What do you do with the animals once they are captured?This is a very common question. There are two basic choices: relocation or euthanization. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Many customers show genuine concern for the animal's welfare, and I respect that. I care about wild animals as well. I also understand ecology better than the average person, and I know that the matter is a little more complicated than people realize. If I feel that I can relocate an animal, and that it stands a good chance of survival, then I will do it, at one of several relocation points that I have approval to use. However, people should be made aware that survival rates for relocated animals are not particularly good if the animal is unhealthy, or particularly old or young, because of competition from existing animals, and the stress of learning a new habitat. I bring very young animals to a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If I feel that an animal should be euthanized, I use what is widely considered amongst the most humane methods: a CO2 chamber. The animal does not struggle. It is able to breathe, but the zero oxygen content of the air causes it to become dizzy, pass out, and gently "go to sleep". I feel comfortable with this method of euthanization, and if the case calls for putting an animal down, I think that my customers should feel comfortable with this method as well.
Ultimately, I aim to inform my customers, and let them make the final decision.
However, in some cases, I prefer the customer to defer to my professional opinion. For example, if a customer
insists that I not harm the animal, but I strongly feel that the animal is sick and will only suffer more as a
result of relocation, or worse, harm other animals, then I will explain this and euthanize it humanely.
What's the strangest animal you've ever caught?Almost everyone asks this. I'm sorry to disappoint, but I deal with the same animals over and over again - rats, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, squirrels, snakes, and bats. It's the animals on two legs that are the strangest. I have come across many interesting scenarios, of course, but exotic animals are rare. I've had to deal with a few oddities here and there by accident, such as wild boar, bobcat, fox, iguanas, peacocks, and exotic snakes such as pythons, but 99% of the situations I deal with are the common animals. I don't have any "I got an alligator out of a toilet!" stories. Most of the crazy stuff I've done has been due to building architecture - hanging off a roof edge at 60 feet up for bats, tunneling under a house to reach a dead animal, squirming through a 150 degree attic and down a wall to get a baby raccoon, things like that.
Do you ever get bitten by animals/snakes?I've never received a serious bite. A few nips here and there, but any careful professional should have no problems avoiding animal bites. Know which snakes are venomous, know which animals are aggressive and why, and you'll be fine.
How did you get into this line of work?I've trapped wildlife, reptiles, fish, and insects all of my life, but specifically, I entered this line of work when I got tired of wearing a tie and developing software and I began a two-year apprenticeship with a recognized expert in the field of nuisance wildlife control. After that time, I began my own business, where the education continued.
Why do you charge the prices you do?Nuisance Wildlife Control is a specialty business. It requires a unique set of skills and more knowledge than most people realize. It is also a field with unique risks. Nuisance wildlife control operators take care of difficult problems that few people can properly or safely handle. I am not some backwoods bucktoothed yokel trapper. I am a college educated and state licensed professional. People seem to have no problem paying the electrician or plumber for their skills, and you won't find them crawling in a hot attic to remove a litter of raccoons with an angry mother raccoon lurking nearby!
Many people have the mindset that wild animal problems should be taken care of for free. This stems from the time when state and county agencies did indeed take care of wild animal problems. However, as the problem grew, they stopped providing this service, and it is now in the hands of the private sector - the nuisance wildlife trapper. I don't get state funding. No one is giving me a truck, traps, equipment, gasoline, insurance, phone service, advertising, and the myriad of other expenses necessary to run a professional operation. I must pay for these things myself. Some people seem to understand this, and others don't.
I feel a little exasperated when a surprised person on the telephone utters, "You mean I gotta pay for this?". Yes, you do, but please be aware that you are paying for a special service. I find that all of my customers feel that they have received a very good value, after they talk to me in person, and get their problem quickly and professionally taken care of.
For a complete list of current prices, click here: prices
Can't the city or county take care of the problem for free?A long time ago, in a county far, far away, a person could call the government sponsored county animal services, complain about the raccoon eating from their cat's dinner dish, and get the problem (slowly) taken care of. Then the problem grew too large and expensive, and counties across the land decided not to help out with wild animal problems any more. City and county agencies only take care of domestic animal problems, specifically dog and cat problems. All wildlife issues fall into the hands of the private sector - the state licensed nuisance wildlife trappers.
