Digging Up Trouble: Understanding the Impact of Burrowing Wildlife in Toronto

Are you tired of waking up to holes in your yard, destroyed flower beds, and a seemingly endless battle with burrowing pests? Brace yourself, because we are about to dig deep into the world of underground troublemakers. In this blog post, we uncover the hidden secrets behind these mischievous critters and explore how their behaviours impact our beautiful city. So grab your shovel and join us on this fascinating journey as we unearth the truth about Toronto’s burrowing wildlife!

Introduction to Burrowing Wildlife in Toronto and the GTA

Toronto is known for its bustling city life, with towering buildings, busy streets, and vibrant culture. However, amidst the concrete jungle lies a diverse range of wildlife that call this city home. One remarkable aspect of Toronto’s wildlife is their ability to burrow underground.

Burrowing animals are those that create tunnels or underground shelters either for living or hiding purposes. These animals have adapted to digging as a survival mechanism and can be found in various habitats across the city, including parks, backyards, and even industrial areas.

Types of Wildlife that Burrow in the Toronto

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, many of which have adapted to city life by burrowing into the ground. Burrowing animals play important roles in maintaining ecosystem balance and providing essential services such as soil aeration and seed dispersal. However, their presence in urban areas can also lead to conflicts with human activities and infrastructure. In this section, we will discuss a few of the most common types of wildlife that burrow in the GTA.

Skunks: Skunks are notorious for their defence mechanism – spraying a foul-smelling liquid when threatened. These small mammals also make use of their sharp claws to dig burrows under houses, sheds, or decks for shelter. Their diet consists mainly of insects but they may also feed on fruits and vegetables found in gardens. Skunk burrows can pose problems for homeowners if not dealt with properly; however, it’s important to note that skunks play an important role in controlling pest populations.

Eastern Grey Squirrel: One of the most recognizable animal species in the Toronto and the GTA is the Eastern Grey Squirrel. These small rodents are known for their bushy tails and acrobatic climbing abilities. However, what many people don’t know is that they also have excellent digging skills. Eastern Grey Squirrels create shallow burrows just beneath the surface of the ground, typically under trees or shrubs. These burrows serve as shelters during harsh weather conditions and also act as food storage for them.

Raccoons: Another common urban wildlife species in Toronto is raccoons. These intelligent mammals are notorious for getting into garbage cans and causing mischief around homes in attics and yards. They’re clever creatures that are highly adaptable to urban environments. These nocturnal mammals have strong front paws equipped with long claws used for digging up soil or knocking over trash cans in search of food. Raccoon dens can usually be found under decks or porches but can also be located inside attics or chimneys.

A few honourable mentions: Chipmunks, Groundhogs, Moles, Voles and Rats. All of these furry little critters can wreak havoc on your property.

The Impact of Burrowing Wildlife in Toronto and Surrounding Cities

Urban areas are often a welcome hiatus from the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a peaceful blend of natural surroundings and modern conveniences. However, as cities continue to expand, these once undisturbed habitats have become prime real estate for burrowing wildlife. While these animals play an important role in ecosystem balance, their presence in urban areas can also cause major disruptions. In this section, we will explore the impact of burrowing wildlife on urban areas, specifically focusing on the city of Toronto.

1. Structural Damage:

One of the most significant impacts of burrowing wildlife in urban areas is structural damage to buildings and infrastructure. Animals such as groundhogs and moles dig extensive underground tunnels and dens that can weaken foundations, roads, sidewalks, and other structures. This not only poses a safety risk but also results in costly repairs for homeowners and municipalities.

2. Electrical Outages: Burrowing animals like squirrels can also cause electrical outages by digging into power lines or transformers. These interruptions can lead to inconvenience for residents and businesses as well as potential hazards for utility workers trying to address the issue.

3.Spread of Disease: Another concern with urban burrowers is the spread of diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis through their feces, which can contaminate soil or water sources. With dense populations living close together in cities like Toronto, there is a higher risk for disease transmission among humans and other animals.

Dealing with Burrowing Wildlife: Tips and Techniques

The presence of burrowing wildlife can be a nuisance for many homeowners, as it can cause damage to landscapes, gardens, and even buildings. However, it is important to understand that these animals are simply trying to find shelter and food in their natural environment. In this section, we will provide some helpful tips and techniques on how to deal with burrowing wildlife while also respecting their presence.

1. Identify the Animal

The first step in dealing with burrowing wildlife is to identify the animal causing the problem. This will help you determine the appropriate course of action. Some of the most common types of burrowing animals in Toronto include skunks, and racoons.

2. Set Up Barriers

One effective way to prevent burrowing animals from entering your property is by setting up barriers or fencing around vulnerable areas such as gardens or foundations. Use materials like chicken wire or hardware cloth buried at least 1-2 feet deep into the ground and extending a few feet above ground level to deter digging.

3. Make Your Yard Less Attractive

Burrowing animals are often attracted to yards with easily accessible food sources such as bird feeders or unsecured garbage cans. To reduce their attraction towards your property, ensure that all garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and clean up any fallen birdseed regularly.

Skunks: Notorious Diggers and How to Manage Them

Skunks are infamous for their potent odour and distinct black and white stripes, but they are also well-known for their digging behaviour. These small mammals have strong front legs and sharp claws, making them skilled diggers. As a result, skunks can create significant damage to gardens, lawns, and even buildings.

Understanding the digging habits of skunks is essential in managing them effectively. Skunks typically dig in search of food, shelter or when creating a den for breeding. They are omnivores and will eat various insects such as grubs, earthworms, and beetles that live in the soil. This makes gardens an attractive feeding ground for skunks.

The first step in managing skunk digging is identifying where they are active. Skunks prefer to dig near structures or objects such as sheds, decks or patios where they feel safe from predators above them. They will also dig around trees with shallow roots since it’s easier to access the soil there.

To discourage skunks from digging in these areas, it is recommended to remove any potential hiding spots such as piles of wood or debris close to the house. Installing motion-activated lights can also deter them from visiting your property at night.

Another effective way to manage skunk digging is by removing their food source – insects. Consider using organic pest control methods like nematodes or milky spore that targets specific lawn pests without harming other animals or plants.

Coexisting with Burrowing Creatures in Toronto and Surrounding Cities

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to a bustling urban environment, but it is also teeming with an abundance of wildlife. One group of creatures that have adapted well to the city life are burrowing animals. These critters, including raccoons, and skunks, have become part of the landscape in many neighbourhoods across Toronto. While they may be cute and fascinating to observe from afar, their presence can also cause problems for homeowners and property managers.

If you suspect you have some burrowing critters around your home or business, contact TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control today to see ho we can help!

Reviewed By Matthew Sawyer

Matthew is the founder and business director of TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control. A Structural Exterminator with government licensure and training from Guelph University. As a dedicated member of both the Canadian Pest Management Association and the Structural Pest  Management Association of Ontario, he takes great pride in his profession.

Matthew’s extensive experience has made him a valuable and forward-thinking  member of the pest control community. He consistently strives to improve the  effectiveness and environmental impact of pest and wildlife control methods.

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