Steven Vantassel I will talk today about helping your clients understand when they should you call a wildlife control professional and how to know if the animal is possibly sick or diseased? When is the trigger point on when we as professionals need to act?
Home Owner Pay For Wildlife Control Not The City
Sometimes when clunk customers call and they’re wondering know they see a raccoon in the backyard and they’re worried about the safety of the children. Well I used to get a lot of these types of calls when I was doing fieldwork back in Massachusetts people would call about a raccoon they saw go through the yard and they were worried about the children so I would give them. Price the all of the sudden they would say well the children.
Why isn’t the city taking care of this now. Sometimes I ask them you know aren’t your taxes high enough. And then once they realized that they had to pay personally for this type of work. The children became magically safe. So the reality is sometimes that people think something’s a danger if they think they can get a service done for free. But once they have to pay for it they realized they didn’t need it. After all.
Animal Are on Your Property All The Time
And the reality is they didn’t that people have to realize that there are raccoons cruising through their yard. On a probably a regular basis and they just happen to see one. So just because an animal is out during the day it’s typically nocturnal doesn’t necessarily mean. That the raccoon or skunk is necessarily disease could be. But there’s no guarantee of that because there’s a lot of particular reasons why any animal may be moving around.
For example Female raccoons during the summer sometimes they get tired of the young and they get hot and they’ll actually come out onto a tree branch and just hang out. Maybe the female needs to. Go to a new area to move her young. And sometimes you don’t know if an animal has been disturbed from its den and its leaving that location in broad daylight not because it wants to but simply because the conditions that it was under were too intolerable
It felt threatened and it needed to move on. So the point is this how do you help people understand when they need to act when is it appropriate to call a wildlife control professional to come and remove
An animal. This is where we have to get into the issue of animal behavior. And so a lot of people tend to think that well it’s out during It’s a nocturnal animal like a raccoon. It’s out during the daytime therefore it must be rabid not true. And certainly I hope none of the listeners of this particular podcast. Try to. Exploit that concept that mythology because it’s simply not true. Now it could be true but there’s no guarantee of that. And again I gave you some illustrations earlier as to why that would be the case.
Some Clues An Animal Could Be Sick Or Diseased
But there is a situation when an animal is looks like it’s trembling shaking. Walking in circles. Disoriented. It looks unhealthy by the way it’s limping perhaps. Excuse me. It may also be a situation where the raccoon is or the skunk. Is it simply looks like it has crusty Nissen its eyes.
Those are examples of when an animal needs to be removed. By a professional because it’s probably it’s acting it’s acting sick. Now simply understand that. Many people many times an animal is approaching humans because someone else has been conditioning that animal with human food and the dirty secret in terms about so-called rate rabid attacks. You know that the mythology mythological raccoon that’s hunting people down to bite them.
Most Rabies Cases Are Human Initiated
The reality is is that most human exposures to rabies are human initiated. What that means is is that it’s not that the animal was chasing the human down it was that the human was chasing the animal down.
Typically it’s a person who says well I thought it was ill I did that go over and help it and I’ll put that in air quotes for you and then when they are approaching the animal I close the animal lunges out and bites them.
But it wasn’t the animal hunting the person down. It was that the person didn’t leave the animal alone. So the rule is if you can leave them there and that should be the primary rule for all of us in this particular business we shouldn’t be in the business of hyping fear.
Where people aren’t learning to live with the wildlife in their particular area. And understanding that a lot of animals have adapted to human impacted conditions. It’s urbanize to urbanized areas and they’re doing quite well actually.
But if an animal is exhibiting aggression where it is chasing that does happen it’s not common but it does happen then that animal needs to be removed and people need to be kept away from it. Dogs need to be kept away from animals
Likewise. People need to be taught to leave animals alone. Well here’s a classic example of possums for instance possums sometimes when they’re scared they hunker down and they don’t move. Oftentimes they’ll just stay sit there and they will bare their teeth and just stare at you and people will think that the animal is sick
When Does A Wild Animal Need To Be Removed From Your Property
What I tell people when they have a possum in their yard and it’s just on a fence staring there is I tell them to leave the possum alone. Remove the dog remove the kids remove everyone around. If the pest is still there twelve hours later or the next day then the possum needs to be removed.
But oftentimes possums get so paralyzed with fear they they decide hey I can’t I don’t think I can run away safely and rather than being attacked from behind where I may not be able to see my enemy I’m going to just sit here and bare my teeth at them. People don’t understand that when an opossum is that frightened it just hunkers down and stays there. So what people do is remove their dogs put on a leash their dogs pull the dogs away and that. Possum will feel safe again and move along. 90 percent of the time that is actually what will happen. In that situation. So if a situation is where people it’s where they don’t have control then that possum needs to be removed not because the possum is sick but because now it’s people because it’s a people problem.
