Every day, in Polk and Hillsborough Counties, we get calls from customers seeking trapping services due to animals around their property that they would rather not have around. Of course, one of the big concerns for those customers is the cost of the service. Occasionally, we get some customers that have a little sticker shock at the price for the service and often want to know, “why so much?” This article is designed to help you understand what all goes into a trapping service when you're wondering "how much does wildlife trapping cost?"
First of all, outdoor trapping services can almost never be 100% guaranteed. Animals have choices and in nature, unfortunate circumstances befall wildlife all the time. They can be predated upon by other animals. They can be hit by cars. They can be poisoned. They can be shot by a neighbor (usually illegally). They simply could have made the decision to move on to a new home the night before you chose to call a wildlife trapping service. Further, even if they chose to stick around, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your first attempt to trap the animal will be successful.
Trapping services are usually sold by the week. This requires multiple trips back and forth to your location to check the traps, reset traps, freshen bait, etc. It could also require manipulation of the trap configuration based upon what the animal may be doing.
Some stops may be up to an hour drive, round-trip. That is a LOT of fuel! In addition to that, any animals trapped must be taken somewhere. If they can be relocated, the animal then must be transported from your home to the relocation site. There are not very many of these. We aren’t just taking them to the closest open field and releasing them. There are laws that must be followed according to the Florida Wildlife Commission regarding minimum acreage for relocation. If the animal must be euthanized, there are disposal fees that we must pay a facility as you legally can not just dump the animal in the trash.
Well, you’re going to re-use the traps over and over, right?
Another expense that wildlife removal services encounter, is constantly replacing traps. This is especially true after raccoon or armadillo trapping jobs. Our traps typically cost anywhere from $50-$70 apiece for a good trap. Raccoons and armadillos are notorious for destroying traps. If we did a simple removal and trapped 1 raccoon for you for say, $50 (an average expectation by many customers), and that raccoon destroys the trap to the point that it is unusable…we lost money. Not only do we now have to replace a trap that costs as much as we made (more actually, considering taxes), but we also spent gas money driving to your location to install the trap, back to you to pick up the trap and we had to drive the animal to a release site. We’ll have another $50.00 wrapped up just in fuel costs on a single animal removal and relocation. Now, if you trap for a week or more, that cost goes up. You may need a pickup and removal every single day that week. While many services will try to route in stops to be fuel efficient, that can’t always be done. Occasionally, your location may be the only stop in a general area that a trapper may have. Which means they use more fuel for YOUR location than they would otherwise if they had multiple stops to share it with. And on top of that, if the company you hire uses employees…they also must pay that employee for their time as well.
All too often, people don’t realize what really all goes into wildlife trapping and removal. In their minds, we’re not doing very much more than just dropping a trap down and picking it up the next day. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it. And any business that doesn’t factor these things in, won’t be a business for very long.
What if I trap the animal and just want you to pick it up and relocate it?
If you trap the animal yourself, we are able to do pickups and relocations. However, there is a $99.00 fee associated with the pickup. You may wonder why if you did the trapping? Well, it’s rather simple. Most wildlife services use “lead generation” services. Basically, marketing companies who specialize in Google. We do this so we can actually be found easier on Google. This is a whole industry in and of itself. If you run a business, you have to be found online. Google makes that very difficult. So we often pay for these services which charge us a fee of $20-50 per phone call (or sometimes more) to help us be found. So that is money we paid whether we make any money from you or not. In addition to that, we still have the cost of fuel to pick up, relocate the animal and then we often have to return your trap to you, which costs even more fuel. And unfortunately, we can’t operate these services from electric vehicles. In the end, despite the $99.00 fee, we may actually “make” about $10.00-$15.00.
What are our options if we don’t want to pay fees for trapping and relocation?
It is illegal to relocate wildlife outside of the limitations laid forth by the Florida Wildlife Commission. If you choose to relocate yourself, be mindful that you’re rolling the dice for being cited by a Division of Wildlife Officer for illegal relocation of wildlife.
If you choose to trap an animal yourself, you need to have a plan. Or perhaps, your best bet is simply to leave the animal alone and learn to live with its presence.
Should you be in need of animal trapping and relocation services, Nature-Tech Wildlife Solutions LLC stands ready to answer your call.
Polk County: 863.345.2547 Hillsborough County: 813.699.9079