Wildlife Damage Inspection Training Course
This course was originally designed to train individuals interested in getting involved with wildlife damage inspection on a professional
basis. However, homeowners, building inspectors, and do-it-yourselfers will find the information helpful as well.
Special Comments for Home Inspectors
- Please keep in mind that the course was designed for wildlife
damage controllers called to a home that is having a problem.
- While most home inspectors are involved in building evaluation
for a potential buyer, this information will be helpful in that
you will more easily recognize active animal sign.
b. you will see clues where people have had problems in the past
and have worked to resolve them. ie. chimney caps, screened vents,
modified bird feeders.
c. you will become sensitive to the effect that bird feeders,
pets and building maintenance have on encouraging or hindering
d. you will be challenged to inspect certain areas with a new
perspective that you didn't see before.
As always, let us know what you think of this course. We would
appreciate your feedback. Send it to
Before you get started
As the title suggests, the following section covers introductory
issues that you need to address before getting involved in animal damage
inspection. I have raised legal, safety informational problems that must
be resolved before you begin on-site inspections.
About the Author
The course is divided into 4 lessons
Depending on how fast you read, it can take up to 2 hours to
Before you get started in any animal damage inspection activities, it
is important that you keep a few things in mind.
Inspection Work is Dangerous
First, inspections can be incredibly dangerous. Inspections, by that
I mean quality inspections, frequently require you do one or more of the
following: climb ladders, scale roofs, crawl in attics (and you may not
know exactly what you are crawling through), negotiate cluttered
basements, respect difficult clients, not to mention the possibility of
getting close and personal with an animal. Physical fitness is a must. You don't have
to be a Decathlete but you must be coordinated and able to lift yourself
up attic entrances while remembering that you can only step on the studs
not the dry wall and carry and manipulate heavy ladders. People have
died and become severely injured while performing animal damage control
work, which includes inspections. Animal damage inspectors also expose
themselves to the risk of biological hazards. Animals carry a variety of
diseases that can be transmitted to humans through bites, feces, urine,
and parasites such as fleas. Note that the photo shows worms that have
emerged from a dead opossum.
One big problem is how little we know about zoonotic (animal borne diseases that are transmitted to humans). I am
sure medical doctors will continue to learn more but that may be because
more and more people will get exposed as they work in the animal damage
control field. In other words, medicine may advance because people like
you are the guinea pigs on whom they learn more. To learn more about
http://icwdm.org/diseases/wildlife_diseases.asp (If you are looking at this field as a
career, I would strongly suggest you consider getting the prophylactic
rabies vaccine. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you are a good
candidate for the protection).
Am I scaring you? Good. This is not a field for the faint of heart or
the uncoordinated. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to perform
quality animal damage inspections. But you do need to follow proper
safety rules. And even then, following the safety rules may still result in injury or disease or worse.
For example, you may have properly stepped on only the studs when walking in an unfinished attic. But you could still fall through if the studs are too weak to support your weight. Here is
another example. Lets say you are wearing a properly fitted HEPA filter face mask to protect your lungs from the fungus spores that cause
histoplasmosis. Unfortunately, the spores enter your body through the
mucosa of the eye and infect you that way. Is this a rare way to get the
disease? Sure, but it is possible. Some time ago, I got some sort of
infection that the Doctor was unable to diagnose. After various tests,
he had to assume it was some sort of viral infection. Could it have been
caused by my work with animal damage control? I don't know for sure but
it is possible. Be warned.
Inspection involves Legalities
If those two issues weren't enough for you, there is at least one
more, the law. Most governments have regulations regarding the control
of wildlife. Some have laws regarding those that call themselves
inspectors. Be sure to consult your government's laws before entering
this field click
http://icwdm.org/Agencies/LawsAndRegs.aspx for links to government agencies. For an International association of professional wildlife damage controllers called the National Wildlife Control Operators Association http://www.nwcoa.com It can help you in your search for this sort of information as well. While they can't provide legal advice (they aren't lawyers) they are people in the business who can help you find the right information for yourself.
If I haven't scared you away yet, then let's get started on