That’s one of the things you’re going to find in this industry as many times it’s not the wildlife that’s the problem when we’re dealing with these transient animal situations it’s a people problem and the animal has to lose. Why?
Because people do crazy things snakes would be another classic example. I’m always shocked at the number of people see it on Facebook all the time is really pathetic where they kill the snake and then say well what was it. Well it never seems to occur to them that maybe they should wait to identify that snake. Before they kill it. But that doesn’t seem to be in the mental capacity of many people because their first responses.
It scares me I’m going to kill it therefore and then find out what it is and you find out it’s a garter snake or the ubiquitous everything in the south is a cotton mouth or it’s a copperhead. You’d think that the place was wall to wall Copperheads the way people talk about snakes down there. The reality is that these and these animals if you leave them alone
You’ll be fine. And I know everyone’s worried about the children and the fact that matter is your family cars would be more dangerous than that than a lot of these snakes. So the reality is is that we need to help our clients understand that there is a balance here that there’s a you can’t have you have to learn
Overcoming Phobias Of Wild Animals
How to overcome some of these phobias. I recommend people go to therapy go get some therapy work through your issues but just because you’re afraid of something doesn’t mean you should just go over and kill it. And I’m not saying that people need to have snakes in their houses. It’s not what I’m suggesting. But these people are often killing stuff that they’re finding far away from their houses. It’s just I know a person if he sees a snake he’ll go after it to kill it. Really seems kind of like there’s a psychological problem there or something that person is working. Make sure you as you’re in your company don’t reinforce those types of mythology. So let’s summarize where we’re at. Number one if you care leave them there.
So your clients don’t understand just because they see an animal walking through the yard doesn’t mean they need to call you up hire you to come out there and do it can they do that. Sure. But for what purpose. So you remove that raccoon you remove that possum then what. It would be better to simply remove the conditions maybe there’s a bird feeder that needs to be modified maybe you need to stop feeding your dog and cat out the outside maybe you need to secure your shed index so that the animals can’t live underneath their
Maybe need to talk to your neighbor who’s throwing food all over the place. It is becoming attraction for a wide variety of animals. A lot of people think they’re being compassionate to these animals and then lo and behold you have distemper move in and all these raccoons that they thought were awesome. They’re all of a sudden they transmit distemper to each other and they’re all dead. We need to be sure that we are not really reconfirming these particular phobias and bad behavior among the public. We need to be there for four serious issues of home invasion by why why why wildlife. We need to help people understand that there are sometimes conditions that they can change to reduce the attractiveness of their property to wildlife if that is something that they are concerned about number two. Just because you see an animal out during daylight doesn’t mean the animal is sick. Could be. But you’d need to ask more information was the animal acting normally and I mean nothing more than time you can’t identify rabies by looking at your watch or whether the sun is outside is the animal acting normally in the senses that have a normal gait.
What Does A Sick Animal Look Like?
Is it moving with purpose or is it wandering around in circles is it stumbling? Does it look like it’s limping? Does it seem to be wandering around with no apparent purpose. Is it shaking like it has tremors or Parkinson’s disease? Any of those types of symptoms and behaviors tells you that something’s wrong when you look at it. Does the does the hair look all scruffy it up does the eyes look like there’s pus in it. I mean I don’t want you getting too close to it. But some people have very good vision binoculars can be helpful, but you can tell pretty quickly whether an animal’s acting normally or abnormally beyond simply looking at your watch and the last thing is you have to help people understand that they need to work through some of their work through some of their phobias most exposures. Most animal bites are not caused by the animal chasing the human down there caused by the human approaching the animal in fact that’s even true for snake bites.
Most snake bites venomous snake bites occur by people who are pet owners of venomous snakes and believe it or not alcohol happens to be involved with many of these situations. What a shock. Other times you’ll have situations where people are either snake handling. Sometimes it was those administered several years ago I believe it was in West Virginia or my home in Tennessee. He got killed handling a rattlesnake and he died, so if we avoid some of these situations and we teach people
Study Of Wild Coyotes And When To Control Them
Was published in a book by Dr. Schmidt. Let me read the entire reference for you. two M’s t i m two thousand seven article entitled bad dogs why do Coyotes and other cane it’s become unruly. Proceedings of the twelfth wildlife damage management conference. Edited by. DL No the W in Mark Joe and D.H. Stallman so that’s the 2007 article bad dogs in the 12th. Wildlife damage management conference and what they did was they evaluated Some research that was done by somebody else who was collecting that is win. How do you understand Coyote aggression?
