"MY BIG MISTAKE! I thought this was a tree."

This picture depicts why raccoons are so amazing at using their hands to manipulate hard to get into containers.

Their long fingers and sharp claws allow them to perform tasks that other animals cannot, contributing to them being great break-in artists. They can defy all manor of bungee cords, twist ties, ropes and latches.

When you combine these physical attributes with their intelligence, it is easy to see why they adapt so well to urban living.

Next time you see one, don't be so quick to shoo it away, take a moment to observe their actions. I guarantee you will walk away with a better appreciation for having them as your neighbour.
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There is no doubt as to why this raccoon fell through the drop ceiling of this office. Look at the size of him! This big boy seems to be relaxing under the desk as he awaits his rescue. He was taken outside and released unharmed.
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Plant a Tree and They Will Come!

Wildlife by nature are opportunistic. They will take advantage of situations that will make their life easy.

Leave your green bin outside and rather than forage all night for food they will open it and have a feast.

Leave your shed door open and they will move in.

Let a tree grow directly beside your house and they will climb it.

Rather than traverse the neighbours fence, scale the brick wall and climb the downspout to the roof top, they much prefer to take the easy way up and climb a tree. By making it easy for animals to get on your roof, you are asking for trouble. Animals will more frequently explore your roof for a way in. Make no mistake about it, eventually they will find a flaw in the structure and tear a hole in your roof.

Be sure to trim back trees / vines and take down old TV antennas to discourage them from calling your home….. theirs!
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You Know You Have A Raccoon Problem When…

This picture shows the transfer of oil and dirt from a raccoons fur and paws onto the downspout and siding as it travels up and down to access its roof top den site.

This is not to say that raccoons are not clean animals but after all they don’t live in the cleanest of environments. Their bodies excrete oils that become attached to their fur, ultimately allowing dirt to stick to them. Nightly foraging takes them onto surfaces and into areas that are not exactly sanitary. They climb in and out of dumpsters, stick their hands into filthy green bins and cross over dirty terrain.
All the animals we deal with in our business have some degree of oily dirt on their fur. We often look for signs of discolouration caused by them brushing up against different surfaces. This assists us in determining if an animal is frequenting an area and if it is accessing an opening in a building for a den site.
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Who's House is it Anyway?

With winter approaching, wildlife are looking to get out of the wet, cold outside and into the dry, warm attics of our homes. Unfortunately, in their pursuit of warmer quarters, they are interfering with our way of life by causing structural damage, health concerns, noises, odours and anxiety.

A Homeowners Checklist for Preventing Wildlife Intrusions:

• Make food waste inaccessible.

• Refrain from feeing wildlife.

• Cut back trees and vines that provide roof access.

• Inspect roofs often and repair weather or animal related damage.

• Install wildlife proofing screening on porches, decks, sheds, exhaust vents, roof vents, plumbing mats and chimneys.

• Hire a professional humane wildlife removal company to humanely solve existing wildlife intrusions and to implement wildlife-proofing measures.
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Hanging Twenty!
This years second litter of squirrels are starting to emerge from their dens. For the first few days they are a little confused as to what to do. They can sometimes be seen hanging on to the walls of houses, not quite sure what their next move should be.
It is best just to give them some space and soon they will figure out how to be acrobats.
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Swift Response Saves Swifts!

"The greatest risk to our wildlife is thinking someone else will save them."

A construction company was hired to rebuild the chimneys on a school in Mississauga. As the work was about to begin a keen eyed resident approached the contractor and explained that there were birds living in the chimney.

The contractor proceeded to call Gates Wildlife asking for an onsite inspection to determine what species of bird was nesting in the chimney.

Gates Wildlife technician Chris identified the nesting birds as Chimney Swifts and explained that under the Migratory Bird Convention Act (MBCA) the birds, nest and eggs could not be touched and therefore the work on the chimney could not proceed (see picture of nest and 4 eggs).

In Ontario, Chimney Swifts are protected under both the MBCA and the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Swifts are considered to be threatened, which means they are not endangered but they are likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening them. An example of a step to protect them would be to save their nesting sites.

The same day we visited the site, a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry employee arrived and stated that this particular chimney is a designated Chimney Swift nesting site and it cannot ever be disturbed.

I would like to give kudos to the contractor and particularly the resident who took it upon themselves to ensure that the safety of these birds was of the utmost importance. All wildlife can benefit from altruistic helping hands such as these.
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