How Much Does Wildlife Removal Cost?

Wild animals are fun to have around. That is unless they are wrecking your property. Then it becomes a race to find the best person to chase them away. But how much with that cost you, exactly?

The average price for wildlife removal in the US is $350. However, the exact cost depends on several considerations:

  • Animal type or species
  • Level of infestation
  • Location (indoor or outdoor)
  • Methods used by the wildlife control company
  • Wildlife Removal Cost

    The following table shows the average costs and price ranges for animal removal services nationwide.

    Wildlife Removal Costs

    National Average Cost

    Cost Range

    Minimum Cost

    Maximum Cost

    $350

    $150 - $500

    $100

    $1,000

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    Terminix-logo

    Rating: 97.50

    Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

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    Rating: 97.00

    Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

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    Rating: 95.70

    Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

    How Are Wildlife Control Costs Determined? 

    There are several major factors a wildlife control company will use to calculate its prices. These are the most common:

    Type of Animal

    Every animal removal company will have a different plan for each type of animal. For example, critters such as raccoons and groundhogs may be trapped and then released. 

    However, this method may not be as practical for skunks. And there may be some companies that refuse to handle these types of nuisance wildlife. Still, it's best to check what animals are included before hiring a wildlife removal specialist. 

    Frequency

    Animal removal is a  pest control service. For that reason, most professional wildlife removals are paid for one at a time. That's because there generally are no contracts available for regular monitoring as with other pest control systems. 

    However, a trapper or animal control specialist will sometimes offer a follow-up visit. This scheduled service call is perfect if the animal is captured.  And it works if you don't want to release it yourself. 

    Size of the problem

    The size of the problem usually means the number of animals that are to be removed. For example, if the service involves a simple squirrel removal from your garden, a standard one-time charge will usually be okay. 

    However, if you have a family of skunks living under your house, that's another thing altogether. Plan on the animal trapping or removal services to add up quickly. The reason for this is the need for several follow-up visits to check live traps. 

    Location 

    In general, it's easier to trap wild animals outside than it is indoors. That's why you will probably pay the wildlife removal company a standard fee for the service. 

    The open spaces typically give the technician more room to work. This makes the process much simpler and quicker. 

    But once the opossums, raccoons, and other critters move indoors, that standard pricing goes out the window. Expect that raccoon removal cost to be much higher. And if there are any animals trapped in a wall or tight crawl space, the price may go up even more. 

    Methods Used

    Animal trapping requires a wildlife removal company to get the job done for its customers using several employees. So, you'll be required to cover that expense. And the more time it takes to remove an infestation, the more you'll have to pay.

    It would be easier and cheaper for the tech to simply lay out some poison for those pesky armadillos invading your backyard. But nobody wants that. 

    Besides, most wildlife is legally protected. Instead, it's best to utilize humane trapping methods to manage the animals. 

    Repairs

    Most pest control or wildlife control companies will not be interested in damage repair. However, it will still need to be done since most wildlife can create extensive injury to a home. 

    Entry holes in the drywall and ductwork will need to be patched. Attic cleanup and electrical wiring repair will also have to be done. So, for those reasons, your animal removal budget should include these items.

    Signs of Wildlife Infestation 

    There are several clues that you may have a wildlife problem around your home. Here are the most common ones. 

    Droppings

    Animal feces come in different shapes and sizes depending on the animal. For example, rats and chipmunks leave droppings that are the size of large grains. 

    Rabbit droppings are typically brown and are the size of a pea. Deer, on the other hand, leave much larger, oval-shaped droppings that are usually clumped together. 

    Tunneling

    Dirt mounds in a yard or garden area are a sure sign that nuisance wildlife has invaded the area. Animals such as moles, woodchucks, and skunks can all possess digging behavior. The diameter of the hole made by the animal will usually give you a sign of its size. 

    Damage Caused by Gnawing

    Most of the damage caused by wild animals is to trees and new growth plants. For example, deer often browse fruit trees in the winter that exhibit dormant buds. Bite marks and other damage can lead to the death of the tree or plant. 

    Other mammals such as beavers, rabbits, and chipmunks will also attack plants and roots. Since these animals are small, bite marks are typically close to the ground. 

    Noise

    A sure sign that animals are intruding on your property is the sounds they make. For example, scampering noises in the attic could mean you have a raccoon setting up residence. Or clattering in a wall void could be a sign you have mice. Fluttering noises in the chimney often indicate there are birds or bats present.

    Health Risks of Nuisance Wildlife  

    Sure, homeowners need to protect their residence from damage caused by wildlife. But it's also essential to guard against diseases brought on by contact with wild animals. Here are some of those possible health risks. 

    Rabies

    The scientific name for rabies is hydrophobia. It's usually transmitted to humans from rabid animal bites. The wildlife most exposed to rabies are:

    • Bats
    • Skunks
    • Raccoons
    • Foxes
    • Coyotes

    Symptoms of rabies include:

    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Restlessness
    • Confusion
    • Hallucinations
    • Increased saliva production
    • Trouble eating and drinking
    • Muscle spasms
    • Coma and sometimes death

    It's best not to approach wild animals to avoid being bitten. Also, steer clear of any animal showing abnormal behavior. And it's always a good idea to vaccinate pets against rabies. 

    Giardiasis

    Human contact with wild animals can sometimes trigger Giardiasis, an intestinal disorder caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia. Contact with animal feces is often the culprit. However, accidental ingestion of Giardia cysts in contaminated water can also cause the disease. 