As Coyote have now basically dispersed across the vast majority of the United States. There are still some areas where they’re not that common. But for by and large they are you know almost coast to coast here in the United States and even north south by and large when is it appropriate. What are the signs that tell you the point at which a Coyote is at risk of attacking a human. No I’m not trying to create here hysteria that you know every Coyote its out to attack people that’s not that’s simply not true. But what was found over the years is that there is a pattern of behavior a progression of aggression that gives us clues how far along that Coyote is before it begins to attack. People. And this work was done out of California which has had Coyote for scores of years. And there was a long time where people weren’t necessarily killing them or shooting them and what have you and they were and they were learning that over time that the Coyote began to change their behavior became more more aggressive. And so what they said is it’s sort of like you may have heard people that said you know when they’re when they’ve been caught and being a murderer or something and they said Well how did you get here. And they’ll usually say well you know I started out pulling the legs off of a spider and then they moved down to beating up neighborhood kids and then they did this and so there’s a progression of greater and greater aggression.
And the idea is is that you win do you. What’s the trigger point with wooden with which you say this Coyote needs to go. When is it time to act because you don’t want to just be killing every cow because every time it’s aggressive to a rabbit that’s no big deal. The question is is where where in the past is that Coyote going to be aggressive to people in windy you initiate action. This is typically done on a community basis. When does the community decide OK we’re going to we’re going to hire a professional to come in and shoot this Coyote trap this guy out and use tools that may have been illegal otherwise but we’re going to give them a an exclusion the permit to use them these tools because that quiets becoming a threat to human health and safety. And these are the progressive steps that they found in I’m going to read them in order of ascending aggression in other words the farther down this list I get the more aggressive Coyote is becoming.
It’s on the path of ultimately biting a human so the first clue is increase in Coyote on the streets and in the yards at night. So that’s their first sign. The second sign the next level of aggression is the increase in Coyote approaching adults and or taking of pets at night. What that means is the clients are starting to attack cats and dogs. The third level of aggression is Coyote on the streets and in parks and yards early in the morning in the afternoon so it starts at night. But then over time the kids get a little bit more comfortable and they start attacking. They start being the more noticeable around what we call the Chris preschooler time which is early morning and dusk so dusk and dawn are the two times when it starts when it’s getting darker. It’s not completely light out It’s that in-between time before full daylight and full darkness muscular lot of animals are crip muscular. Level Four is Kai out chasing or taking pets in daytime. So before they were attacking pets at night now they’ve turned to reports of taking pets during the daytime. It’s level four level five. Timeouts attacking and taking pets on a leash or near owners chasing joggers bicyclists and other adults it’s level five level six tired scene in and around children’s play areas school grounds and parks in midday and the final level of aggression.
Coyote it’s acting aggressively toward adults in midday so that you can see how it’s getting how these clients would be getting more and more familiar more and more aggressive toward humans at this particular point. So the question is what is the trigger point. At what stage
Should a community begin to intercede and act to remove those aggressive Coyote and the authors basically suggested it was at level four when the Coyote began chasing or taking pets in daytime. That is when the community should act so I hope that you may never deal with Coyote in your business. It’s kind of a niche market but my point here is is that you need. It’s important for us to think about what is an appropriate trigger point for certain animal behavior.
And it’s important for you to think about that you’re driving around from job to job. What is the trigger point a lot of you a lot of you insect people out there that are controlling bugs there are trigger parts some of some trigger points is you know one one cockroach bring out the big guns kill them all. Other situations are a little bit more complicated and like what is the trigger point when with which you begin to spray. I mean obviously one mosquito is one mosquito a trigger point. Probably not. But it is that trigger point. Well the same thing in wildlife. You want to be thinking about what is the reasonable trigger point
To act because if we are going to share this planet with animal because there is some benefit with having them around if nothing more than a static pleasure we can’t just be going around killing everything because someone somewhere might be bothered by it. That’s just simply not appropriate. So what does that trigger point. It is important for you as a professional to help your clients sometimes deal with their phobias
Even at the expense of your bottom line. And this is the difference between an ethical and responsible. WCCO and just someone who is out
Being a hit man for hire no matter what they’re doing and that and I hope that you’re not just simply doing that you have an important job. To help protect human health and safety to protect property don’t lower those standards just to help reinforce people’s phobias. Because some of them can’t work through some of their some of their issues. Think about where that level is for you and if you do happen to deal with clients. This is an article that you’ll want to keep in your back pocket or available so that when you’re talking with the community you can tell them that there is some research some historical research overkill behavior over time. So I hope today this helps you understand when you should act with wildlife helping your cut helping your client understand when they need to leave well enough alone and when they need to act as and as well as something for you to think about how you are going to what’s your trigger point when you need to act on controlling an animal or when you think you should tip your client in that particular direction.