Got a family of raccoons in your chimney? Have you heard rustling and other little noises coming from within your walls or vents? Time to hire a wildlife control service company. Why? Because some problems are best left to the professionals. You’ll save yourself considerable time and trouble—as well as the possibility of additional problems and expenses if your do-it-yourself plan goes awry. When you hire a carefully chosen wildlife control service, you are wisely handing the problem over to those with experience.
Not all services are equally effective and ethical in their practices, though, so here are some tips on how to track down the kind of company you want.
Questions to ask…
Check out their credentials. Your state wildlife agency’s or department of natural resources (DNR) website should have a page about wildlife control operators, licensing, and sometimes a section on best practices.
- Is the company licensed to do wildlife control work where you live?
- Do their practices comply with relevant laws and regulations?
- Does the company carry commercial liability insurance?
- What services do they offer?
- Will the company perform an on-site inspection and a firm written estimate? At a minimum, they should provide a list of services, a per hour fee for work, and per unit costs of materials likely to be needed.
- Will their inspection fee apply towards contracted work if you hire them?
- Will they attempt to identify all potential entry points and determine whether dependent young are present?
What methods will they use to do so? Photos taken onsite are a relatively common and appropriate way for these things to be explained to you, the homeowner.
- Do they use one-way doors to allow animals to exit, and remove dependent young by hand, safely reuniting moms with their young outside your home?
- Are they able to perform repairs to prevent animals from entering?
- Are their materials and work guaranteed for a minimum of one year?
Check with others…
- Ask friends and neighbors if they have experience with a wildlife control service.
- Ask a local wildlife rehabilitator if there is a local company they could recommend. Check the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association website local companies.
- Ask your local animal control agency or local humane society if there is a service for your area that they believe will be effective and ethical.
Take an interest during the effort…
- Watch how the problem is being resolved. Ask questions if something concerns you.
- Emphasize your desire to make sure that animals are all safely outside before sealing of entry points begins.
- If the job is done well, recommend the company to others so they don’t end up hiring a less responsible company that skips the essential step of making repairs to seal up entry points. Unethical companies often purposefully skip this step, because openings will be discovered and used by other animals, providing another work opportunity for them.
Choosing the right company is what will enable you to confidently say, “Problem solved!”