Preventing and preparing for summer critters

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
Preventing and preparing for summer critters

Summer is right around the corner and that means unwanted wildlife is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Skunks, raccoons and even insects are looking for places to make themselves at home.

David Kuilboer, general manager at Cannon Services Pest Control, says this summer is going to be an interesting one, considering how mild the winter was.

He says animals like skunks, who normally breed in the early spring, may be problematic for the Forest City this summer, “because it hasn’t been very cold, they’ve been active much earlier. Usually once a year, they do a breeding cycle, and they typically have 4-6 young in a litter. Our fear this year is that because of the mild weather, they’re out of their normal breeding cycle, and we might run into the circumstance where they’ll do two full breeding cycles in a year.”

Despite the possible overpopulation of rural wildlife though, he says there are pretty simple ways to ensure that unwanted critters aren’t making themselves at home on your property, “usually they set themselves up in harborage areas that are pre-existing [such as] human habitats – like underneath porches.”

Kuilboer says the key to prevention is exclusion, “take a look at your porches. Take a look around your property. If you’ve got lattice work around [your patios] make sure it’s intact. Enclosed garbage… Make sure you’re not providing them with food. Help them to find an easier target somewhere else.”

Ensuring your sheds have no openings and no rotting bases, will keep unwanted pets from setting up shop as well.

Bees and wasps and hornets, oh my!

Animals aren’t the only ones to watch out for this summer. Kuilboer says the confusing weather has caused insects to come out earlier, and Cannon even received a hornet call as early as February.

He says the key to preventing insect infestations is catching the problem early on, “watch for bees, wasps and hornets. I know its strange, but follow them back to where they’re coming from. Outside nests are very easy to handle, but once they’re into walls, once they’re into very large ground nests, they become very challenging to address.”

He adds that once a critter has made itself comfortable on your property, you’re advised to call a pest control professional. Handling nests on your own can be dangerous, as can trying to lure out a family of smelly creatures.

Once skunks and raccoons are removed from your property, they can be safely relocated, where they can live a long and healthy life.

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