It’s officially spring! While here in Vancouver it certainly feels that way, across much of Canada wildlife are only poking their heads out of still snowy dens and nests. But regardless of where you live, it’s the perfect time to start planning to prevent conflict.
We’ve assembled three easy tasks you can complete around your home that will help reduce conflict with wildlife – whether it’s animals sneaking into your house for a snack, or getting a little closer to family pets than you’d like.
- Take away the welcome mat. From mice to raccoons, fur-bearers love finding a new place in a warm house to hang out, have a snack, and put their feet up. It’s recommended by professionals like AAA Wildlife Control (in Vancouver and in Toronto) to do a walk-around of your house at the start of every season, trying to find loose shingles, gaps in brick work or foundations, openings under sheds and decks, and so on – and finding a safe way to prevent animals from finding their way inside.
- Don’t invite them over for dinner. Feeding wildlife – whether it’s fallen seed from a bird feeder, or deliberately putting out a T-bone steak – will teach the animals that your backyard (as well as your neighbours backyards) is a great place to come for food. And, in the case of larger mammals like raccoons, coyotes, or bears, it can teach them that people aren’t so bad, so they shouldn’t worry about getting up close and personal. While this may not worry you, it certainly worries enough people that drastic, often lethal, action is taken. Please, never feed wildlife.
- Be a good neighbour. Outdoor cats and off-leash or unsupervised dogs can create conflict for wildlife – and not just in your backyard. Keeping an eye on your pets ensures their safety, and prevents the negative impact they have on local wildlife.
Please continue to love wildlife as much as you do, but remember to respect them enough to let them be wild.