Protecting Your Cottage from Critters

Each weekend during the summer people head to Cottage Country to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. As you’re visiting the lakes and forests for the weekends, it can be easy to miss the animals that live here full time.

Wildlife in Ontario Cottage Country

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Toronto Cottage Country is home to a variety of mammals and birds. White tail deer, moose, wolves, coyotes, foxes all call the wilderness of Ontario home. The most common nuisance wildlife problems in Muskoka, Kawartha Lakes, Simcoe County, and Haliburton County are mice, red squirrels, bats, and chipmunks. Unlike Toronto, raccoons don’t seem to be as much of a problem.

We get a lot of calls for problems with raccoons in people’s homes in Toronto, but we rarely get a raccoon call in Cottage Country. I think the raccoons haven’t had to adapt to an urban habitat like their cousin’s in Toronto.

Brandon Thorsell, District Manager

Typical Nuisance Critters

Animals have the same basic needs as people — food, water, and shelter. Generally, they enter your home because it found resources to satisfy one of those needs. In Ontario, it is illegal to poison or use adhesive to kill wildlife, but if an animal is damaging your property or threatening livestock, they can be removed.

Generally, if you an animal is in your primary residence, you’ll notice it. Wild animals don’t make great roommates. They can be loud, destructive, and noisy. If you’re only in your cottage a few weekends of the year, it can be easier for an animal to avoid detection.

The issue is magnified if you use your cottage as a vacation rental. The most obvious sign of a nuisance animal problem is noise, and guests might not be attuned to notice the difference between the sound of a house settling and an animal.

There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent a pest animal problems.

At the End of the Weekend

Before you return to the city, you want to limit the availability of resources that animals can use.

Do not leave trash on your property especially if it is outside. Remove all potential food sources.

If you have a pet, feed them indoors.

Make sure all windows are securely shut.

Maintain a tidy property. Brush and rock piles provide shelter for animals on your property. Those animals might start to explore your home for a more secure place to live.

At the End of Cottage Season

Do a quick inspection before you leave for the season. Make sure all doors and windows shut securely. Walk around your property and look for any obvious gaps. Pay close attention to any place utilities enter your home like A/C vents or dryer exhausts. Rodents can easily find those gaps.

Because of the bedrock, some homes don’t have a pour concrete foundation. They are built on posts. This provides another potential entry point for animals.

Finding all potential entry points could be difficult. Chimneys, loose soffits under roof returns, and construction gaps around the fascia board are some of the most popular entry points.

Where Do Animals Get into My House?

At the Beginning of the Season

Over the winter, most people and animals hunker down where they are. Mice are the most likely critter to get into your house. Mouse poop is the clearest sign you had an infestation. At the beginning of the season check kitchen cabinets, utility closets, bathroom cabinets and closets, attics, and air vents for mouse droppings. Older droppings will look chalky and dry; fresh mouse poop will be darker and shiner. Regardless of the age, mice were able to get in and until you repair it, mice will continue to get into your house.

Critter Control in Cottage Country

It doesn’t matter if you have a refurbished cottage from the 1940s or a million dollar lake front resort. Wildlife will not discriminate on real estate.

If you do suspect you have an animal in the house, please do not hesitate to call professional wildlife removal experts. Finding all the ways an animal can get into your home is time consuming. Trying to get rid of squirrels, bats, mice, or chipmunks by yourself can be difficult, risky, and potentially illegal.

Do you really want to spend one of your weekend at the lake trying to get evict an animal?

Our wildlife control experts can handle any wild animal situation, from bats to squirrels and mice to chipmunks. 

We can inspect your property midweek and have the job complete before you arrive Friday afternoon. While we’re there we can also treat your yard for stinging insects like horse flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, or black flies.