It’s been a while since my last blog post, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been very busy. We never really had a winter slow down this year since the weather was so mild.
In any case, with the huge number of wildlife control jobs available, I am seeing a lot of competitors popping up. Will they last, I don’t know.
What’s important to understand is what I offer versus what they offer.
My primary focus is permanent solutions. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my goal is that you only hire me once. While removing wildlife from your home is certainly a part of that, it is actually one of the least important aspects of wildlife control.
That said, I have a lot of competitors. These competitors fall into four main categories…
1. The Redneck Trapper – (most of which whom operate under the table without any licenses, insurance, etc) that are happy to trap for you cheap and do it over and over again.
Many of them are fur trappers and actually want a steady source of harvestable furs. Some are dog trainers and want animals to train their dogs, and again, a steady source is what they want. These guys actually benefit from your home being repeatedly reinfested year after year.
If you don’t mind the steady build up of animal odors and the regular deterioration of the building materials in your attic and crawlspace, by all means, hire these guys. They will be cheaper than I am.
2. The Tunnel Vision Guys – They are happy to remove your animal and fix up the hole it came in, but they neglect to secure the rest of the house, and they definitely don’t consider other potential problems. If they are there for raccoon control, they won’t notice the smaller holes that will let rats in once the predator is gone. Again, expect to have another infestation next year.
Most of my big company competitors, even if they claim to be full service wildlife control company, fall into this category because the owner doesn’t actually go out to jobs. Some beginner tech being paid barely more than minimum wage is who will actually come to your home.
New startups also often are this way too, because they don’t have the experience to know what to look for beyond what you tell them too.
Again, if you don’t mind being infested again, maybe by a different species next time, go ahead and hire these guys. The new startups are usually cheap, and the big companies are going for quantity over quality.
3. The “I can do anything” Contractor – We all know that neighborhood handyman who claims he can tackle any home service job. That may be true, but you’ve probably heard the old saying… “Jack of all trades, master of none” You can’t be all things and still be the best.
I can’t tell you how many times clients have said, “Our handyman thought he blocked them out, but they still found a way in.” I hear that about once a week. While I’m sure your handyman, or roofer, or painter, etc can fix the holes the animals make using industry standard repairs, They usually don’t know where to look for hidden access points or what the animals are capable of getting through.
The problem is that if industry standard building practices took pests into consideration, I wouldn’t have a job. Industry standards aren’t good enough for effective wildlife control. The knowledge of the animal’s capabilities is what sets me apart from these guys. I take nothing on faith or the manufacturers assurances. I have seen what otters and raccoons can rip through, and what mice and bats can squeeze through. All Jack Russell repairs are guaranteed, otter strong, and mouse tight, and we will find all the holes, no matter how hidden they are.
If my brother Tommy or I miss something or an animal breaks through a repair of ours (let’s face it, I’m human and it does happen occasionally) I will seal it up or reinforce it for free. Try getting a guarantee like that from your handyman.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these guys usually have no licenses or training on proper wildlife animal disposition and safe handling.
4. The Insect company – There are a few insect specialists who recognize my expertise in relation to vertebrates, and I have a healthy referral relationship with them. However, too many of them step outside their expertise and try to tackle vertebrate problems.
Most insect companies claim they can also perform rat control or mouse control, and a few try delving into wildlife control as well. Rats and mice are one of my biggest pet peeves. Most insect companies try to treat them like insects. They lay poisons around like they’re spraying for ants and then set you up on a long term service contract to lay more poisons every couple of months. They call it a maintenance contract. Yup, they’re maintaining your problem all right. It will just keep going and going, just like a well maintained Honda.
There are two big problems with this rodent control technique.
First off, leaving poisons around the house eventually will lead to dead animals IN the house. I get called out to remove a dead rat stinking up somebody’s house because of a careless insect company’s poisons at least weekly.
Secondly, as long as there are holes for the animals to get in, the animals will keep coming. Rats and mice are colonial, and the colony is breeding faster than you can kill them, so unless you seal the access holes, they will keep coming.
If you hire me for wildlife removal, you only have to do it once, but sealing up your house is a big upfront repair job as opposed to a small monthly contract that goes on forever and ever so I guess I sort of understand why people hire the insect guys. Still, if your going to make monthly payments, a credit card bill or small home equity loan bill for a limited term to pay me to permanently solve your rodent infestation is a better return on investment.
As for those insect companies that claim to also do the big animals such as raccoons, opossums, etc. They usually fall under the “tunnel vision” category above, and they usually aren’t properly licensed. Most insect companies are licensed with the Department of Agriculture as “PESTICIDE APPLICATORS”. That’s important when you are placing deadly chemicals around a person’s home. I don’t have such a license because I don’t use poisons. I have a Trapper’s license and a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator’s permit from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. These are the licenses required to set any type of traps other than rat/mouse instant kill snap traps. There are strict laws about the proper use of such traps to insure that animal cruelty does not occur.
I have no problem with insect companies that stick with their expertise. Insects. I don’t do insects and always refer insect jobs to a specialist. I just wish they all did the same. Rats, mice, and Pigeons are not insects, and should not be treated as such.
Okay, rant over. If you’ve read this far, I expect you would like to hire a professional wildlife control service. My number is 360-508-8115. If you actually want to hire one of the above referenced competitors, I can’t legally give their names here as that would be slander, but they usually aren’t that hard to find.