Ladder Work on Apartments

ladder work


02.02.2008 - Most of my jobs involve ladder work.  Except for cases of ground trapping, most cases of wildlife removal involve animals that have invaded homes or buildings, usually the attics, and I need to address the problems high up, where the animals get in.  This calls for ladder work.

I carry three standard ladders on my truck.  One is just a 6' stepladder, which I mostly use to enter ceiling attic hatches inside homes.  I also use it for work repairing under eaves of single story homes, and other home repairs for which I only need a few extra feet of height.  The second ladder is a 24' extension ladder, which I use the most.  It's good for most roof and eave work on two story homes.  The third ladder is a 32' extension ladder, seen in the leftmost and rightmost photos above.  The 32' allows me to work on three story buildings such as these apartments.  Sometimes I need other ladders, and I own eight ladders total.  The largest ladder that I can handle by myself is a 40' ladder.  It took me a couple of years to be able to use this large ladder.  It's very heavy and cumbersome to use.  It requires both strength and good balance to carry and set.  In the middle photo, I'm seen working on the 40' ladder.

When I started this business, I realized that the greatest dangers to my safety would not come from animals.  I knew that I stood a far greater chance of injury in a truck accident or from falling off a ladder than from an animal attack.  Thus, I have always been very careful with my ladder use.  True, I have never used any kind of extra safety equipment.  I have mostly just used common sense and carefulness.  First of all, it's important to have an open space with flat ground.  Believe me, I've faced thousands of ladder challenges from trees, strange architecture, and sloped ground.  Next, the ladder should have a firm surface to lean on, and the angle should be about 30 degrees.  I always shake the ladder a few times to make sure that it is solid before I climb.

I remember the very first tall ladder that I climbed so that I could work on a bat job on a roof.  It was the summer of 2001, and I was a tad nervous climbing about 25 feet onto a roof.  However, I quickly got over my concerns, and now I am willing to climb any ladder in any situation, so long as I believe the ladder is sturdy.

I've never had a ladder accident, or any close calls that I know of.  There's a lot of dangers, especially when climbing off the ladder onto the roof and vice versa.  That's a dangerous transition.  Also, ladder users must keep in mind the dangers of electrical power lines.  It's a good idea to wear non-slippery shoes.  But most of all, it's just important to be careful and always pay attention.  That's about it.

Remember, the most important step in a total wildlife control solution is to stop the source of the problem - if you have wild critters in your attic or home, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to close all the entry points! This is a special skill, and it requires extensive knowledge of both architecture and animal behavior. Being a skilled repairman also helps. All repairs should be done in such a way that keeps animals out for good - this often means sealing with steel, and sealing openings so that they are airtight, with no trace of airflow for animals to detect. Remember, rodents can gnaw through almost anything, and raccoons can tear through almost anything. While it's important to trap and remove animals, and clean up the waste they leave behind, the most important step in solving the critter problem and in keeping animals out forever is to identify and repair every last critter access point into the building. Without this crucial step, the job isn't complete.

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Ladder work is an important part of wildlife control. In many cases, wild critters gain access to the attic or house through openings in the roof area. Therefore, you, most times, have to climb up a ladder to get to the root of the problem, as you may need to set a trap or perform some repair work. As a wildlife removal professional, your greatest risk isn't an attack from a wild animal. You're more likely to get into a truck accident on your way to a client's home or even fall off a ladder. That's why your safety should be a priority when climbing ladders. In this post, we're going to look at the type of ladders you need and how to stay safe.

Ladder Types

It's a no-brainer that the size of the ladder you use is dependent on the height of the building. Here are some common sizes you should have.

6' Step ladder

This is best suited for entering the ceiling inside the home. In single-story homes, it can give you the height needed to do repair works.

24' Extension ladder

This is better suited for gaining access to the roof or doing eave work on two-story buildings.

32' Extension ladder

When you're dealing with homes as high as 3-story, this ladder is perfectly suited to give you the elevation you need.

40' Extension ladder

In rarer instances, you might have to climb taller buildings. That's what 40' ladders are good for. However, it is usually heavy and challenging to use. Because of the great height involved, it possesses even a greater level of risk.

Tips to Stay Safe

When working with ladders, a fall can have an immense impact on your well-being. That's why you have to prepare the ladder in the right way and also be in the right state of mind. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Plan for a fall

Why set a ladder on a concrete floor when you can set it over bushes or even on grass? Utilize the landscape to place the ladder at an adequate position.

Make sure it's sturdy

When setting the ladder, aim for an angle of, at least, 30 degrees. Also, check the landscape and look out for sloped ground to determine how best to place it. Shake it a couple of times to ensure that it is firm before you start climbing. It helps if you have a person stabilize the ladder at the base. This person should wear a hard hat.

Avoid climbing in slippery conditions

If it's rainy or snowy, you do not want to climb ladders because you may slip. The landscape might also be slippery. Therefore, if you suspect bad weather is approaching, you might want to close all the traps you have at high places so you would not have to climb to check to see if they've caught the animal. Remember, you cannot abandon animals in a trap - it's against the law and it's inhumane.

Only climb as the last resort

Critically analyze your options to see if there are other ways to catch the nuisance animal without climbing too high. You should only climb when that's the only option.

Be present-minded

As you climb up towards an entry hole, a squirrel might quickly escape through the hole. If you're not present-minded, you get caught unaware and might slip. Be prepared for surprises.

Go slowly

Think about each move and watch your steps as you ascend.


Your job as a wildlife control expert is to stop the source of the animal infestation problem. And from time to time, that would mean the use of a ladder. Make sure you stay safe as you engage in removal or repair works.

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