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News

Here are some of the newspapers and stations that Humane Wildlife Control has appeared in:

Critter-proof your home
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 19:00
Wildlife looking for a home to roost

As the weather gets cooler and the heat comes on in homes everywhere, humans aren’t the only one’s who’ll be looking to find themselves a cozy place to take shelter from winter.

And if you don’t take precautions, a furry critter just may decide he’d like to wait out winter at your house.

“They know the temperature change is coming,” says Bill Dowd, president and founder of Humane Wildlife Control. “Animals are more in tune to the shortening of the days.”

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Coexistence, not elimination, should be the goal
Friday, 21 October 2011 19:00
Gen Lussier had to give up trying to guard her property from her neighbourhood skunks, squirrels, mice, raccoons and groundhogs. “My relationship with urban wildlife has been mostly disruptive,” said Lussier, a teacher in Pointe Claire.

“I have a large vegetable and flower garden. The challenge is finding a happy medium,” said Lussier. “Chicken wire saved my garden from their wrath. I didn’t realize how much we were feeding them, but it’s inevitable that you will have losses. I still want to protect what’s mine.” Lussier is not alone in her struggles. From nipping at our veggies to moving in to our attics, urban wildlife can really set some homeowners on edge.

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Keeping pests out for the winter
Thursday, 20 October 2011 19:00
When it gets chilly outside, we’re not the only ones who want to come inside for winter. Both urban and rural homeowners battle with critter infestations in autumn – actually, all year round, depending on the animal. But in fall, mice, squirrels, and raccoons, in particular, will do their best to pop in for a visit, and stay for the season.

According to Bill Dowd of Humane Wildlife Control, which serves regions in Quebec and Ontario, we’re practically sending them gold-plated invitations.

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Prevention solves problem of critter infestations
Friday, 14 October 2011 19:00
Both urban and rural homeowners battle critter infestations in autumn – actually, all year round, depending on the animal. But in fall, mice, squirrels and raccoons, in particular, will do their best to pop in for a visit, and stay for the season.

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Urban Bats May Be Survivors of New Deadly Fungus
Monday, 19 September 2011 08:52
A new fungus that inflicts bats living in caves and mines, causing most of them to die, does not appear to be devastating their urban cousins.

White nose syndrome, originally discovered in New York state in 2007, has been linked to a fungus found on the wings, ears and muzzles of infected bats. The disease has a 95 percent mortality rate, and has since spread to ten other states as well as Ontario and Quebec. It is being blamed for the widespread collapse of many bat colonies in North America.

At night, bats consume huge amounts of insects that damage crops and forests and that cause human disease, such as mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus. A study conducted by Boston University in 2010 predicted regional populations of little brown bats in the Northeastern United States will collapse to less than one percent of their current numbers within two decades.

Urban Bats May Be Exception

But evidence from Canada’s largest wildlife control company, Humane Wildlife Control, indicates that the big brown and little brown bats typically living in attics and roofs in urban areas don’t seem to be affected by the disease. The company makes hundreds of service calls between July and September each year when young bats begin to fly around living areas.

“We just haven’t seen evidence of white nose syndrome in the many urban bats we deal with in Ontario and Quebec,” said Bill Dowd, President of Humane Wildlife Control. “People shouldn’t assume that this disease is going to kill the bats so they can just ignore them,” he added.

Rabies Infection is a Worry

Most of the recent human rabies cases in Canada have been caused by a strain of rabies transmitted by bats and people are advised by public health departments to seek medical attention immediately if they may have come into contact with a bat. The small bite of a bat can go undetected, especially if someone is sleeping when they are bitten. However, there is no evidence to date that the white nose fungus is harmful to humans.

Canadian Bat Expert Sees Differences for Urban & Rural Bats

Dr. Paul Faure, a researcher in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and one of Canada’s leading experts on bats, said that there are still many unanswered questions about white nose syndrome. He explained that the reason that we may not be seeing evidence of the disease with urban bat calls is that attics and roofs tend to have different living conditions than caves and mines.

Dr. Faure said “the big brown bats living in urban areas are not immune to the fungus; however, because urban roosts tend to be warmer and dryer than hibernation sites like mines and caves, bats living in the walls and attics of homes may not be exposed to the conditions that promote the growth of the white nose fungus.” He added “this might be good news for urban bats as their populations may not be as affected as the ones living in more rural and remote areas.”

Other Urban Wildlife Have Adapted

This difference between urban and rural bats is also typical for most other urban wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels, birds and mice, which have learned to adapt and often thrive in higher populated areas.

“These animals, like the bats, have done quite well in urban areas where food and shelter is plentiful,” noted Dowd. “If given the choice between an outside den site or a nice safe and cozy attic, it’s pretty obvious which one they prefer,” he said.

As for the future of Ontario bats, Dr. Faure says that much more research is needed.

“There’s a chance that the survivors of this current population bottleneck will be immune to the white nose fungus, but we just don’t know yet” he said. “It would be a tragedy if they do die off, because we still have a lot to learn from these amazing creatures,” he noted.

Bat scare during TV news broadcast
Thursday, 25 August 2011 19:00
A bat managed to get into the CHCH studios in Hamilton and scare the staff during their evening news. This segment also discusses the dangers bat pose to homeowners and profiles a church with a major bat problem.

Little brown bats facing extinction
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 19:00
The night sky in Waterloo Region might not be the same in coming years thanks to a horror story in which bats are the victims.

Across eastern North America, an emerging disease is rapidly wiping out the population of the most common bat species.

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