When you’ve got critters in places you’d rather not have them—raccoons in your chimney, bats in your attic, or birds nesting in a vent—you have a choice that was unavailable to homeowners a few decades back. Rather than having to settle for someone who will use outdated methods that are not only cruel but have no chance of giving you long-term relief from the problem, you can consult with a humane wildlife control service. That’s progress worth knowing about and seeking out. This article will tell you about the changes that have come about, and how to find the best service provider for your situation.
Critter gitters of the past
The earliest “critter gitters” who came out to help homeowners with wildlife conflicts were usually trappers. State wildlife agencies often enlisted their help in responding to increasing wildlife nuisance calls from homeowners as suburban sprawl fanned out into wildlife habitat. Their approaches were nearly always lethal, and even when claiming to live trap and relocate, the end result for the displaced animal would usually be death. It is extremely difficult for animals to quickly learn all they need to know about a new area to find food, water, shelter, and safety. Naturally, local predators quickly spot the vulnerability of relocated animals and easily exploit it. Meanwhile, the homeowner’s problem was rarely remedied for any length of time, because the precipitating problem—whatever attracted the animal or enabled him or her to gain access to the inside of a home, for example—was not diagnosed and corrected.
Humane critter gitters—a new ally for homeowners
A humane wildlife control provider knows the natural history, biology and behaviors of the animal involved and uses the most appropriate techniques for dealing with that species. This enables them to devise and apply long-term solutions. They define key circumstances that are contributing to the conflict, assess the damage being done, and evaluate other things, such as whether dependent young animals are present. If so, timing of intervention is crucial and they have specific equipment and techniques to keep the wildlife family from becoming separated. Armed with this vital information, a plan is then put it into action. And, no job is complete until the results are assessed and repairs are done to prevent animals from getting back into the home. These advantages of the modern humane approach to solving conflicts with wildlife offer you a humane and long-term solution.
Finding a good critter gitter
As awareness of wildlife has increased, some states have enacted laws to protect certain species from inhumane wildlife control practices. But wherever you live, the choice is yours. You can always opt for the smarter, more humane approach to resolving a problem with wildlife, simply by finding the right provider. Here a few questions to ask them. The preferred responses are in italics after each question.
- Do you use traps? (They should not.)
- Do you leave wild animals onsite or relocate them? (Animals should be left onsite.)
- What methods do you use to get adult animals out of structures? (They should use one-way doors.)
- What do you do if there may be dependent young inside? (They should remove dependent young by hand and safely reunite moms with their young outside your home?)
- Do you perform repairs to prevent animals from entering? (They should.)
- Are your materials and work guaranteed for a minimum of one year? (They should be.)
- How will you help me identify and address attractants? (They should walk around your property and talk to you about concerns such as trash control, feeding animals, fencing your garden, etc.)
You should also ask questions about licensing, insurance, and pricing. If you have difficulty finding a provider who will adhere to these tenants, make it clear to the companies you speak with that you’d like to see them update their practices to meet current research and standards.
By using a humane wildlife control provider, you’ll spare yourself from dealing with the repeat problems that come with using the failed methods of the past. You’ll also feel pretty darn good about allowing wildlife—who were simply trying to go about the business of life—to leave in peace so they can find a more appropriate home.