What does a wildlife exterminator do?

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What is a Wildlife Exterminator?

A wildlife exterminator is a specially trained exterminator who manages and removes nuisance wildlife from homes, properties, and other areas where they are unwanted. Using humane and effective methods, these specialists identify, capture, and safely relocate a variety of wild animals, such as raccoons, squirrels, skunks, bats, and birds, that may cause damage or pose a threat to human health and safety.

While it may seem counterintuitive, wildlife exterminators play a role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. They ensure that human habitats remain separate from wildlife habitats, reducing conflicts and promoting coexistence.

What does a Wildlife Exterminator do?

A racoon caught in a trap by a wildlife exterminator.

Duties and Responsibilities
Here’s a summary of the typical tasks and responsibilities of a wildlife exterminator:

  • Inspection – The exterminator conducts a thorough inspection of the property to identify the type of wildlife present, the extent of the infestation, and potential entry points the animals are using to access the property.
  • Removal – The exterminator safely captures and removes the unwanted wildlife from the property. This may involve using live traps, one-way doors, or other specialized equipment to capture the animals without harming them.
  • Exclusion – After removing the wildlife, the exterminator identifies and seals off entry points to prevent the animals from re-entering the property. This may involve repairing damaged areas, such as chewed wiring or torn insulation, and extracting nests from attics or crawl spaces. Installation of barriers or modification of structures to make them wildlife-proof may also be required.
  • Cleanup and Sanitation – Wildlife can leave behind droppings, nests, and other debris that can pose health risks to humans. The exterminator cleans and sanitizes the affected areas to ensure they are safe and hygienic.
  • Prevention and Education – The exterminator provides recommendations on how to prevent future wildlife infestations. This may include advice on securing trash bins, trimming vegetation away from the property, or installing wildlife deterrents.
  • Humane Treatment – Wildlife exterminators prioritize the ethical and humane treatment of animals. They avoid using poisons or harmful traps and focus on methods that allow for the safe capture and relocation of the animals to their natural habitats.
  • Equipment Maintenance – Cleaning and maintaining their equipment is generally the responsibility of the individual exterminator.
  • Administrative Tasks – The exterminator’s workday often includes completing necessary paperwork, updating job records, and scheduling follow-up visits if needed.

Types of Wildlife Exterminators
Now that we have a sense of the general scope of the wildlife exterminator’s work, let’s look at some different types of these exterminators, each specializing in managing and removing specific types of wildlife and operating in different environments:

  • Residential Wildlife Exterminators – These exterminators specialize in addressing wildlife issues in residential areas. They commonly deal with pests such as raccoons, squirrels, bats, skunks, and birds that may enter homes, attics, crawl spaces, or yards.
  • Commercial Wildlife Exterminators – Commercial exterminators focus on managing wildlife infestations in commercial properties, including businesses, warehouses, industrial facilities, and agricultural sites. They may encounter a broader range of wildlife issues and often require specialized techniques and equipment to address larger or more complex infestations.
  • Urban Wildlife Exterminators – Urban exterminators work in densely populated urban areas and are skilled at managing wildlife conflicts in urban environments. They often deal with common urban pests like raccoons, pigeons, rats, and mice and may employ specialized methods to address the unique challenges of urban wildlife management, such as trapping and relocating animals to suitable habitats.
  • Rural Wildlife Exterminators – Rural exterminators operate in rural and agricultural areas, where they may encounter wildlife such as deer, coyotes, foxes, groundhogs, and skunks. They often work with farmers and landowners to manage wildlife issues that can impact crops, livestock, and property.
  • Specialized Wildlife Exterminators – Some exterminators specialize in managing specific types of wildlife, such as reptiles, amphibians, or predatory animals like wolves or bears. They may work in collaboration with wildlife biologists, conservationists, or government agencies to address wildlife issues in a manner that is both effective and environmentally responsible. Here are some additional examples of specialized exterminators:

