Lifetime removal guaranty:
Lately companies have been offering a lifetime guaranty in solving a wildlife related issue in a home (i.e. raccoon in the attic etc.) How this works is that Company X removes the animal and then seals up all potential entry points that an animal may use to get back into the house. I say “back into” because this removal is usually done by eviction rather than by trapping the animal and removing it from the area altogether. The animal then goes on through the neighborhood to terrorize the other neighbors. I call this “recycling the problem” and “recycling the work”. The hope is that after the animal is gone from house A, it becomes an issue to houses B,C,D and E, and Company X gets called again.
There are many reasons for this type of procedure (eviction) rather than removal (one already noted above) and here are two more. Firstly, some companies claim that if the animal is removed from the area, it creates a void and another animal moves in. Sounds valid to those who don’t understand urban wildlife management but it holds no scientific viability. Most species of urban wildlife that come into conflict with property owners are very social animals outside of the breeding season and can put with several of its own kind in its territory because food, shelter and water (the three things needed for wildlife to survive) are present in abundance in an urban area – there is little competition for their necessities. One can know this by seeing several raccoons together strolling down the street or raiding garbage cans.
Because of this, urban wildlife populations can grow rapidly and get out of control resulting in massive die offs from diseases – some that are transmittable to pets and humans. As populations grow unchecked, more property damage occurs because these animals that are quite comfortable living in natural denning areas now move into houses, sheds etc., because of a lack of natural dens. As there are no control methods within urban areas (unlike rural areas), this eviction method of control only exasperates the population control issue. Wildlife biologists and technicians across N.S. (although a legal method of removal) frown upon it, not only because it does not provide a control measure, but they have undisputed proof that once an animal becomes accustomed to living in an attic, shed etc., it will always be such an animal thus property damage continues at a rate higher than if animals were removed from the area.
Now there are some people out there (outside the wildlife control business field) that also hold to this “void” theory. Some of them deal with wildlife and what they do with wildlife should be commended but they have little to no knowledge of wildlife management. If you dig down deeper into their views and beliefs, you usually find out that their opposition to trapping and removing the offending animal is philosophical. That being, they are opposed to the trapping of any animal for any reason. To them, there is no difference between trapping an animal and utilizing that animal (i.e. meat/fur) than trapping an animal to prevent or eliminate property damage.
Secondly, most companies that practice this “eviction” are franchised companies that are owned by companies in Ontario, Quebec or now the U.S. (thus the 1-888 or other 800 combination number before the seven digit number). In their jurisdictions, this type of removal is the only method allowed by law. Take Toronto for example. Their raccoon problem is never ending with diseases such as distemper and rabies an ongoing concern. It is in effect, not a wildlife control approach but it sure is a boon to businesses operating there as they have self perpetuating work. During the last mayoralty race in Toronto, urban wildlife control was a major issue and when control companies were interviewed as to how this eviction approach was working, they could hardly hold back their giddiness as to how their only legal option was also keeping them quite busy. One individual even admitted that he was quite busy going from house to house in the neighborhood and evicting the same animal time after time after time.
Back to the lifetime guaranty. These companies evict the animal and then seal up all the entry points that an animal may use to attempt to get back in. Once this is done, you are handed a bill for SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Is this sealing of all possible points absolutely necessary?
I have been operating my business for 25 years now and checking over my records I get repeat business for the same type of animal issue (i.e. raccoon in attic) less than 3% of the time. That means that 97% plus of the time, the wildlife causing them an issue does not get repeated. Oh I get repeat business for other issues but not for what was causing the property owner an issue the first time around that they hired me. Now I don’t about you, but to spend THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS on something that has a less than a 3% chance of happening again seems unnecessary. You would have to hire me 15-20 times for the same problem to reach a bill like that above. After I remove an animal from an area, all that is needed is a little consultation with the client and that damaged area can be repaired for very little and can usually be done by the homeowner themselves or by myself and the homeowner is not handed a bill for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. However, it is a free country and you are free to spend your money as you see fit but I would rather spend my hard earned money on my children’s university, my retirement or my grandkids or donating to charities that help those less fortunate.
In closing, why is it that when a product or service is sold more times than not, you have to spend extra to get extra coverage. You buy a vehicle and you can buy extra warranty This always bugged me. Afterall, if the service or product you are originally purchasing is as good as the one selling that product or service is saying it is, shouldn’t the warranty stand on its own? Why should you pay more? Just my thought on the issue.