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#5929449 - 06/16/17 11:50 AM Squirrel removal question
narmstro Offline

Registered: 10/22/14
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
So my accountant contacted me and said he had gray squirrels eating through the bottom of his shed to get to a barrel of bird food he had in there. I showed up yesterday and set a number of cages around. I did not give him a price (he didnt ask and I honestly wasnt sure what to charge as I am new to the business and havent dealt with squirrels like this) but felt pretty confident I would pick up a couple of squirrels.

I called him this morning to see how we were doing and he said "you arent going to like my answer...". He went on to tell me that we had caught 3 of them and that his wife and granddaughter felt bad and took them each to the park and released them. This certainly surprised me and caught me off guard. I told him that what they did was illegal in NY State, which he did not know. I asked him if he wanted me to come and pull the traps and he asked if they could keep them there for another day or so. (which I read as they were going to catch and release more of them). I emailed him a link to the DEC website that shows that homeowners can not transport live animals, they need to use a NWCO.

So my question is, how do I charge this job? As I said he is my accountant, has been for probably close to 10 years but it was NOT done as a favor, he hired me. I would assume charging him the rate that I would charge for the set up and per animal fee, even though I didnt have to deal with the animals, does that seem right? I am regretting not setting a price prior to doing this job and realize that is my first mistake. I just dont know how to price all these jobs yet. He lives one town over so I would have had to drive there a couple of times (2 were caught in the same trap - 5 x 5 Comstock) so I didnt have to travel there to take care of them. I also wonder how you price various animals. For instance, I often charge $50 for most animals I catch (Woodchucks, skunks, fox, coons, etc) plus a set up fee dependent on location and requirements. But I have a hard time justifying $50 for a squirrel, especially when the potential for catching several exists.

So to boil this down to 2 questions I would love to get feedback on:

1. Do you charge the full amount if the homeowner releases the animals you catch

2. Do you have a sliding scale per animal like if you were to charge $50 for a woodchuck, what would you charge for a squirrel or chipmunk. (I get that different areas of the country have different standards of living and therefore fees would vary, your chuck fee may be higher or lower, but use your numbers to give me a ratio of how the 2 costs would compare)

I appreciate any feedback I can get, thanks!


#5929472 - 06/16/17 12:32 PM Re: Squirrel removal question [Re: narmstro]
Uwe Offline

Registered: 11/10/16
Posts: 228
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
In this case, I would be very inclined to just let it go, or charge a very small amount for the set up or as a "rental fee" for your traps.
I would certainly charge way more for a sunk than a woodchuck or a raccoon!
For squirrels, I look at it as a general charge for the total job, not per individual animal, plus a fee per trip.
I also tell people to not touch my traps, I would be irate if they drove around with them!

#5929549 - 06/16/17 03:16 PM Re: Squirrel removal question [Re: narmstro]
TDHP Offline

Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 1177
Loc: Massachusetts
This should all be in your initial contract with the $ amount if there's homeowner interference and before any work is performed on the property. It's illegal to relocate here so I provide the homeowner a copy of the chapter and section on releasing wildlife in our state, just to be sure that there is no confusion. I would charge time/inspections, trip, bait, lure, traps and the extra trip to retrieve the traps along with any work done to the shed if any.

If you solved an issue and they took it upon themselves to remove your traps and release the problem, that falls on the homeowner not you.

Does the accountant charge you full price for their services?

When it comes to critters stay away from the animal charge. OR keep it but don't base the job off of them. It's like building a house, finish product is great but what went into that product? You'll get numbers thrown at you and most will hang up when you give your price over the phone. You'll win some and lose some, have to find a number that fits your skill level and what you're worth.

Edited by TDHP (06/16/17 03:19 PM)
Smile, you're an expert!

#5929606 - 06/16/17 05:05 PM Re: Squirrel removal question [Re: narmstro]
Getting There Offline

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 807
Loc: West Michigan
Remember in a lot of cases the only difference between trapping a squirrel and a raccoon is the size of the trap. With old account I may just supply a additional trap for the base price. But business is business. JMO
To Old
U.S. Army 60-63 SGT.