#06-262 October 2, 2006
State DNR directory lists nuisance wildlife agents
A directory of nuisance wildlife control operators is available from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to assist the public in dealing with wildlife damage problems. The directory is used to refer members of the public with wildlife problems to qualified individuals and businesses that can address these problems and safely remove nuisance animals or alleviate wildlife damage.
Check the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Web site at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/nwco.html for more information on the list or contact the DNR Furbearer Project at (803) 734-3609 in Columbia.
According to Jay Butfiloski, furbearer biologist with DNR, the need for developing the Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators List grew in response to ever increasing human-animal conflicts that arise as the state becomes more populated and more urbanized.
“Many landowners mistakenly believe that DNR or some other government agency will provide nuisance wildlife control services free of charge,” Butfiloski said. “In reality, it is the individual landowner’s responsibility to deal with nuisance wildlife problems on their own property.” He stressed that individuals and businesses on the list are not employees of DNR, and like traditional pest control companies, they do charge for their services.
As always, a property owner can contact the DNR if they have any questions about any wildlife damage control techniques that a nuisance wildlife control operator suggests implementing on their land.
Butfiloski offers the following tips on hiring a nuisance wildlife control operator:
- Ask for references.
- Compare prices of other nuisance wildlife control operators in your area to assist with ascertaining a fair price for the service.
- Home visits may involve a service charge. A reasonable fee for time and travel is customary. Do not feel obligated to hire a nuisance wildlife control operator after a home or site inspection. Most nuisance wildlife control operators can give an estimate over the phone for routine nuisance wildlife situations. You should always comparison shop first before agreeing to any service charge.
- Get detailed instructions on the work to be performed.
- Have all services and any guarantees in writing.
- Do not sign any contract until an acceptable fee is agreed upon. Make sure the nuisance wildlife control operator specifically states what services will be performed; the total cost, and avoid signing vaguely worded contracts. A signed contract is usually considered a legal document, and you will be responsible for any fees charged by the nuisance wildlife control operator. Always keep a copy of the signed contract.
- Understand that it is against state law to permit routine relocation of nuisance wildlife. No nuisance wildlife control operator is permitted to relocate captured wildlife to another location.
- Do not allow any nuisance wildlife control operator to place any substance inside or around your home without investigating the effects of such substances. Have the nuisance wildlife control operator provide documentation explaining the efficacy of any substance applied.
- Do not allow anyone to pressure or frighten you into signing a contract or performing a service immediately. Most nuisance wildlife situations can wait. Bats inside the living quarters of a home are the most notable exception. Property owners finding bats inside the home should contact the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to question whether or not the bats should be submitted for rabies testing.
- Be suspicious of any claims or statements made by a nuisance wildlife control operator that sound extraordinary, especially if such claims involve a high fee for any such service. If a nuisance wildlife control operator cannot guarantee the work without such costly services, try another nuisance wildlife control operator. There are very few quick fixes in nuisance wildlife control, according to Butfiloski.