Composting and Wildlife
Composting is a popular topic right now and we thought we would share our advice on the topic and how it pertains to wildlife.
Compost heaps can be a huge draw for all the critters in your backyard. Our suggestion is not to add meat, bones, dairy, fat or egg shells to your compost. These scraps will invite animals from the size of mice all the way up to raccoons and coyotes. We would recommend putting those scraps in the Green bin.
Timing is everything with your Green bin. Make sure it is emptied weekly and cleaned between fillings. This will reduce the attraction of animals to your bin. Taking your green bin and garbage out to the curb as late as possible before pick up will also reduce the chance of 4-legged and winged beasts getting into it.
Storing your green bin and garbage is also important. If possible keeping them inside a steel garbage can with a locking lid will prevent animals from chewing in and also knocking it over to get inside.
Back to composting. A proper compost pile will produce heat and will help to keep wildlife out of it. Doing some research on proper composting techniques will be greatly helpful. Steel compost bins in your backyard are great and more animal proof then the normal compost bin but are very expensive. The “tumbling” style composter is not quite as animal proof but another possible way to limit the attractiveness to critters.
Our biggest tip for all this surrounding compost would be to be prepared. Animals of all sorts will be drawn to your backyard. Letting your neighbour know you compost or are planning on it will help them prepare too. Protecting your home from unwanted animal invaders before the problems occur will also help to make your composting adventure a success.
Composting is a great way to reduce waste going to the landfill, and is free fertilizer for your gardens and plants. Our business has our own composting operation which is helping us to also become more environmentally friendly.
Thanks for reading and for more info on how to live with or keep animals out of your home please contact us!
Skunk Breeding Season
Skunks breeding season is fast approaching. This time if year along with when juvenile skunks start to venture out of the den for the first time.
The main problem associated with skunks and breeding season is the smell. Skunks will spray multiple times. Whether it be during breeding or fights between males. Many males are drawn to one female in season. There also could be multiple females living in den depending on it’s size. Mild days will bring out skunks whether they are looking for a suitable den or a mate.
We have caught up to 12 adult skunks out of one whole. You should deal with a skunk living under a deck, patio, shed, structure or crawl space as soon as possible. It should reduce the amount of skunks needing to be removed which will save time and money. Better yet prevent the skunk from getting in before it arrives.
If you need help dealing with a skunk or have had a problem in the past and would like to prevent it from happening again please let us know.
Winter Time Tracking
Winter time and especially if there has been fresh snow in the last couple days is the best time to get outside and follow some animal tracks. The Pandemic may have people feeling trapped in their homes. This is our suggestion of how to get outside, get some exercise, fresh air, learn and even check out if there is any creatures invading your home.
You don’t need to own a large property as I’m sure you will find some tracks even on a small lot. Start around your house. Look down, look for tiny tracks, large tracks, dirt stains, trails, or even tunnels in the snow. If your finding many of these or what looks to be large concentrations of trails or tracks, this might be something worth looking into. Check around doorways and cracks or penetrations through the foundation. While your out check to make sure all dryer, furnace and stove vents are clear of snow and able to run properly.
Next look up on your roof. Don’t venture onto a snow covered roof, a view from the ground is more than sufficient. Look for tracks on the roof. Is something is jumping off a nearby tree or pole?
Is something digging down possibly entering a roof vent?
If there is snow on some parts of your house and not on others you may want to look into your attic insulation. It could be a result of heat loss.
Now that you have checked around your house venture a little further out. Check out trees, bushes, flower beds, fence and tree lines. You will find a larger variety of tracks in these areas. Are any of these tracks heading towards your home?
Check out bird feeders. Are there tracks leading from the feeder into or nearby your home? That might be another spot to investigate further.
If you still have some energy to burn look for tracks in open fields and woods. There’s no telling the amount of tracks you will see and things you will learn about your local wildlife. You will be able to tell different animals apart. How many there might be and different sizes easily. Look for animals that might be sliding through the snow, or dragging something like the tail or a tree limb. Looking for animal dens or beds and scent posts along trails.
Enjoy the time outside. Feel free to share with us any unique finds. If you any questions on what some tracks might be please send them to us!
How to Trap Mice and Small Rodents
Exclusion and Repairs is the number one way to prevent mice, voles and shrews from entering your home. If exclusion is not possible trapping is the next best solution.
We recommend trapping compared to other control methods because it is much easier to target a specific species. There is no downfall towards other wildlife. We can track our catches to know if we are reducing the number of problem animals. We also don’t have animals die in wall voids or other inaccessible areas.
