Wildlife Control Operators Vendor Services
ICWDM strongly recommends that property owners carefully investigate any wildlife control business before engaging its services. We have provided information to help you evaluate a business. Please read it carefully.
See our Policy Statement.
People who specialize in handling wildlife damage problems can have different titles.
- NWCO: (pronounced “newco”) Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
- WCO: Wildlife Control Operator
- PAC: Problem Animal Controller in Massachusetts
- Pest Control: Normally refers to businesses who also deal with insect pests
We will use the acronym WCO in this section because many industry personnel do not like to consider wildlife as a nuisance.
No specific formula, no exact set of questions, will always connect you with the perfect company to solve your wildlife conflict. We hope we haven’t given you false hopes in this regard. However, you may want to ask some questions before you sign any contracts or make other commitments. If you would like to read the long version of this information, see Dr. Robert Schmidt’s Article.
How qualified is the WCO?
- Is the WCO licensed? Not all states require licenses, so check your state’s wildlife agency before asking.
- Ask for references.
- Ask how many years have they have been in the wildlife control business. Don’t confuse this question with how many years in the Pest control business. Controlling insects is very different from controlling wildlife.
- Consult with your state’s Environmental Agency and Department of Natural Resources. Ask who they recommend in your area. Press them for an unofficial statement.
- Does the WCO have liability insurance? If so how much? $100,000 of coverage is very easy to obtain in this industry. There is no excuse as to why a WCO can’t have it.
- Does the WCO have Worker’s Comp insurance? This insurance protects the worker if injured on the job. Understand that most WCOs are self-employed and may not be required by law to have it. However, if they have other employees they may have to have it.
- Did the WCO present you with a variety of control options? Exclusion, trapping, eviction, habitat modification, or maybe even suggesting that nothing be done? How does his/her recommendations compare with those suggested by the Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage? Understand that sometimes the WCO doesn’t present you with a variety of options because you already gave specific instructions. Ask the WCO if there are control options other than what was suggested.
- Does he/she put the job in writing with a complete contract?
- What about the WCO’s philosophy? Will the WCO provide services according to your preference and in accordance with local laws? Keep in mind that your preferences may change the amount of time for and the cost of the service.
Considerations on price:
- How dangerous is the job? Ladder work is always dangerous.
- How difficult is it to control the species? Some species like gray squirrels are easy to control. Others like red squirrels can be more difficult.
- How much travel and equipment are involved to resolve the problem? If the WCO has to travel 20 miles one way to reach your location, he will need to get paid for the time both ways.
- How expensive is it to live in your area? WCOs in urban areas often are paid more money than those who live in rural areas.
- What kind of warranty of guarantee does the WCO give? Depending on the species, a month to a year is sufficient. Also, guarantees are only as good as the company who gives them. If they go out of business, the guarantee means nothing.
- Remember quality companies that have insurance, good equipment, and attend training have high costs. While high prices don’t guarantee quality, low prices almost always guarantee that the person is not insured.
- How busy is the WCO? Sometimes WCOs raise prices due to excessive demand. Other times prices may be lower due to reduced demand.