First and foremost, using the words “always” or “never” when describing wildlife behavior to a client almost certainly guarantees wildlife will perform such behavior. Instead, when a client asks whether wildlife will do something, even if it is totally absurd, the best answer is: “While that is highly unlikely, I’ve learned never to underestimate (squirrels, raccoons, etc.).”
Also keep in mind that clients will almost always overestimate wildlife size based on sound. In National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) training, we often talk about understanding client speak almost as if it’s another language. Based on my experience:
- If the clients describe, based on sound, the animal as being squirrel sized, your expectation probably should be a mouse.
- If they believe the animal is raccoon sized, your expectation probably should be a squirrel.
- IF they believe they have a human, your expectation probably should be a raccoon. The noise level of raccoons has resulted in many homeowners calling police first, thinking they have a burglar.
That said, be ready for anything and everything.