With the right information and supplies, you may be able to solve some conflicts with wildlife by yourself. But when it’s time to call in a professional, here's how to find a humane, effective and ethical company.
Ask for an inspection and written estimate
It will 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 and fees. 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.
Get specifics on how the problem and the animals will be handled
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?
Insist on humane techniques
If an animal is inside a structure, insist on the use of guaranteed eviction/exclusion strategies, such as one-way doors and/or hands-on removal and reunion of families that will ultimately lead to their release outside of the structure.
Prevent a recurrence of the problem
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.
Be on the lookout for unethical fees and practices
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.
Get referrals from trusted sources
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. You can also ask for references from previous customers.
Make sure the company is licensed and insured
Request written assurance that the company’s practices are in compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. Make sure that the company carries commercial liability insurance and any required licenses.