    Here are some of the most common symptoms of Giardiasis:

    • Chronic diarrhea
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Bloating
    • Fatigue

    The best way to prevent the disease is by staying away from wild animals. Also, it's best to avoid drinking water that could have been contaminated by wildlife. 

    Histoplasmosis

    The waste from pigeons, bats, and blackbirds is ideal for the fungus that causes histoplasmosis. The infection is spread throughout the body by fungal spores as they are inhaled. 

    Symptoms include mild breathing problems that may not be noticeable. However, it may cause severe coughing, chest pain, and chronic lung damage in extreme cases.  

    The best way to prevent histoplasmosis is by avoiding spaces where pigeons and other birds roost. However, if working within these areas cannot be prevented, the use of approved respirators is an excellent first step. 

    DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

    DIY management of wild animals can be a risky operation. And success isn't always assured just because you have some of the materials necessary. Having the correct information before taking on this difficult task is crucial. 

    For example, not all animals in every state may be trapped or controlled legally without a special license. Also, since most wildlife is protected in every state, some management methods are illegal. So, you will need to know your state's laws before you start.

    Identification

    The first thing is to know which critters are causing the problem. This process isn't always easy since you can identify several animal species the same way. 

    For instance, rats, mice, and chipmunks all leave similar droppings. And the chewing behaviors of squirrels, beavers, and rabbits are almost identical.

    Once you've identified the problem, you now have to develop a plan for removing these animals for good. But which methods will you use? 

    Trapping

    Trapping is ideal as long as you know which bait to use. And there's the cost of the equipment. Also, what if the animal dies in the trap? Are you willing to dispose of it yourself, assuming you know where to take it? 

    Repellents

    Animal repellents are sometimes unreliable. You can buy some that claim to work on several types of animals. 

    But the problem with this strategy is that you may have to apply the material continually. Also, it may not work for heavy infestations.

    Scaring devices

    The combination of noisemakers and visual repellants can sometimes be effective for some wildlife. And you have to know which ones will work on the type of animal you want to chase away. 

    For example, noisemakers are somewhat effective for magpies, starlings, and crows.  But they hardly ever work for sparrows, finches, and horned larks. 

    Your scaring devices may be effective for a only few weeks. So, you'll often have to rotate to different ones as the animals get used to them. 

    The case for hiring a pro

    The truth is, you need a mixture of all these approaches when tackling the problem of wildlife removal. But most people don't have the time, equipment, or training to get rid of nuisance animals safely. That's why it's best to hire a professional.

    For example, the technicians at Orkin are highly trained in identifying pests, including wildlife. During the inspection, they look for clear signs of an invasion. Once identified, you'll be given the details of an effective plan for safely keeping out these unwanted guests.

    Likewise with Terminix. The technician will use a combination of techniques to trap, scare or repel any wildlife that enters your property. Typically, a follow-up service call will be scheduled to make sure that every important benchmark is attained. 

    Aptive Environmental is also a company worth looking into for wildlife removal. It can not only get rid of the problem but prevent it from coming back. The technician does this by utilizing exclusion techniques and advising clients about proper sanitation measures.  

    What's the standard wildlife removal process? 

    The first part of the residential wildlife management process is hiring the right company. Make sure it's licensed and insured in the state where you live. It's best to hire a fully bonded company, meaning that their insurance will pay for any accidental damage to your property while their technicians are working.

    Inspection and identification

    During the first visit, there will be a thorough inspection of the entire property, along with any potential entry points. This procedure will include indoor and outdoor areas. The technician looks for evidence of animals such as waste products, nesting areas, and damage to the home. 

    Be sure to let the inspector know what you've noticed. For example, if you see raccoons scampering across your lawn in the middle of the night, they need to know that. Also, point out anything else you've discovered on your own to give the pest control team a head start. 

    Management plan and quote

    By the end of the inspection, the technician should know how they will proceed with the removal process. If they are unclear about what to do or they're asking your advice, it may be time to call another company. 

    Once you've agreed to the price and terms, it's time to begin. However, make sure all promises are in writing. 

    Also, most wildlife management plans require a follow-up service call. This extra visit will cover dead animal removal and trap setup if necessary. It's best to know for sure if all that's included in the price. 

    The removal process

    In some cases, the technician can remove the animal by hand. But in most instances, trapping methods are used. Once the traps are set, the technician will move on to other techniques for keeping the critters away.

    One such method is the use of repellents. This will give the area a chemical barrier that can discourage wildlife from entering the property. 

    Next, any frightening equipment you've authorized the technician to use will be set up. The key here is to communicate what you see between now and the next visit. If these devices aren't keeping the pests away, it will be up to you to let the technician know. 

    Preventative measures

    The best companies utilize mechanical exclusion measures to keep pests from entering a home. This can include wire screens that allow the animal to forage outside but won't let it back in. It may also employ caulking, steel wool, foam, and other materials to keep them out. 

    Follow up

    The most important part of the removal process is the follow-up. This is especially important if the technician sets traps. It can also be vital to a bat removal program's success since they can be very persistent pests. 

    The Bottom Line 

    Whether you're looking for skunk removal or just want to keep the squirrels off your prized flower garden, wildlife management services are just around the corner. However, it's crucial to hire the right company.

    You can start by asking friends, family, or neighbors who they recommend. You can also check with your local humane society office. Even online review sites may give you some ideas about which companies to look into and which ones to avoid. 

    But whatever pest control provider you decide on, make sure it's licensed and insured in your state. And don't just settle for the cheapest one. It's essential to get the best possible value for your money.

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