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Dealing with Wildlife Encounters in Coquitlam: Raccoons and Squirrels

July 10, 20235 min read

“Look deep into wildlife and you will understand everything better .” - Albert Einstein


Coquitlam, nestled in the beautiful Fraser Valley of British Columbia, is known for its stunning natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. From curious raccoons to nimble squirrels and other fascinating creatures, encounters with wildlife are a common occurrence in Coquitlam's urban and suburban areas. To ensure a harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife, it is important to handle these encounters responsibly. In this detailed blog post, we will explore effective strategies for dealing with wildlife encounters in Coquitlam, with a specific focus on raccoons, squirrels, and other common wildlife species. By understanding their behavior, implementing preventive measures, and fostering responsible coexistence, we can enjoy the beauty of Coquitlam while respecting the needs of the wildlife that shares our city.

8 Reasons

Section 1: Understanding Coquitlam's Wildlife

To effectively deal with wildlife encounters in Coquitlam, it is crucial to familiarize ourselves with the behavior and habits of the animals we may encounter.

Raccoons: Raccoons are highly adaptable and intelligent creatures that thrive in urban environments. They are primarily nocturnal and are attracted to areas with accessible food sources, such as garbage bins and compost. Understanding raccoons' natural behaviors and preferences will help us develop strategies to peacefully coexist with them.

Squirrels: Coquitlam is home to various squirrel species, including the Eastern gray squirrel and the Douglas squirrel. Squirrels are diurnal and agile climbers. They are attracted to residential areas by bird feeders, fruit trees, and nuts. Understanding their behavior and patterns will help us minimize potential conflicts and maintain a peaceful coexistence.

Section 2: Preventive Measures for Wildlife Encounters

Preventing wildlife encounters is key to promoting harmonious coexistence and minimizing conflicts. Implement the following strategies to discourage raccoons, squirrels, and other animals from causing disturbances on your property:

Secure Garbage and Compost: Use animal-proof bins with tightly fitting lids to prevent raccoons and squirrels from accessing food sources. Ensure the lids are securely closed, and consider using bungee cords or weights to further deter animals. Regularly clean the bins to minimize odors that may attract wildlife. Additionally, avoid leaving bags of garbage outside overnight and use sturdy compost bins to prevent wildlife from scavenging.

Manage Bird Feeders: If you have bird feeders in your yard, choose squirrel-proof feeders or place them in areas that are less accessible to squirrels. Consider using baffles or domes designed to deter squirrels from reaching the birdseed. Regularly clean up spilled seeds to minimize attractions for wildlife.

Protect Gardens and Plants: If you have a garden, protect it from wildlife by using fences or netting. This will help prevent raccoons and squirrels from damaging your plants or digging up bulbs. Consider planting species that are less attractive to wildlife or using natural deterrents like cayenne pepper or garlic spray to discourage foraging.

Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for any potential entry points and seal them off. Raccoons and squirrels can squeeze through small openings, so use materials like steel mesh or caulk to block any gaps or holes in your walls, roofs, or foundations. Pay attention to vents, chimneys, and attics, as these are common entry points. Installing chimney caps, mesh coverings for vents, and sealing off potential access points will help deter wildlife from entering your home.

Secure Outdoor Pets: If you have outdoor pets, avoid leaving their food dishes outside, especially overnight. Store pet food in secure containers indoors to prevent attracting wildlife.

Section 3: Responsible Wildlife Encounters

When encountering wildlife in Coquitlam, it's important to approach these interactions responsibly to ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

Maintain a Safe Distance: Enjoy observing wildlife from a safe distance without approaching or attempting to touch them. Use binoculars or a zoom lens for a closer look while maintaining a respectful distance. Wildlife should never be approached or cornered, as this can lead to stress or defensive behavior.

Do Not Feed Wildlife: Feeding wildlife disrupts their natural foraging behaviors and can create dependency on human sources. Avoid offering food to raccoons, squirrels, or any other wild animals. Feeding wildlife also increases the risk of habituation and conflicts.

Preserve Natural Habitats: Respect the natural habitats of wildlife by avoiding activities that may disturb or harm them. Be mindful of sensitive areas, nesting sites, and habitats where wildlife seeks refuge.

Educate Others: Share your knowledge and experiences with friends, neighbors, and the Coquitlam community. Encourage responsible wildlife practices and the importance of coexistence. By spreading awareness, we can collectively contribute to a more harmonious relationship with wildlife.

Section 4: Reporting Wildlife Nuisances

If you encounter persistent wildlife nuisances or situations that require professional assistance, it's important to report them to the appropriate authorities.

Local Wildlife Agencies: Contact local wildlife control agencies or animal services to report ongoing issues or wildlife-related emergencies. They have the expertise to address wildlife conflicts in a safe and humane manner. They can provide guidance and assistance when dealing with wildlife encounters.

Seek Professional Help: If you come across injured or orphaned wildlife, contact wildlife rehabilitation centers in Coquitlam. These organizations specialize in rescuing and rehabilitating animals and can provide guidance on the best course of action. Do not attempt to handle or care for wildlife on your own, as it requires specialized knowledge and permits.


Dealing with wildlife encounters in Coquitlam requires a combination of understanding, preventive measures, responsible actions, and reporting when necessary. By familiarizing ourselves with the behavior of raccoons, squirrels, and other wildlife species, implementing preventive strategies, practicing responsible coexistence, and reporting wildlife nuisances, we can enjoy the natural beauty of Coquitlam while respecting the needs of the wildlife that call this city home. Let's strive for a harmonious balance between humans and nature in Coquitlam.

Check out 30 of the most interesting wildlife encounters in Canada

Step-by-Step Guide for Dealing with Wildlife Encounters:

  1. Educate yourself about the behavior and habits of wildlife species in Coquitlam.

  2. Implement preventive measures such as securing garbage and compost, managing bird feeders, protecting gardens, sealing entry points, and properly storing pet food.

  3. Approach wildlife encounters responsibly by maintaining a safe distance and refraining from feeding wildlife.

  4. Report persistent wildlife nuisances to local wildlife agencies or seek professional help from wildlife rehabilitation centers when needed.

Join us in creating a respectful and harmonious relationship with wildlife in Coquitlam. By implementing preventive measures, approaching encounters responsibly, and reporting wildlife nuisances, we can protect the well-being of both humans and animals. Together, let's preserve Coquitlam's natural wonders and ensure a sustainable future for wildlife in our city.

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Joe Gabara

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