Author Topic: Critter removal - go frugal or not?  (Read 1740 times)

Plugra

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Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« on: March 31, 2018, 11:02:20 AM »
I have been hearing animals in the attic at night, so I called a highly-recommended critter removal service. The guy showed up and prepared a detailed quote involving live trapping, sealing entrances, and spraying the attic with some sort of sterilizing fluid.  I knew the spray was totally a high-profit upsell, and I tried hard to resist, but the guy was incredibly pushy and so I finally agreed.  The total cost to remove a couple of squirrels is nearly $1000.  I have fuming over this for a week.  $1000 is about the same as I paid a team of men with big equipment to remove a mature oak tree that was leaning dangerously over my house ...  The two jobs just don't compare.

My question is, will I ever forgive myself for being scammed?

No sorry, my question is, has anyone here done DIY critter removal?  Should I have done it myself? In principle you just trap the animal and get rid of it. But in practice you have to set traps, check the traps, risk getting bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, transport the animal to a location where you can release it (legally?), or find a way to kill it humanely (ethically?). It's complicated.  I didn't want to deal with these issues and that's why I hired a guy.  But $1000? WTF!





MDM

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 12:15:46 PM »
Seems very high for squirrels.  Still high, but not as high, if it is raccoons.

Although, it also depends on how much carpentry was involved in sealing entrances, ease of attic access, etc.

ePalmtrees

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 07:54:30 PM »
I paid $750 to have a dead squirrel removed from an attic crawlspace and the outside of the roof fixed so no more could get in. I tried to wait out the smell for 2 months but it just wasn't going away. It's guaranteed so if it happens again they have to fix it for free.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 08:45:41 AM »
Other than mice, I've never done interior critter removal. I have done a bunch of trapping of rabbits/groundhogs that were girdling trees at my orchard. If it makes you feel any better, I probably spent ~$300 on the removal. $125 was spent on live trap cages, another $120 was spent on a rifle (used) to dispatch the critters from the mortal coil, and the rest on miscellaneous stuff like bait and lures.

Dicey

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 08:56:09 AM »
Your argument is weak. Comparing the job to a completely different one is rather useless. A plumber can sometimes cost more than a doctor, but who the hell cares when it's a plumber you need? If you wanted to save money, you could have gotten more than one estimate. As it is, this guy solved your problem for a mutually agreed upon price. Free enterprise all the way!

kiwi

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 03:00:12 AM »
I had this same problem decades ago - a pair of squirrels in the attic. Bought a live trap for maybe $35, set it, caught squirrel #1, then squirrel #2. Problem solved! No need to call in the pros.

HipGnosis

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 11:50:15 AM »
I had this same problem decades ago - a pair of squirrels in the attic. Bought a live trap for maybe $35, set it, caught squirrel #1, then squirrel #2. Problem solved! No need to call in the pros.
What did you use for bait?
 
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GuitarStv

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 12:31:38 PM »
I have been hearing animals in the attic at night, so I called a highly-recommended critter removal service. The guy showed up and prepared a detailed quote involving live trapping, sealing entrances, and spraying the attic with some sort of sterilizing fluid.  I knew the spray was totally a high-profit upsell, and I tried hard to resist, but the guy was incredibly pushy and so I finally agreed.  The total cost to remove a couple of squirrels is nearly $1000.  I have fuming over this for a week.  $1000 is about the same as I paid a team of men with big equipment to remove a mature oak tree that was leaning dangerously over my house ...  The two jobs just don't compare.

My question is, will I ever forgive myself for being scammed?

No sorry, my question is, has anyone here done DIY critter removal?  Should I have done it myself? In principle you just trap the animal and get rid of it. But in practice you have to set traps, check the traps, risk getting bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, transport the animal to a location where you can release it (legally?), or find a way to kill it humanely (ethically?). It's complicated.  I didn't want to deal with these issues and that's why I hired a guy.  But $1000? WTF!

I worked in pest control for several years.  From what you described generally it doesn't sound unreasonable at all to me.

Trapping an animal is generally pretty simple (although it gets more complicated if there's a nest of things to remove - and this being spring, that's not an unlikely occurance).  It's a time consuming process to find and fix all possible entrances for an animal into your attic, and one that you certainly want to have done right . . . because otherwise you'll just get more things living up there in the future.  I personally would not spray the area (and in your position wouldn't agree to spray the area) with any 'sterilizing fluid', but you chose to agree to it.

You can certainly DIY this, but live capture is a lot more difficult, messier, and more time consuming than you might believe.  Most homeowners will buy poison, throw it up in the attic, and wait until they smell dead animal to collect the carcass . . . but that's a an ethically (and legally) dubious approach.


littleweedontheprairie

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2018, 04:50:03 PM »
We DIY our critter removal around here. We do live out of town so that gives us more leeway (and also paying someone to do it would quickly become financially burdensome).
For mice, honestly nothing works better than a cat -kills and deters. But you do have to feed the cat (and spay/neuter), even if it remains an outside or feral cat. Other wise, go with kill traps.
For bigger things like raccoons, live trap + a couple of .22 rounds. Not a very pleasant job. Hoping the dog can handle the next one :)

bognish

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 09:55:58 AM »
I got rid of raccoons in a chimney and squirrels in an attic by driving them crazy. Put a big speaker close to where they are. Every time we left the house we cranked up the base to 11. It helped to have a frat boy roommate with a big sound system and a big selection of bad music. Closing the entrance does seem like it could be a pain.

solon

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 10:17:32 AM »
I just got a quote to seal up our house against all critters - for $1400! And that doesn't include animal removal, because there aren't any animals yet. I was wondering if that was a bit high. Now I see it is.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 03:17:10 PM »
Get a weasel to swallow the squirrel...

Its not that hard to trap an animal. Set trap, wait, done; if you want a live trap then you have to monitor a bit more frequently. Squirrels are just another rodent; would you trap a mouse or rat?

However the sealing part is far more important, it shoud be an annual ritual to look for and seal leaks around the perimeter of the house (speaking of which, I may need to get on that soon). Look for gaps at your foundation, around windows, soffits etc. Pretty much anywhere air can come in so can bees, hornets, mice, squirrels, racoons etc. Don't just seal the attic, do the entire house, the attic is a sign you have other air gaps to take care of. As a bonus it usually cuts heating/cooling costs!

AccountingForLife

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Re: Critter removal - go frugal or not?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2018, 02:45:06 PM »
Im in the process of eliminating flying squirrels from my attic.

In fact, i just caught the second one last night.

In NY it is illegal to transport the animal off of your property. I used a cage trap with a door at both ends.

Once you trap the animal, itll make a ton of racket trying to get out. A small animal like a flying squirrel can make a TON of noise in an attic at night.

I actually placed a trail cam in the attic to see what it was, because at first i was using a larger trap that wasnt containing the animal.

Once you trap it, the only real thing to do is to kill it. The most humane way is with an air rifle, placing a pellet right in the brain. Dont try to release it because if it gets back in youll be stuck with a critter thats now trap resistant.

You can either cremate or bury the expired animal. I will warn you its a bit of an emotional experience if youve never killed a live animal before. Oh, and a company here in NY wanted $ 2,800 to do the same service.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.