Are you having problems with a small mammal?

What’s more pleasant than being able to watch a small wild animal in your neighbourhood – or even in your yard? Small mammals are fun to observe, but in some cases, the presence of racoons, skunks, squirrels and groundhogs on one’s property can become a real nightmare. These little visitors can truly become a nuisance, damaging property, rummaging through house garbage and ruining flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.

 

According to various studies, an average square kilometre in an urban area can be shared by 18 racoons, 18 skunks, several groundhogs and hundreds of squirrels. They are present because we often supply them with food (garbage) and safe shelters (porches, sheds, garages, chimneys, and attics).

In many cases, these animals are only there temporarily and do not cause any damage. It is therefore preferable to simply observe them and most of all not to try to capture or destroy them, as they are protected under section 67 of the Loi sur la conservation et la mise en valeur de la faune, an Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife.

No person nor anyone lending him assistance may kill or capture an animal attacking him or causing damage to his property or property under his care or maintenance unless he is unable to frighten the animal away or prevent it from causing damage.

Fortunately, there are several solutions that allow us to co-exist harmoniously with these urban animals. We suggest you read the brochure Un petit mammifère vous importune? for information on how to keep them away or to repel them if they are already regular visitors.

We also invite you to refer to our plans to build a fence that will protect your vegetable garden * as well as wire mesh that will block access under your porch or shed.*

*  Available in French only.

What you should know about relocating

Capturing these small mammals in order to relocate them elsewhere is not a solution. Specialists agree that a given territory offers a support capacity that can provide for the nutritional needs of a given number of mammals.

Therefore, moving an animal outside of a zone will only encourage other individuals of the same species to reproduce in order to occupy the available space. Using a live trap therefore only eliminates the nuisance temporarily.

Each transfer of a wild animal is also associated with:

  • The risk of introducing new diseases or new parasites to a region not yet affected by them – relocating an animal can therefore have serious harmful consequences on public health, agriculture and the conservation of endangered species.
  • The risk of zoonoses (diseases than can be transmitted to humans), especially rabies.

For more information about small mammals or to report a nuisance problem, contact the Eastern Townships SPA at 819-821-4727, option 5.