Woodstream Corp.

By |  September 10, 2012

By Mike Goldstein, National Sales Manager, Professional Products

Every wildlife control job should include a thorough inspection, as well as asking the correct questions of the customer to properly identify the target animal. This allows you to perform your job in the most professional, efficient and economical manner.

To start, though, you must have the correct inspection tools. Consider these basics:

Flashlights. Your main light should be a quality, durable, rechargeable flashlight with a candlepower of at least 30,000. As a backup light, I suggest carrying a mini flashlight with you at all times. A headlight can also be handy, because it keeps your hands free while crawling around in attics or crawlspaces. I can’t stress enough how important a good light is. A professional does not show up on the job with a cheap, two-cell flashlight.

Ladders. You will need anywhere between a stepladder and a 40-ft. extension ladder. You need to be able to access the problem areas easily — and in a safe manner.

Personal protective equipment (PPE). To prevent injuries during the inspection of crawl areas and attics, you will need a pair of leather work gloves to protect your hands, a bump cap for your head, and knee guards. Safety glasses, coveralls and a proper respirator with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are also recommended.

Binoculars. This great and underutilized tool allows you to inspect areas such as rooflines and eaves from the ground instead of using a ladder. A small, durable pair — similar to those used for hunting or sporting events — are best.

Vials. These or plastic bags are a must to collect insect or feces samples for identification.

A multi-purpose tool. These are sometimes known as a Leatherman, after the brand name. Whatever you may call it, it is very handy and useful.

Now that you have your inspection equipment, you need to get as much information from the customer when he or she contacts you about a wildlife problem. Some key questions you can ask the customer during the phone interview process that will aid in properly identifying the problem are as follows:

Where do you hear the animal activity, and what types of noises are they?

• What time of day or night is the animal most active?

• What wildlife have you seen on your property?

• Have you noticed any unusual damage or disturbance on the property, such as when skunks dig up the lawn looking for grubs, animals raid the garbage pails or something eats from the pet’s dish that is left outside?

• Have there been any previous wildlife problems?

With the information acquired from the customer, and the correct inspection equipment in hand, you are now prepared to visit the customer’s home or business and conduct a thorough on-site inspection.

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