REPELLENTS: There are several repellents sold on today's market. A recent study has found that a lot of the commercial repellents are not as good as natural plant species. Remember the following species: daffodils, bearded irises, hot peppers, catnip and peppermint (both members of the mint family). These species have been proven to repel white-tailed deer, squirrels and rabbits (the hardest animals to repel).
Tanglefoot®: This is a sticky product that birds do not like to stand on. It can only be applied to small surfaces such as pillars and railings, etc. This product is not really practical for larger surfaces such as balconies. One study has shown that Tanglefoot may be dangerous to birds because it may coat their feathers. Available at the Centre de la conservation de la faune ailée de Montréal.
Ro-Pel®: This is a general purpose repellent that is non-toxic. It comes in either spray or powder form. It tastes really bad to almost any animal and is rain-resistant. This product can be used on the trunks of fruit trees to repel deer, squirrels, and rabbits. It can also be used in gardens to repel cats and dogs. If you get it on your hands, you need to use an alcohol-based solvent to get it off. It is also a good idea to test it on a small area first to see if it will react with the surface. It is non-phytotoxic and does not have an odour. However, it should not be used on edible items (e.g. fruits and vegetables). This product is available at several West Island nurseries or at the Centre de la conservation de la faune ailée de Montréal. Please note that due to the recent pesticide ban, this product may not be available anymore.
Anti-pigeon cages: These cages can be placed around entire feeders or at the base of a feeder. The mesh excludes pigeons but gives smaller birds access to the feeder. These cages are available at nature stores or at the Centre de la conservation de la faune ailée de Montréal.
Diatomaceous earth: This is a powder made out of fossilized sea creatures (diatoms). It is used to control insects with waxy cuticles (ants, earwigs, beetles, slugs, snails). It acts by cutting little pieces out of the cuticle, causing the insect to dehydrate. It is safe to use around kids, pets, and food storage since it is not harmful to humans. Brand names are: Insectigone. It can be purchased at any nursery or garden centre.
Scarecrow water spraying animal repeller: This gadget sticks in your lawn and gets hooked up to your garden hose. It costs about $100 but may be worth it if a variety of animals are persistently trying to get at your garden. It works with a motion detector and will spray water up to 35 feet. This is great for someone that is not always able to spray the animals themselves. This is available online at Smarthome or at any nature store.
Critter Ridder® animal repellent: Made by Safer, this compound is organic and contains among other things, capsaicin (a very hot pepper extract). This repellent works on any animal that uses its nose to get around, i.e. dogs, cats, raccoons, groundhogs and skunks. Critter Ridder will get into the animal's nasal passages and irritate them enough to repel them from the area. It contains no harsh chemicals. It should be applied on hot sunny days and is rain-resistant. It usually lasts for about 30 days. It can be purchased at any hardware store and at various West Island nurseries.
Chemfree Blackhole Rodent Trap: This reusable trap is easy to set up and safe for humans and domestic pets. This can be purchased at various hardware stores.
Hardware cloth: It is used to make or repair window screening and is available in a range of fibreglass or galvanized metal styles. It comes in a variety of sizes from very fine (1/32 inch) to a larger ½ inch mesh. Generally, the ¼ inch mesh is the best size to use.
Self-Help: Wild animals will return to an area where their basic needs are met. You should either accept wildlife or remove the attractant. Food, water, and shelter are their primary needs. If the animal has been attracted to your property, it is to satisfy one or more of those needs. Always work with your neighbours to achieve a consistent solution to the problem, and keep in mind that doing a combination of things is better than doing just one of them. In the end, being more persistent than the animal is the key to repelling nuisance wildlife.
Often self-reliant homeowners can resolve wildlife conflicts inexpensively by trapping and relocating a problem animal themselves. A few rules must be followed, but these are not complicated. However, we stress that this solution is not permanent and may be detrimental to the animal. Post-release mortality can be quite high due to stress during transportation, unfamiliarity with the new surroundings or territorial fights with an animal that already occupies the area. It also concentrates the animals in one area, which can spread disease. Often, you are just translocating the problem to someone else's yard.
• The homeowner may trap and kill a problem animal that has caused property damage if it is not a game animal or protected species. Be careful to obey local laws.
• The homeowner may trap and relocate an animal that has caused property damage on their premises (except game animals and protected species). The homeowner must contact the Ministry of Environment of Quebec for authorization before transporting the live animal away from the capture location. They will be given an appropriate release site. Traps can be rented from various nature stores.
Ophaned Animals: If a young animal is seen alone, do not disturb it immediately but watch for signs at a safe distance. If it appears cold, weak, thin, or injured, it may be orphaned. A parent rarely abandons a healthy offspring. If the mother does not return in approximately 8 hours, and the animal shows the above signs, call a properly licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Remember, certain animals are left on their own all the time. The parents are usually off feeding somewhere and will return as soon as you leave the area. Some places that will take in orphaned and/pr abandoned animals are: Claire Lise Lalonde 459-883-3011(near Rawdon and Joliette) and Urban Animal Advocates 514-366-9965.
Important Note: We recommend either of these be done only after all other attempts to alleviate the problem have failed (for example: fencing, repellents, etc.). Most wildlife problems can only be temporarily solved by removal of the offending animals. Long-term solutions require correction of the situation that attracted the animal in the first place.
• Big game animals can only be handled by companies specialized and licensed in their removal (refer to Yellow Pages).
• Migratory birds (essentially all birds except pigeons, starlings and house sparrows) are protected by international treaty, and may not be harmed without a permit from the Government. However, bear in mind that house sparrows are protected by the provincial government.
• Threatened or Endangered Species may only be killed or trapped with permission of the Government.
Important Note: Everyone should be aware that all species of wildlife are capable of harbouring several diseases which anyone handling the animal may be exposed to without adequate disinfecting and handling procedures. Wild animals and many wild birds are also capable of inflicting severe or even fatal injuries. Take care in any situation where you are in close contact with any wildlife. These are not domestic species. Please prevent children from handling or playing with wildlife. Only handle sick or dying animals while wearing gloves.