Toronto raccoons, squirrels, critters enjoying spring baby boom, pest expert says
'The homeowner went out looking for a drink and there was a mother raccoon in the cooler with her babies'
A mother raccoon had her babies in a cooler. Squirrels made a nest under a BMW's hood. And according to one pest control expert, the critter baby boom is happening all across the city.
Bill Dowd, of Skedaddle wildlife control, says the mild winter allowed squirrels, skunks, mice and other creatures to spend more time eating and more time mating.
- QUIZ | From daring food thieves to # deadraccoonTO , how well do you know Toronto raccoons?
- Cultured raccoon creeps into Scarborough high school's art class
- 'Heartbroken' raccoon tries to wake up dead friend on Toronto street
Now, the creatures — many considered pests that can damage property — are giving birth earlier than normal, something that's left Dowd dealing with some wild situations.
"The homeowner went out looking for a drink and there was a mother raccoon in the cooler with her babies."
Toronto's squirrels, who had gotten plenty plump during the fine fall weather, have also been looking for prime birthing spots.
- Raccoon tries to catch the subway at Spadina station
- Doughnut-stealing raccoon is Toronto's response to #Pizzarat
Dowd said he was recently called in after a BMW's owners took it to the dealership when it wouldn't start.
"They opened up the hood and saw this huge nest and the mother squirrel popped out," he said.
While those spots are abnormal even for him, Dowd said it's a good idea to critter-proof your home where you can. He's seen raccoons make it down chimneys and break into bedrooms. He even had to deal with one that recently made it into a dental office.
So what should you do if you encounter a proud raccoon parent or one of their many offspring?
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources says animals should stay within one kilometre of where they're found, something that can stop the spread of disease.
That's become especially important after several raccoons in Hamilton were found to have rabies, a disease that can make them incredibly dangerous to humans or pets.