Animal & Wildlife Removal Professionals
Animal Removal Hacks and Secrets
Wildlife Removal Secret #1
What you should do before hiring a wildlife operator..
Before calling any wildlife trapping company to solve your wildlife issues…. BUY YOUR OWN TRAP! Just have the company pick up the animal after you trapped it! Most companies charge an avoidable initial service fee to come out and set up an animal trap. Some will put you on a 30 day contract for you to sign, assess the property and setup a trap. This service fee can range anywhere from $200 to $450 depending how many traps you want set up. Then, an additional fee to return and remove the animal once it’s trapped. I usually charge a $225 initial service fee and then a $125 return fee to remove the animal once trapped (per animal).
In most states it is illegal to relocate wildlife. It’s recommended to call a licensed wildlife trapping company to take care of the animal after you’ve trapped it. You can totally avoid the initial service fee if you buy your own trap, at a fraction of the cost, bait with dog/cat food etc. and set it up where there’s animal activity! They’ll most likely have to put it to sleep per state law. DOING THIS WILL SAVE YOU BETWEEN $200-$400!! by just avoiding the initial service fee and buying your own trap to keep.
Follow these steps to help you along the way:
- Go to your local Home Depot and buy a Havahart trap but it’s cheaper on Amazon here. I do recommend the double door trap which is larger and opened at both ends here. My success rate is much higher with double door cages. If trapping a skunk you might want to consider this.
- Try to avoid setting the trap inside the attic or crawlspace. Especially if it’s a skunk. You do NOT want a skunk traveling through your home when it’s removed. The same with other animals. Also, it’ll be easier for your wildlife trapper to remove an animal if it’s already outside.
- Place the trap at the point of entry facing the hole. If they’re under a deck then place where you think they’re going under. If there’s an opossum or raccoon in the attic place the trap where you think the animal is climbing onto your roof. Usually on the ground at the foot of a tree or fence. They’re very curious and will inspect the new trap.
- Use dry dog/cat food, dry cereal or marshmallows. Place the bait at the far back and leave a trail in the middle and some outside the trap. Avoid wet pet food, tuna and peanut butter. These will turn-off animals if its spoiled and peanut butter will attract rats.
- Consider covering your trap with an old sheet or towel if you’re trapping a skunk. If you’re trapping an opossum or raccoon and you smelled skunk recently, I would cover the trap just incase you trap a skunk. This will help whoever is coming out to remove a trapped skunk.
- Try to avoid the county’s animal control and call a private local company. Most counties do not remove trapped animals and if they do, they can take days to do so.
- Google “raccoon control and your city”, “skunk removal Walnut Creek”, etc and look for a private wildlife removal company. Once they remove the animal for you they should give you your trap back to set it up again if you need to.
- Make sure to check the trap before 8am everyday to call your local trapping company to get on their schedule if you have an animal trapped. If it’s too late in the day they might not make it that day. There should be more than one local company near you. You want the animal gone as soon as possible.
Wildlife Removal Secret #2
The most humane way to get rid of raccoons
Use a one-way door to have the animals leave from under your home or the attic and the door closes behind them to deny them re-entry. Most people never have animals break into their homes but once once does homeowners have zero experience or don’t know where to start. Homeowners will call a wildlife control company and after everything is said and done, they have SPENT MORE THAN $1200 TO REMOVE A FAMILY OF SKUNKS!! We’re talking about potentially trapping 2-10 skunks, raccoons, opossums or squirrels at $125 per animal. I’m not over exaggerating. Some homes act as a breeding den when mating season comes around. But by placing a one-way door at the point of entry, it will allow the animals to leave and deny them re-entry.
Usually it’s a broken crawlspace vent, a burrow in the soil that leads under the home or a hole under the eaves of the roof where home builders didn’t completely seal. But, if there’s any hole an animal is getting in and out of you can attach a one-way door to evict them. This saves you money and prevents any animals from being euthanized.
Please read important information before proceeding with this method:
- Look for something similar to this one-way door or this one-way excluder. It’s 8.5 inches wide and should be big enough for any large raccoon, skunk or opossum.
- Use extra metal screen (hardware cloth) to attach secure the one-way door without any gaps for animals to squeeze in and out.
- Avoid using this method if you have raccoon babies. If you hear this then I wouldn’t advise setting up a one-way door as the strong mother will aggressively tear out another point of entry to retrieve her babies.
- Birthing season is usually between March and June for most animals.
- Give it about 7 days before taking off the one-way door to seal the hole. Use cement or place stepping stones if they dug and hole under the foundation. The further out the better.
- Before using this method make sure all other vents or points of entries are sealed and solid.
- If you’re placing the one-way door over a hole in the ground, be sure to place boards or extra screen at the sides and weigh it down with something heavy like bricks, cinder blocks or even pots. This will prevent them from burrowing further out to escape or re-enter.
