Helping resolve human-wildlife conflicts

M-44s and Domestic Dogs

M-44s are devices that eject sodium-cyanide into the mouth of canines that pull the device. They are outstanding tools for the control of coyotes (Canis latrans) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes). While important tools for wildlife damage management, M-44s do have a draw back, namely M-44s and domestic dogs can be a lethal combination if domestic dogs happen to interact with them. Now all legal users of M-44s want to reduce/eliminate non-target kills. In fact the label requires applicators to follow stringent and somewhat restrictive protocols in the use of M-44s. There are several strategies to prevent domestic dogs from interacting with these devices. Instruct the landowner to restrain his/her dogs during the time the M-44s will be in the pasture. Place the M-44s in areas removed from where the dogs normally roam. Now those are common sense suggestions. But there is another option. It’s not a perfect solution but just another technique. What you do is insert capsaicin tablets in the M-44s. The dogs that bite and pull the devices will get a mouthful of bitter capsaicin. This difficult experience is enough to train dogs to avoid the devices in the future. Note, it’s not a guaranteed solution but it can be a helpful one to offer a landowner who is resistant to restrain his/her dogs. Stephen M. Vantassel is certified in the use of M-44s. Share...

How Many House Sparrows?

Paying attention to details is critical in wildlife control. So how many house sparrows can you find in this photo? Scroll below to see the answer. The answer is 1 on the roof 8 on the fence 1 in the bush So the total is 10!! Share...

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...

Selling Your WCO Business Part 3

Selling Your WCO Business Part 3 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. Advertising for Buyers Obviously the options here are endless. I would suggest a low cost approach unless your company is worth well over 100,000 dollars. If it is worth more than that you might want to consider a business broker. Their fees can be steep. I called one and found out that he charged 30% of the gross sale. To my mind that is fairly expensive others charge 10-15% of the gross sale but that price only covers the cost of finding a buyer, which is no small task as brokers must perform a great deal of work to find a good buyer willing to pay a good price. Given how small our industry is the broker will have to work very hard to find a buyer. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the terms of the commission. You might be able to find a business broker willing to work for less money. Another option is to hire a broker as a consultant. A+ Business Broker Inc. out of Florida says they consult with potential sellers for 250 dollars an hour (1-800-707-8899). That is still a lot of money but the advice could be well worth it. (Don’t be afraid to make the broker prove their competence and always seek to understand what you are paying for. You can also try to sell your business by yourself. You can get the word out through your state association newsletter, local exterminators, businesses that refer to you etc. If you want to spend for advertising, you can place ads in WCT, pest control magazines or national trapping magazines. You can also advertise on the internet. For example, American Investor Business Brokers is located on the web at http://aibb.com/fsbo/index.htm They will even allow you to offer your business on the web for no commission. You just pay a fee to advertise the company on the web. As with all brokers and paid advertising, make sure you...

Selling Your WCO Business Part 1

Selling your Company Part 1 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. One of the differences between a job and a business is you can sell a business. Businesses have value beyond the individual running it. A business has client lists, phone numbers, regular accounts, good reputation etc. Each of these elements adds to the value of a business. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what qualities you would like in a business before you buy it. As the animal damage control industry matures, more of our members will consider selling their businesses for retirement income or because the children aren’t interested in continuing the family trade. Selling a business is neither quick nor easy. It is a long process, filled with many potential pitfalls and maddening delays. This article will provide you with a brief outline of the issues you must consider before entering the waters of any business sale. The first question you must answer before selling your business is, “Why are you selling?”. The decision to sell your business, like starting it, should never be made flippantly or without mature reflection. Don’t rush into the decision. You must determine if your reasons are appropriate. Remember, if you got into business to be your own boss, selling your business may require that you work for others. Consult with trusted friends and family about your consideration of selling. Sometimes others can see potential pitfalls more clearly than we can see them ourselves. Once the decision to sell has been made, you must determine what you want for the company. Since this industry is so young, we don’t have many examples of how our type of business can be properly valued. One of the problems with this industry is that it is a service based business. Service companies are difficult to value because you can’t patent a service. While our work is dangerous, time consuming and dirty, it is still not a difficult business for someone else to start from scratch....