Expert tips for dealing with wildlife and other vertebrates


July 29, 2019



We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial board members to share their best tips for dealing with wildlife and other vertebrates. Here are some of their responses — including a few extra that didn’t make it into our August print edition.

Paul Hardy: This service offering is far different from general pest control services. Leave wildlife and vertebrate control to trained and certified professionals. Set up a trusted referral partner or partners, just like subcontracting.

Frank Meek: Wildlife is not really my area of expertise, so my advice is to call in a professional.

Eric Scherzinger: Because we don’t do wildlife, we call a wildlife professional.

Pete Schopen: I refer everything to my buddy Mike Glasby; he’s a wildlife expert. I stick to smaller pests.

Mark Sheperdigian: Practice explaining that nuisance wildlife will be euthanized, and why that is the most humane thing to do. This keeps you from answering, “Homina, homina, homina…” when someone asks you what you’re going to do with those animals.

Dr. Stephen Vantassel: Be sure you correctly identify the species involved before you begin treatment.

Judy Black: Understand the biology of the pest wildlife you are dealing with. For example, a fox den under a porch or shed might be best dealt with by leaving it alone if it’s near the time that the “family” will be dispersing. Once they are gone, the hole they used to access the den can be sealed, preventing any future issues. Another note: It is best to treat the den for pests, such as fleas, before sealing it up.

Michael BroderSet realistic goals with your customer. Everyone wants problems eradicated immediately, but it can take many visits with multiple animals caught.

Doug Foster: Start with safety! Wear protective gloves; use respiratory protection in confined spaces like attics and crawlspaces; and practice ladder safety when reaching rooflines and attic areas.

Dr. Faith Oi: Don’t forget to use personal protective equipment (PPE), as wildlife and other vertebrates can carry disease-causing pathogens.

Mary Vongas: Sell protection and peace of mind by offering recurring services. Know your regulations; know your droppings; and never go without proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

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  1. All great advice. Giving a den a flea treatment before excluding it is a very wise thing to do!