Trapping mice and other small rodents inside your home is recommended, even if exclusion and repairs have been done. This lets the homeowner know if any holes have been missed or if something has changed and a new hole has been opened.
Areas of the home that traps should be set first begin with the basement or crawl space and attic. These areas are often the first place the mice or small rodents enter your home. They are also easier to access than wall voids. Mice can enter these areas and travel through the walls back and forth relatively easily. These areas are also less traffic than other areas of the home.
Under the kitchen sink or other holes through the walls are the next best places to set. These areas are often easier to check than the attic or basement. Under the kitchen sink especially, is usually more crowed and sometimes harder to actually set.
Setting traps in your living area of the home is only done if the mice or rodents are not accessing other areas of the home. The living area is higher traffic. Pets and children are often present and the traps are more noticeable by others in your home.
Trapping mice and rodents outside your home is often a great solution if exclusion or repairs can not be done economically. Trapping outside catches the problem animals before they enter your home. It is often the easiest places to check. Trapping outside can lead to catching more non-target wildlife. For this we recommend always setting the traps inside boxes with specific size holes for the problem animal. This will reduce the non-targets caught and protect the trap.
We can help you to remove mice and other rodents from your home and keep them out. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.
The Parts of a Mouse Trap
Eastern Ontario is once again in lockdown. With families at home more during the pandemic we noticed a definite increase in the amount of people with animal related disturbances. We are still operating during these difficult times but to do our part and to hopefully reduce the need of to enter our customers homes we decided this would be a good place to start with some basic tips and tricks. The mouse trap is one of our most basic tools but we commonly see it used improperly. A short overrun of the parts of the mouse trap will help homeowners in how they use the mouse trap.
This is not the only mouse trap on the market but is the most commonly used one. There is more easily used or longer lasting traps available from wcscanadastore.com
We will go over the best places and other ways to set the mouse trap in another blog post. Trapping the mice will eliminate the problem for now, but a more long term solution is exclusion.
If you would like a mouse trapping program set up at your home or structure or would like it sealed to prevent mice from getting inside please give us a call.
We are right in the middle of the dog days of summer. With the long hot days and buggy nights this is the most active time of year for bats. They are out almost every night eating as many bugs as possible to pack on the pounds and prepare for a long winter (in torpor state) hibernating.
Young bats are also about to emerge as well. We stop all of our bat evictions from May 15 to July 31 as per government regulations. From our own findings after 23 years in business we also wait about two weeks longer until the middle of August to do any “bat seal-ups”. The reason behind this is Little Brown Bats, Northern Bats and Tri-Coloured bats are all endangered species in Ontario. This time period also allows for the young bats to grow enough to be able to also leave the structure and not become stuck inside.
We have also noticed a decrease in Little Brown bat numbers in our area. There are many factors that could have played a roll in this but White Nose Syndrome is likely the leading cause.
Some good news we have read recently, through monitoring bats echolocations in nearby New York State a few different species of bats have been recorded. Could this mean different species of bats are moving into our area? We are not sure but we will keep you posted on anything interesting we find!
Nuisance Wildlife Control INC (NWC INC) was started in 1997 by Darcy Alkerton. After a recent layoff from his dream job as a cabinetmaker at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario, Darcy saw a need for a unique skill set he had. With huge help from the Leeds and Grenville Small Business Development, a professional carpenter and trapper, Darcy merged the both into a wildlife control business. Darcy already had experience in trapping nuisance beaver for farmers but could also see a need for animal damage control for homeowners, municipalities and corporations. To pay the bills at first Darcy also took on local canine control, evaluator for livestock damage and in the winter worked as a Wingman for Township snow removal. Darcy hired his first sub-contracting employee in 98 and had numerous Co-op students as well. Darcy had to borrow money out of his RRSP’s because the banks would not loan to a small business to keep his business afloat. He made it through the first 5 years of business ownership, which many do not.
Darcy was part of the Ontario Wild Turkey Reintroduction Program catching 663 wild turkeys and 47 in one shot with a rocket net. The turkeys were then moved around Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Around this time Raccoon rabies also hit Eastern Ontario and Darcy was also part of that Trap Vaccinate and Release program.
In 2003 Darcy travelled to Australia, which would be a start to a career of teaching but also learning about wildlife control across the world.
Flash forward to 2020 and NWC INC is now a family run business with Susan, Matt and Cory all working for the business. Darcy has travelled to 4 Countries, many States and all but 3 Provinces and Territories at home in Canada to share his expertise in Wildlife Control and Management.
Current NWC logo created by Susan Alkerton and Chelsea Amell