Reducing Bird Strikes To Windows

Reducing Bird Strikes To Windows

Bird strikes against windows are in a significant source of mortality to birds. Recent research in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology (volume 120 issue 3) suggested that window strikes to high-rise commercial buildings actually account for five times more bird mortality than previously estimated. They determined that the presence of food sources and cover them proximity to these commercial buildings increased the likelihood of bird strikes against Windows.

Bird killed by striking a window. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Bird killed by striking a window. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

So to prevent and reduce the likelihood of bird strikes to windows, be sure that trees are far removed from buildings and avoid using fruit bearing trees near structures with large arrays of windows.

Change windows so that they are more opaque and less reflective so that birds don’t see through them nor think that the window is clear sky.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

Rachel Gehringher-Wiar

Dear Lincoln Journal Star,

I am writing in regards to the article on Saturday, July 19, 2014 entitled best critter defense for her garden? An outdoor cat. On page 8 of the neighborhood Extra by Rachel Gehringher-Wiar. Her advice that readers encourage the presence of free ranging cats to resolve wildlife conflicts for garden seriously misinformed the readership. Free ranging cats are indiscriminate killers removing beneficial species along with some undesirable species. While readers may want all wildlife in the backyard dead, the fact is very few animals are causing conflicts with gardens so in effect Rachel’s solution is to kill them all and let God sort them out rather than a targeted solution to the problem. In addition Rachel didn’t inform her readers about the disease issues inherent with free ranging cats, particularly toxoplasmosis as cats use gardens for toilets.

It is unfortunate that Rachel didn’t take advantage of the resources provided by the University of Nebraska Lincoln through the Internet center for wildlife damage management website (ICWDM.org). By encouraging her readers to use cats, readers will lose the benefits provided by shrews and songbirds and other beneficial species such as garter snakes and frogs that perform insect control in gardens and also beautify the landscape.

It is my hope that if Ms. Wiar wishes to provide wildlife damage information to her readership that she consult the source mentioned above. If she has any doubts about the environmental impact free ranging cats have on the environment please letter read “Feral Cats and Their Management, EC1781”available at http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/sendIt/ec1781.pdf. As an author of that university publication, I would be happy to provide her additional details should she desire it.

Sincerely,

Stephen M. Vantassel,

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

 

Wildlife and Airport Environments

Book review: Wildlife and Airport Environments: Preventing Animal–Aircraft Collisions through Science–Based Management by Travis L. DeVault, Bradley F. Blackwell, & Jerrold L. Balant. 2013. Baltimore, MD: The John’s Hopkins University Press. pp. 181 with index.

Wildlife in Airport Environments. 2013. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Wildlife in Airport Environments. 2013. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

US Airways Flight 1549, otherwise known as The Miracle on the Hudson, reacquainted most Americans with the threats posed by birds and other wildlife to aircraft. While that flight received great attention, the fact is wildlife threats to aircraft have been existence since flight was first discovered. Wildlife and Airport Environments summarizes the state of knowledge regarding principles for reducing the threats posed by wildlife to aircraft. The text is very technical and takes a modeling approach to the topic. The goal of the authors is to help readers understand the complexities involved in managing wildlife. The authors carefully and repeatedly remind readers that lethal control alone is not sufficient or necessary to resolve every wildlife threat to aircraft. However the authors also tell readers that nonlethal techniques, or what they refer to as indirect methods, cannot resolve every wildlife threat to aircraft either.

The book contains 15 chapters organized into three parts. Part 1: Wildlife Management Techniques, discusses bird and wildlife behavior in the hopes of better understanding how visual repellents can be effective. Tactile, auditory, and chemical repellents are investigated also. The section is rounded out with chapters covering excluding mammals, use of translocation, and population management to reduce aircraft wildlife strikes.
Part 2: Managing Resources, reviews how habitat modification can both reduce and increase wildlife aircraft conflicts. The authors show how balancing environmental and airstrike issues require difficult choices, where the best choice often is the lesser of two evils. Part 3: Wildlife Monitoring, investigates rationale and methods for determining animal numbers and threats so that data is scientifically rigorous enough to withstand legal analysis. Monitoring also is critical to show officials whether management techniques are working and to identify new threats.

