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Bat Control Contracts

Regrettably, the wildlife control field undergoes minimal regulatory oversight from government. This means that customers must adopt a buyer-beware attitude as government has not provided even minimal standards to regulate the industry. This lack of industry oversight means that customers have to "trust" that the wildlife control operator is actually following industry practices. Unfortunately, too often wildlife control operators are not.

Recently, I learned about a business practice in the wildlife control industry that I believe borders on fraudulent practice. The wildlife control/pest control company was telling clients (directly in the contract) that it will not guarantee that its bat exclusion services will evict the bats from the structure.

I was shocked to read this in the contract. Contrary to popular belief, removing live bats from structures is surprisingly straight forward. One simply finds all the openings in the structure that are 3/8-inch or larger, install one-way doors over the holes used by bats, while closing off all the others. (note one-way doors should not be installed between May-August) to prevent the entrapment of young too immature to fly). If the exclusion is properly done, the bats can leave but cannot re-enter the structure. As I said, it is straightforward. The difficulty in bat work involves the ladder work and attention to detail.

There are very few homes or structures that cannot be bat proofed. Examples of extremely difficult structures to bat proof would include, those with slate or stone tile roofs and those with extensive repair issues. Otherwise, all other structures can be bat proofed. In short, technicians should provide evidence and detailed reasons why this or that particular structure cannot be bat-proofed.

I strongly suggest that homeowners never sign a contract with a wildlife control operator or pest control company that doesn't guarantee that the bats will be evicted from the structure. It would be better for the homeowner to contact another company. Buyer beware. The wildlife control industry is not well regulated. Think carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

By Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC
Expert Witness Wildlife Damage Management Animal Control
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen M. Vantassel
Stephen Vantassel is the Program Coordinator of Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s School of Natural resources. Since 2004, Stephen has been responsible for managing the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management as well as educating the public about wildlife damage management through publishing and speaking.

He brings to a great deal of wildlife damage management experience to Nebraska. In Springfield, MA, he owned his own wildlife damage control company, which serviced clients with problems ranging from beaver to moles to bats. He is also a nationally known writer. He has published in dozens of articles in trade magazines and was even the assistant editor for the industry trade magazine, Wildlife Control Technology. He has written several books, including the National Wildlife Control Training Program (vol. 1-2), the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd ed, and the Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats.

Copyright Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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