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August 7, 2012

Choosing a Wildlife Control Company

Seven tips for selecting a humane wildlife control company

The Humane Society of the United States

With the right information and supplies, it’s often pretty easy to  solve conflicts with your wild neighbors by yourself.

But when it’s time to call in a professional, we recommend the following guidelines when seeking and contracting for services.

1. Ensure that the company will provide an on-site inspection and a firm written estimate. It would be difficult for any company to assess and price the job over the phone, but they should be able to give you a rundown of their services by hour or fees per unit of material. Any fee for the on-site inspection should apply toward the work that is contracted. During the on-site visit, ask that the company identify:

  • The animal(s) using the structure.
  • All of the entry points as well as any potential entry points.
  • Whether or not there are offspring.
  • How the answers to these were determined.

Most companies will, and all should, provide pictures to explain how the animal is using a structure and what needs to be repaired to ensure the structure is wildlife proof.

2. Request specific details about how the intrusion or problem will be resolved and how the animal(s) will be treated. Will the animal be killed, and if so why? Are there offspring that will be orphaned or abandoned? Will the method used resolve the problem for the long-term?

3. If an animal is inside a structure, insist on the use of guaranteed eviction/exclusion strategies that include one-way doors and/or hands-on removal and reunion of families that will ultimately lead to their release outside of the structure. 

4. Make sure that the company provides a full range of animal-proofing/exclusion services that carry at least a one-year guarantee against re-entry. The job is not complete until the identified access points have been effectively refitted with exclusion material that will stand up to challenge by wildlife.

5. Never sign a contract that contains an open-ended clause allowing a company to charge for removal of any and every animal that can be trapped on the property. This is an unethical practice and will not solve conflicts for the long-term.

6. Obtain a referral for the company from a local wildlife rehabilitator, humane society, or animal control agency. Ask these references how they have determined that the company uses humane practices.

7. You can also request written assurance that the company’s practices are in compliance with federal, state or provincial, and local laws and regulations. Make surethat the company carries commercial liability insurance and any required licenses. And you can always ask for references from previous customers.

» Purchase a copy of Wild Neighbors; the go-to guide for useful, humane solutions to conflicts with wildlife. 

» If you are located within the D.C. Metro Area, take advantage of our wildlife conflict resolution service. Learn More

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