The book is very technical and its modeling approach is quite different than most wildlife control operators would be familiar with. The chapters are often descriptive and discussion-based rather than prescriptive. Readers will be exposed to a wide range of terms and concepts in biology and wildlife management that, while not immediately useful for their businesses, can help guide decisions as well as understanding scientific literature. The book is most suited for researchers and instructors looking to engage the literature or educate students regarding the complexities of management of wildlife in highly critical situations, such as airports.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Goose Academy Middleton, NY June 2014

Goose Academy

Carla Wagner of Wild Goose Chase instructs the class about use of kayaks. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Carla Wagner of Wild Goose Chase instructs the class about use of kayaks. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

The Goose Academy is a two-day training on the management of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) offered by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA).  I have the pleasure of being part of the training team under the leadership of Master NWCOA Instructor, Vikki Rawe.

We just finished a training event in Middleton, NY on June 26-7, 2014. It was two-days of presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on control. We covered, marketing, pyrotechnics, use of dogs, lasers, boats, goose biology, laws, and round ups.

If you are interested in being notified about NWCOA trainings, subscribe to this blog or contact NWCOA at GoNWCOA@gmail.com

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law

Employer and employee. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Employer and employee. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Parkinson’s Law states that work effort will expand to fill the time allotted to complete the task. In other words, if you give workers 3 days to finish a project, they will typically take the full amount of time to finish it. If you gave them 2.5 days then the project would be finished by then.

Now certainly there are exceptions to this principle. You can’t tell your contractor to build your house in a morning and expect it to happen. But what it does teach is that workers will reduce and refine the task so that the project can be completed in the time allowed. Your task as a boss is to ensure that you don’t give your workers so much time that they feel they have time to waste on less important issues. You want them to remain focused.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

Innovative Skunk Control-A Review

Book Review: Rob Erickson. Innovative Skunk Control. (DeKalb, Ill: R.J.E. Publications, 2005.) paperback pp. 1-79. $15.95

Cage-trapped skunk. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Cage-trapped skunk. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

This review was originally published Vantassel, S. (2005, May/June). Book Review: Innovative Skunk Control by Rob Erickson. DeKalb, IL, RJE Publications, 2005 1-79pp. The Probe, 3, 5. It has been edited slightly from that earlier posting.

For many years, Rob Erickson has been a leader in helping NWCOs broaden their wildlife control techniques. So it should come as little surprise that his latest book, Innovative Skunk Control, continues that proud tradition.

As the title suggests, Erickson doesn’t cover every aspect or technique of the skunk control business. He assumes that his readers are well aware of the basic principles of skunk handling. So he doesn’t bore them with information that they have received elsewhere. Erickson just wants to tell his readers about some methods he refined for handling skunks. In short, reading Innovative Skunk Control is how NWCOs around the country can get specialized skunk training from an industry leader without having to take time off for on-site training.

Written in a no-nonsense style, Erickson opens with some basic skunk biology that NWCOs need to know to resolve skunk problems. You won’t find any dry Life-history information here, just the facts relevant for nuisance work. Chapters 2-3 cover skunk problems typical for residential areas. Erickson describes control techniques using the William’s gravity door cage trap (a favorite cage trap of his) and touches on the use of footholds, snaring and gas cartridges. NWCOs would do well in following the simplicity of his equipment choices and avoid adopting newer models too quickly. Erickson’s equipment list has been refined by years of field experience. If wildlife laws in your state model those in Illinois, one would be well advised to consider mirroring his equipment choices.