Wildlife Removal Secret #3
Use your free resources- County Animal Control
Your tax paying dollars can help in certain situations. Some County’s Animal Controls will go out to your property for emergencies. If you’re careful with what you say you can potentially have them come out for free to take care of your nuisance animal. This will also apply to dead animals only if you can somehow get the dead animal off your private property and relocate it to the curb/street. If you have an animal that is sick or injured living on your property and let them know it’s acting very strange, they’ll deem it as an emergency to prevent any human or pet from getting bit or sick. You might have someone out there the same day.
If you have a problem animal that’s aggressively trying to attack you, your family or family pets, it’s possible you can get an animal control officer out there right away. Anything related to distemper, and or rabies, it will be the county’s top priority to remedy the problem. Please use this information on when it applies.
Homeowners have had this issue many times but weren’t able to get the county out because they didn’t communicate the sick or aggressive nature of the problem animal they had on their property. If you have an animal sick or injured in any way please use animal control to handle it and most of the time it’s free. Most private wildlife trapping companies will prefer you to call the county instead due to limited permits and resources we have. Like shooting a potentially rabid raccoon. Do not in any way try to use your own trap to catch a rabid animal.
- If you have a sick or aggressive wildlife animal call animal control and use the emergency option on their automated phone line.
- Document what you’ve seen and communicate it to animal control.
Wildlife Removal Secrets #4
Prevent animals from digging in your yard
Skunks do not climb so, the best strategy to prevent skunks from digging will be to seal your fence line. If your yard has too many gaps or openings then you might try the below options. Raccoons are great at climbing so, it’s a little more difficult to prevent raccoons from digging in your yard. Same goes with opossums. These options are not 100% effective. But there’s a chance it can help prevent animals from digging your grass up for grub.
- Motion sensored sprinklers
- Garden bird netting – Place this netting on your lawn at problem and potential problem areas.
Wildlife Removal Secrets #5
Cheap animal removal remedies
Motion Sensored Pet Spray – 80% of my calls are regarding animals breaking into the home at the foundation level. Broken vents, burrowing holes into the crawlspace and opened trap doors. For clients that couldn’t afford my services I would suggest a humane way of evicting their raccoon, skunk or opossum. By attaching the spray system right at the corner or in front of the point of entry. Whatever comes in or out will get blasted with a sudden loud, pressurized burst of air. Attach the device onto a stake and dig it into the ground right in front of the hole or duct tape onto the wall. It sounds silly but it can certainly save your a lot of money. Keep it place for about 4-5 days then stuff the hole with a plastic bag. They usually come out everyday to feed and drink. If the bag is still in place for 3 nights you can seal the hole with a bag of cement or replace the vent screen if that where it was coming out of.
Cayenne pepper– Wildlife are persistent and very clever. They will dig under, around and into everything. If you have a skunk, raccoon or opossum digging into the soil to gain access to your crawlspace, deck, shed or into your yard, buy cayenne pepper and mix it into the excavated soil. Then, backfill the cayenne mixed soil into the hole at the point of entry. The skunk will definitely dig back through a few times. Everytime it does, you would use the same mixed cayenne soil to backfill the hole. This might take 4-5 tries but eventually the skunk will leave. Cayenne pepper will irritate their nasal system and give up after a few days. Seal up the hole with a bag of cement once the hole has been unbothered for 3 nights.
Dog Shock Training Pad – These are used on couches and countertops to keep pets away. Most pets never return after just one jolt. They provide a shock from a 9 volt battery and is wireless if an steps on it. Apply this pad any any point of entry. Whether it’s on the ground, on top of a fence or a broken vent. Try to adhere it to the ground or weight down the corners with a brick etc. You can easily duct tape this on a wall as well. You’d probably want to keep kids and pets away from this device. Once again, after it’s been set for a few days place a plastic bag or board at the point of entry. If it’s been unbothered for about 3 nights then, seal up the hole.
Animals Above Ground Level
If you have an animal climbing onto your to roof to gain access to your attic you have to identify how they’re getting up there. Most of time it’s a tree. Cut the tree back. If it’s a fence lay down carpet tack strips on top of the fence until they leave, then seal the hole.
Let’s Talk Little About Predator Scents and Urine
Coyote urine, ammonia balls and the like are only effective when a nursing mother has babies in confined areas like an attic or crawlspace. A place where the mother thinks there’s danger nearby with a narrow escape. It won’t work in open yards or anywhere outdoors. If you have a single animal with no cubs or kits then there’s really no use for these scents.
The best, proven scent when it comes to nursing raccoons is raccoon eviction fluid. This scent is a pheromone of a boar male raccoon which displays it’s aggressive intention to mark it’s territory to maintain it’s dominance as the superior male in the area. It will kill babies to accomplish it’s status and mother raccoon will pick up her kits and leave. You can always try any type of urine or ammonia balls for other animals living in the attic or crawlspace. It can work but the success rate is pretty low.
