Angie's List: Escorting unwanted critters out of your home

(ANGIE'S LIST) - Finding furry friends inside or under your home can be unnerving and dangerous.

"If you have unwanted guests in your home raccoons, squirrels, mice you want to get rid of them right away because not only is their waste dangerous to your health, but also they can do a lot of damage, whether chewing through insulation or even chewing through wiring, which could be a fire hazard," Angie Hicks, Angie's List Founder, said.

Cory McClung has been removing animals, bats, birds and rodents from homes for years. He loves it because every day is different, but says you always need to be careful.

"If you're removing an animal that has young, they're going to be the most aggressive. A mother raccoon is going to be very upset that you're in her area with her young," Animal removal expert Cory McClung said.

This raccoon didn't put up much of a fight they got him first try, so the cost should be around $250.

Some companies charge per visit and even per-animal, so ask how pricing works before you hire. And even after the critter or critters are caught, there's still work to be done.

"Once you have the animals removed, you're not done yet. You need to find out how they were getting into your home so you can seal it properly so you don't have them back," Hicks said.

"We'll repair the immediate hole where the animal was getting in active, and then we will show the customer other high-risk entry points on the home that we can work on to stop a future problem," McClung said.

That work will cost you extra. Some companies don't offer repair work, so find out the range of services prior to hiring. And you might be surprised at the tiny openings a creature can creep through.

"If you can put a number two pencil through it, a mouse can get through it, "McClung said.

Angie cautions against removing wildlife on your own because even if you get it trapped without getting bitten or sprayed, in the case of a skunk, you still need to do something with the critter. A permit is required to transport wild animals off your property.

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