To my mind, the most valuable portion of the book is found in the second half. It is well known that Rob Erickson has been a leading proponent of using an over-the-counter product, sold under the brand name ‘Nity-Nite’, for euthanizing skunks. He has perfected the technique and even developed a specialized injection tool to administer the fluid that reduces the chances of breaking needles. I think wildlife regulators should look into this technique and consider legalizing it in their respective states. With the number of skunk rabies on the rise and the public’s concern about odor-free removal, Erickson’s injection method provides a responsible and effective way for NWCOs to satisfy a variety of interest groups. It is time for regulators to be pro-active and at least give this technique a fair hearing.

In my opinion, Erickson’s description of how to control skunk and raccoon damage at golf courses is the most valuable portion of the book. With the explosion of golf courses around the country, NWCOs should read this book just to see how they might be able to service this lucrative market. I won’t describe his techniques except to say that not every safari takes place in Africa.

I have two criticism of the book. First, I would have liked to have seen more cautions included with the recommendation of gas cartridges for skunks. The photo was unfortunate because the label, as pictured, doesn’t list skunk as a target species from that angle. Erickson should have noted that users may need to have a pesticide applicators permit to use gas cartridges in their state. Additionally, warnings concerning the cartridge’s risk to non-targets should have been mentioned. I also think Erickson was ill advised to state that the gas kills the animals “painlessly” (p.19). Second, I wish Erickson wrote a longer book. I suspect that there are many more informational gems that he could share about the ins and outs of controlling skunks. But I guess we will all have to wait until his next book.

Innovative Skunk Control is a fast read. NWCOs should be able to finish it in about an hour. It is filled with good quality black and white photos. If you want to learn how to use lethal injection and control skunks (and raccoons) on golf courses, this is the book for you.

You can order the book from the publisher. Send check or money orders for $19.80 (15.95 + 3.85 shipping-continental U.S.) to On Target A.D.C. POB 480 Cortland, IL 60112. Visa and Mastercard orders can be phoned in to 815-286-3073. You can also learn more about Wildlife Control Technology by visiting their website http://www.wctech.com by e-mail wctech@ix.netcom.com.

When I originally wrote this review, I had a longstanding relationship with Rob Erickson. I was a frequent contributor to his magazine, “Wildlife Control Technology” and was its assistant editor for two years. I also considered myself, his friend. Unfortunately, Rob no longer considers me his friend. Nevertheless, my review remains essentially unchanged.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

NWCOA’s Goose Academy

NWCOA’s Goose Academy

Canada geese (Branta canadensis)

Canada geese (Branta canadensis)

The National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA, pronounced “New ko-ah”) has a two-day workshop that provides attendees with all the information and practical skills needed to manage damage by Canada geese (Branta canadensis).

The training covers biology, damage identification, business tips and marketing, laws, and control methods.

Vikki Rawe is the Master NWCOA Instructor for the Goose Academy. She has experience in running a successful wildlife control company and controlling damage by Canada geese. She provides this training to improve the professionalism within the industry and to help other companies expand and improve their services.

To learn more about the Goose Academy and attend the training being offered in Middletown, NY at the end of June, click NWCOA Goose Academy

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

Control of Woodchucks with Gas Cartridges

Control of Woodchucks with Gas Cartridges

Woodchucks (Marmota monax), also known as whistle pigs, groundhogs, and even the vague moniker of “gopher”, are nature’s contractors. The effort they put into den building provides shelter for a variety of other ground dwelling animals, including skunks, fox, raccoon, and coyote.

Giant destroyer for woodchuck control.  Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel

Giant destroyer for woodchuck control. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel

With summer approaching, I thought visitors and members of my site would be interested in reading some tips about control of woodchucks with gas cartridges. I have provided those tips at a University of Nebraska-Lincoln website. Don’t forget, ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS, AS THE LABEL IS THE LAW. Here is the link, Control of Woodchucks with Gas Cartridges.

I would love to hear about your stories and challenges with woodchuck control.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

Selling Your WCO Business Part 5

Selling Your WCO Business Part 5

This article is Selling Your WCO Business Part 5. These blogs were originally published as “Selling Your Company” Wildlife Control Technology Magazine Sept/Oct 1999. Disclaimer: Article for informational purposes and is not to replace good legal counsel.

