The City of Airdrie has an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. This plan will decide if pesticides will be used in specific areas of Airdrie, and if so, how they will be applied. This model was created through public consultation and provides the City with guidance on appropriate pest management options.
The majority of pests found in our parks are common to Southern Alberta. Weed control requires the majority of the pest control resources.
Who to call
- If a skunk that you think is living on City property or you notice a skunk that has been hit by a car, call Parks at 403.948.8400
- If you notice an injured or orphaned skunk, call 403.946.2361 to ensure the animal you have found is truly orphaned. Many animals are mistaken for orphans, and as a result are needlessly separated from their parents.
- In all other cases, follow the tips below:
Did you know?
- Skunks are non-aggressive
- It takes time to regenerate their spray and they will only use it if they’re feeling extremely threatened
- They give lots of warning signs, like stamping their feet, bluff charging etc.
- They’re helpful with pest control (eat mice, insects, wasps etc.)
- They are just looking for food and shelter – if you don’t provide that, you probably won’t have a skunk problem
Remove skunk deterrents
- Keep food and garbage off your decks
- Secure garbage in animal proof containers (garbage can with lid)
- Don’t take your organics cart out until collection day
- Keep pet food tightly contained (preferably indoors)
What should you do if you see a skunk in your backyard
- Keep your dog on-leash
- Supervise your dog if you let it out at night
Skunk proof your backyard
- Remove attractants from your yard
- Put chicken wire along window wells and lattice on the bottom of deck
The dark side of skunk relocation
- Relocations are not usually effective because it just makes room for another skunk to move in
- Skunks have very small territories
- Removing attractants is more effective than removing the skunk
- Often fatal to relocated animal
What should you do if you get sprayed?
- Use a mix of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
- Use ‘skunk-off’ shampoo for dogs
Feral domestic-breed rabbits are house-pet breeds or descendants of house-pet breeds that have populated on their own. They are not jackrabbits native to Airdrie.
Feral domestic-breed rabbits
If you’ve seen feral domestic-breed rabbits in your neighbourhood, please email email@example.com with details about location, number of rabbits and how often you’ve seen them.
Feral domestic-breed rabbits breed every 31 days and produce six to eight rabbits per litter. The native population only breeds one to two times a year, and produce approximately four rabbits per litter. This means a feral domestic-breed rabbit could produce approximately 70 to 80 rabbits a year, in comparison to the native jackrabbit, who produces approximately eight rabbits per year. A high rabbit population creates a wildlife attractant for animals such as coyotes.
An infestation of feral domestic-breed rabbits can also ruin property and cause damage and death to mature trees. Feral domestic-breed rabbits that are not given proper care can carry and spread disease.
The City of Airdrie continues to monitor the coyote activity within City limits. This year, the City has noted a significant decrease in sightings and altercations from this time last year.
As of November 19, there have been a total of 15 coyote sightings since September, whereas in November of 2018 alone, there were 25 single reported sightings. On that note, there have been less rabbit issues as well this year, which suggests why the number of coyote sightings has decreased.
Permanent signage was erected last year regarding coyote activity in certain areas, however, from time to time, sandwich board signs may be placed if there are concerns. Although tracks have been sighted, so far there have not been any reported encounters or concerns of aggressive coyotes. The City will notify residents with additional signage, media posts and website updates if necessary.
The City of Airdrie is working with a wildlife control contractor to monitor coyote activity. There were 17 patrols done in September and 21 in October. The contractor did have one encounter with a coyote on November 12. They were approximately 200 yards apart and the contractor clapped their hands loudly to deter the animal from getting closer. This resulted in the coyote taking off and going in the opposite direction which is the expected reaction.
A reminder to residents to please keep garbage contained in bins and pet food indoors.
The Parks department asks that sightings be reported to the City by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403.948.8400. These reports help with monitoring, mapping and determining the best areas to use control methods when necessary.