Cheap Wildlife Trapping
Here are examples of emails of cheap, but bad, jobs that I've received from some website users. Please bear in mind that doing a bad job in the first place will cost you more in the end.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, what to look for, who NOT to hire.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of the wildlife control business, & prices.
I just found your website and was impressed, and wanted to ask your advice about a problem we've been having in our apartment in New Jersey. What looks like a family of raccoons has moved into our drop-down ceiling. Our apartment is on the top floor of a four storey brownstone.
The raccoons are making a terrible racket night and day. So far we've had our
pest company come in and set poison and lay a trap with cat food on the roof. The first two nights, they ate the food but the trap wasn't set off, and last night (having tied the food to the back of the cage so they couldn't
drag it forward), they didn't even touch it.
Our landlord tells us that the state animal control people won't deal with raccoons, so we're using some private exterminators who so far haven't inspired much confidence. They weren't able to find the entry point, and the traps aren't working.
I am not optimistic about solving the problem and am thinking we might have to move out when our lease runs out at the end of next month. Is this an overreaction? What do you think we should be doing? How serious a problem do you think this is?
I'd appreciate any thoughts you had.
I wrote back to this person, and found out that he'd hired a company who normally does pest control - cockroaches, termites, etc. Their price was cheap, an $89 service fee to set up the trap, plus $49 for each raccoon removed, but they clearly didn't know what they were doing. I told
Joe that he needed to hire a wildlife removal professional who could find the raccoon babies and cut open the ceiling or wall and remove them, a real wildlife pro who could listen and feel for the warm spot where the babies lie, then remove them and use them as live bait to trap and
remove the female raccoon. Most professionals that do the job correctly (not just throw a trap on the roof baited with cat food!!!) will charge significantly more than the price charged by the exterminator company, but they will do the job correctly, and prevent the raccoons from
causing damage in the attic (contamination, tearing ductwork and wires, etc.) that is far more expensive than removal costs.
David, thank you for the information on your website. You obviously have a passion for what you do. I wish I found you earlier, because the people I hired to catch the animals in my attic are completely incompetent.
I called and had them come out and set traps in my attic, they set squirrel traps at a cost of $329. They said they would come back in a few days to check on them. A week went by so I called them, they promised to be out the next day. Another day went by, I
called them again, they promised to page the worker that set the traps and his supervisor. Two days later another trapper from [NAME DELETED] contacted me and assured me he would be by the next day. That was two weeks ago....... I decided to go into the attic for
myself, where I found 3 small empty traps that were not set and fecal matter that could not have come from a squirrel. I know now from your website that I have a raccoon in there. The trapper mentioned that he had seen the area they were using for this and
I would think he should know the difference in the size of the fecal matter. What if the traps had caught something? This would not be very humane. I am going to hire the company that you recommend, and make sure they know how to properly handle a raccoon
in the attic!
I followed up with this woman, and found out that she did hire the trapper on my site, who did charge more than $329, but he was able to properly remove the animals - it was in fact a raccoon, and as usual, there were baby raccoons - and fix the entry holes and clean up the
raccoon waste in the attic. The company that she hired for $329 was a pest control firm who normally only traps small animals like rats, and was not equipped to handle larger wildlife.
The bottom line is that the cheapest is not always the best. Many companies quote low prices, and then do the job all wrong - in the above case, the low-paid employee wasn't even going to check traps every day to see if a suffering animal was inside. It turned out that it didn't
matter, because he set tiny squirrel traps when dealing with a raccoon, and even if it was squirrels, over 90% of the time a squirrel will never enter a trap placed inside an attic - it must be mounted outside, usually on top of or near the entry hole. Knowledge matters, and the
best wildlife operators usually charge appropriately for their services.