Wildlife Removal Secret #6
You probably have homeowners insurance
If you have extensive damage caused by animals that is not a rodent then you can give your insurance company a call. Most insurance companies cover animal damaged caused to your insulation, ducting, home structure and more. Also, they should cover wildlife removal services. I’ve collected evidence in the form of pictures of the damage animals have caused in the crawlspace and attic for the homeowner to introduce to the insurance company. Along with my invoice of services provided and ducting/insulation repair that was needed and they agreed to send a check to the homeowner to cover the expense.
This will be a great opportunity to get ducting/insulation pros to inspect and create an estimate to repair damages if you wanted to go that route. Some of the adjusters will push back initially and say it’s not covered under policy. But, if the homeowner tells the agent to double check the fine print most will agree to cover the expense. You must be diligent! Collecting evidence of recent animal activity and damage will certainly help your chances. Keep in mind there is usually a deductible if you were to put in a claim. Some of my repair projects, along with animal services I provided, are well over $5000. So, it’ll definitely be worth it to put in a claim.
That pretty much sums up the hacks and secrets for wildlife removal
Some facts to consider:
- Some clients call regarding bigger animals in the attic but when I go inside the attic, they have rats chewing on metal, domed-shaped light fixtures which cause noises to reverberate and amplify the sound. When clients actually see the raccoons, obviously we’re dealing with raccoons. But, don’t be surprised if you have a rodent, opposed to having raccoons or an opossum. Just consider all avenues.
- Raccoons give birth during the spring time. The kits will become very active during summer months. It’s always best to have mother raccoon remove her babies herself, opposed to trapping her then removing the babies. Most of the time the babies will be in the far back corner of an attic. It can be difficult getting to those babies. This is not the only way though.
- If you decide to trap raccoons, some states require to euthanize the animal (or to be released on your property), as it’s illegal to relocate wildlife. Wildlife Operators will know what to do in this situation because most of the time while relocating wildlife, they get hit by vehicles trying to make their way back home. It’s dangerous for both raccoon and drivers on the road.
- Removing a mother raccoon and leaving her kits inside the attic will cause the kits to scream for their mother. They cause a yelping, chirping sound. If you ignore the babies they will die inside the attic and now you’ll need dead animal removal services. They can be easy or very difficult to find inside the insulation depending where they are located.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Attic?
“Raccoon eviction fluid”
Using raccoon eviction fluid is the single best way to remove raccoons in the attic. If you have a pregnant mother raccoon, or a mother already with babies, this method is best for you and the raccoons. Raccoon eviction fluid is a predator scent that warns mother of a boar male raccoon is nearby. Boar male raccoons will kill raccoon kits to stay the dominant raccoon in the neighborhood. If placed properly it’ll motivate mother raccoon to move her family elsewhere.
Throughout my years of evicting raccoons from the attic, this process has about a 75% success rate. This way will save you the most money if it works. It’s worth the investment. Just google “raccoon eviction fluid” to purchase. But, before buying, consider the process:
How to use raccoon eviction fluid:
- Get on the roof and seal up all points of entry except the main one. It’ll have more brown staining than other entry points.
- Place a tablespoon of eviction fluid at main entry.
- Give mother raccoon a few days to remove her kits.
- Place a wadded newspaper at the main entry to identify if raccoons have left the attic. If newspaper was bothered, stuff the hole again. If it had not been bothered for three straight days, you have no more raccoons.
You probably have a raccoon in the attic. But, never discount the fact that it might be an opossum, squirrel or even rats. We get calls all the time when homeowners assume something HUGE is in their attic but we find rats, or squirrels even. Rats have a tendency to chew on light fixtures, pipes, ducting and the like, all which will reverberate to amplify the noise. Most think they’re raccoons in the attic, but really it’s a rodent issue. Look for points of entry, if you don’t have any 2 1/2 inches or bigger, you most likely have rodents.
“Trap mother raccoon”
This method can be accomplished but I recommend hiring your local wildlife operator as you need the proper equipment and knowledge to do so.
- Listen for babies (raccoon audio above). They chirp when they’re audible.
- Find the point of entry and set a trap as close as possible- button up the trap against the hole if you can.
- If you trapped mother raccoon, it’s crucial to go inside the attic to remove the babies.
- Check state laws about euthanizing or relocating animals. It is illegal to relocate wildlife in some states. If you do relocate, keep in mind, raccoons will try to find their way back home and can possibly get hit by a vehicle. This is when to reconsider hiring a wildlife operator.
- If you can’t set a trap near the point of entry then lay trap near the tree or fence that leads to the roof.
Raccoon damage inside your attic
Raccoons in the attic can cause thousands of dollars in damage, From soiled insulation, to ripped up ductwork. Piles of fecal matter which will build spores, become absorbed into broken ducts, and enter your living space will cause an illness. The latrines is recommended to be removed. The pheromones will attract other animals inside the attic. Diseases are also always an issue with raccoons living inside the attic. When dealing with raccoons, potential risks such as parasite roundworm and zoonotic diseases can pass from mammal to human. Proper equipment is recommended.