Wildlife and You

We support a living-with-wildlife approach and offer information to help reduce conflict situations.

Never feed wildlife

In 2023, Town Council approved an amendment to the Lot Maintenance By-law prohibiting feeding wildlife and leaving food out to attract animals.

Feeding is one of the main reasons conflicts arise between people and wildlife. It may seem harmless, but it can have serious impacts on the community and animals.

Problems caused include:

  • conditioning animals to expect food from people or be dependent on people as a food source
  • attracting unwanted species to a property
  • animals losing their natural fear of humans
  • increased public health concerns from the spread of disease and increased rodent activity and infestation 
  • negative interactions with pets and humans
  • animals falling ill because the artificial food sources is not healthy for wildlife

In cases of feeding wildlife, the town's Lot Maintenance By-law, together with the Parks By-law and Property Standards By-law, bans feeding wildlife, other than a songbird or hummingbird, and regulates how birdfeeders should be kept to prevent attractants. 

Both direct and indirect feeding and leaving food out to attract animals across Oakville on both public and private property, is prohibited. 

These by-laws carry associated penalties (people can be fined between $300-$500 and/or be summoned to court) for violations.

Wildlife-proof your property

The least traumatic and most inexpensive way of dealing with wild animals is to animal-proof your property before wildlife moves in. By vaccinating and securely confining pets, and teaching your children to respect wildlife, you can reduce your risk to human health and safety.

For referrals to a humane wildlife control company, contact the Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

  • Use motion-sensitive lighting to make your property less attractive to coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife
  • Securely attach tin or other light metal at a 45-degree angle on the balcony ledge. This prevents animals from climbing onto your balcony.
  • Deter birds from landing with spiky perch wires on ledges or preferred roosting areas, but not on fences.
  • Animals may fall into your pool unless your have raised it above the ground or fenced it in.
  • Cover your pool with solar blanket when you aren’t using it to avoid animals falling in or using it as a pond or drinking pool
  • Clean out and place a screen over the top of window wells to prevent animals from falling in and becoming trapped
  • Protect vegetable gardens with heavy-duty garden fences or place vegetable plants in a greenhouse
  • Fence your property or yard. While many wild animals can jump or climb fences, fences can serve as a deterrent, making access to your yard more difficult. Please refer to the Fence By-law, for acceptable fence and privacy screen height and construction.
  • Properly cap chimneys to block birds and animals from getting inside and check the cap annually to make sure it is still securely in place
  • Repair the flashing – tin or other metal that builders use to weather-proof the chimney if it is loose, or animals have pried or chewed it
  • Repair and secure shingles
  • Repair or replace any loose or rotten soffits.
  • Inspect all siding, roof, foundation, and outside walls for leaks, damaged or rotten areas and make necessary repairs
  • Place screens on all exterior dryer, air, stove and bathroom vents so that animals can’t get inside.
  • Seal holes around doors, windows and roofs with steel wool or cement. To discourage digging and nesting, place gravel around the base of the building.
  • Fill any holes under stairs with clay or concrete
  • Repair holes in door and window screens
  • Avoid leaving your home, garage or shed doors open overnight or for extended periods
  • Ensure gaps around and under decks and sheds are closed off with wire screening to discourage animals from denning or hiding there
  • Use wire mesh, plastic netting, pull down blinds or a commercial barrier to keep wildlife away from balconies
  • Keep your property free of junk, debris and garbage which may invite wild animals looking for food or a place to hide
  • Repair and seal light fixtures to prevent birds from nesting in and on them
  • Remove long grass, dead brush and wood piles. These conditions provide potential den sites for wild animals.
    • If you must have a woodpile, keep it in an enclosed area, such as a garage or shed.
  • Clean out eavestroughs regularly to prevent debris from building up and discourage birds from nesting.
  • Fill in window boxes or place screens over them to discourage nesting
  • Never feed or leave food out for wild animals
  • Remove fallen birdseed under birdfeeders and ripe/rotten fruit that has fallen to the ground under trees
  • Avoid feeding pets outside, and never leave pet food outside unattended
  • Keep your barbeque clean and free of grease to avoid inviting unwanted animals to your yard
  • Always keep garbage in sealed containers and store them in an enclosed area whenever possible
  • Place garbage containers at the curb only on the day of garbage pick-up
  • Ask your neighbourhood garden centre how you can safely eliminate grubs and other insects that some animals like to eat without hurting the grass, other plants and your pets

Wildlife-proof your businesses

  • Keep dumpsters closed as much as possible, especially during the evening
  • Keep all work areas clean of debris and garbage
  • Always close doors when you're not using them
  • Screen off all vents and fans that lead into the building
  • Discourage anyone from feeding wild animals
  • If an animal invades a work area, open all accesses to the outdoors and allow it to escape

Keep children and pets safe

By vaccinating and securely confining pets and teaching your children to respect wildlife and to leave wild animals alone, you can reduce any risk to human health and safety.

  • The presence of a pet may deter wildlife; however, never let a pet chase or scare wildlife. Wild animals could seriously injure your pet
  • Don’t leave pets outdoors unless you're watching them or allow them to roam free. Animals roaming free are always at risk of coming in contact with wild animals.
  • Don’t feed your pets outdoors. Its food may attract wildlife
  • Vaccinate your pet yearly against rabies and other diseases
  • Always keep your pets on a leash when out for a walk unless you are in a leash-free park. This will allow for better care and control of your animal if you see a coyote
  • If you live near green spaces, ravines, and other areas where coyotes live, keep a close eye on your pets
  • Keep cats indoors


The Toronto Wildlife Centre's manual, Answering The Call Of The Wild, is an excellent resource offering information on dealing with wildlife situations on your property and conflict prevention measures for most species of animals, birds and reptiles. Copies of this book are available at Town Hall.

The town's Wildlife Conflict Guidelines (pdf) provides detailed information on how to handle various wildlife conflict situations, who is responsible and preventive measures.

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