Protect your home from wildlife

Keep wild animals away from your property by taking simple steps to reduce or remove the availability of food, water and shelter.

Residents of Mississauga can learn to co-exist with wildlife populations by understanding how to prevent conflicts with wild animals and avoid property damage caused by wildlife activity.

Remove sources of food and water

  • Keep barbecues and the area around them clean.
  • Clean grease tray and drippings after every use.
  • Remove food and dirty barbecue utensils.
  • Regularly check under barbecue cover for wildlife activity.
  • Limit the use of bird feeders to winter months. In the summer, try growing plants that naturally attract birds.
  • Keep bird feeders off the ground and preferably away from decks.
  • Prevent seeds from spilling, or clean up spilled seeds and shells from the ground daily.
  • Remove feeder if rats or mice are present.
  • Try applying or spraying natural and safe repellents onto fruits.
  • Remove windfalls (fruits that have fallen to the ground) daily.
  • Wrap tree trunks to prevent animals from climbing.
  • Keep trash in wildlife-proof garbage bins.
  • Place garbage at the curb on the mornings of waste collection days.
  • Report dumping of garbage, feeding of wildlife or property standard issues.
  • Fence off gardens (if permitted) to deter burrowing animals.
  • Try placing motion sensor sprinklers or wildlife deterrent mats around the garden.
  • Make flowers and vegetables unappealing to animals by applying natural and safe repellents.
  • Use mesh over bare soil in the spring. This will help prevent animals from digging while still allowing plants to grow.
  • Speak with garden experts about lawn care treatments to prevent or eliminate grubs that may attract wildlife animals.
  • If grubs are present and active (usually in the spring or fall during wet seasons), consider allowing wildlife animals to rid your lawn of grubs naturally and reseed/replace sod afterwards.
  • Try deterrents that will keep animals away and off the lawn, such as motion sensor sprinklers, wildlife deterrent mats, blood meal fertilizer or pure soap flakes.
  • Discourage animals with the sound of human voices and scent by playing the radio and leaving sweaty clothing or human hair nearby.
  • Feed pets indoors or if feeding outdoors, remove uneaten food immediately.
  • Do not leave food out for wild animals. Feeding wildlife is prohibited under the Animal Care and Control By-Law.
  • Try deterrents that will keep animals away from the pond, such as motion sensor sprinklers or wildlife deterrent mats.
  • Discourage animals with the sound of human voices and scent by playing the radio and leaving sweaty clothing or human hair nearby.
  • Block the area with netting, but be careful because animals can get caught, tangled or injured.
  • Screen bottom of yard compost bin to prevent burrowing rodents.
  • Secure with a lid or cover.
  • Do not compost meat, bones, fish, dairy or other foods that can attract wildlife animals.
  • Layer with grass clippings, leaves and dirt to speed up decomposition.

Wildlife-proof your house

  • Inspect balcony weekly for signs of wildlife activity, especially in the spring.
  • Keep balcony clear of clutter, debris and garbage.
  • Prevent access to storage or covered areas that can be used for shelter, hiding or nesting.
  • Do not store food on balcony.
  • Install tight-fitting chimney cap. Do not leave gaps – a squirrel can squeeze through an opening as small as one inch.
  • Check the cap annually and replace if damaged or ineffective.
  • Check flashing around chimney and replace if missing or damaged.
  • Enclose open areas to prevent access.
  • Check holes for wildlife animals. If animals are present, do not fill opening – seek professional guidance.
  • Screen the area with mesh to prevent animals from burrowing underneath decks, porches, sheds and other outdoor structures.
  • Clean eavestroughs regularly to prevent water damage to soffit and facia. Animals can gain access to the home through damaged or unsecured areas.
  • Repair or replace wood that show signs of damage or rot.
  • Check for gaps or holes (especially near corners and where roof sections meet). Fill openings immediately.
  • Secure loose soffit with screws or screen with mesh.
  • Screen bathroom, kitchen or dryer vents to block birds and small animals from nesting or entering the home.
  • Use caution with dryer vents because improper or plugged screens can create a fire hazard.
  • Keep garage door closed during the day and at night.
  • Repair damages and replace draft guards as necessary.
  • Inspect house exterior semi-annually to notice signs of damage and rot or areas in need of repair.
  • Check light fixtures and planters for nests. If a nest is present, wait a few weeks until the babies have left the location before making any changes.
  • Apply a screen or cover where possible.
  • Inspect shingles annually, and replace any curled or loose shingles.
  • Replace rotted wood right away. If this can’t be addressed immediately, put well-secured screens over damaged or rotted areas.
  • Screen roof vents and holes inside the attic.
  • Trim tree branches at least 15 feet away from home or roof.
  • Try to minimize climbing vines on the exterior of home.
  • Remove old antennas and towers if not in use.
  • Prevent animals from falling in or entering the area with a screen or window well cover.
  • Keep yard and property tidy. Clean up clutter, garbage and debris.
  • Remove dead leaves and avoid exposed woodpiles, which can attract wildlife animals.

Why not humanely trap and relocate wildlife?

While it may seem like a good idea to humanely trap and relocate an animal to prevent nuisance wildlife activity on your property, trapping and relocation can be harmful to wildlife and an ineffective long-term solution.

Studies have shown that many relocated animals die when placed in an unfamiliar environment. Relocation has also been linked to the spread of diseases, like rabies. In fact, provincial law prohibits the relocation of wildlife beyond 1 kilometre of where they were trapped.

Mississauga Animal Services does not remove or relocate healthy wildlife.


This information was prepared by Mississauga Animal Services. To learn more, call 905-896-5858.