If you have a problem with a dog or a cat (one that doesn't involve something tricky like going into an attic or under a crawl space), you can go ahead and call the county animal services. Here are the numbers for Greater Orlando:
Orange County Animal Services: 407-954-9140
If you have a problem with any type of wild animal, say a raccoon, opossum, armadillo, squirrel, snake, etc. 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 AAAnimal Control.
What areas do you service?We generally operate in the Greater Orlando area. Our service range is typically about a 15 mile radius from downtown Orlando. This includes the following areas: Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Casselberry, Conway Area, Doctor Phillips, Downtown Orlando, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Maitland, Ocoee, Oveido, Pine Hills, Windermere, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Winter Springs,
We will sometimes travel to areas such as Sanford, Deltona, Kissimmee, Clermont, Bithlo , but these areas are pretty much outside our normal service range. We will only travel to these areas for very large, multi-thousand dollar jobs.
We will travel state-wide for certain jobs, such as large commercial bat jobs in the multi-thousand dollar range.
Do you use poisons?NO. I do not believe in poisons. Poisons are inhumane and they often leave an animal to die in the attic or walls of your house, causing an odor problem. When a large animal eats poison intended for rats and mice, they suffer. I think that poisons are a lazy, careless, and ultimately ineffective way to deal with wild animal problems. 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 don't throw some poison at them, I inspect the entire house and seal points of entry, eliminate food access, and trap and remove all remaining rats.
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. I do not have a specific company that I can recommend at this time, but overall, I feel that the less chemicals and pesticides used, the better.
Do you pick up dead animals?Yes, for a one-time service fee I will come to the property, remove the dead animal, and dispose of the carcass in an acceptable manner, often by incineration.
Will you help out with dog or cat issues?No. I can't tell you how many times* I've received calls that sound like: "My neighbor doesn't keep their pit-bull on a leash, and it's terrorizing...." etc. etc. The county animal services will assist with dog or cat issues for free, unless they are put at personal risk, in a situation such as a mother cat with a litter in an attic. Contact your county's animal services division:
Orange County Animal Services: 407-954-9140
* yes I can, approximately 2000 times to date, many in the middle of the night, or when I'm working in an attic.
Help! I lost my pet! Do you have it?Of course, you're going to call me while I'm working on a hot roof and never actually bother to find this segment of my web page, but if you have taken the time to find this FAQ section, thanks! I'm sorry that you lost your pet, please try the numbers listed immediately above.
Help! I found an injured bird!Your best bet is to leave the bird alone. I used to refer a wonderful woman named Ann Young, "The Bird Lady", a world renown wild bird rehabber, but unfortunately she passed away in 2009. She ran a wild bird refuge at 205 Robin Road in Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, phone number is 407-339-2900.
If you happen upon a bird of prey (hawk, falcon, owl, etc) call the Orlando Audubon Center for Birds of Prey at 407-644-0190. Please give the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey a donation so that they can continue to run their facility.
SeaWorld water bird rescue number is 407-363-2363
Bats aren't birds, but if you find a baby or injured bat, call Fly By Night at 407-414-2142.
You can read more about the matter here: baby bird rescue.
Help! I found a baby animal!If you have found an orphaned or injured baby wild animal, you may want to leave it alone or bring it to a wildlife rehabber. If you want, I can help you safely transport the animal for free. I will come to the property, pick up the baby orphaned animal(s) (usually raccoons, opossums, or squirrels) and bring them to a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If you want to do this yourself, get thick gloves and a box with a towel and please contact any of these local rehabbers:
Back To Nature Wildlife Preserve: 407-568-5138
Ron and Carol Hardee (in Christmas): 407-568-3200
Lindy Williams in Orlando: 407-719-6508
Mary Jane Isner in Altamonte: 407-260-6137 (can't handle much volume, only accepts animals from Seminole Animal Services).