    -Bird Control Specialists focus on managing bird infestations, such as pigeons, seagulls, and other nuisance birds. They employ a range of methods, including netting, spikes, and deterrents, to control bird populations and prevent damage to structures and property.
    -Bat Exclusion Experts specialize in safely removing and excluding bats from homes, buildings, and other structures. They employ specialized techniques, such as bat valves and exclusion devices, to allow bats to exit but not re-enter the building.
    -Raccoon Removal Specialists are experts in managing raccoon infestations in residential and commercial properties. They are trained in safely trapping and relocating raccoons, as well as identifying and sealing off entry points to prevent re-entry.
    -Rodent Control Technicians specialize in managing infestations of rats, mice, and other rodents. They employ a variety of methods, including trapping, baiting, and exclusion techniques, to control rodent populations and prevent damage to property.
    -Snake Removal Experts are trained in safely capturing and relocating snakes from residential and commercial properties. They are knowledgeable about snake behavior and habitats and employ techniques to safely handle and remove snakes without harming them.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Exterminators – IPM exterminators utilize a holistic and environmentally friendly approach to wildlife management, combining preventive measures, habitat modification, and targeted interventions to manage wildlife issues effectively while minimizing the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
  • Wildlife Biologists specialize in the study and management of wildlife populations and habitats. While not all wildlife biologists work as exterminators, some may specialize in wildlife management and conservation, working with exterminators to develop and implement effective management strategies.

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What is the workplace of a Wildlife Exterminator like?

Wildlife exterminators can work for various types of organizations and individuals who require assistance with managing and resolving wildlife conflicts. These are among their most common employers:

  • Private Homeowners – Homeowners who experience wildlife issues on their property, such as raccoons in the attic, squirrels in the walls, or skunks under the deck, often hire wildlife exterminators to safely and effectively remove the nuisance wildlife and prevent future infestations.
  • Commercial Property Owners – Owners of commercial properties may employ wildlife exterminators to address wildlife issues that can impact the property, such as bird infestations, rodent problems, or damage caused by larger animals like raccoons or skunks.
  • Government Agencies – Local, state, and federal government agencies, such as wildlife departments, environmental agencies, and public works departments, may employ wildlife exterminators to manage and control wildlife populations, address wildlife-related public health and safety concerns, and implement wildlife management and conservation programs.
  • Agricultural Operations – Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers may employ wildlife exterminators to manage and control populations of wildlife that can damage their assets.
  • Pest Control Companies – Many pest control companies offer wildlife removal services as part of their overall pest management services. Wildlife exterminators employed by pest control companies may handle a variety of wildlife issues for residential and commercial clients.
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers – Wildlife rehabilitation centers and animal rescue organizations may employ wildlife exterminators to assist with the capture, transportation, and relocation of injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife that requires professional intervention.
  • Property Management Companies – Property management companies that oversee residential and commercial properties may employ wildlife exterminators to address wildlife issues and ensure the safety and wellbeing of tenants and property occupants.
  • Golf Courses and Recreational Facilities – Golf courses, parks, recreational facilities, and other outdoor venues may employ wildlife exterminators to manage and control wildlife populations, address damage caused by wildlife, and implement wildlife management strategies to promote a safe and enjoyable environment for visitors and patrons.
  • Schools and Educational Institutions – Schools, colleges, and universities may employ wildlife exterminators to manage and control wildlife populations on campus, address wildlife-related health and safety concerns, and implement wildlife management programs to protect students, staff, and property.
  • Resort and Hospitality Industry – Hotels, resorts, and other hospitality establishments located in areas prone to wildlife issues may employ wildlife exterminators to manage and control wildlife populations, address wildlife-related concerns, and ensure the safety and comfort of guests and staff.

Wildlife exterminators frequently find themselves transitioning between different settings. They may work in natural habitats, such as forests, wetlands, and other wild areas. They often spend a significant amount of time in their vehicles, traveling between job sites, and may use a variety of vehicles to transport equipment, tools, and captured wildlife. This may include trucks, vans, trailers, and other vehicles equipped with specialized equipment and tools for wildlife removal and management.

It's worth noting that the schedule of an exterminator can be unpredictable, as emergencies and last-minute appointments may arise, requiring them to adjust their plans and prioritize urgent cases.

Wildlife Exterminators are also known as:
Nuisance Wildlife Removal Specialist Wildlife Control Specialist