• King Wildlife Services

Seattle - "Pest Control" vs "Wildlife Control" - What's the Difference?


Most “pest control” companies in the Seattle area do not deal with Raccoons or other wildlife. Unfortunately, more often than not, when a homeowner or tenant has a Raccoon/wildlife issue they initially call a pest control company. It makes sense! For example, when someone sees a Raccoon causing damage to their yard or they hear a Raccoon in their crawlspace, the word “pest” usually comes to mind and as a result of this, the person will end up calling a company that strictly deals with rats, mice, ants, spiders, or other smaller things. On occasion, homeowners may also search Google or another search engine for “animal control”, “wildlife control” or an assortment of other words. This is understandable because of a few things.

Finding a company that specializes in Raccoons or a particular species of nuisance wildlife can be difficult. In WA state, this can be particularly confusing due to the regulations and licensing required for “pests” (bugs-ants, spiders, termites, cockroaches, etc) vs “wildlife” (raccoons, possums, squirrels, beavers, river otters, mountain beaver, etc). Handling raccoons and other wildlife in Washington requires special, unique licensing which the majority of pest control companies do not have. All state licensed “Wildlife Control Operators (“WCO”) have gone through a course in Olympia and have been officially certified to conduct trapping and other wildlife management tools in the state. The WA Department of Fish & Wildlife regulates these licenses and furthermore monitors all yearly catch reports, licenses given out/retracted, makes changes to laws regarding trapping critters on public and private property, and takes part in various other duties. The Department of Fish & Wildlife gets many calls about nuisance wildlife throughout the year and oftentimes will send these issues off to private companies.


Nuisance wildlife can cause a wide variety of damage to landscaping, home attics/crawl spaces, hobby chicken coops, poultry farms, livestock ranches, fish hatcheries, boat docks, ponds, lakes, and even harass pets and people. Sometimes recognizing the signs of wildlife being present on your property can be very obvious! Sometimes it can also be exceptionally challenging! It’s possible for the visual differences between a “pest control” and “wildlife control” issue to be very slight. However, to a trained professional, these subtle changes are not very difficult to differentiate. Noticeable differences between small “pests” and “wildlife” include but are not limited to: louder noises, larger holes/burrows, larger kill left behind, and larger tracks/footprints.

If you believe you have any type of pest or wildlife issue, it is best to not wait too long and call a professional company as soon as possible. If access to a structure has been gained or a consistent food source still remains on-site, predacious wildlife will almost always return. Waiting for the nuisance critter to return is just not worth it in most cases! A free phone consultation is always possible through King Wildlife Services and we will always come up with a fair and honest quote ahead of time before being on-site so you know what you are getting into. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!


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