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Wildlife Proofing Your Property

In an effort to coexist with wildlife, consider the enormous hardships these intelligent and fascinating wild species encounter because so much of their habitat has been destroyed. Each year they are forced into closer contact with humans and must compete with us for food, shelter and space. With a little understanding, patience and a few precautions and common sense steps, we can all enjoy the wonderfully interesting wild animals who share our backyards and cities.

The Ontario SPCA strongly encourages property owners to "wildlife-proof" their building and property to minimize conflicts with wild animals. Wild animals take advantage of opportunities that are presented to them by homeowners who unknowingly make their homes and properties attractive areas for wildlife. Following some of the simple suggestions outlined below will help to prevent conflicts with wildlife.

Before securing and repairing entrance points, please ensure that animals are not trapped inside. For advice on how to deter animals, once they have already entered your property, please refer to the Ontario SPCA's species-specific wildlife fact sheets.

Make garbage and composting inaccessible to wildlife:

  • Use heavy garbage cans with locking lids
  • Fasten lids with bungee cords
  • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up, not overnight
  • Use motion-sensitive floodlights to startle and scare away wildlife
  • Keep pet doors locked at night
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight
  • Keep BBQ grills clean and close BBQ lids after use
  • Refrain from feeding wildlife
  • Cover window wells
  • Cover ornamental fish ponds with non-sagging wire mesh
  • Apply environmentally-friendly non-toxic pesticides to lawn in order to control grubs
  • Regularly inspect roof and replace any worn, curled, cracked or missing shingles
  • Cap chimneys and cover vent openings with wire mesh
  • Trim tree branches that overhang your roof
  • Regularly inspect attic and repair any openings

Place metal sheets around trees and TV antenna to a height of approximately two metres above ground Secure perimeter of outbuildings by installing a L-shaped wire screen, in a 30 to 40 centimetre deep trench, placed flush against each building so that animals cannot dig under the buildings

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