Terms of Sale

This is the most difficult aspect of the whole sale. You must decide on whether you want all the money up front or whether you will take a note. Take some time to determine what the interest rate will be and the length of the loan. Payment schedule and penalties for late payment should also be listed. Programs like Quicken and Money have areas in their respective programs where you can amortize the loan. Just plug in the loan amount, interest rate and term of the loan and it will give you a print out of how much the monthly payments will be. Your lawyer should write up the loan agreement and register it with the state secretary. Registration of the loan is important as it makes the loan agreement official. If the buyer goes bankrupt, the date of your registration will be used to determine the priority of the loan versus other competing creditors.

You should also decide on whether you will continue to work for the new owner. Sometimes new owners want continuity until all the bugs get worked out. They will want to rely on your contacts, experience etc. before taking over completely. Make sure your obligations are clearly spelled out and what sort of compensation will be provided. As for myself, the new owner hired me for one calendar year from the date of purchase. We negotiated vacation time and pay.

Prepare for the Conversion Process

Once the business is sold, your work isn’t over. You will need to announce to all your business friends that your business number now belongs to someone else. This can be a difficult process. The new owner gets calls, at least once a week, from someone looking for me. Sales people looking for me to place an ad, etc. Learn from my mistake. Let people know as soon as possible about the business change so they can make appropriate corrections in their rolodex.

Tell the government your business no longer exists, if you were incorporated or pay payroll taxes. This is a frustrating process. Even though I dissolved my corporation, I still get letters and forms from the government regarding state payroll taxes, federal payroll taxes etc. Always fill out the forms. It will be easy, just a lot of zeros. But look for the box that says, “Final form”. Check this and hopefully some government worker will take the time to read it and take you off the list. The last form I filled out I wrote in large letters across the page, “Out of Business”. I pray they can see that.

Finally, make the emotional break. Even though the company was your baby, let it go. The new owner is now responsible. He/she will do things differently, some better, some worse. Try to let go and keep your mouth shut. You don’t want to undermine the new owner. In fact you should want him/her to be successful. That way they will have been happy to have bought.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.

 

Selling Your WCO Business Part 4

Selling Your WCO Business Part 4

This article is part of a 5-part series. These blogs were originally published as “Selling Your Company” Wildlife Control Technology Magazine Sept/Oct 1999. Disclaimer: Article for informational purposes and is not to replace good legal counsel.

The Sale Process

If all goes well, you will be receiving some inquiries from potential buyers. Give them the price and any terms you might have for the sale. Be prepared for questions such as “why are you selling”, “How did you decide on the price” “What are your payment terms”. Etc. Also prepare yourself to interview the buyer, if the price hasn’t scared them away. Ask the buyer what he/she is looking for in a business, “How they might intend to pay for it”. “Why are they buying” etc. You want to try and decide about the worthiness of the purchaser. Remember, selling a business isn’t like a tag sale. You may have sold the company and equipment only to have the buyer default. You also don’t want to spend a lot of time with tire kickers who just want to learn about your company without any intention of buying. This is one area where a business broker can be invaluable as they screen buyers for you.

Once you find a potential buyer, you should show them a profit loss statement. The profit loss statement should only show them in writing what you have already told them in word. Remember, I said straightforward not a non-negotiable price. Negotiations can change a number of things but you need to have an initial price in mind over which the negotiations can start. After you come to some sort of a verbal agreement, the buyer should perform a due diligence. This shows they mean business and are going to place a bid. It is here that the buyer will inspect the items of the sale and provide an offer.

Letter of intent (Purchase and Sales agreement). This is the document you want. It will state the terms of the purchase. It will often have escape clauses and state that the purchase will take place within a certain time period.

Closing (Sale becomes finalized). This is the final document. Once these papers are signed then the business has finally been sold.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.

Copyright

All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.