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Mike Szmudrowski


March 6, 2024

During the winter months, wildlife such as bats, raccoons, and squirrels start to slow down their activity and prepare for a long drawn out period of cold weather and lack of food and water. Some of the animals go into a state of Torpor, a form of hibernation, and other semi-hibernate where they rest without moving for several weeks at a time. Full hibernation is when an animal slows its heart rate, breathing, lowers its body temperature, and sleeps for the entire winter season. Living off of its fat reserves that were built up all spring and summer. Some of Southern Ontario’s animals that fully hibernate are groundhogs and bats. Semi- hibernation is when an animal, on particularly cold spells, will slow down its heart rate, breathing, lower body temperature and sleep for a few days at a time. Awaking just long enough to eat any food they have have stored, get a drink and relieve themselves before going back to sleep until the weather breaks. Animals in Southern Ontario that semi-hibernate include raccoons, skunks, and chipmunks. Many native animals hibernate, or semi-hibernate during Southern Ontario’s winter season including groundhogs, chipmunks, raccoons, and bats.

There are 2 major animal behaviors to expect when animals come out of hibernation in Southern Ontario.  The 1st is feeding heavily to restore their energy levels and weight and the 2nd is mating to start the next batch of wildlife to terrorize your home and become another animal in your attic.

Raccoon in Attic


Pretty soon we will be seeing a lot of animals with their offspring out and about. Although the young ones are extremely cute, they can cause a laundry list of problems for homeowners. Many homeowners attempt to deal with these animals themselves, which if done incorrectly can only compound the problems. If you suspect animals have taken residence in or around your home, call a reputable, licensed wildlife control company to humanely and effectively remove the animals and any offspring.

Raccoons are one of the most common species of wildlife that we deal with, especially during the breeding season. The sows (females) will take residence in attics, or old open buildings to rear their young. The females will have litters of young that range from 2-6 kits per litter. These females will defend their young at all costs and can become quite vicious. The females can also sit with, caring for their young for many days on end without leaving to feed and water herself. So do not ignore any “occasional” sounds you may hear. Have them checked out by a professional wildlife technician. Although raccoons may be one of the most common animals we deal with, there are many more animals that can and will enter a home or structure to raise young such as…

  • Opossums
  • Squirrels
  • Rodents (mice, rats, etc)

Wild animals can be dangerous if mishandled, and there are also a number of other concerns when dealing with the trapping, removal, clean up, and repairs that come along with animal issues that many homeowners may not be aware of.

Animals hibernating in attic


  • Are you aware of all of your provincial, local, and depending on species, federal laws concerning the trapping of animals?
  • Once the animal is trapped do you have a plan to remove it?
  • Do you have the proper equipment to safely, and humanely trap the problem animal?
  • After the animal is removed what is your plan to keep them out and to clean up the mess left behind?
  • Do you know how to check to see if the animal has offspring, and how to locate them?
  • Are you aware of how to properly protect yourself and the animal from any harm? Including the transmission of diseases.

This is just a small list of things that every technician at City Wildlife Control is trained and properly educated to deal with. There are many more factors in the animal removal process than many homeowners think, especially this time of year when you add offspring into the mix.


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