Squirrels are everywhere. We see them darting in front of our cars, climbing our trees, and even taking up residence in our attics. What do you do when they’ve made their home within yours? The initial thought is to call an animal specialist to remove them. But what is that going to cost?
Per survey result compilations from the home repair and improvement website Home Advisor, non-poisonous squirrel removal can cost between $200-$600. However, it can go up to $1,500 if it’s a considerable amount to remove.
Although that cost is an average, it is important to remember that it is a national average. Animal removal cost is not the same across the board. There are many things that make up the number that you receive when inquiring about quotes.
How is the Cost Calculated?
There are two different routes to animal removal, but it is dependent on the seriousness of the situation and the type of animal. It is important to consider the situation you are in when deciding which avenue to reach out to.
When you are dealing with a wildlife infestation, you don’t want to lose time by calling the wrong people. This can lead to an increase in destruction within your home.
The first option is through your county’s Animal Control department. This service will remove problematic animals from your property at no cost. However, these are typically limited to stray dogs or highly dangerous animals. At times they will extend the service to feral cats.
The more common path is through a private removal company. Private company animal removal costs have several variables.
Although the national average in the United States is $200-$600, this isn’t the same from city to city. Factors that determine the cost are location, rate type, job size, and urgency.
Different areas of the country have different costs of living. This variation is the basis for price fluctuations. In cities with a higher cost of living, the quotes for animal removal services will go up.
If you find yourself in the situation of needing to find cost quotes for removal and live in a larger city, be sure to ask around the surrounding areas. The price difference may be substantial savings for you by just going one city over.
For example, the average rate for typical squirrel removal in Los Angeles is $300 more than the much smaller Kalamazoo, Michigan.
This is due to the elevated cost of living that Los Angeles has. With that being said, neighboring Lemon Grove, California is $150 less than Los Angeles for squirrel removal services.
Another factor to consider when getting squirrel removal price quotes is whether they rate hourly or for the entire job. At times you will run into a hybrid situation as well.
If you secure a company outside of town that charges hourly rates, you will likely be paying the rate for their travel time.
On the other hand, getting a full job quote will allow for some wiggle room. With this kind of rate, you will not be bound to a specific period.
Whereas with an hourly rate, if the job takes four hours and twelve minutes, you will likely be charged for five hours, with a full job quote, you won’t be paying additional for that brief period.
With a hybrid scenario, you will pay a flat fee for the initial service call and then an hourly rate on top of it.
The cost that the company provides you as a quote is inclusive of a standard squirrel infestation size. However, if the amount is much more than what is expected, the cost will be higher.
This change in cost also pertains to situations where a company expects a typical infestation and is greeted with something much more significant.
Although you may enter into an animal removal situation expecting to pay a specific price, you may wind up doling out a more substantial amount.
When you call an animal removal service, they do not initially provide a quote for a service time outside of business hours. Initially, they will go into the call assuming that they can leave the situation to resolve during hours of operation.
If it becomes apparent that this situation can’t be delayed and needs to be tended to immediately, there will be an additional cost for the urgency of the job. This rate hike is due to the extra labor cost of extending the service hours for your infestation.
It is possible that if the emergency takes place during business hours, other, less urgent jobs will have to shift to different dates and times to accommodate your need. You will likely incur a higher rate for this as well due to the rescheduling of clients.
It is important to address any wildlife infestation issues as quickly as possible. This timeline typically consists of a day or two. Leaving the situation for any longer than that can result in a much more serious issue and more severe damage to your home.
What Costs Are In The Quoted Price?
An animal infestation of any type can cause a great deal of disturbance and damage. Acquiring the help of a professional company for removal rectifies some of the problems. But what exactly is included in the cost to remove squirrels from an attic?
A typical quote from a professional will include:
Service call fee – this is the initial cost for any animal removal or extermination cost. It includes travel and equipment prices.
Evaluation of the issue – when the professionals enter your home, they will take the time to analyze the extent of the problem and the best approach to take to resolve it.
Wildlife containment – upon the discovery of the infestation, the company will work to contain the animals within the confines of their current location. This will reduce the risk of escape and protect the rest of your home.
Animal removal (non-lethal) – with most removals, technicians try to use non-lethal methods. The quote that you receive will include appropriate non-lethal methods of removal.
It is worth it to note that even though self-removal techniques, such as lethal traps and sprays, are enticing and cost-efficient, they are also very dangerous to pets and children. It is best to forego this route for the safety of those around you.
Diagnosing of problem areas – once the removal is complete, the technician will accurately assess the access point where the squirrel entered. From there they will help to formulate a plan to resolve these problem areas.
Light patching or repair of problem areas – although quotes will at times include light repairs, these are no extensive or permanent fixes. The technician will likely patch a hole but not mud or paint the area. It is best to assume that you will need to complete these tasks on your own or secure additional resources to do so.
How Do I Find a Professional?
A simple internet search will turn up many options for animal removal near your home. When you look at the companies available, there are things that you want to take into consideration.
Licensing – it is vital to find out if the company has appropriate licenses for wildlife removal. These are typically managed through the individual state and often within the natural resources departments.
Insurance – when you are having work done within your home, you want to make sure that they have insurance for their company no matter the type.
References – even if you are pressed for time, the speed of the internet allows you to check for bad reviews quickly. This act is critical due to the severe nature of the situation within your home.
Other options for locating a reputable company are the phone book’s yellow pages or to call your local 211. Additionally, you can inquire through your town’s Chamber of Commerce or ask for recommendations from friends and family. Ultimately, you want to secure an appropriate and reliable professional in a timely manner.
The discovery of wildlife within your home can be stressful, but fixing the problem doesn’t have to be. After securing the appropriate professionals and safely removing the squirrels, you will be on your way to a critter-free home.
However, even with the successful extrication, you need to take the proper precautions not to have it happen again. Some animal removal companies have an additional service to repair all animal access points fully and rectify problem areas to avoid further issues. This topic could also be taken up with a contractor to check for any structural issues at play. Regardless of the avenue, it is essential to arrive at a plan for rectifying the situation.
In the end, you will find that the cost of removing squirrels from your attic is both made of several components and is only one small piece of the puzzle. Many things go into a successful removal, and with that comes diligence, research, and patience.