What do you do with the animals once they are captured?
If the animal is healthy and it is legal to do so, I relocate it far outside the city at one of several privately owned relocation points at which I have permission to release wild animals. It is not legal to relocate wildlife to public lands, so if you trap your own animal (and this one step probably won't solve your wildlife problem) don't bring it down to the local park. All relocated wildlife should be brought at least ten miles from the capture site, and released in an area in which it won't pose a problem - that is, wildlife should not be relocated to urban areas.
If the animal is sick, old, or injured, and I do not think that it stands a good chance of survival, or if the law dictates that I must, I will humanely euthanize the animal. I use a CO2 chamber - it is my belief that this is the most humane way to put an animal down. The animal breathes in carbon dioxide instead of oxygen - it remains comfortable, unlike drowning, but it gets dizzy and passes out and gently goes to sleep. I don't have to put down many animals, and in truth I don't always have a lot of wildlife in my possession because I ultimately aim to solve the root of the wildlife problem - say, by sealing off the holes they use to enter your home - than just trapping everything in sight. Still, there are rare times when I must put down an animal.
Overall, I care a lot about the animals that I deal with, and I aim to be very humane.
Can't the city or county take care of the problem for free?
No. There is no city animal control, and the county animal services handles only domestic animals - dogs and cats. They handle things such as bite reports, pet abuse complaints, domestic disputes, barking or dangerous dogs, etc. As recently as 10-15 years ago, depending on county, the county animal services would assist in certain wildlife removal cases. But even then, they wouldn't do professional wildlife control work - they'd slowly get a trap out to you, perhaps catch an animal, perhaps not. They would not, for example, inspect your home and attic, remove a litter of baby raccoons from the attic, trap the mother, seal off all the entry points, and clean and decontaminate the droppings left behind. They'd drop a trap on the ground and maybe catch a stay opossum. Wildlife control is specialty and skilled work, and not something to expect a government agency to take care of. If you have a problem with a dog or a cat, please call the county animal services. Note, if you have a cat problem that involves something like going into an attic or under a crawl space, the county will not handle it. Here are the numbers for Greater Orlando: Orange County Animal Services: 407-836-3111 Seminole County Animal Services: 407-665-5201 Osceola County Animal Services: 407-343-7101 If you have a problem with any type of wild animal, say a squirrel, rat, opossum, raccoon, bat, or snake, then you have to call a state licensed nuisance trapper. In my biased recommendation, I suggest that you call the finest nuisance wildlife control operator in the land - David Seerveld of 24/7 Wildlife Removal.
Can't my regular pest control company take care of this?
Almost certainly not - pest control companies are licensed and trained in poison use, particularly for insects. They usually spray poison on the yard or house, and charge for monthly or quarterly contracts. They use the same methods when they try to control mice & rats (with inferior and costly results) and even have been known to illegally try to use poisons on other animals, such as bats. A wildlife problem is VERY different from an insect problem, and should be dealt with only by a professional nuisance wildlife trapper who has extensive experience dealing with wildlife. Most wildlife cases are far more involved than insect cases, and involve hands-on removal of animals, not a simple spray solution. If you do call your regular exterminator to take care of a wildlife issue, beware - they may recommend a lousy company that charges obscenely high prices and gives a kickback to the exterminator.
Do you use poisons?
NO. Poisoning animals is a ridiculous, ineffective, inhumane, and often illegal approach to wildlife control. First of all, poisons are typically only used for rat control - rodenticides. There are no legal or registered poisons for use on other animals, such as squirrels, raccoons, opossums, etc. Second of all, poisons simply DO NOT WORK. They will kill only a % of the rats, maybe half, and if the root of the problem is not solved, new rats will keep coming and coming. Plus, you'll be left with stinking dead rats in your attic and walls. Finally, I consider poisons inhumane - it's a very unpleasant death that they cause - if you care, anyway. The most important thing to realize is that poisons only scratch the surface of solving the problem. I use a process called integrated pest management. IPM involves the combined use of trapping, excluding, and habitat modification to take care of the problem. If there are rats in your attic, I inspect the entire house and, most importantly, seal points of entry so that no rats can ever get into your home ever again, eliminate food access, and trap and remove all remaining rats, and the problem is permanently solved.
Do you take care of termites or other insects?
No. Insects fall under the umbrella of pest control, which is an entirely different field than nuisance wildlife control. If you have a problem with insects, you must contact a pest control company. Look in your local yellow pages under "pest control" for a phone number. For Florida Bee Removal Specialists,
What types of traps do you use?
I use whatever trap is most effective and appropriate for the situation that I am dealing with (as long as it is approved by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission). For the most part, I trap and remove animals in humane cage traps. Oftentimes, I am able to use one-way exclusion doors to let animals get out of homes, but not back in. I do not use lethal traps such as body-grip traps. These are illegal in Florida anyway.