You may have to find an alternative squirrel removal method if you are planning to trap squirrels. Tread carefully if you plan on transporting a squirrel you have already captured. Few people, including wildlife removal professionals, advocate trapping and relocating wildlife in Ontario or any other area for good reasons. The animals may be causing damage to your yard or property but keep in mind that many have lost their natural territory due to human expansion.
Why You Shouldn’t Trap and Transport Wildlife in Ontario
It is Illegal: the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits transporting trapped wildlife for more than one kilometre without a permit. There is a good chance that the animal will find its way back if released in close vicinity to your home.
It is Inhumane: Trapping is not nearly as humane as most people purport it to be. The animal may injure itself while attempting to escape. Leaving the trapped animal outside exposes it to the elements, harassment from neighbourhood pets and predators and dehydration and starvation. You may be charged under the Ontario SPCA Act for animal cruelty if the trapped squirrel suffers in any way whether or not you intended it.
It is Ineffective: Trapping and relocating wildlife is only a temporary measure and is useless in the long-term. There is a reason why wildlife is attracted to your property in the first place. Until these reasons are eliminated, other wildlife will simply come to take the place of the relocated squirrel.
You May Orphan Baby Squirrels: You should always assume that the squirrel has a litter tucked away somewhere before attempting to evict or trap the animal. Leaving the baby squirrels without their mother certainly means they die of starvation and dehydration. Apart from this being inhumane, you also have to hunt for rotting corpses that may be tucked away in crawl spaces, inside walls, in the attic or another hard-to-reach area.
You Disadvantage the Squirrel: The relocated squirrel is at a serious disadvantage in its new environment and will most likely die. The survival rate for relocated wildlife is dismal at best. The animal has to find food, water and shelter in a new environment. It may also encounter hostility and territorial disputes from resident wildlife.
Can You Relocate Squirrels in Ontario?
Squirrels living in your attic or constantly invading your garden will leave you with no option than to research ways to get rid of them. If in that search you come across the option of live trapping and relocation, then take a step back and have a rethink.
In Ontario, there are various reasons why relocating squirrels are not allowed. They include:
It is Against the Law
You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law for relocating wild squirrels. The Ministry of Natural Resources’ Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act states that the trapping and relocation of wildlife is illegal.
However, if you must trap a squirrel for whatever reason, it must be released within one kilometer of its point of origin. With this provision, the squirrel can still find its way back to your property thereby wasting your initial effort.
To have the power to relocate a squirrel beyond one kilometer of your residence or property, you need a permit.
It Causes Harm to the Squirrel
Capturing a squirrel for relocation causes great distress to the animal. Once you trap them, they become scared and try to look for ways to escape the trap. Such panic also leads to self-inflicted injuries.
Also, if you relocate a parent squirrel, this separates them from their young who rely on them for survival. With no parent, the young squirrels might end up dying. This can also lead to you being charged under the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for animal cruelty.
It Puts Them at a Disadvantage
Relocating a squirrel to a new environment puts it at a disadvantage. The squirrel is given no adjusting period, thereby creating a shock to it. It must look for new ways to get food and water and build a new shelter.
You might also be putting the squirrel in a situation where it encounters a territorial dispute with other wild animals.
Is it legal to kill squirrels in Ontario?
In Ontario, killing squirrels is a grey area. What usually determines if killing a squirrel is illegal or legal is the circumstances around it. You can kill or capture most wild animals like squirrels in Ontario if they are causing damage to your property. If not, then it is illegal to kill them.
For situations where you find them troublesome, you can make use of licensed trappers, or hunters to help deal with them. But, there is also a caveat to this. The animal control activity can only be carried out during the open season unless you are dealing with a damage causing squirrel, then you can contract removal before open season.
It is important to make use of licensed trappers as there are certain rules regarding the killing of any form of wildlife. These rules range from the type of squirrels that can be killed, tools that can be used for trapping and killing to how to carry out such.
How far do you have to go to relocate a squirrel?
In Ontario, relocating squirrels is against the law as in most cases it leads to the death of the squirrel. Not only the life of the squirrel is threatened, but, there is a vicious cycle that starts once the squirrel is moved from its habitat.
Firstly, the squirrel after relocation is forced to adapt to a new space. Also, the squirrel might have dependents, and if not cared for can die due to the forced relocation of the squirrel. Therefore, only in special cases is the relocation of wild squirrels allowed, and that is if they are causing damage to a property.
In that case, the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act states that relocation cannot be more than 1km outside the squirrel’s point of origin. It is also recommended that you make use of licensed trappers to ensure safety of the squirrel.
Is it OK to Relocate Chipmunks?
Tired of seeing the distant relatives of squirrels around your garden or in your potted plants? Although Chipmunks are cute, they easily fall into the category of pests due to their burrowing and digging habits. When you notice holes or dirt around your garden, then it is time to get rid of them.
If you are dealing with one or two chipmunks in your home, leaving the door or a window open for them, can solve it. If you are dealing with chipmunks in your garden, you can put up wards to prevent them from gaining access to the plants.
Trapping and relocation should only be considered when you are dealing with quite many chipmunks on your property. This can happen if you reside close to a wooded area. In such a case, the services of a licensed trapper is necessary as the law does not permit relocation unless you have a license.
Hire a Professional Squirrel Removal Service
The best alternative for trapping and relocating wildlife is to hire a professional to do the job for you. Squirrel removal professionals in Mississauga evict the animals humanely and ensure that the babies are reunited with their mother. The expert also seals the house with metal flashing or galvanized steel mesh to lock out wildlife permanently. Do not attempt to trap or relocate squirrels and instead call a professional wildlife removal service. Hire a company that provides a warranty of at least two years to guarantee that the removal is successful and permanent.
Artcile Updated: April 20, 2020