Lee Harr, in downtown Orlando: 407-277-7232 (unfortunately, Lee passed away in 2009. She was a wonderful woman)
Which animals do you handle?Almost any wildlife that a property owner deems as a nuisance. This basically involves the following animals: Raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, opossums, all species of snakes, bats, rats, mice, moles, dead animals, and the following birds: pigeons, muscovy ducks, blackbirds, grackles and crows. I will assist with feral cats in cases of unwillingness by the county, such as cats in attics or under houses. I can also help deter other animals such as deer or woodpeckers, though I cannot trap or kill them.
Which animals don't you handle?I do not handle black bear, or any federally endangered or threatened species. Most birds are protected under the federal migratory bird protection act. I do not handle alligators, which require a separate license. I am unequipped and unwilling to handle wild boar. For assistance with any special animal concerns such as alligators, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 352-732-1225 (they will NOT assist you with your personal normal wildlife problem, i.e. raccoon, snake, squirrel, etc.)
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). In many cases, I don't use traps at all - I am often able to use one-way exclusion doors and funnels which allow critters out of a house, but don't allow them to go back in. I prefer to live trap and relocate as often as possible.
Aren't you a little young?I no longer think this question is relevant. I wrote it several years ago when I started this business, and before I grew a beard, which made me look four years older immediately. I did look young when I started this business, and I was concerned that I might not be taken seriously. Below is my old response:
"No. I provide the best quality of work in Orlando, if not near the best in the country, at prices often less than a quarter of what the big companies charge. My birthdate is 5/31/1977, making me 25* years old currently. Some people expect to see a grizzled old-timer "trappin man" show up at their door, and are surprised to see a younger fellow. I do not believe that I am too young, and I let my professionalism, knowledge, and most of all, quality of work speak for me. I have complete confidence in my work, and I'd like to see the old-timers scurry across a roof or climb through the raftors of a hot, tight attic like I do!"
What are your credentials?My expertise in this field comes from a lifetime of interest in wildlife issues. I constantly keep up to date with the latest techniques and technologies in the field of nuisance wildlife control. I am grateful to have studied the profession under the tutelage of a very skilled and experienced professional. I am a member of NWCOA (National Wildlife Control Operators of America) and FLWCA (Florida Wildlife Control Association). I have a college degree from the University of Notre Dame, but most of my knowledge in this field comes from personal research, training from colleagues, and experience in the field. References from previous satisfied customers, both residential and commercial, available upon request.
Are you licensed?Yes. I am licensed by the state of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, permit # N5499 and I carry city and county occupational licenses.
Are you insured?Yes. I carry commercial general liability insurance with coverage up to $1,000,000. I will provide a certificate of insurance upon request.
Do you carry workers comp?No. Non-construction industry sole proprietors and partners are AUTOMATICALLY EXEMPT by Florida Law, from the provisions of Chapter 440, Florida Statutes (Florida Workers' Compensation Law), and I have an exemption letter issued by the state should you wish to see it.
Can you provide a form W-9 upon request?Of course!
What forms of payment do you accept?I accept checks, cash, or credit card, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, & American Express. I can also accept all major credit cards through the online payment service PayPal.
What if I don't live in central Florida?You can try these other areas: Phoenix - Tucson - Los Angeles - Oakland CA - Riverside CA - Sacramento - San Diego - San Francisco - San Jose - Denver - Hartford - Fort Lauderdale - Jacksonville - Miami - Orlando - Tampa - West Palm Beach - Atlanta - Macon - Aurora - Chicago - Indianapolis - Kansas City - New Orleans - Annapolis - Baltimore - Boston - Detroit - Lansing - Minneapolis - Springfield-MO - St. Louis - Manchester - Bergen County - Elizabeth-NJ - Albany - Nassau County - New York - Rochester - Suffolk County - Syracuse - Charlotte - Hickory & Catawba - Akron - Cincinnati - Cleveland-OH - Columbus-OH - Dayton - Portland-OR - Salem-OR - Allentown - Harrisburg - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Montgomery County PA - Knoxville - Memphis - Nashville - Austin - Dallas - Houston - Plano - San Antonio - Salt Lake - Bellevue-WA - Bellingham - Olympia - Seattle - Charleston WV - Madison-WI - Milwaukee - Ontario